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Lives Lost: Holocaust survivor was Israel’s 1st virus victim

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Lives Lost: Holocaust survivor was Israel’s 1st virus victim

JERUSALEM — As a child in Hungary, Arie Even survived the Holocaust by taking shelter along with his mother and brother after his father was shipped to a notorious concentration camp.Even’s well-connected grandfather found them refuge in a Swiss-protected home in Budapest before they were rushed to another shelter, under the cover of night, thanks…

Lives Lost: Holocaust survivor was Israel’s 1st virus victim

JERUSALEM– As a kid in Hungary, Arie Even survived the Holocaust by taking shelter together with his mom and sibling after his dad was delivered to an infamous concentration camp.

Even’s well-connected grandpa discovered them haven in a Swiss-protected house in Budapest prior to they were hurried to another shelter, under the cover of night, thanks to the Swedish embassy and the efforts of famed diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of countless Jews prior to mysteriously vanishing. The next day, Even’s grandfather was shot to death and his body was discarded in the Danube River.

Later on in life, Even overcame multiple heart attacks, surgical treatments and even a brush with a cholera epidemic throughout a household see to Spain. However he could not get away the rage of the international coronavirus pandemic that has actually been pestering the globe.

On March 20, the 88- year-old ended up being Israel’s first coronavirus casualty after he was contaminated by a checking out social employee at his Jerusalem assisted-living center.


EDITOR’S KEEP IN MIND: This belongs to an ongoing series of stories remembering people who have actually passed away from coronavirus around the world.


Regardless of building a flourishing family of his own in Israel, with 4 children, 18 grandchildren and a great-grandchild, Even passed away alone. His enjoyed ones were forced to keep their range from his contagious infection and needed to state bye-bye over the phone.

In keeping with the Jewish practice of burying the dead rapidly, his funeral service was carried out the following day, at the end of the Sabbath. His youngest child, representing the family, was among just a handful of people who were permitted to participate in– from a range– as he was reduced to the ground by Jewish spiritual authorities using biohazard fits.

With Israel in virtual lockdown, his household was also denied of an appropriate sitting of shiva, the standard Jewish week of mourning in which households normally host open houses for relatives and acquaintances who congregate to pay their acknowledgements.

” He was a strong man and he overcame the difficulties of the Holocaust,” said his 57- year-old daughter Yael, expressing aggravation at how he and others in the retirement community were exposed. “He lived a complete life. It’s simply an embarassment he needed to go by doing this.”

He was born George Steiner, to a well-to-do Hungarian Jewish family from whom he acquired a life-long love of movie, books and symphonic music. However their lives were turned upside down by Nazi rule. His daddy was sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp in1941 When Germany occupied Hungary in 1944, Even, his mom and sibling needed to go into hiding for almost a year, at times in bales of hay and in underground cellars.

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After the war, at age 17, he immigrated to Israel, signed up with a kibbutz and then was prepared into the military as an airplane technician. His moms and dads, who also made it through the war, left Hungary after the Soviet invasion in 1956 and later on joined him in Israel.

His partner Yona, a far-off relative of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, died in2012 She was a career diplomat and he followed her to India, Japan, Germany, France and somewhere else while keeping his own career as a customs officer.

Only much later on in life did he begin opening about his wartime experiences, taping video testimony for the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial at the behest of his children. He recalled the day Budapest was liberated by Russian troops who heaved loaves of bread from their trucks.

” Ever since, I’m sympathetic to the Russians,” he said with a laugh.

His daughter Ofra, 50, said he was a male of fine tastes who took pride in his Hungarian cooking, but was likewise a hard employee and modest humanist who had sympathy for society’s weaker. His last years were invested interacting socially with fellow senior citizens and relaxing in his private space reading World War II historic books and listening to his cherished symphonic music.

The eldest of his 4 children, 62- year-old Yaacov, explained a “classy” gentleman who studied Latin and imagined ending up being a doctor. He stated his father was lucid till the end, sauntering around with a cane and telling his children to forgo a recent event of his birthday and rather intend on a bigger party when he turned 90.

” Who knows how long he had left? Another week? A year? Five years? Whatever it was, it feels like a waste to lose him now,” he said. “It still seems like he died before his time.”


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