An overcrowded concentration camp allowed this St. Lousian to be saved by Hungarian Rabbi


Since 1979, Vida “Sister” Goldman Prince has been Chairman of the Oral Histories Project, at the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum. The project is dedicated to recording and preserving audio interviews of not only Holocaust Survivors, but also liberators of Nazi concentration camps and other non-Jewish witnesses living in Europe during World War II.

The museum was one of the first to begin gathering oral history projects so these voices and photographs will be displayed and future generations will continue to be witnesses to this catastrophic period of world history. In partnership with the Jewish Light, The St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum is allowing us to republish a portion of these Oral Histories project as a celebration of life and a crucial part of honoring and remembering the past. Please follow the provided links to additional recordings.

A Brief Bio

Eva Derby was born in Humenné, Czechoslovakia in July 1942. She and her mother were able to obtain false identification papers, which marked her as a “mischling,” a person of mixed Jewish and non-Jewish ancestry. Her mother was also able to obtain a false baptismal certificate from a priest stating that her father was Jewish but her mother was not. Her father left the two of them to join his parents in Poland in May 1942 and never returned.

In 1944, as the Russians were on the front, the Gestapo discovered her and her mothers papers were false, and they were taken to Terezinstadt. When they arrived, the camp was full, and she and her mother were placed in a old people’s home near Prague, run by a Hungarian Rabbi who saved women and young children. They were liberated by the Russian army in 1945.

Her mother immigrated to the United States, leaving her with her aunt and uncle in Europe. When her mother obtained enough money four months later, she brought Eva over. She was four years old.

Listen to Tape 1 / Side 1 of Eva’s Oral History


Click here to listen to the additional taped recordings of Eva’s Oral History

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To view the full St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum Oral Histories archive, click here.