Erica Hecht now lives in Stowe, but was born in Hungary in 1934. She is a child survivor of the Holocaust, and Hecht's mother converted from Judaism to Catholicism in an attempt to protect her family from persecution.
Hecht has clear memories of her mother's conversion in a Catholic church in Budapest in 1937, when Hecht was just 3-and-a-half years old. After spending much of the war in hiding, Hecht's family fled Hungary for Austria, and she was also sent to school in England. Throughout these years of living in foreign countries and experiencing persistent anti-Semitism, Hecht's two religious identities shaped her adolescence and young adulthood.
Hecht spoke to Vermont Edition at a recent Yom HaShoah service organized by the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe. Listen to an extended interview with Hecht above where she reflects on her religious identity and her family's survival.