Online Module: The Holocaust and Fundamental Rights

Doc. 5: Interview with a rescued Jewish woman

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The child survivor Eva Brust Cooper remembers the rescue of her family by Raoul Wallenberg.

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  • Interview with Eva Brust Cooper, 9 December 1991. Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, RG 50.030*0056 (extract).

Eva Brust 1944Eva Brust Cooper was born on March 18, 1934 into an assimilated Jewish family. She grew up in Budapest. Even if she herself did not notice anything anti-Semitic until much later, her grandparents, who were more concerned about Hitler than most people, decided to leave the country early. In 1939 they left on a supposed "vacation" to the United States and never returned.

Eva's father was involved in Jewish organizations and so had access to a lot of information, wasn't worried that much. But in 1942 the Hungarian government took him, like many other Jewish men, by force to labor camps and made to do heavy-duty labor.

During her 10th birthday party, March 18, 1944, she witnessed the occupation of Budapest by German soldiers out of the window.

Schutzpass of Eva BrustSchutzpass (protection paper) of 10 year old Eva Brust, ©

After the arrival of Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest, the Swedish Legation managed to persuade the Hungarian authorities to treat the holders of a Schutzpass, a kind of temporary passport, which it had issued as if they were Swedish citizens.

In October 1944 her parents were able to get Schutzpässe (protection papers) of Raoul Wallenberg, so they could move into one of the designated Swedish houses in Budapest, protectorates, where Jews were protected of direct German influence.

But the family Brust didn't stay in the overcrowed house ...

Listen to Eva Brust Cooper describing how her family went into hiding after they had received protective papers from Raoul Wallenberg.

The whole interview you find on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's website
The transcript is provided here in the download section.


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