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Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague, 1941-1968 Paperback – January 1, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Her scenes of homelessness and fear, as her former friends often become terrified at seeing her alive and sheltering her from the Germans, reveal a fresh persective on a refugee who ironically seems to be more endangered outside Auschwitz than if she had stayed within the lager. After the war, she shows how the Jews returning to their homes found their possessions and livelihoods stolen, and how many of their fellow Czechs had brazenly or surreptitiously commandeered the houses and the property for themselves, since the Jews could do little to regain these items.
Kovaly then explains how the appeal to a more just system, rather than the beleaguered democracy that tried to revive postwar Czechoslovakia, began to fool idealistic Czechs into supporting a communism based more on the lies of those who dared not tell the truth of Stalinism, as well as those who genuinely sought--as her first husband Rudolf Margolius--to bring about a better world through Marxism on more of a Titoist model.
Many pages that follow could serve as a primer for exposing how communist dreams began to replace harsh reality for many Czechs. In incisive prose, with well-chosen metaphors and vignettes, she excels in comparing her own search to that of her husband and his fellow believers.Read more ›
Reading this book should rid you of any illusions you have about the Communists and help you to understand the Orwellian world of the 1950s Soviet Bloc.
This is a fantastic book both for people wanting to learn something about the surviving the Holocaust and re-building life afterwards, and for someone who wants to become emotionally invested in a strong, interesting character.
The story tells of Heda's experiences from the year 1941, when she was taken from her home and sent to the Litzmannstadt Ghetto and later to Auschwitz, to the year 1968 when Russia invades Czechoslovakia. In between Heda escapes from Nazi persecution, arrives back home to Prague to friends less than friendly, helps liberate Prague from Germany, marries, raises a child, experiences 1984-like governmental opression, is fired from job after job for having the name Margolius, and in the end survives to tell her tale.
The is a great novel that I would higly recomend to anyone interested in the Holocaust, Communism society, or just wants a good story of a woman faced with hardship who manages to survive.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book! She was a remarkable and strong woman. How she survived through the hell on earth during the nazi and stalinist terrorism was a miracle.Published 7 months ago by Eino Vuorinen
Fascinating account of a woman living through the holocaust and behind the iron curtainPublished 7 months ago by PB
Wonderful. Calmly describes the horror of living in Communist controlled Prague.Published 7 months ago by Thomas M. Lane
This says it better than I could: New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis, who devoted one of his columns to the book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kate
This book should be required reading for all high school students so they really understand communism. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Cranberry
By the way, read this book-several times. Beautiful, amazing, tragic, written by a woman of indomitable noble spirit and infinite courage. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer