Vera Alterasz

Vera Alterasz dedicated her life to taking care of others. As a young woman in Hungary, she and her sister saved the lives of several people, including her husband, his family and two friends, by hiding them in their own homes. When this later became too dangerous, the sisters arranged for other safe himding places. Vera’s husband was able to move to Prague after Vera’s sister managed to obtain false papers for him through a local priest. Vera’s husband remained in Prague, where he studied architecture, until he and Vera were reunited at the end of the war.

In December 1948, Vera and her husband came to Israel. They first were placed in a transit camp for new immigrants near Hadera, and shortly after they moved to Jerusalem. While her husband struggled to establish an architecture company, Vera cleaned the streets of Jerusalem in order to make ends meet. She later worked in Hadassah Hospital until her retirement. During this time, she maintained contact with one of the women she had saved, who had moved to Yugoslavia after the war. With Vera’s encouragement, the woman moved to Israel in 1956 where she and Vera remained close friends until the woman passed away.

Vera has one daughter and two grandchildren. After her husband’s death in 1991, Vera continued to live in their Jerusalem apartment. Bright and articulate, Vera tried to remain active, but because her building had many steps, she was unable to leave her apartment. Prior to her death, ATZUM assisted Vera by providing her with several things that improved her quality of life, such as a security lock for her apartment, orthopedic shoes, new eyeglasses and central heating for the winter.

When an ATZUM volunteer had given her a cactus, Vera was happy to have something new to care for. When showing visitors how her cactus was growing and blooming, she would say: “I gave it life”.