“My mother, my sister, my grandmother were hidden in a convent, dressed as nuns... I was too young to be in the convent, so I was hidden with a Catholic family, a couple [with] no children. They pretended I was a cousin from the countryside." - Agi Day

Agi Day (née Zagorka Hertzog) was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia on May 13, 1940 into a Jewish family. One year later, Nazis invaded the country and she and her family escaped on foot, walking 196 miles to Budapest, Hungary. Since the country’s leader Miklos Horthy had pledged in 1940 that Hungarian Jews would not be deported, the family thought they were heading towards a safe haven. In March 1944, however, German forces occupied Hungary and the Nazis, in collaboration with the Hungarian Arrow Cross began sending Jews to concentration camps. 

After Agi’s father left to hide in the countryside, her mother convinced a local Catholic priest to hide herself, her mother, and her two young daughters. He allowed them to stay, but space was scarce. As a four-year-old, Agi lived with multiple Catholic families who passed her off as their own to keep her alive. She was finally reunited with her family after liberation on May 1, 1945, only to flee once again to escape Russian communism. In 1946 they left by night on a dangerous boat voyage across Lake Neusiedl to Austria where they found refuge in Displaced Persons camps over the next three years. Eventually her mother moved to Canada to work and save up money for her daughter’s passage. Agi lived with her father in Vienna from 1949 until 1951 when she voyaged to Toronto, Ontario and reunited with her mother. 

Agi went on to become a teacher, later moving to Seattle in 1978 to receive her Master’s in Organizational Communication and practice real estate. She remains involved with the Holocaust Center for Humanity's Speakers Bureau and tells her story to communities around the Pacific Northwest.

More About This Survivor:

Her Mother

Seattle University Honors Agi Day

Agi Day, Seattle Times

In 1946, Agi's family left by night on a dangerous boat voyage across Lake Neusiedl to Austria where they found refuge in Displaced Persons camps over the next three years.