Eva Rival

"This shouldn’t be forgotten.  That’s why we’re doing this interview, because this way our grandkids can look it up.  It needs to be done in such a way that it isn’t too difficult to look up.     It does make a person stronger to go though all kinds of perils like that.  They should try to be strong too, even if they have a good life.    "

Name at birth
Eva Folkman
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Bratislava, Czechoslovakia
Name of father, occupation
Bojtech Folkman, Textile businessman
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Margit Blau, Homemaker
Immediate family (names, birth order)
My parents and me. My mother was deported and killed when I was a baby. After the war, in 1949, my father remarried, I have a half-sister and half-brother. We didn’t live together until after he remarried, in Bratislava
How many in entire extended family?
There were six children in my father’s family. My father, one brother, and one sister survived; three perished in the Holocaust. My mother had a sister who survived and a brother who went to Israel after the war. My step-mother, Eva Mogay, survived in the woods.
Who survived the Holocaust?
My father, his mother, a brother and a sister survived. My mother's sister, brother and me.
The Nazi’s came early, 1938.  The Slovaks cooperated and collaborated with Hitler.  The Slovaks gave up people in order to confiscate their property and businesses.  We lived near Vienna, in the eastern part of the country. 

I was born in 1941.  I was baptized in a church; my father thought it was a good idea.  I am a Protestant on paper and that saved me.  When I lived with the Austrian woman, whom I called mother, they came to look for me because somebody said there is a Jewish child there.  She produced the baptism papers and that saved me.
So then the war ended in 1945.  We were hiding in the apartment and then we were in some kind of village because I remember that a goat ate my pacifier.  
After the war we were back in Bratislava, my father took me from Herma.  I was upset because I didn’t know who he was.  He took me to his mother who came back from London where she survived the war.  I lived with her from six until nine, that’s when my father remarried and we became a family again.  Her name was Eva and she had a son three years younger than me.
Then in 1948, Communism came.  We went from Fascism to Communism. 
During the war, my father was in hiding.  He and his brother were hiding in all of the impossible places.  He was caught several times, hunted, and beaten.
He was not in very good health after the war.  I was a baby, about ten months old, when I went to live with Herma.  My mother was in a Transit Camp in Nitra or Szeged where they collected Jews before they took them to Auschwitz. 
My mother and I were taken from the apartment when my father wasn’t there and taken to the Transit Camp.  My father managed to get me out but he couldn’t get enough money to get my mother out soon enough.  I later learned that my mother was taken to Auschwitz.  When she was in line, somebody gave her a child to hold.  That was the time when she was selected; she, the child, and the child’s mother went to the gas chamber.
  I grew up in the care of another I was taken away from my mother as a baby.  I got out and she didn’t, so I don’t know my mother. My father took me and found a Christian woman named Herma Winternitz, she was an Austrian woman with a Jewish husband. She took me in.  She had a son and that’s where I spent my early years until I was six.           

I remember the village we hid in.  When we came back to Bratislava, I went to school.  
I remember it was like a normal childhood.  I had friends; we used to go on scooters, I remember that.  
After the war I remember, my grandmother who was a nice person and who was very religious.  We always visited, she kept Shabbos every Friday.  My father denied G-d after the war; G-d couldn’t be there if so much bad had happened.
I had no fearful memories of what was going on, I was too young.  There were bombings and we went to hide in the tunnel in Bratislava.  The village we stayed in for a while was safe. 
After the war, I visited Herma once a week until the end of her days 
Where were you in hiding?
A village called Lozorno, I don’t know why we went to this village. I had false papers, lived in hiding with a Christian woman.
Where did you go after being liberated?
We stayed in Bratislava, I grew up under communism. I had a pioneer scarf and thought that STALIN was the greatest person because that was what I had been told. We couldn’t travel. I met my husband and we were married in Bratislava when he graduated from medical school and I graduated from teaching school.
When did you come to the United States?
1967. We married and had a daughter. My husband got a fellowship offer from the United States. We came for one year to Philadelphia, but while we were here, the Russians invaded again in 1968 and so we decided to stay.
Where did you settle?
We came to New York in 1967 and then Philadelphia for one year.
How is it that you came to Michigan?
My husband got another job offer; it was a choice between Michigan and Los Angeles. He got a job at Wayne State University. The job offer in Los Angeles was at Cedar Sinai. He worked at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit where he has been for the past 43 years.
Occupation after the war
When and where were you married?
In 1967 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia
Jan Rival, Cardiologist
Anita (born in Czechoslovakia) – Worked in hedge funds and retired at 45. She is married with three children. Nicole (born in the U.S.) – Worked as a lawyer. She is married with four children and she lives in Bloomfield Hills.
Jake, Charlotte, Sasha, Elle, Olivia, Clayton, and Avery
What do you think helped you to survive?
My father’s foresight to have me baptized. My father denied G-d, but even after the war he thought it was a better idea to go to Sunday school and not be a Jew. I didn’t know I was a Jew until I was about twelve, the children made fun of me on the playground. Then I was told that I was Jewish. I didn’t really matter to me because I didn’t know until it started to be explained to me that it was a negative thing to be. I was made fun of. Eventually I started to ask questions. The first picture I saw of my mother was when I was 16.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
This shouldn’t be forgotten.  That’s why we’re doing this interview, because this way our grandkids can look it up.  It needs to be done in such a way that it isn’t too difficult to look up.  
It does make a person stronger to go though all kinds of perils like that.  They should try to be strong too, even if they have a good life.
Charles Silow
Interview place:
West Bloomfield. Michigan
Interview date:
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