"Who would ever think that so much can go on in the soul of a young girl?" Anne Frank
Eva was born in Oradea (Nagyvarad) in 1931. Her parents divorced when she was a child, leaving Eva in the care of her maternal grandparents and her Austrian governess. Eva's father, Bela Heyman, was an architect, who lived not far, but rarely saw her. Her mother, Agi, married the well-known Hungarian writer Bela Zsolt and lived in Budapest. She did not spend much time in Oradea with her daughter.
Eva’s diary starts on 13 February 1944 and finishes on 30 May 1944. The diary was smuggled out of the ghetto in Oradea with the help of Mariska, the family’s Christian cook. In June 1944 Eva was taken by train to Auschwitz where she died in the gas chambers on 17 October 1944, aged 13.
The diary gives poignant insights as to what it felt like to be a child as the restrictions were tightened by the occupying forces and it is a powerful account of the impending disaster which was to befall the thousands of Jews of Oradea. Tikvah believes it is appropriate to have a small, but permanent memorial to Eva Heyman in Oradea and we have part of our website devoted to the Memorial for Eva project.
One of the most poignant tales from Eva’s diary occurs when her bicycle which she had saved over a long period to buy was taken off of her by the police as Jews were no longer to be allowed to have bicycles. Tikvah intends to have Red bicycle projects of various sorts which celebrate the life of Eva Heyman but which also act as a warning of the dangers of racial intolerance.
We mentioned earlier the parallels with Anne Frank in Amsterdam and we thought it appropriate to devote part of our website to the story of Anne Frank and the organisation that now supports her memory.