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Volume 9e

Dolly Tiger

We Lived in Historical Times

published by the
Concordia University Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies

Copyright Dolly Tiger, 2000

Key Words

Budapest, Subotica (town in Yugoslavia), Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Venezuela, Caracas, Vienna, Montreal.


Born in 1930 in Budapest to a wealthy family of jewellers. After her mother’s divorce, Tiger and her twin sister would spend much of their childhood in the care of a governess and maternal grandfather. In 1938, Tiger, her sister and a cousin were sent to Yugoslavia, where her mother married a local jeweller. Her family settled in Subotica in Vojvodina. Tiger and her sister were baptized as Catholics and took the surname of their step-father. Returned to Budapest after the death of their grandfather and she and her sister were enrolled in a convent. In March 1944, Germany occupied Hungary and there was sudden rise in violent antisemitism. Describes how armed gangs were roaming through Budapest looking for Jews to rob and/or murder. After the arrest of their mother, Tiger and her sister were cared for by a friend of their step-father’s who then molested them. Describes spending the siege of Budapest in an air-raid shelter in her aunt’s building in Buda. After the war ended, her aunt brought her and her sister to Subotica where she witnessed the return of camp survivors. Returned to Budapest at the age of 17 and went to Switzerland where she married a boy from Subotica.

She and her husband then went to Venezuela and had two children. Describes the various jobs she held in Caracas, working in a bookstore, a furniture factory, etc. Her marriage quickly disintegrated and she divorced. Got a job with Texaco as a bilingual secretary and started to write a column for an English language paper in Caracas. Her husband got custody of her children. During the Hungarian revolution in 1956, she went to Vienna to help get her sister out of Europe. When she returned to Venezuela, she married Joe Tiger. Moved to Canada with him and had two daughters. Her son from her first marriage joined her in Canada when he turned 21. There is no description of her life in Canada, except that she made several friends in the Hungarian community in Montreal.

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