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Stronger Together

“Don’t cry darling. We need this baby. You will see.”

With these words from her husband, Zoltán, Ibolya Rechnitzer’s fear of being pregnant during the uncertainty of wartime is somewhat eased. But in November 1942, four months after their baby, Andy, is born, Zoltán is drafted into the forced labour service of the Hungarian army and Ibolya must cope, alone, as a single mother and a Jew facing persecution in Budapest. Her son gives her a reason to fight, and Ibolya protects him fiercely during the war and after, when she must make a crucial decision that will forever alter their lives. As Andy grows up in the shadow of the Holocaust and his mother’s memories, he finds the remarkable courage to tell his own story and carry on his mother’s legacy. Two memoirs in one, Stronger Together gives voice to both mother and son as they each reflect on their past, their losses and, above all, their optimism.

Introduction by Marlene Kadar

At a Glance
Budapest ghetto
Forced labour
Arrow Cross regime
Siege of Budapest
Life under Communism
Postwar Hungarian Uprising
Arrived in Canada in 1957
Adjusting to life in Canada

288 pages, including index

Recommended Ages

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Photo of Ibolya Grossman

About the author

Ibolya Grossman was born in Pécs, Hungary, in 1916. After the war, she was arrested and jailed by the Communist regime in Hungary for trying to escape the country. On her second attempt she succeeded with her son, Andy, immigrating to Canada in 1957. Ibolya first wrote and published her memoirs in 1990; she passed away in Toronto in 2005.

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Photo of Andy Réti

About the author

Andy Réti was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1942. He was liberated from the Budapest ghetto in January 1945. Andy has been a volunteer at Toronto’s Holocaust Education Centre since 1998, and joined his mother on many of her events as a survivor speaker. Since his mother’s passing, Andy has continued in her footsteps, telling their stories to numerous audiences.

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Don't cry, darling. We need this baby. You will see.