As Agi Geva stood in line waiting to see whether a Nazi was going to separate her from her mother and sister, Agi’s mother surveyed the scene. She noticed that some women were being chosen to work while others, deemed too young, were sent to a different line. Their mother told Agi and her sister, Zsuzsanna, how to prepare. They used a scarf to make Agi, then about 14, look older. Agi, her mother, and her sister survived together through several camps and a death march.
Agi (Laszlo) Geva was born on June 2, 1930, in Budapest, Hungary. When the Germans occupied Hungary on March 19, 1944, Agi, her younger sister, Zsuzsanna, and her parents, Rozsa and Zoltan Laszlo, were living in Miskolc, Hungary. Zoltan, who had been ill for a long time, died that day.
Deported to Auschwitz, Then Plaszow
Agi, Zsuzsanna, and Rozsa were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the notorious killing center in German-occupied Poland. Despite many selections, they managed to remain together throughout their ordeal.
Several weeks after arriving at Auschwitz, they were transferred to the Plaszow concentration camp, where conditions became worse. When Plaszow was liquidated, the SS authorities transported them back to Auschwitz. Harsher selections followed, yet Agi, Zsuzsanna, and Rozsa still succeeded in sticking together.
A short time later, the camp authorities selected them, along with 180 Hungarian and 20 Polish women, for transport to a small labor camp in Rochlitz, Germany, near Leipzig. There, they were trained to work at a factory that manufactured spare parts for airplanes, before being sent to a factory in Calw, near Stuttgart, Germany.
Liberated from a Death March
After working in Calw for several months, all of the women were forcibly evacuated on foot. On April 28, 1945, US troops liberated them from their march. Agi remained with her mother and sister in Innsbruck, Austria, for eight months, and then they all returned to Hungary.
After the War
In 1949 Agi and Zsuzsanna immigrated to Israel, where they each got married—Zsuzsanna to a fellow survivor. Agi had two children. Her sister had three and went to live in Kibbutz Haogen, where she still lives today. Their mother, Rozsa, who had remarried in Miskolc, immigrated to Israel with her second husband, Dr. Sugar Gyula, in 1956. Rozsa died at the age of 98. She is survived by her two daughters, five grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.
After living in Israel for 53 years, Agi came to the United States to live with her daughter. She has volunteered at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum since 2002.