Maria Jutasi Coleman was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1935. She had to wear a yellow star on every dress or coat she had from the age of nine; making her a target for anti-Semitic abuse everywhere she went. In 1944, her family was ordered by the Nazis to move to a ghetto. When a subsequent order to go to a “work camp” arrived, her mother tore the yellow stars from their clothing, and risking everything, they fled from the ghetto. They left Budapest, climbed a mountain and hid in a refuge until the Liberation by the Allied Forces.
Maria and her mother went back to Budapest and waited for their family members to return. They waited in vain. Half of the family had been exterminated in Auschwitz. The other side of the family had been found in their hideout and, according to eye witnesses, were lined up on the shores of the Danube and shot.
Maria Jutasi Coleman grew up in Soviet-ruled Hungary. In 1956, during the revolution, she and her mother escaped to Austria. From there, they went first to France and then to Milan, Italy where Maria studied music at The Verdi Conservatory. In 1962, she immigrated to the United States where she obtained a PhD in psychology.
Dr. Coleman has a son and a daughter and four grandchildren. Currently, she lives in Bisbee, Arizona, an artists’ community in the high desert, where she is a sculptor.