In Dreams Together

In the summer of 1944, eighteen-year-old Leslie Fazekas and his family are deported from their hometown of Debrecen, Hungary, to Vienna, Austria, as forced labourers. Fate and fortune have intervened to save their lives — after the war, they discover that nearly half of their Jewish community was sent to Auschwitz. During the devastating circumstances of his captivity, Leslie records his experiences in a diary and in letters to his girlfriend, Judit, from whom he was separated in Vienna. For eight months, Leslie’s words alternate between hope and uncertainty in love letters that are also a testimony of his survival during a perilous time. In Dreams Together features Leslie’s diary alongside his postwar memoir, a reflection on his childhood, the war and the love that shaped his life.

Introduction and annotations by László Csősz

At a Glance
Hungary; Austria
Debrecen ghetto
Strasshof transit camp
Forced labour camp
Wartime diary and letters paired with postwar memoir
Arrived in Canada in 1956

184 pages, including index

Recommended Ages

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Photo of Leslie Fazekas

About the author

Leslie Fazekas was born in Debrecen, Hungary, in 1925. After the war, he reunited with Judit (Judy), and they married in Budapest in 1949. Leslie returned to school and earned his mechanical engineering diploma at the Technical University of Budapest. In 1956, Leslie and his family immigrated to Toronto, where Leslie attended the University of Toronto for computer programming, a field he worked in until he retired in 1988. Leslie Fazekas passed away in 2023.

All it takes is a single bomb, dumb and random, to defeat all hope. But it would be a beautiful thing for us to meet again — a triumph of endurance, faith and love.