“Hope and dreams made me survive the Holocaust”
By Maddalena Maltese
Evi Blaikie was one of Hungary’s hidden children. She continues to speak up in favor of peace and caring.
An adorable great granddaughter is both the greatest joy — and a sort of revenge — for Evi Blaikie, 82, Jewish, Hungarian and American. Evi is all of these: interpreter, fashion designer, environmentalist, writer, documentarian, teacher and philanthropist. She is also a Holocaust survivor.
“Nazis took my family, and I have created a new one. My life and what I did were in defiance of that, because we were not expected to live. We were not expected to thrive because of the Holocaust, first, and then in the orphanage.”
She shows photos of the newborn granddaughter as she talks about her struggle for survival, without losing her smile or joy. Evi is one of the Hidden Children, who managed to survive Nazi extermination because they were hidden in cellars and attics or adopted by Christian families and institutions with false documents that saved their lives, although it also erased their religious identity and customs.
Born in Paris to Hungarian Jewish parents, Evi saw her father disappear into hiding because of his political beliefs after the German invasion in 1940. Going out to shop, Evi’s mother was caught in a roundup and sent to a forced labor camp. Realizing the danger of the situation, one of her aunts decided to take her back to Budapest, where other relatives lived. Not having a proper passport, Evi was disguised as a boy and passed off as her aunt’s son in order to cross the borders.Continue reading on: