In Fragile Moments/The Last Time

Born two hundred kilometres away from each other and two years apart, the lives of both Zsuzsanna Fischer and Eva Steinberger are thrown into chaos when Germany occupies Hungary and destroys their peaceful homes. In the spring of 1944, as eighteen-year-old Zsuzsanna and sixteen-year-old Eva are forced into ghettos and then to Auschwitz-Birkenau, they each take refuge in the one constant in their lives – their older sisters. While Zsuzsanna frantically documents the end of the war in her diary, pages that she will return to when faced with the trauma of postwar revolution in Hungary, Eva barely escapes death and, shattered by so many tragedies, dreams of finding freedom and family. Two stories etched in pain and hope, In Fragile Moments and The Last Time mirror the remarkable differences in similar paths of survival.

At a Glance
Zsuzsanna Fischer Spiro:
Hungary
Ghetto
Forced labour camps
Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp
Death march
Wartime diary excerpts
Postwar Hungarian Uprising
Arrived in Canada in 1957
Eva Shainblum:
Hungary
Ghetto
Forced labour camps
Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp
Death march
Arrived in Canada in 1948

176 pages

Recommended Ages
14+
Language
English

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Photo of Zsuzsanna Fischer Spiro

About the author

Zsuzsanna Fischer was born in Tornyospálca, Hungary, in 1925. After the war, she married Holocaust survivor Joseph Spiro. They lived in Budapest with their two sons until the 1956 Hungarian Uprising — an event that Zsuzsanna documented in a diary — and immigrated to Canada in 1957. Zsuzsanna Spiro passed away in 2016.

Photo of Eva Shainblum

About the author

Eva Shainblum was born in 1927 in Nagyvárad, Hungary (now Romania). She immigrated to Canada in 1948, settling in Montreal, where she worked as a bookkeeper, married and raised a family. Eva Shainblum lives in Montreal.

I am no longer who I used to be…. All I have left is hope.