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Maria Olt

(1923 - ?)

In Hungary in March 1944, Maria Olt saved Miriam Nevo’s family. The story began when Maria went to the infirmary of the hospital to see her physician, who was Miriam Nevo’s husband-Dr. Kuti Nevo. She was very surprised to see Dr. Nevo wearing a yellow emblem. The physician seemed quite distraught and explained to Maria his concern over the welfare of his family, especially their newborn child. Maria decided to save the Nevo’s newborn baby. Miriam Nevo later described what happened:

"Maria Olt, who happened to come to the hospital, told us that she had decided to save our baby daughter. She brought the infant to a small village. A few days later she returned to our city and took me to the same village, introducing me as a gypsy who had given birth out of wedlock, and who must consequently hide, for fear of revenge. A few days later, she returned once again to the city, and brought my husband back with her, hiding him in a small cellar in her father’s vineyard... Maria provided us with forged documents, and transferred our daughter to a family that lived in a small village near the Slovakian border, providing her with papers of a Christian child. When we were discovered and our lives were in danger, Maria moved us from place to place. When the need arose, she would supply us with fake documents and food stamps. Once I had reached the point of despair: We saw a convoy of Jews who were being deported to Auschwitz. The train stopped near us. Impulsively, I wanted to join the procession and be rid of my suffering once and for all. Maria prevented me from taking this desperate step. She borrowed money and rented a small apartment in the village for me. After a short time, she brought my husband to the apartment. In another small apartment, near the Gestapo headquarters, Maria hid other Jewish families. She came to these apartments every week, over a period of ten months, and provided for all the needs of the fugitives. The Nazis once searched the apartments, accusing Maria of hiding partisans, which she denied. They found nothing, and left her."

Maria took care of a number of Jewish families and provided for their needs over an extended period. She also took a baby girl out of the ghetto to the hospital, claiming she was a Christian baby, and thus saving her.

Sources: Yad Vashem