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Hungary at War Civilians and Soldiers in World War II cover
  • ISBN: 9780271017396
  • ISBN10: 0271017392

Hungary at War Civilians and Soldiers in World War II

by Cecil D. Eby

  • List Price: $67.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Pennsylvania State Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 04/01/1998
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Description
Hungary's place in World War II has been woefully documented because until recently any histories of the war years had to conform to Communist Party line. Originally allied with Germany to defend itself against Bolshevism, Hungary saw its army annihilated in 1943 and was subsequently invaded -- and occupied -- by the Soviets. Now fifty years after the closing of the Iron Curtain in 1948, the memories of those who endured those years can finally be shared.

Cecil Eby has compiled a historical chronicle of Hungary's wartime experiences based on interviews with nearly a hundred people who lived through those years. Here are officers and common soldiers, Jewish survivors of the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, pilots of the Royal Hungarian Air Force, Hungarian prisoners of war in Russian labor camps, and a host of others. We meet the apologists for the Horthy regime installed by Hitler and the activists who sought to overthrow it, and we relive the Red Army's siege of Budapest during the harsh winter of 1944-45 through the memories of people who were trapped there.

Because of censorship and intimidation during the Communist epoch, most of the accounts shared here have never been told to anyone outside the subjects' families. Often the most startling stories come from ordinary citizens. We learn of Ilona Joo, who survived in a cellar while German and Russian armies used her house and garden as a battleground, and of the remarkable Merenyi sisters, who trekked home to Budapest after being freed from Bergen-Belsen. Eby also includes a rare interview with a former member of the Arrow Cross, Hungary's fascist party, which sheds new light on its leadership. From these personalaccounts, Eby draws readers into the larger themes of the tragedy of war and the consequences of individual actions in moments of crisis.

Skillfully integrating oral testimony with historical exposition, Hungary at War reveals the knot of ideological, economic, and ethnic attachments that entangled the lives of so many Hungarians. The result is an absorbing narrative that is a fitting testament to a nation buffeted by external forces beyond its capacity to control.

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Argosy Book Store

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Illus. 8vo, green cloth, d.w., cloth lightly soiled. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, (1998).
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DJ in VG shape with light shelf-wear present to the DJ. Signed and inscribed
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0271017392. Spine just slightly tilted else a fine copy with dustjacket in
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