In the Hour of Fate and Danger

In the lush mountains of Serbia in 1944, thousands of Hungarian Jewish men are held captive as slave labourers, their pain and suffering echoing in the silence of their surroundings. Within the beauty and the devastation, nineteen-year-old Ferenc Andai is forced to work to exhaustion, subject to the whims of cruel Hungarian commanders and German overseers. For Ferenc, the only relief from his harsh reality is his company — an artistic and literary circle of men that includes the renowned poet Miklós Radnóti. As liberation inches closer and a fierce battle for power between Nazi collaborators and resisters rages on in the region, Ferenc faces decisions that will determine whether he lives or dies. Powerful, evocative and lyrical, In the Hour of Fate and Danger is the true story of Ferenc’s chilling and suspenseful journey through Nazi-occupied Serbia.

Introduction by Robert Rozett

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At a Glance
Hungary; Yugoslavia; Serbia; Romania
Bor, Serbia, forced labour camps
Tito Partisans
Poetry by Miklós Radnóti
Arrived in Canada in 1957
Published in Hungarian in 2003
Winner of 2004 Miklós Radnóti Prize

276 pages, including index

Recommended Ages

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Photo of Ferenc Andai

About the author

Ferenc Andai (1925–2013) was born in Budapest, Hungary. He arrived in Canada in 1957, where he obtained an MA in Slavic Studies from the Université de Montréal and a teaching diploma from McGill University. He also earned his PhD in history (summa cum laude) from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. Ferenc was a history teacher and then head of a high school social science department. His book Mint tanu szólni: bori történet (To Bear Witness: A Story of Bor) was published by Ab Ovo in 2003 and awarded the Radnóti Miklós National Prize in 2004.

Portents of death are trembling in the air.