I Kiss your Hands Many Times

I Kiss your Hands Many Times

Hearts, Souls, and Wars in Hungary

Book - 2013
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Marianne Szegedy-Maszák's parents, Hanna and Aladár, met and fell in love in Budapest in 1940. He was a rising star in the foreign ministry--a vocal anti-Fascist who was in talks with the Allies when he was arrested and sent to Dachau. She was the granddaughter of Manfred Weiss, the industrialist patriarch of an aristocratic Jewish family that owned factories, were patrons of intellectuals and artists, and entertained dignitaries at their baronial estates. Though many in the family had converted to Catholicism decades earlier, when the Germans invaded Hungary in March 1944, they were forced into hiding. In a secret and controversial deal brokered with Heinrich Himmler, the family turned over their vast holdings in exchange for their safe passage to Portugal. Aladár survived Dachau, a fragile and anxious version of himself. Framed by a cache of letters written between 1940 and 1947, Szegedy-Maszák's family memoir tells the story, at once intimate and epic, of the complicated relationship Hungary had with its Jewish population--the moments of glorious humanism that stood apart from its history of anti-Semitism--and with the rest of the world. She resurrects in detail a lost world of splendor and limns the moral struggles that history exacted--from a country and its individuals.
Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385524858
Branch Call Number: 941.5318 SZE NVD
Characteristics: xxv, 370 p. : ill., geneal. tables ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

A moving Holocaust memoir of the author's parents who met and fell in love in wartime Hungary.

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Oct 10, 2013

Non-fiction that reads like a fiction. A sweeping historical novel by the daughter of the protagonists, two young Hungarians whose love endured all. An aspiring successful politician and a Jewish daughter of wealthy Hungarian aristocrats fall in love in Hungary in the 1930. Their love survives tragic war and post-war events, and their story is the story of Hungary before, during, and immediately after the WWII. After the later 1940s their lives continue in the United States. Some people say the book is hard to start (which I didn't notice, but, maybe), but I didn't want it to end, and so re-read the first chapter afterwards. It is possible that the beginning was more clear after having read the book.

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