Eva Weiss

"To be strong, to have faith, to follow your religion.  Never give up.                                                 "

Name at birth
Eva Lefkovits
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Olaszliszka, Hungary
Name of father, occupation
Herman Lefkovits, Owned a kosher meat market
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Carolina Kohn Lefkovits, Worked with her husband
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents and Edith, Laszlo, Bela, Sandor, Eva, Erno
How many in entire extended family?
Five families in my family and about twenty-two cousins in all
Who survived the Holocaust?
My two brothers, Laszlo, Sandor, and I survived. About seven or eight cousins also survived.
I was fifteen years old when I was taken to the ghetto. We spent six weeks there before being forced to go into a cattle car to go to Auschwitz.  I remember my father lifting me up to see out the window when we arrived at Auschwitz.  We saw children playing and heard music.  We thought that everything was going to be ok.  
When we got off the train, men and women were separated.  Mengele was asking everyone their ages.  My sister and cousins were sent in one direction.  I was sent with my mother to a different line.  
I looked over and saw my sister with my cousin.  I wanted to be with them.  I instinctively let go of my mother’s hand and ran to be with them.  I could have been shot.  When I looked back to see my mother, her line was already out of sight.  My cousin told me then to tell everyone that I was eighteen years old.  
My mother and my younger brother Erno, age 13, were sent to the gas chamber.  My father and brother Sandor, age 17, were sent to Dachau where they were killed.  
After one night in Auschwitz, my sister, Edith and three of my cousins, and I were sent to Plaszow concentration camp.  In this camp, some other young girls and I were lined up and beaten with a rubber hose for not standing up on time. We were then thrown into individual prison cells in a barrack overnight with rats running around.  We were let out in the morning.  My sister was terrified that we had all been killed.  
In mid-August, we were sent back to Auschwitz.  It was very hot.  I remember one day, following the scent of food, I found a swimming pool behind the kitchen.  
No one saw me and I dove in to the pool and swam a length of the pool.  I then swam on my back and looked at the sun.  I told myself that I would not die.  
I returned to my sister and cousins and told them about the pool. They did not believe me.  At the 10th reunion of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, I met a woman who also said she also swam in the pool at Auschwitz.  
In the beginning of September, we were transferred to Grunberg, a munitions factory.  There, I dug grooves on bullets.  On January 1, 1945, my sister, cousins, and I were forced on a death march to Bergen-Belsen.  Once there we found two more cousins.  Of the five hundred Hungarian girls in our barracks at Bergen-Belsen, only fifty survived.  
On April 15, 1945, we were liberated by the British.  My sister and cousins were terribly sick. Edith wrote a letter to our aunt in America telling her we were alive.  An English colonel mailed the letter.  On June 12, 1945, my beautiful, 22-year-old sister Edith, who had been engaged to be married, died. 
After liberation, my surviving cousin and I were sent to Sweden where I met a woman named Rose Gelberman.  She also had family in Detroit.  I wrote a letter to my aunt and she included it along with her own.  Within two weeks, I received a telegram.  My aunt sent for my cousin and me.  We arrived in America on April 8, 1946.  
Name of Ghetto(s)
Name of Concentration / Labor Camp(s)
Where did you go after being liberated?
When did you come to the United States?
April 8, 1946
Where did you settle?
In Detroit with my aunt who moved there before the war.
How is it that you came to Michigan?
I had family in Detroit. I met a woman in Sweden who also had family in Detroit. I asked her to include a letter to my aunt. My aunt sent for me and my cousin.
Occupation after the war
I went to school, worked at Barton chocolate factory, then worked as a seamstress.
When and where were you married?
Detroit, November 9, 1947
Sidney Weiss, Owned a drapery store
Jeffrey Weiss, dentist; Steven Weiss, attorney; and Carol Weiss Walters, nurse
Six: Daniel, Erica, Aaron, Lauren, Emily, and Mark
What do you think helped you to survive?
Being surrounded by my sister and cousins and looking after each other. I was determined not to die.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
To be strong, to have faith, to follow your religion.  Never give up.                                                 
Charles Silow
Interview date:

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