Magda (Pollaczek) Tisza passionate for life, literature and language - passed away on October 12, 2020. Born July 6, 1922 in Vienna, daughter of mathematicians Felix Pollaczek and Hilda Geiringer Pollaczek. Magda followed her academic parents throughout Europe, with schooling in Berlin, Brussels, and Istanbul. Following the outbreak of World War II, and fraught passage through Portugal and England, Magda entered Bryn Mawr College with limited English and an appetite for a challenge. After graduation in 1943, she joined the US Office of Strategic Services and returned to Europe to locate and translate evidence for the Nuremberg Trials. She then moved to Israel to join the early Zionist movement before returning to Boston where she married Dr. Robert Buka, a physician at the Beth Israel Hospital, in 1951. Fluent or conversant in half a dozen languages, an insatiable reader, and gifted in mathematics, her employment included statistical work for the Milbank Foundation, Harvard University, and years teaching foreign language and literature at MIT. Remarried in her mid-50s to physicist Laszlo Tisza, she started a new career path as a 'young' apprentice at one of Bostons leading rare book dealers (Ars Libri) and spent the next 20 years as an internationally-known book dealer specializing in German literature and Judaica. During these years she helped found and run the Bryn Mawr Book Store in Cambridge MA, which has supported student financial aid for 50 years. Magda was dedicated to refugee causes, starting with Cambridges historic Window Shop, established in 1939 to assist immigrants fleeing Nazi persecution. She taught ESL throughout her life, including the MA prison system and Newton public libraries. She pursued her love of opera and classical music through summers at Tanglewood and performance halls across the globe. A Newton resident for over 65 years, her children fondly remember early years spent with Magdas sole extravagance | her flashy Mustang convertibles | and time together at their modest cottage in Francestown, NH. Magda was devoted to her extensive network of relatives and lifelong friends throughout Europe and the United States. She is survived by her sons David Buka and his wife Molly of Andover, MA, Stephen Buka and his wife Lisa Denny of Barrington, RI, five beloved grandchildren Sarah, Robert, Benjamin, Jason and Chloe; predeceased by her son Richard and husband Robert in 1958. Funeral services will be private. Donations may be made in her honor to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) https://www.rescue.org/ or to the Friends of the Newton Free Library.
Published in The Brookline Tab from Oct. 20 to Oct. 29, 2020.