Andrew Heller
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HELLER (Age 79)

Peacefully on Friday, July 16, 2004, at his residence, surrounded by his family, ANDREW HELLER of Bethesda, MD. Born in Budapest, Hungary, on December 12, 1924. During the Holocaust, after a year in a Hungarian forced labor camp, he escaped deportation to a concentration camp by jumping a Budapest-bound train without identification, risking capture and certain death.

After World War II, he was the head of the Hungarian Foto Laboratory and a member of the Hungarian Press Agency. In 1956, Andrew was issued Diplomatic Passport No. 1 by the Hungarian Revolutionary Government in order to leave Hungary and show the world the photographs he had taken during the Hungarian Revolution. Without putting his life in certain danger, he was unable to return to his wife and daughter in Budapest when the Russians forcibly put down the Revolution. He applied for asylum at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria, and was flown to the U.S. where U.N. Representative Henry Cabot Lodge presented the United Nations with Andrew's photographs of the Hungarian Revolution and where he also appeared on the Today Show. In early 1957 he wrote "No More Comrades" detailing his experience of the Hungarian Revolution via words and photos. Within a year, he was running his own color photo lab and photography business.

For 24 years, he and his wife operated Hellers Camera in Bethesda, MD, which was the destination of Leica collectors, and professional and amateur camera enthusiasts from around the world.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Andrea "Rega" Heller; devoted daughters, Edie and Julia Heller; cherished grandchildren, Max, Charlie and Jack and loving son-in-law, Dr. Michael Banaszak. Funeral services will be held on Sunday, July 18, 12:30 p.m. at DANZANSKY-GOLDBERG MEMORIAL CHAPELS, INC., 1170 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD (301) 340-1400. Interment approximately 2 p.m. at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Adelphi, MD. Family will be receiving friends following interment through Wednesday evening at his late residence.


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Published in The Washington Post on Jul. 18, 2004.
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