Oradea – Eva Heyman Memorial

Eva Heyman is one of the key iconic people from the tragedy that unfolded for the Jews in Oradea during the Second World War. Heyman was born on 13 February 1931 and she kept a diary during the Nazi occupation of the area, detailing how Jews were treated.

Eva was sent to Auschwitz on 2 June 1944 and accounts suggest that she remained strong and didn’t lose her willpower. Unfortunately she was in pain from her wounds and she was found by Mengele, who ensured that she was killed. She died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz on 17 October 1944.

Her mother wrote:

“A good-hearted female doctor was trying to hide my child, but Mengele found her without effort. Eva’s feet were full of sore wounds. ‘Now look at you’, Mengele shouted, ‘you frog, your feet are foul, reeking with pus! Up with you on the truck!’ He transported his human material to the crematorium on yellow-coloured trucks. Eyewitnesses told me that he himself had pushed her on to the truck.”

Eva’s last diary entry was:

“It has to be terrible in the wagon, and now no one says that we are going, they all say they deport us. A gendarme patrols in front of our house, yesterday was in the Rhedely Gardens, because from here they start the trains with the Jews, not from the station, so that they do not see the town says Grandpa. There were about 80 people in a wagon and so many people gave them a single bucket of water, and it is even more terrible that they have cracked the wagons.

The gendarme said he could not understand the Jews, they did not even cry to the children, they all moved like sleepwalkers, they did not even live, they jumped into hard cars without a word. Although I, My Little Diary, do not want to die, I want to live, even if only the whole sector I can stay here, I would wait for the end of the war in a cellar, or in the attic or in any hole, My little Diary, I would also kiss the gendarme who looked crucified and took our flour, only to kill me, only to let me live. “

The diary was recovered after the end of the Second World War and was published in 1948.