Escaping Communist Hungary 1956 (Paperback)

Escaping Communist Hungary 1956 By Irene Korponay Cover Image

Escaping Communist Hungary 1956 (Paperback)

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Against the backdrop of the Nazi invasion, the Soviet occupation, and the Hungarian Revolution, this memoir poignantly recounts a young girl's experience of the events that shattered an idyllic childhood and an elegant era of Hungarian history. SUMMARY: Nine-year-old Kinga is cossetted in the cocoon of an idyllic childhood along the banks of the Danube. Then come the Germans. Suddenly the streets and squares of the historic city of Esztergom are bulging with blonde, square-faced soldiers; shrieking sirens, announcing Allied air raids, paralyze the city with fear. In October of 1944, as the Nazis take over the medieval metropolis, Kinga watches her friend Rebecca, along with hundreds of other Jews, being herded into wagons for deportation. The child feels as if an enormous bird has blacked out the light, bringing death and destruction on its wings. This evocative personal narrative recounts the author's life from just prior to World World II to the 1950's, when Hungarian freedom stormed Budapest's Stalin Square, toppling dictator's monumental statue and demanding Soviet withdrawal from Hungary. This richly-textured, gripping account of catastrophic world events nonetheless manages to achieve an intimacy between author and reader with the immediacy of its first-person narrative style. Haunting vignettes of the people and places of war-torn, defiant Hungary not only portray the cataclysms of a nation under siege, but also describe a girl's coming of age in circumstances that heighten her need to find both a sense of self and intimate connections to others. Kinga moves from feeling that "Life tastes like drops of honey because I am too young to dwell on suffering" to being riddled by despair when a Soviet soldier puts a bullet through the head of her china doll. Richly woven into Kinga's eyewitness account of the Nazi invasion, the Soviet occupation, the Revolution, her escape to a refugee camp in Austria, barracks life at yet another camp in Vienna, and her eventual emigration to the United States are the stories of friends, relatives, and lovers. There are cousin Ester and her husband Sandor, a formal political prisoner abused in Siberia. The two broken lovers live in a single room where they play "Bolero" together on the piano, over and over and over again. There is Peter, Kinga's first love, shot to death by the Soviets as he is taking a warm bath in Kinga's house. There is cousin Eva, who fell in love with a member of the Soviet secret police, lived with him, tried to escape, and finally hanged herself when she was caught at the border. There is Tibor, Kinga's true love, who dies of tuberculosis in a sanitarium in Vienna. There is Ria, the almond-eyed, high-class call girl who becomes Kinga's friend at the barracks; and there is Maca, who gets Kinga a part-time job with a businessman in Vienna who rapes her. Most of all, Kinga is a lyrical testimony to the courage, resilience, and invincibility of the human spirit. On her journey from pampered Hungarian aristocrat to impoverished Austrian refugee to "ordinary" American citizen, Irene Kinga Korponay learned to survive incredible ordeals- and to feel compassion for those who did not. Today when daughter Rita finds her mother in the garden daydreaming, Irene is remembering the friends and lovers who never got to taste life in a country where "freedom... is taller than the tallest trees.
Product Details ISBN: 9781512396003
ISBN-10: 1512396001
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: May 26th, 2015
Pages: 228
Language: English