Kahán Éva was born in Budapest on January 1st, 1955 to a Hungarian Jewish family.
After she graduated from the Food Industry Technical Collage she entered the Eötwös Loránd University Faculty of Law, where she would go on to receive her doctorate in 1979.
After losing both of her parents early it became necessary for her to work as a tutor to support her siblings as well as gather the financial resources necessary for her own university studies. During this time she was especially moved by the plight of minorities in Hungary and her own high degree of social sensitivity, which characterized the majority of her actions in her life, caused her to devote herself to the legal regulation of the situations of the disadvantaged.
She married in 1974 and gave birth to two sons.
After completion of her first degree she became a lecturer of law at the Művelt Nép Könyvterjesztő Vállalat. Here she was engaged with civil and labour lawsuits while preparing for her own professional examination.
She acquired her counsel qualification in 1982 and from 1986 she became involved in real estate and labour law at the Csemege Kereskedelmi Vállalat.
In 1988 she moved to Vienna with her husband and two sons where she gained further legal knowledge in the family’s foreign trade business. Though her work she continued to maintain her relations with Hungary.
While in Vienna, she decided to validate her law degree and in 2001 she successfully passed the necessary exams after mastering the German language. However, in 2002 she fell ill with cancer and was not able to continue to work.
On October 25, 2004 she passed away in Vienna.
Dr. Kahán Éva (1955-2004) was a lawyer. In Hungary, during the Second World War and the persecution of Jews, her family directly experienced that “non-recognition and disregard of human rights has led to a barbarous act in humanity’s conscience.” * Throughout Dr. Kahán Éva’s life and work these experiences have had contributed a fundamental belief in the importance of the rule of law and the protection of humanity, minorities and freedoms. She believed that learning and enlightened knowledge enabled the people to protect themselves, their families, and their communities and live fulfilling lives. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “higher education should be open in front of everyone with equal terms.” **
The Dr. Kahán Éva Fund strives to create a level playing field both to disadvantaged young law students and young artists. Today in Hungary, the ability to study law is limited to those academically talented students who are capable of paying significant tuition fees. Free tuition is only possible through state funding ,which is restricted to a few dozen students across the entire country annually. High tuition fees and the cost of living during these many years of study cause almost insurmountable difficulties for young people from disadvantaged families. For this reason, in recent years the number of applicants from such families has decreased significantly. Dr. Kahán Éva Fund for the Support of the Young Disadvantaged Law Students seeks to help by financing ongoing tuition fees and giving financial support to primarily young Jewish/Romani law students who are also capable of meeting certain academic criteria throughout their studies.
The Dr. Kahán Éva Fund for Support of Young Disadvantaged Law Students was founded and is maintained by the descendants of Dr. Kahán Éva from their own personal taxed income, without any state, public, or community financing. The fund proudly supports all the fundamental values and core beliefs of Dr Kahán Éva’s life’s work with the intention of continuing her mission to create a better future for the generations to come.
* The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Introductory.
** The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 26