Maria Schimek Dicker

Maria Schimek Dicker

Born: 1878

Rosenberg, Czechoslovakia

Maria's Jewish family lived in a Slovakian manufacturing town. When her father's match factory failed, the family of seven moved to Budapest. In her early twenties, Maria opened a flower shop, but she gave it up when she married and moved to Ujpest, outside Budapest. Maria then stayed at home to raise her five children. Her husband owned a large furniture store, and she often gave him business advice.

1933-39: I love having all my grown children gathered around me at the dinner table, enjoying my specially prepared goose and chatting among themselves. It's always special when my youngest daughter, Kato, who lives 40 miles away in her husband's town, manages to get home to visit. But I'm worried--she's told me that at night, hooligans sometimes chant antisemitic slogans at their house and bang on the windows. If only she'd return to Ujpest!

1940-44: My husband died four years ago. A few weeks ago the Germans invaded Hungary, and I was ordered to relocate to a special house for Jews that's marked with a Star of David. Now I've decided to flee and go into hiding. I've come to see my Kato one last time here in Rakospalota, where she's also been forced into a "marked house." An air-raid siren has sounded and we've taken refuge in the cellar. Someone has spotted me as a stranger and insists I leave immediately. I can't bear to say goodbye to my dear Kato.

Maria was arrested while trying to return to her old house to pick up some belongings. She was shot during a forced evacuation from the prison where she was being held.