"I was 2 years old," said a son, George Jr. "To keep me quiet" during the illegal overland trip into Austria, "my father pumped me full of barbiturates."
Another son, Steven, 10 years old at the time, said the escape was easy compared with his parents' lives in Budapest in World War II.
"My father founded a hospital in the ghetto and saved many children," he said, "while my mother was outside, bringing him food." Mrs. Polgar was from a Catholic family. Her husband was from a Jewish family.
Mrs. Polgar studied Hungarian literature at Eotveos Lorand University in Budapest, taught Latin at Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill, and earned a master's degree in library science at Villanova University.
Mrs. Polgar became an American citizen in 1963.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Steven Polgar said, she was a librarian in the rare-book collection at the University of Pennsylvania and a librarian at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Pennsylvania Historical Society.
While living briefly in Geneva in 1971, she worked in the library of the International Labour Organization.
Until she retired in the early 1980s, she was the librarian at what is now Ridley Middle School in Ridley Park.
Besides her sons, Mrs. Polgar is survived by a daughter, Barbara Massey; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her former husband, George.
A Hungarian-language Mass was set for 10 a.m. Dec. 13 in the chapel of Devon Preparatory School, 363 N. Valley Forge Rd., Devon. Burial of her ashes is to be in the family grave in Esztergom, Hungary.
Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.