- Hardcover: 200 pages
- Publisher: Sweet Earth Flying Press, LLC; First Edition edition (June 15, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0979098718
- ISBN-13: 978-0979098710
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,664,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Burning Horses: A Hungarian Life Turned Upside Down Hardcover – June 15, 2010
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
About the Author
Agatha Hoff is a former attorney and a court commissioner whose column, "Tales from the Bench," appears in the San Francisco Attorney. She lives in San Francisco.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Secondly, this story points out to us once again the danger of allowing a charismatic but psychotic leader to gain such influence and control. I think this book and others like it should be required reading in schools, so that young people the world over would see the danger in allowing such warped thinking to go so far out of control.
Lastly, Hoff's writing is the style I like best, concise but with feeling, showing us what we need to see without being overly descriptive.
What a life. What a story. What a book. Don't miss it.
It was written by Eva Badics' younger daughter Agatha Hoff, who immigrated to the U.S. when she was 13, based in some part on notes her mother left. Told in the first person, the story is chillingly real, and humanizes the general trauma of those days to the life of one Hungarian woman and her family. It presents a view of the Holocaust seldom considered, that of a person who was raised Catholic from birth and was thoroughly acculturated into upper middle class Hungarian society, but was of Jewish ancestry, and therefore targeted by the Nazis, who were allies of Hungary.
Eva's childhood and early adulthood is a story of the economic and cultural abundance of the pre-war Hungarian intelligentsia. Because Eva's parents had converted from Judaism to Catholicism before she was even born, she was completely assimilated and mainstream in Christian Budapest, although her practicing Jewish grandfather toasted her baptism with "L'chaim". But so privileged, pampered, and even spoiled was the young Eva that she could not identify with minorities or the oppressed, and even taunted her Jewish classmates.
At first the anti-Semitism of Germany, Hungary's ally, seemed to have nothing to do with her life. But because her Hungarian identity documents traced her Jewish ancestry, she had to face her own vulnerability to the Nazi horror soon after her own parents were forced into the Budapest ghetto.
The history of the war in Hungary, and Eva's own physical deprivations, humiliation, and terror at the hands of Nazi troops occupying Budapest, is told through the filter of her own prejudices, intelligence, vulnerabilities, love for her two daughters, and shock that "it can't happen here" turns into the Holocaust happening in Hungary.
She was forced into hiding from the Nazis and then later escaping from the Russian invaders.
So insular was her pre-war life that within the space of a single traumatic hour she goes from resenting the imposition of a Jewish cousin who asks her for a very risky favor which can save his life, to expecting Jews standing in line to avoid their own deaths to rescue her from a Nazi officer's cruel torment.
During the war years Eva, her beloved husband, and two young children endured living without a water supply or heat, and later any home at all, hiding in underground caves during close bombing, scrounging for food, and the daily terrors of both bombings and annihilation for having Jewish ancestry. These hardships led to both emotional numbing and courageous acts to meet previously-unimaginable challenges.
The honesty of this book is its greatest strength. It is hard to put down. The images it conveys and the psychological portrait of Eva will enter your dreams and forever give the reader a vivid slice of the Holocaust not often presented. It is highly readable, very impactful, and an important segment of history well worth preserving.
Spoken in her mother's voice, the story is exteremely powerful. It is a gift for the reader to have "one soul" from whom to learn the details - the daily-ness of the events as her family faced terrifying situations. The boot of tyranny is an image that will not easily be forgotten. Even if the reader has not been to Budapest, Hoff's carefully chosen words show exactly who, what and where. I came away with a deep sense of gratitude - that as a mother I never had to protect my children in so dramatic a way. This is not just "another WWII book." This is a wonderful book.
Most recent customer reviews
Europe just after the Franco-Prussian War.Read more