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The Brust family on winter holiday before the Holocaust

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 2014.392.2 | RG Number: RG-60.1836 | Film ID: 4175

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    The Brust family on winter holiday before the Holocaust


    “Kékestetõ 1940. Február 12~23-ig”. People holding skis walk across a snow covered ground. Ski lodge and the surrounding snowy area. A car is parked. Another drives past. The branches of trees are weighed down with snow. 01:01:04 A man faces the camera and smiles. People on the snow covered road get their skis down from the top of the van parked in front of the building. A man (Elek) walks through a snowy path, and his wife Lilly and daughter Eva skate around a cleared path of ice. The lodge. Eva skates up to the camera, hair in braids. ECU of her smile, with gaps from two missing front teeth. The family throws snowballs playfully at each other. Eva falls in the snow and her mother picks her up. More ice skating, Eva and her mom hold hands while skating. A man uses a broom to sweep off the ice. Eva continues skating, dancing around on her ice-skates. She skates towards the camera, arms extended out at her shoulders. She throws snow at the woman, and the woman throws it back. CU of Lilly smiling.

    01:04:01 Eva sleds down a snow covered hill, slowly nearing the camera. Then together with her mother she leads the sled back up the hill, followed by a young boy on skis, and a man on skis. Theyl ride the sled down together. Eva and another child pull the sled through the snowy forest, followed by Lillyon skis. WS of Brust family in the forest. Lilly and Eva ride the sled together again, Lilly uses her heels to push them along. A woman skis down an open clearing in the woods, followed by a man. People stand around outside of a building surrounded by mounds of snow.

    01:06:46 Eva ays on a lounge chair fully bundled up in her jacket, mittens, and blanket. She waves to the camera. CU of her with her eyes closed, still waving. Then she stands on the porch wrapped in the blanket, smiling and walking towards the camera. She then plays in the snow with a young boy. The young boy throws snowballs at her. They continue playing, the girl throwing large amounts of snow at the boy.

    01:08:17 Elek throws snow at his wife, who is holding skis. She in turn throws snow at the young boy in front of her, and then at the children. Elek takes a shovel and starts to heave snow with it. Eva climbs up one of the snowy mounds. Lilly with skis on her shoulder looks at the camera. Eval walks with her mother towards the camera, moving her arms and skipping in a dance. a man emerges from the ski shop with skis and poles, followed by a woman with the same. CU of the woman’s face. She walks through the snow. CU of her face. A group of people on skis in a clearing in the forest on a hill. A man skis down, opening and closing his legs to gain momentum. Then a woman goes, and other people take their turn to ski down the hill. Eva sledding again. People stand outside of the ski lodge. Others exit a car parked in front. Skis and poles lean against the side of the building.

    01:13:06 A man waves, hat in hand. He speaks to the camera and gestures with his finger across his chest. He walks to the pile of snow and grabs and handful, chucking it towards the camera, and then waves the camera operator along. Outside of the lodge, people sit in wicker chairs, enjoying conversation. Eva and her mother build a snowman. She puts a stick in its hand, then glasses and a hat. Eval wears the hat for a brief moment. She smiles. The snowman with a different cap. CU of Eva posing with the snowman. Brust family and friends stand outside the lodge, camera pans left on the forest. The young girl and boy walk hand in hand. The girl carries a baby doll. She stands with a woman outside of a restaurant. 01:16:00 There is a sign that reads “VASÚTI VENDÉGLÕ-ÉTTEREM BAHNHOF-RESTAURANT”. They walk through the fence towards the restaurant entrance. Two men unload skis and luggage from the top of a van.

    01:16:26 INT Eva and her parents sit at a table inside the restaurant. She smiles. ECU of her baby doll. Camera does not focus. Eva gives the doll many kisses. ECU of her taking a sip of water, and holding the glass up to the baby doll’s mouth. She holds bread up to the doll’s mouth. EXT people stand along the side of a train. People stand by a different door. The locomotive begins, giving off smoke. Very dark shot of a woman and a bright light.
    Event:  1940
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Eva Cooper
    Subject: Eva B. Cooper
    Camera Operator: Elek Brust
    Subject: Lilly Brust Gach
    Eva Cooper (born Eva Brust) is the daughter of Elek Brust (b. 1899) and Livia (Lilly) Schwarcz Brust. Eva was born on March 18, 1934 in Budapest, Hungary where her father owned a wholesale paper box company. The family attended the Dohány Street Synagogue. After voyaging to America to attend the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, Eva’s maternal grandparents remained in New York and reestablished their prosperous watch business. In 1942 Lilly's younger brother Leslie Schwartz joined them in New York, enlisted in the US Army and participated in the Normandy invasion. In 1941 Elek was taken to a labor camp with other Hungarian Jewish men. Through the black market, Lilly obtained papers to release him from the camp. Then on March 18, 1944, Eva’s tenth birthday, Nazi troops entered Budapest. The Nazis soon designated special buildings for Jews to live, so Elek used his connections to designate their building as a Jewish residence. Elek was forbidden to work, but Eva and a friend generated money by selling cigarettes they made using the unsmoked tobacco left in cigarette butts. Eva's father was very active in the Jewish community and assisted in the negotiations with Adolf Eichmann to delay the deportations from Budapest. He also applied for Swedish papers from Raoul Wallenberg, and each member of the family received a Schutzpass. In mid-October 1944 the Brust’s decided to leave their home, finding refuge at an abandoned apartment where they hid with the help of the superintendent. During the winter of 1944-45, they fled into the countryside. At one point they were stopped by Nazi soldiers on the road, and lined up in a firing line. They narrowly escaped thanks to the distraction of a bomb dropping nearby which caused everyone to run.

    Eva and her parents ended up at a family friend's house in the country where many others were hiding as well. Eventually they left the country and walked to the small town of Erd where they hid in a basement. In 1945 they returned to Budapest, where their home had been looted but remained in relatively good shape. Soviet troops liberated Budapest in January 1945. That spring, Elek restarted his business; however, by late 1946 Soviets occupying Hungary instituted a Communist regime. Using the money they had managed to collect in the year after the war, her family applied for visitor’s visas to America. They sailed from London to America on May 21, 1947. They settled in New York City where her father went to work with her grandfather’s watch business. Her family's belongings were sent from Budapest, although the Soviets confiscated many of their valuables such as paintings and books. Though Eva and her parents survived the Holocaust, two members of their family who had stayed with them from March to October of 1944 had perished along the Danube. Her father had to identify their bodies using their teeth. Most of their other family members had been sent to Auschwitz, where one of her cousins had been used in human experiments by Dr. Mengele. He survived and recuperated in a hospital in Switzerland.

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 4174 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 4175 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 4174 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 4175 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 4174 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 4175 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 4174 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 4175 Video: Digital Betacam - NTSC - large
      Master 4175 Film: positive - 8 mm - silent - b&w - original
      Master 4175 Film: positive - 8 mm - silent - b&w - original
      Master 4175 Film: positive - 8 mm - silent - b&w - original
      Master 4175 Film: positive - 8 mm - silent - b&w - original

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Conditions on Use
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum places no restrictions on use of this material. You do not require further permission from the Museum to reproduce or use this film footage.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    Eva Brust Cooper donated her family films to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in August 2016.
    Film Source
    Ms. Eva B. Cooper
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-07 12:18:19
    This page:

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