The Invisible Bridge
Holocaust rememberance day just passed, and to honor the day I was reading The Invisible Bridge. About Jews in Hungary it's entirely fictional, but what a powerful emotional story.
It follows the life of Andras Levi, when he leaves Hungary for Paris for school, his unjust return after his visa expires, his marriage, his subsequent forced work for the Hungarians on a Jewish Work squad and the end of his story during the Russian/Nazi occupation of the country.
If I'm honest, I didn't really know that much about Hungary and it's Jews, other than that it was on the side of the Axis and the Nazi's. As such, I thought it was likely horrible to it's Jewish population, and assumed that many of them were decimated.
However, this story proves that as not quite true. While it's true that Hungary had anti-semetic leanings, Horthy (Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary) was actually quite kind to them throughout World War II. He limited deportations until the Nazi's actually stole his crown and invaded the country. Of course, with Hungary so close to Poland, those deportations took Jews directly to Aushwitz, directly to death.
The book paints a stunning portrait of a young Jewish Life. With intrigue and love, and all the normalcy at the beginning of the war. Most interesting is the interpersonal relationships between Andras, Klara and the rest of the family. Reading about how they came together, fought with each other, and leaned on each other.
An amazing story, definitely worth the time.