Zsuzsanna Fischer Spiro participated in Sustaining Memories in 2014. She came to the program prepared with a manuscript she had typewritten in Hungarian in the 1970s, which had since been translated into English, and writing partner Fran Weisman helped Zsuzsanna expand on that earlier narrative to produce a short memoir.
Over the course of their work, it came to light that Zsuzsanna had also written two short diaries in Hungarian — one in 1945, about some of her wartime experiences in a forced labour camp and on a death march, and the second between October 1956 and January 1957, during the Hungarian Revolution and her flight from Hungary up to her arrival in Canada. In 2015, the Azrieli Foundation sent both diaries to experienced translators Marietta Morry and Lynda Muir, and in 2016, Zsuzsanna Fischer Spiro’s full memoir, including both diaries, was published as In Fragile Moments by the Azrieli Foundation.
Zsuzsanna Fischer Spiro was born in Tornyospálca, Hungary, in 1925. She was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in May 1944 and to a forced labour camp near Leipzig, Germany, in October 1944. When the camp was evacuated in April 1945, Zsuzsanna was forced on a death march. She was liberated by the Soviet army on May 8, 1945. After the war, Zsuzsanna married and lived in Budapest with her family until the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. She and her family fled Hungary and immigrated to Canada in January 1957, settling in Toronto. Zsuzsanna Fischer Spiro passed away in 2016.