Vanished Boyhood

One month before George Stern’s thirteenth birthday, Germany invades his native Hungary. Anti-Jewish edicts are passed and a ghetto is established. A rebel even then, George refuses to wear the Jewish star. “Passing” as a Christian boy, he survives the siege of Budapest as the Soviet Red Army presses closer, strafing the city while the fascist Arrow Cross continues to hunt for Jews. After the war, George leaves Europe for Israel and fights in the War of Independence. Over the next twenty years his family’s journeys take them from Israel to São Paulo, Brazil and finally to Toronto. Filled with determination and bravery, this is also the poignant account of George Stern’s Vanished Boyhood.

At a Glance
Hungary
Ghetto
Passing/false identity
Arrow Cross regime
Siege of Budapest
Postwar Israel; Brazil
Arrived in Canada in 1970

184 pages

Recommended Ages
14+
Language
English

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Photo of George Stern

About the author

George Stern was born on April 21, 1931, in Újpest, Hungary. After the war, he immigrated to Israel and fought in the War of Independence. In 1960, George and his wife, Judit, left Israel for São Paulo, Brazil; they immigrated to Canada in 1970. George Stern passed away in 2017.

As soon as I heard the airplane engines I ran upstairs to watch the bombers approaching. It was dangerous, but I wasn’t scared. I prayed to God that those American planes would destroy the Nazis and the factories so we all could be free again.