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January 16, 1987 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-01-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

LOOKING BACK

Children of Holocaust-survivors Association In Michigan )

January 18, 1987, Sunday, 11:00 a.m.

Jewish Community Center, W. Bloomfield
0
Studio Theatre
1
Film "Dark Lullabies," an internationally acclaimed film
Guest Speaker Irene Angelico, Film Director
of Montreal, Canada

-

-

The Public Is Invited to Attend

Bagels and coffee at 10:30 a.m.
Program will begin at 11:00 am.

Members - No Charge
Non-members - $2.00

clothes friends

Elizabeth Laufer and Angyi Heller.

inventory reduction sale

50%-70%

Time And Distance
Can't Blur Memories

OFF

JENNIFER CHARNEY

Special to The Jewish News

all fall & winter merchandise

T

• separates • sweaters • slacks
• blouses • dresses • skirts
• and more



orchard lake rd. • west bloomfield • 855-1511

ti

.-0
%. ?

1

.. ise

,

y 6.11 I,

HILLEL
DAY
SCHOOL

WELCOMES

PARENTS OF PROSPECTIVE
KINDERGARTENERS OR 1ST GRADERS
TO COME JOIN IN OUR ANNUAL

OPEN HOUSE

ON
THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 1987
7:30 P.M. RECEPTION
8:00-9:00 P.M. PROGRAM

AT

HILLEL DAY SCHOOL

32200 MIDDLEBELT - FARMINGTON HILLS
851-2394

Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit admits Jewish students of any ract, color, national or ethnic origin.

Admissions and scholarship programs are non-discriminatory.

32

Friday, January 16, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

J

he distance between
Budapest, Hungary
and Oak Park, Mich.
didn't get in Angyi Heller's
way when she wanted to see
her friend Elizabeth Laufer.
Holocaust survivors Laufer,
88, and Heller, 87, have known
each other since they were
elementary school students in
Budapest. The women were
reunited last Friday after five
years when Heller traveled
from Budapest to visit Laufer.
Before that, Laufer had visited
Heller once a year for about 15
years.
"Unfortunately I'm a cripple
now and I can't go," said
Laufer.
Both women were born in
Budapest. Laufer emigrated to
the United States in 1952, fol-
lowing her daughter Vera
Schey who left Hungary in
1946. Now Laufer and Schey,
62, are residents of Oak Park.
Schey and Laufer had pur-
chased false birth certificates
from Catholic acquaintances
during the German occupation
of Hungary, living in Budapest
under assumed names from
April 1944 to January 1945
when the Russians seized the
country.
Schey, who translated for
the women during this inter-
view, said she, Laufer and Hel-
ler had many life-threatening
encounters when they were liv-
ing in hiding.
In one incident, before
Laufer and Schey had their
false identification, they were
almost captured by soldiers.
"We were wearing the yellow
Star of David which had to be
sewn onto our jackets," said
Schey, "and we were allowed
on the street only during cer-
tain times of the day."
Soldiers spotted the women
on a streetcar when they were
forbidden to be out. "We were
able to jump off the other side
and run into the fields," said
Schey. "We took our jackets off
and waited until (the soldiers)
left."

Another time, Schey was
seized and confined to a labor
camp for a week until a guard
let her escape.
But their most frightening
experience, Schey and Laufer
agreed, was when bayonet-
toting soldiers interrogated
them in their apartment dur-
ing a spotcheck.
"Their questioning was such
that every minute we thought,
`We are caught,' " said Schey.
"We were able to deter them. I
spoke fluent German and did
not particularly look Jewish."
Meanwhile, Heller was liv-
ing in one of the Budapest
buildings that Swedish Lega-
tion Secretary Raoul Wallen-
berg had placed under Swedish
sovereignity. By winning
pledges of secret help from
Hungarian officials, Wallen-
berg was able to rent buildings
in Budapest which provided
havens for Jews.
Heller returned to her
Swedish house twice after
guards allowed her to escape
from labor camps. Heller's
husband wasn't so lucky. He
was seized on the street and
died in Auschwitz.
Schey and Laufer have some
good memories of their days in
hiding, though. Their gentile
friends gave them moral sup-
port and hid Laufer's silver,
furs and jewelry.
Although mother and
daughter fled Hungary's com-
munist rule after the war, Hel-
ler remained in Budapest, liv-
ing with her granddaughter
and great grandchildren.
Before her daughter's recent-_<
,migration from Hungary,
Heller had no relatives in the
United States, which made it \
difficult for her to get a visa.
Heller said she would like to
live in America because life
would be easier than it is under
Communist rule. But Schey
explained that it would be dif-
ficult for Heller to start life
over at 88.
Heller has worked in a
payroll office for 23 years in
Budapest. Even though she is
officially retired, she still
works five days a week to sup- —\
plement her pension.

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