Eva Cohen (born Eva Weinberger), the mother of the donors, was the daughter of Moses and Idy nee Friedman Weinberger. Eva was born on November 19, 1924 in Kusnice, Transcarpathia. Kusnice was a small town not far from Munkacz. She had two older sisters Esther (b. 1915) and Helena (b. 1922), and two younger sisters Ruth (Jolan) (b. August 14, 1926) and Chana (b. 1930). Her mother died sometime in the 1930s. Moses worked as a stone engraver for tombstones. He was quite religious and a follower of the Munkaczer rebbe. The family lived across the street from the synagogue, and their home hosted many Jewish celebrations. Kusnice was part of Czechoslovakia until 1938 when Hungary occupied that part of Czechoslovakia. In 1943, Eva moved to Budapest where she became active in the Dror Habonim Zionist youth movement. The rest of her family remained in Kusnice. In March 1944, Nazi Germany invaded and occupied Hungary and began deporting Jews from the countryside. Eva’s family was sent to a ghetto in Munkacz where they remained for approximately one month. They then were deported to Auschwitz. Moses and Chana were killed immediately. Esther also perished. Helena and Ruth remained together and survived transfer to Stutthof, several work camps and a death march.
Still in Budapest, Eva obtained false papers to work as a Catholic in a jewelry factory near Gestapo offices. She learned at least one Catholic prayer in case she had to enter a bomb shelter. She also assisted the Zionist movement distribute false documents. That spring, the leader of the Zionist organization Rudolf Kasztner began negotiations with the SS to buy the survival of the Jewish community. The Germans agreed to release a group of Jews to go to Palestine as evidence of their good faith. Eva obtained a seat on the so-called Kasztner transport. It is unclear whether she knew where the transport was headed. On June 30, 1944 she and some 1600 other Jews boarded a train supposedly headed towards Palestine. Instead the train went to Bergen-Belsen. A friend helped her get work in the camp kitchen which allowed her to obtain a little more food. Eva remained in the concentration camp for five months before being released to neutral Switzerland. Eva arrived in Switzerland on December 7, 1944 and stayed there for the next ten years. In the early 1950s she met Dr. Sidney Cohen from Boston while mountain climbing in the Alps. They married on November 9, 1954 and Eva moved to the United States. Her two surviving sisters immigrated to Palestine after liberation. After Ruth also moved to the United States in 1958, she and Eva reunited for the first time in fifteen years. Helena died of natural causes in 1954.