In 1944, Magda Denes was ten years old and living in Budapest. Squeezed into a tiny two-room apartment with her mother, adored brother Ivan, grandparents, aunt and cousin Erwin, the family were learning to adapt to the brutal regime of the occupying German forces. As rumours filtered through about concentration camps and mass deportations, ...
In 1944, Magda Denes was ten years old and living in Budapest. Squeezed into a tiny two-room apartment with her mother, adored brother Ivan, grandparents, aunt and cousin Erwin, the family were learning to adapt to the brutal regime of the occupying German forces. As rumours filtered through about concentration camps and mass deportations, Hungarian Jews found their lives more and more desperate. Starving, terrified, indiscriminately murdered, tortured and abused, they were now barricaded in underground ghettos. They formed militant resistance groups that went out by night to fight the Germans. Ivan and Erwin, both resistance fighters, were shot. Magda's grandfather died of starvation. The depleted family escaped from Budapest and with great difficulty made their way to Spain, via France, and then by boat to America, and a new life.
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The book was worth reading. But it leaves you sad and puts things in perspective of how things were in that time. What the people had to go through to survive. I'm glad I did read it. But It is not a book I would tell a friend you have to rush out and get this book.
Publishers Weekly, 1996-10-14 This extraordinarily moving Holocaust memoir adds a new dimension to the literature. Denes was five years old in 1939 when her father, a wealthy Hungarian Jewish publisher, left Hungary after his newspaper was seized by the authorities, leaving Magda, her 12-year-old brother, Ivan, and their mother to cope with wartime conditions in Budapest and, ultimately, the German takeover in March 1944. The author recounts with unsentimental candor how she and her family survived years of hiding in Hungry and, later, lived as displaced persons in Germany. Denes endured starvation, the death of her beloved brother and homelessness with a feisty refusal to give way to despair. What sustained her and what makes this recollection remarkable is Denes's ability to recall and express the enormous hostility she felt toward her mother for placing her in homes away from her family, her impatience with her aunt and grandparents, her fury at her father for his desertion and the cynicism beyond her years she used as a defense against an insane world. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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