Resist, Endure, Escape: Growing Up in Nazi and Communist Hungary: Book Review

Resist, Endure, Escape: Growing Up in Nazi and Communist Hungary: Book Review by Susan F Darvas. This book is written by someone in my writers critique group, so my opinion is bias. Susan is the type of woman everyone should have the honor of meeting at least once in their life. She’s been through it and back!

A Holocaust survivor, living in a communist Hungry, handling poverty, and having her education torn away more than once, she marches on. Susan Darves gives us a unique look into a world that was not that long ago. Unlike the other stories I’ve read before I feel a better understanding of what happened to the Jewish people who didn’t go to concentration camps. She is held hostage as a young child in one of the designated homes for Jews, cramped together with hardly enough food to eat. Her insight into learning new languages and cultures when she enters foreign lands as an immigrant is eye-opening.

The memoir follows the adventures of a young girl who is thrust into turmoil when Hitler’s reign forces her and her family from their house and into a small apartment building which was used to house Jews. Here is one of my favorite parts of the story. The young Susan, only five years old, found ways to entertain herself. One such time was when she spit cherry pits from her balcony; Nazis were her target, oh and she did hit them! They could never figure out where the shots were coming from, so Susan (and the reader) enjoyed this small victory.

When the war is over it’s a short relief as they are forced to move again and again. A communist government now controls her job, what she writes, letters were censored, curfews enforced. The story follows her through young adolescents, to marriage, to motherhood, and finally to her escape from Hungary.

An easy read of just over two-hundred pages. The story moves quickly and follows only a portion of Susan’s life. This would be a great read for a book club or just to gain a different understanding of the era. 

 

 

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