Born in Balatonkenese, Hungary during WWII, Eva Kovacs’ life began in a dramatic twist of irony. While an American bomb causes her premature birth in Hungary, seventeen years later, she is the crowning glory of the American dream. The second child of four children born to Elizabeth, an architectural drafting engineer, and Bela, a chief auditor and financial executive for Hangya commerce in Hungary.
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What started in 1917 as a Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the killing of Czar and the Czarina with their four children, became a global Social Revolution. When Karl Max published The Communist Manifesto, it brought the communist party into the limelight for China, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba. This was soon followed by Kenya, Sudan, and Nicaragua. Finally, on October 9, 1944, behind the closed doors of the Kremlin, Churchill, and Stalin agreed on one of the most infamous deals in diplomatic history, which decided the tragic fate of millions in Eastern Europe. Churchill called the deal, "Triumph and Tragedy." Instead of Hitler's Swastika, Hungarian throats were chocked with Stalin's hammer and sickle. By giving Stalin carte-blanche to take as much of Eastern Europe as he could, his Soviet Red Germ spread like a plague, knocking down nations like a bowling ball and inflicting Socialist Communisms on eleven countries, including Hungary. Hitler was evil, but than Stalin loomed up as an even greater danger. By the time, the 'Man of Steel' died, he had murdered 52 million men, women, and children. More then Hitler's eleven million--but the math does not matter where spiritual sickness devours innocent souls!
In the dark winter nights of '44', my father and mother along with my one-and-half-half-year old sister, Elizabeth, ran from the moral decay imposed on Hungary by the inevitable Soviet hegemony. Traces of my parents' footsteps were lost in the human exodus. Being born premature and fearing for my life, I was left behind in the care of my grandmother. When my parents returned two years later to take me out of Communist Hungary, the Iron Curtain had slammed down, blocking us from Austria's border. Three years later, imprisoned by Communism, and the unbearable baseness of Stalin's bloodbath crimes, Hungarian families, were accused with immense trumped-up charges of treason and sabotage. Faced with incrimination against the finest citizens of the land, after ludicrous trials, millions were executed. Like many other families, the Soviets appropriated our family villa and we had to share the same with several communists families. The Soviets also confiscated and shipped 2/3 of the Hungarian production to Russia. They called it our war debt for freeing us from Hitler!
For 12 years all school children in Hungary were called the '"New Soviet Pioneers." We were dubbed "a cut above all", and required to swear loyalty to the Socialist Party. They tried to engrave into our minds: "Without teaching the youth to adhere to socialism, there is no knowledge, and without knowledge, there is no communisms!" We had to praise Stalin as our father and god. At home, we prayed to another, our true God. Stalin's unopposed domination, gave him nothing to fear, no one to follow, no God, no Hell, no Parent, no Law, and with nothing forbidding him from whatever he wanted, he left this earth with decay and spiritual deprivation. To say, better DEAD THAN RED, which were perhaps fiery words from Hungarians, but by 1956, our people had enough suffering and torment in their so-called Soviet Socialist Paradise. On October 23rd, 1956, the Hungarian people rose against the mighty Soviet Union and crushed them for 11 days, and Hungary was free. The Soviet Union promised to leave Hungary.
But with Britain and France at odd with the Soviets, oil which flowed through Suez Canal in the Middle East was critical, the Western Allies promise to help Hungary in their fight against the Soviets never materialized. Seeing America would not step in to help the Hungarians, the Red Army turned back from the Soviet borders, tightened their grip, and viciously crushed Hungary with Soviet tanks and troops. In Hungary's final hours my father and many others fought against the Soviet Communists, gave one last broadcast on the radio begging for the free world to help: "Civilized peoples of the world, we implore you to help us in the name of justice, for freedom. Our ship is sinking. Light is failing. The shadows grow darker every hour over the soil of Hungary."
Without help, hundreds of thousands Soviet Mongol tanks re-entered Hungary and shelled Budapest with a savagery beyond horror. Two hundred thousand Hungarians died for freedom, hundreds of thousands were executed and a quarter million fled the country, including my family. In early December 6, 1956, it was time for my parents' second escape, but this time, they were taking me and my three siblings with them.
Although it was a standard fare for comrades to discuss Socialism that could result in people being sent to the gulags. With Stalin, and later Gorbachev in power and with the advent of Cold War, when musing on the history of Hungary over a bottle of vodka, the Soviets would say: "LET THEM HATE AS LONG AS THEY FEAR," thus confirmed, human life did not count where ideology was concerned!
Hungarian Revolution crushed it forces Eva and her family to escape the Red Germ of the Soviet Socialist Communist Republic and flee into the Austrian Alps
My parents rejected the Communist Red Book that would declare them Communist Party members. My father refused to bend, lie and snitch to get ahead in the party. During those years it only took one informant to snitch on you, a neighbor who didn't like you, or saw you go to church, or was jealous of your furniture. Besides every block had an assigned 'trustee' to report on everyone. We learned not to talk, fear and distrust even our own classmates. While the instrument of Communist propaganda machines hammered the pedagogy for a worldwide socialism, we were daily reminded we were a distinguished socialist race--a cut above the rest of humanity. It was only a matter of time before Father Stalin would rule the world! Finally on October 23, 1956, swarming on the peek of insignificance, and devoid of arms against the danger, the country unleashed the Communist straightjacket, and the hunted turned against the hunters with all that was hidden in noble emotions and restrained tears, detonating into one mighty call: "SOVIETS GO HOME!" In a David and Goliath confrontation, we fought the mighty Soviet Army to freedom for 11 days. While the Soviets promised to leave Hungary, we waited for the promised help to arrive from the United States. When the Soviets saw help was not coming, they turned around at the Russian Borders and hit Hungary with tanks and bombs to ashes. With our freedom extinguished, my family fled so we children can grow up in freedom. We walked for miles on end toward the Austrian border, hid in the forest from Communist gunfire, rode in wagons under haystacks and fruit, at times on trucks covering us from view with canvas, concealed in ditches, other times separated. We had injuries, brutality, but then, we had freedom and kindness in the Austrian Alps. And, in that magic of winter our destiny unfolded in America."
Quotes from Eva's book.
ON THE RIGHT the arrow points to the original flight manifest, transporting Eva Kovacs and the Kovacs family from Nuremberg, Germany to the United States. The airlift, 'Operation Safe Haven' was ordered by Dwight D. Eisenhower on December 10, 1956, four days after Bela and Elizabeth Kovacs with their four young children made a daring escape into the Austrian Alps. This flight and others were made by the United States Marine Corps that have evacuated 21,000 of 250,000 Hungarian refugees fleeing the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
While the Messenger of Fate unlocked the pages for our family's future, and we were given this precious new life, sometimes it came with highs and sometimes it came with lows, but each one opened a different door. I don't know whether I shall win, place or even show, but I shall have played my small part, before passing to the obscurity of the Beyond.
"All things have their season, and in their times, all things pass under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to pluck that which is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to destroy and a time to build. A time to weep and a time to laugh!" (Ecclesiastics 3:1-8
THE YEAR THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
Eva’s dream is to become a prima ballerina. When she is chosen from hundreds of ballet hopefuls to train at the renowned Budapest Ballet Opera House, for the coveted “Prima Ballerina,” her aspirations are cut by the 1956 Hungarian Revolution when family flees the Soviet hegemony and immigrates to the United States.