The year is 1882. A young servant girl named Esther disappears from a small Hungarian village. Several Jewish men from the village of Tisza Eszvar face the ‘blood libel’ — the centuries-old belief that Jews murder Christian children for their blood. A fourteen-year-old Jewish boy named Morris Scharf becomes the star witness of corrupt authorities who coerce him into testifying against his fellow Jews, including his own father, at the trial.
This fictionalized account of one of the last blood libel trial in Europe is told through the eyes of Julie, a friend of the murdered Esther, and a servant at the jail where Morris is imprisoned. Julie is no stranger to suffering herself: abused by her alcoholic father and separated from her beloved baby sister, she is as bound up in the tragedy of the times as is Morris. The book is based upon a real court case that took place in Hungary in 1883. In Hungary today, the name Morris Scharf has become synonymous with “traitor.”
One family’s story of survival in postwar Hungary, 1948. In Budapest after the war, when Kata’s family first returns from hiding, they are glad to be alive and hopeful that life will improve. But the secret police is questioning everyone about their loyalty to the Hungarian Workers Party, and conditions seem to be worsening. The eleven-year-old doesn’t understand why her brother Bela is acting so differently or why he hasn’t come home from his recent excursion. Her father used to own the factory, but now, as an employee, his wages continue to fall. She helps her mother sew the bears they will sell on the black market, but when Kata learns that Bela has escaped the country, she grows angry and sad. In time, she hopes that Bela will make it to America and will send for his family.
Piri is a city girl, but every year she goes to visit her grandmother Babi on her farm in the Ukrainian village of Komjaty. There is a lot that Piri finds strange, even scary, in Komjaty, such as the ghost in the form of a rooster who supposedly haunts the cemetery! But Piri loves country life: making corn bread, eating plums right off the tree, venturing out with her grandmother in the early morning to hunt for mushrooms. And during her time with Babi, Piri learns lessons that will stay with her all of her life, about the importance of honest hard work, of caring for the less fortunate, and of having the courage to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. In these nine stories, Aranka Siegal paints a tender portrait of the love between a grandmother and granddaughter, inspired by her own experiences with her grandmother.
Explaining the complex political and social backdrop that allowed the Holocaust to occur, as well as its progression and aftermath, this comprehensive volume contains first-hand testimony from survivors and enables readers to appreciate the impact of the Holocaust on real people and the lives they and their families have rebuilt today.
During World War II, life for Jutka, a Hungarian Jew and her family are transported to Auschwitz, where her mother and grandmother perish. Dreams of Canada, inspired by a book from a Canadian relative, sustain her. After the liberation, Jutka falls in love with Sandor, who dreams of relocating to Israel.
Cursed at birth, the beautiful and ruthless young Erzebet Bathory becomes obsessed with achieving eternal youth and begins to bathe in the blood of virgin girls to preserve her beauty. Based on the life of the “Blood Countess,” who lived in Hungary in the 1500s.
The author, who was imprisoned in Auschwitz as a teenager, describes her terrible experiences as one of the camp’s few adolescent inmates and the miraculous twists of fates that enabled her to survive.
In the winter of 1943, a Polish physician and her older daughter make a dangerous and arduous trek to Hungary while seven-year-old Malka, who they were forced to leave behind when she became ill, fends for herself in a ghetto.