Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Komjadi commemorative medal owned by a Hungarian Jewish family

Object | Accession Number: 1990.245.3

Medal depicting Jewish Hungarian Bela Komjadi, awarded to a cousin of Eva Hevesi Ehrlich by the Hungarian Swimming Association in 1934. Known as “the father of Hungarian water polo,” Komjadi established a program resulting in numerous European and Olympic gold medals. Eva was living in Budapest, Hungary, with her parents, Ferenc and Magda Hevesi, when the war in Europe began in September 1939. Ferenc was a rabbi at the Dohány Street synagogue under his father, Simon Hevesi, who was chief rabbi of Hungary. When Simon died in 1943, Ferenc and a colleague succeeded him as co-chief rabbis. Hungary was allied with Germany, but when the Hungarian government began seeking a ceasefire with the Allies, the German army occupied Hungary on March 19, 1944. When the radically antisemitic, German-backed Arrow Cross Party took control of the government on October 15, Eva and her family went into hiding. The section of the city they were in was liberated by the Soviet army on January 16, 1945. Eva’s paternal grandmother had starved to death during the occupation, her maternal grandmother died shortly after liberation, and her fiancé was shot and thrown into the Danube River. Ferenc became a chaplain for the Hungarian army, and returned to his former rabbinical duties. Eva returned to college and met a Hungarian-American soldier with the American military mission. In the fall of 1946, Eva immigrated to the United States with her husband, followed shortly by her father and mother. Eva and her husband divorced in 1949. She then married Bernard Ehrlich in 1950.

issue:  1934
received: Hungary
Object Type
Sports--Medals (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Eva Ehrlich
Record last modified: 2023-08-29 12:34:14
This page: