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Jewish displaced persons in the Hallein camp celebrate Israel Independence Day.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 49011

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    Jewish displaced persons in the Hallein camp celebrate Israel Independence Day.
    Jewish displaced persons in the Hallein camp celebrate Israel Independence Day.


    Jewish displaced persons in the Hallein camp celebrate Israel Independence Day.
    May 1949 - May 1951
    Hallein, [Salzburg] Austria
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Eva and Nisen Ganz

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Eva and Nisen Ganz

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Eva Ganz (born Eva Weiss, later Eva Freedman) is the daughter of Laszlo (Moishe Tovia) Weiss and Olga (Golda) Leitman Weiss. Eva was born on February 19, 1939 in Budapest Hungary where her parents owned a plumbing supply business. In 1944 her father was taken to slave labor camp. He was given permission to come home in the middle of the night for one hour before being shipped out to the Russian front. That was the last time Eva ever saw him. During the summer of 1944 Eva visited her maternal grandparents, Perl and Avrom Leitman, in the village of Csorna. While she was there, a new edict was issued prohibiting Jews from traveling. Olga therefore had to hire a Christian woman to escort Eva back to her home in Budapest. A few weeks later the Nazis deported all the Jews of Csorna to Auschwitz. Eva's grandparents and aunt were among those who perished. Eva remained in Budapest together with her mother and paternal grandmother, Sara Weiss. Olga also narrowly escaped deportation to Auschwitz when she ran away during the Budapest round-ups. Afterwards, Eva's grandmother managed to get Wallenberg papers allowing her and Olga to stay in a safe house; she also paid a Christian widow to hide Eva. Even though Eva was only five-years-old, she memorized her cover story and learned enough Christian rituals so as not to give herself away. However, each morning, Eva secretly continued to recite the Shema and other Jewish prayers. When the widow had visitors, Eva hid for hours at a time and remained totally quiet. The widow's sister-in-law knew that Eva was Jewish and constantly threatened to report her. The widow kept her quiet by bribing her with the valuables the Weisses had entrusted to her for safekeeping. At one point, she decided that it was too risky to continue to hide Eva. On a cold late November afternoon, she escorted Eva back to her mother in the safe house. The widow banged on the door, but when no one answered she returned home with Eva. In the meantime, the family had other close calls. Olga was away from her home when Hungarian gendarmes raided the building rounding up Jews and shooting them on the shores of the Danube. The widow's home was bombed, and Eva had to stay in the cellar during the night. After the Soviets liberated Budapest on January 18, 1945, Olga retrieved Eva, but shortly afterwards Sara Weiss passed away from typhus. Eva and her mother learned that much of their family had perished including Eva's father who was shot while on a death march from Mauthausen on April 18, 1945. In 1946 Olga married her first cousin, Eliezer Avraham (Albert) Freedman, who had lost his entire family. In 1947 Olga gave birth to Yakov Joseph Freedman, who became Eva's half-brother. However less than two years later, the Freedmans felt compelled to flee again to avoid religious persecution by the Communists. They escaped with the clothes on their backs to Kassau where the Bricha organized an evacuation to Vienna. From there they went to a DP camp in Hallein in Austria in the summer of 1949. Eliezer Freedman became the head of the camp and remained in that position until they immigrated to Canada in January 1951. On a visit to New York in January 1957, Eva met her future husband Nisen Ganz. Within a few months they married and settled in New York. They have two sons, Moshe Tovia and Shulem Yeshua.
    Record last modified:
    2009-03-11 00:00:00
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