Eva Liberman (deceased)

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Managed by: Michel Barkay
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About Eva Liberman

My cousin Eva Flieder- Rachgold was a charming and erudite lady. Her father Ben Avigdor was a writer of romances, who was involved in the framing of the modern Hebrew language. Many years later, living in Israel, and very proud of her father's achievements, Eva had his remains brought from - I believe - Warsaw, and reburied in Poet's Corner in Jerusalem. She also translated his books from Yiddish into Modern Hebrew - with great effort - and had them republished with the help of her second husband, David Rachgold.

During the war, Eva remained in France with her husband Misha. Being a superb linguist, fluent in at least 6 languages, she worked for the Resistance, teaching Allied airmen who had crash-landed in France some basic French to help them reach the coast. She was later honoured with the Legion d'Honneur, and given a pension by the French government. Sadly, her husband Misha died either during or shortly after the war, and Eva went to live in Israel, where she remarried David Rachgold, who was involved in the publishing and distribution of school textbooks.

Eva was a much-travelled lady, and spent many happy times staying in London with my grandparents, Fanny and Harry Abrahams, and later at our home with her cousin Sonia Craig, my Mother. Keen to improve my French as a schoolgirl, I began corresponding with Eva ; I would write to her in French ,and she would correct and return my letters, writing to me in English. We enjoyed our correspondence for many years. She bought me some delightful presents - including a scarf with Paris landmarks on it ; I can still remember the little white scarf with its drawing of the Eiffel tower in black and red - very stylish for a 10 year old! Never having children herself, she took a keen and kindly interest in the young people in the family - particularly myself, and her niece Yael, her sister's daughter. Through her good offices I was introduced to my Parisian penfriend, Eliane nee Kowarski, whose parents Isabelle and Leon had been close friends of Eva and Misha during their years in Paris.

Eva and her second husband David lived in Ramat Gan, and bought a beautiful house in Sfat, with a small guest cottage where I stayed briefly in 1968 with my cousin Linda Cohen. Eva was kind, witty, highly cultured, and very hospitable. Her letters to me and my Mother - who resembled her enormously - were always full of pithy comments about current events, and she gave me a great deal of good advice. She even sent me dried camomile flowers when I was a teenager, advising me to infuse them and use them after shampooing for a lightening hair rinse!

In about 1993 or 4 I went to Israel on holiday with my husband and son, and finding myself near Ramat Gan, I wandered round with them trying to find her house - which we managed to do. We had a joyful reunion.A week later she passed away, and I was so happy to have seen her before she passed. I treasure her memory.

Polly Rockberger May 2010.

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