Confronting Devastation: Memoirs of Holocaust Survivors from Hungary

Commemorating seventy-five years since Nazi Germany occupied Hungary, Confronting Devastation, an anthology of Canadian survivors’ memoirs, examines the diverse experiences and memories of the Holocaust in Hungary. From the worsening exclusions that marked Jewish daily life before 1944 to forced labour battalions, ghettos and camps, and persecution and hiding in Budapest, the authors reflect on lives that were shattered, on the sorrows that came with liberation and, ultimately, on how they managed to persevere. Editor Ferenc Laczó frames excerpts from twenty-two memoirs in their historical and political contexts, analyzing the events that led to the horrific “last chapter” of the Holocaust — the genocide of approximately 550,000 Jews in Hungary between 1944 and 1945.

At a Glance
Anthology of memoir excerpts by 22 survivors in wartime Hungary
Sections on pre-war life; forced labour battalions; ghettos and camps; Budapest; liberation
Section introductions by Ferenc Laczó

488 pages, including index

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Photo of Ferenc Laczó

About the editor

Ferenc Laczó is assistant professor in history at Maastricht University. He is the author of Hungarian Jews in the Age of Genocide: An Intellectual History, 1929–1948 (2016) and co-editor (with Joachim von Puttkamer) of Catastrophe and Utopia: Jewish Intellectuals in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1930s and 1940s (2017).

I feel someone has to speak for those who are dead. I think someone needs to remind those who try to forget. This is demanded by the cries of the dead echoing from their graves.