Hedva Szántó


Müller Hedvig (Szántó)

Born in 1923

Died on 7.2.2009

Member of “Hehalutz Hatzair” and “Dror”


From an early age Hedva was a member of “Hehalutz Hatzair” in Visk (Viskove) where her family lived. In 1939 she arrived in Budapest and joined the “Dror” movement. In order to be accepted in the movement’s hahshara, she exchanged name with her sister as she was two years older. Hedva took part in the underground activities from 1942. She and her friends gave assistance to refugees from Poland and Slovakia. After the German invasion of Hungary on 19.3.1944, Hedva distributed forged documents. When the Arrow Cross Party rose to power, she helped Jews escape from the ghetto and the Yellow Star Houses in Budapest. She traveled to the Mohács labor camp and gave the comrades imprisoned there documents, clothes and money. In Pécs Hedva managed to save one of the Jews. She underwent weapons training on the hills of Buda under the instructions of Asher Arni and Vili Eisikovics. She worked as a dental assistant in one of the hospitals where she stole medicines and various medical supplies for the underground. Hedva served as a liaison person between the underground storerooms and the bunkers that were set up in Budapest. She witnessed the arrest of Asher Arni and managed to warn the other comrades. She stayed in one of the bunkers, was arrested and incarcerated in the central military prison on Margit Boulevard. Hedva was brutally interrogated and tortured but was eventually released together with other friends in a daring operation of the Zionist underground activists. She lived in Rishon LeTzion.