Budacu de Sus, Romania
Chava Lea was born Emma Geisler to Yiddish-speaking, religious Jewish parents. The Deutsch family lived in the village of Budacu de Sus in Transylvania, a region of Romania that belonged to Hungary until 1918. She grew up in the town of Bistrita. In 1890 she married Josef Deutsch, a salesman from the town of Viseu de Sus, where the couple moved in 1910. Chava and Josef raised four children.
1933-39: By 1939 two of Chava Lea's grown sons had moved to the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Chava Lea and her husband remained in Viseu de Sus, a rustic, multi-ethnic town under Romanian rule. They lived near their eldest daughter, Scheindel, and their son Ferenc.
1940-44: The Hungarians marched into Viseu de Sus in September 1940 and annexed it to Hungary. Hungary became an ally of Nazi Germany and new laws were enforced in Viseu de Sus limiting the rights of Jews. Germany occupied Hungary in March 1944, and a month later the Deutsch family was moved into a ghetto established by Hungarian officials for the Jews of Viseu de Sus and from surrounding communities.
Chava Lea and her family were among the 8,000 Jews deported from Viseu de Sus to Auschwitz in May 1944. Upon arrival she was gassed. Chava Lea was 76.