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Audio visual
Atlanta, Georgia
June 27, 2008
Video tapes/transcripts
31 pages
Friedlander Eva Dukesz OHC.jpg

Eva Friedlander was born Eva Dukesz in Budapest, Hungary in 1921. Eva’s mother, Margit (Margaret), was a celebrated actress and her father, Geza, was a civil engineer. Eva remembers her parents as highly educated and sophisticated people. Eva’s parents separated when she was a teenager, before Germany invaded Hungary, and Eva did a year’s study in a secretarial school so that she could get a secretarial job to help keep her mother and herself afloat financially. Even though Eva had to drop out of high school to start working she was able to at least continue her education in the areas of art and literature when her mother arranged to have her spend occasional afternoons with the wife of a prominent journalist in Hungary, who took her under her wing. After Nazi sympathizers and the Germans came to power in Hungary, Eva and her mother went into hiding with false papers obtained from friends in the underground. Eva’s mother, Margaret, became a live-in nanny with a family and Eva dyed her blond hair brown and moved from Buda across the river to Pest. At one point, she and a friend pretended to be newlyweds (he as a Hungarian officer), but when neighbors started asking questions, they gave up the plan and Eva found work as a secretary in a small office. Near the end of the war, Eva and her mother reunited and hid with a small group of people in a basement of an abandoned villa on the Buda side. They were liberated by Russian troops, who proceeded to loot and rape throughout Budapest. Eva herself narrowly avoided the unwelcome attentions of the Russian soldier. Eva and her mother returned to their apartment, which had also been looted, but there were able to reclaim it and clean it up. Eva and her mother opened a small secretarial office. Eva’s father had been deported and did not return. Despite all the years of trying to discover his fate, even with the recent opening of archives in Eastern Europe, Eva has not been able to determine where and when he died. In 1947, Eva met her future husband, George Friedlander, a survivor of three forced labor camps. George had been educated in Italy and after the war received an assignment for the Italian government to help repatriate Italian prisoners of war and citizens who were stuck in Hungary. George put an announcement in the papers offering to help Italian citizens return home, which caught the attention of the Secret Police. He was arrested and detained for several weeks, until his father was able to have him released with a hefty bribe. George decided to return to Italy after his release, and Eva went with him. They were married in Rome in August 1949. In Italy, George became an assistant to a Nobel-prize winning professor who was conducting research for the Italian government on penicillin production, and Eva was offered a position with the American Joint Distribution Committee, which was try to resettle survivors who were in refugee camps in Italy. In 1950, the couple decided to immigrate to Atlanta, Georgia, where George became part of a research team in the Biochemistry Department at Emory. Later started he started his own company, Custom Chemicals. Eva was hired at Rich’s Department Store in the Antiques and Connoisseur Gallery as an assistant buyer, and today she remains actively involved in an antiques dealership. Eva’s mother eventually joined them in Atlanta, where she spent her remaining years. The Friedlanders have two children, Lewis and Lynne. George died in 2004 at the age of 89.

OHC-Eva Dukesz Friedlander

Eva Dukesz Friedlander (1921- ) - Oral History

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48 Related Subjects

Friedlander, Eva Dukesz, 1921-2017

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)


Budapest (Hungary)

Holocaust Survivors

Dukesz, Margot (Margaret|)

Dukesz, Geza

Pecel, Hungary

Vienna (Austria)



Engineers (Civil, Industrial, etc.)


Rosh Ha-Shanah
Judaism - Fasts and Feasts; High Holidays

Yom Kippur
Judaism - Fasts and Feasts; High Holidays

High Holidays
Judaism - Fasts and Feasts; Yom Kippur; Rosh Ha-Shanah

Judaism--Fasts and Feasts


Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Hiding

Arrow Cross Party (Hungary)

Identification Documents, Forged

Underground Movements
World War, 1939-1945

World War, 1939-1945 - Concentration Camps: Country

World War, 1939-1945

Soviet Union--Armed Forces
Armed Forces


Friedlander, George, 1915-2004


American Joint Distribution Committee

Chain, Ernst B.

Penicillin (antibiotic)

Emigration and Immigration

Atlanta (Ga.)


Sanders, Herta

Puritan Chemical Company (Atlanta, Ga.)
Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry

Custom Chemicals (Atlanta, Ga.)
Chemicals industry

Friedlander, Lewis (Dr.)

Lutheran Towers

Rich's, Inc. (Atlanta, Ga.)
Department Stores

Department Stores
General Stores; Dime Stores; Dry Goods

Auschwitz-Birkenau (Concentration Camps: Poland)
World War, 1939-1945; Concentration Camps: Poland

Slave Labor Camps: Hungary
World War, 1939-1945

Crest Lawn Memorial Park (Atlanta, Ga.)


Emory University
Universities and Colleges

Universities and Colleges

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