Eva Turcu

née Markovits

born 26 november 1926 in Oradea,
died 24 november 2002

August 1944 - April 1945 in Ravensbrück, Altenburg, Waldenburg

My mother, Eva, was born in 1926 in Oradea (whose name in Hungarian is Nagyvarad) - a city located in the North-West of Romania, in Transylvania. In 1940, a part of Romania’s territory (North-West Transylvania), including Oradea, was ceded to Hungary - and it was not recovered until after the war. So my mother and her family were on Hungarian soil when anti-Semitic laws began. In 1941, my grandfather was forbidden to profess; in schools the numerus clausus was introduced and, in the universities, numerus nullus. In April 1944, the ghettoisation began and then, at the end of May, the deportation to Auschwitz, by the “death trains”.

My mother and her family arrived in Auschwitz on June 1, 1944 - it was there that her mother, sister and father died. In August 1944, Eva was transferred to Ravensbrück by chance, and in September she was sent to Altenburg (Thuringia) for forced labour in a factory. In April 1945, the front approached and the prisoners were evacuated to the city of Waldenburg, where they were released by US troops.

Thus, my mother and her family were deported from Hungary, by the Hungarian authorities, to the Auschwitz camps, like all the Jews of North-West Transylvania (and from there, by a sequence of events, she arrived for a period in Ravensbrück). As for the Jews belonging to Romania’s territory during the war, they were deported to the camps located in Eastern Europe, closer to Russia (in Transnistria). So, the Holocaust in Romania refers to what happened with these people and not a situation like that of my family. It is true that Eva became a member of the IRC following the repeated requests of Charlotte Gruia, another former prisoner in Ravensbrück, a Jew born in Oradea - but Charlotte was arrested in France because of her involvement in the French Resistance; her origin was not relevant.

So the case of my mother, who arrived in Ravensbrück, aged 17, as a Jewish prisoner (and not because of political activities) of the Hungarian territory, is rather singular; it is not representative and has no connection with the Holocaust of Romania.


Lucia Spulber
Daugther of Eva Turcu