Survivor STORY

Eva Judith Moray Fernandez was born in Budapest, Hungary, and as a young child survived in the Budapest ghetto with relatives while her mother, Sari Klein, was imprisoned in a concentraiton camp in Austria. Eva’s father perished during the war. Her mother returned to Budapest after the war and remarried to an American. She made plans to emigrate to America but was not able to take Eva with her on her visa, so Eva followed, by herself at age six, several months later.
Learning English

[With her mother, Sari Suzanne Klein]

Sari: This is my only child. She is Eva Judith. She was born Eva Judith Weisz. She is a child of my first husband. She came to America, as I mentioned, by herself at the age of six years. She, when she came to America, she knew two words English -- one was "dog," the other one was a "cat". And she started school in the middle of the year. She came in, January or February?

Eva: January. End of January.

Sari: And the end of the school year she was the best speller. And one day we were riding on a bus and she was reading the advertisements, and there was an advertisement and I was reading, and she corrected me. And I tried to say it the way she said it. Again she corrected me. Again I tried, and finally she said you will never get it.

Eva: And I'm still trying to correct her.

Sari: And she was right. I never got it.

Eva: As far as school, I guess I had it luckier than most, because there was a teacher in my school that spoke Hungarian. Mrs. Fodor. So I would be sent to her to translate sometimes. And, but I guess I picked up the language pretty quickly, and I still keep in contact with a friend that I made back then in first grade.

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Eva Fernandez