From Publishers Weekly
A hopeful book about the Holocaust is a rare find. Billionaire financier George Soros, the author's son, is known for his optimistic, bold philanthropical support of open societies in post-Communist Eastern Europe. After reading this sober but surprisingly cheerful memoir, it's clear where George got these traits. Few Holocaust memoirs begin with statements like "Life is beautiful and full of variety and adventure. But luck must be on your side." But survival took wiles and connections as well. As life worsened for Hungarian Jews in 1944, Soros, a Budapest lawyer, managed to find false Christian papers and hiding places for his family. The Soroses struggled daily against possible discovery and death. Soros relates the fascinating details of his search for hiding places and skilled document forgers. The book's remarkable, upbeat tone predominates: even as Hungary falls to homegrown fascists and his acquaintances are killed, Soros views his travails as a game he will win. The book is a tribute to the power of the individual to maneuver through devastating, dangerous circumstances. Originally published in Esperanto in 1965 (the author died in 1986), the book was recently rediscovered by Paul Soros's daughter-in-law. Those interested in the Holocaust and in the psychology of survival will find it compelling, as will those seeking inspiration. Eight pages b&w photos not seen by PW. (Sept.) Forecast: Name-recognition and national TV and radio interviews will jump-start the 25,ooo-copy first printing, and the book's genuine appeal will sustain respectable sales.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
For European Jews, surviving the plague of Nazism that swept the continent in the first half of the 20th century became a test of resourcefulness, ingenuity, and sometimes just plain chutzpah. When the fascists took over Hungary in 1944, Soros was a Jewish lawyer with a family and friends. Under his strong guidance, his family voluntarily ceased to exist as Jews. Forging new identity papers, they adopted the guise of Christians and dispersed themselves throughout Budapest and beyond, dropping out of sight by blending into the background. With humor and wisdom, Soros tells the story of how he and his family managed to live relatively normal lives during the 11 months of fascist occupation, even while many around them were arrested and killed. This is an intelligently written narrative that is both compelling and uncomfortable, an autobiographical account that is like Anne Frank's diary but less poignant and more optimistic: the Soros family did, after all, survive. Recommended for all public and academic libraries. [Soros, father of philanthropist George Soros, fled West with his family at the time of the Hungarian revolution and lived in New York until his death in 1968. His book was originally written in Esperanto and is now appearing for the first time in English. Ed.] Michael F. Russo, Louisiana State Univ. Libs., Baton Roug.- Michael F. Russo, Louisiana State Univ. Libs., Baton Rouge
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.