Aranka Ecksdein Muhlrad

Aranka Ecksdein Muhlrad

Born: June 29, 1894

Tyrnau, Czechoslovakia

Aranka was the youngest of 10 children born to Jewish parents living in the highlands of Slovakia. While visiting Budapest to attend her sister's marriage, she was introduced to Jeno Muhlrad, a pharmacist. They were married and the couple moved in with Jeno's father and sisters who lived in Ujpest, a suburb of Budapest. Aranka had two children--Eva, born in 1924, and Andras, born six years later.

1933-39: Aranka's husband has leased his own pharmacy in downtown Ujpest so they can finally afford to move into their own apartment. It's a modern place with running water and central heating. During the day Aranka helps Jeno in his pharmacy, and in the evening she listens to Eva and Andras recite their lessons. Aranka worried that Eva might not be accepted into the university because only a few Jewish applicants are admitted every year. Eva studies doubly hard.

1940-44: After three hellish days in a cattle car, Aranka and her family have arrived at Auschwitz. They were deported here three and a half months after the Germans invaded Hungary. Aranka and Eva were immediately separated from Jeno and Andras. The guards ordered them to take off all their clothes and enter the showers. Then their hair was cut. As someone clipped her dear daughter's thick, reddish-tinged locks, Aranka couldn't help crying: Oh Eva, your beautiful hair!

Aranka was among some 435,000 Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz in the early summer of 1944. She was later moved to a camp at Bergen-Belsen, where she perished.

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