Susie was just seven years old when the Nazis invaded her homeland where according to official German reports, in the four months of the occupation in Hungary in 1944, 437,402 Jews had been deported in 151 trains. One hundred and thirty six trains were sent to Auschwitz where 90% of the people were exterminated on arrival; it has been estimated that one third of the victims murdered at Auschwitz were Hungarian. Despite her youth Fono was old enough to remember the day when she was barred from performing in the Budapest ballet under new ethnic laws imposed on the Jewish population, when she was forced to wear the yellow star, when her father was taken to a forced labor camp, and when her grandparents were taken away never to be seen again.
Watch Susie tell her story:
Susie Fono on 620WTMJ (April 2021)
Susie Fono on TMJ4 (December 2015)
Susie Fono in North Point (July 2015)