Magdalena de Gergely, volunteer translator

December 7, 2012

Magdalena de Gergely, 98, a Holocaust survivor who did volunteer translation work at a women’s clinic in Rockville in the late 1980s and early ’90s, died Nov. 19 at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville.

She had respiratory ailments, said her son Tomas Gergely.

Magdolna Szilasi was born in Budapest, Hungary, into what her son described as an assimilated Jewish family. She was barred from attending college in Hungary because of the antisemitic policies in place at the time.

She worked as an executive secretary before going into hiding when the persecution of Jews intensified during World War II. Most of her family died in the concentration camps.

After the 1956 revolution in Hungary, Mrs. Gergely emigrated to Argentina, where she began using the name Magdalena. She came to the United States in 1979 and became a U.S. citizen in 1985. She was a former Chevy Chase resident.

Her husband, Tibor Gergely, died in 1967 after 28 years of marriage. Survivors include her son, Tomas Gergely of Washington; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

—Emily Langer

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