Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Print Length: 400 pages
While she was growing up, Marianne Szegedy-Maszak was surrounded by relatives who escaped from Hungary at the end of World War II. Yet, she only learned her family’s history after her parents died.
At the start of the war, Szegedy-Maszak’s father, Aladar, was a well-regarded diplomat for the Hungarian government while her mother, Hanna, was a member of a wealthy Jewish family. When Hungary aligned with Nazi Germany and began implementing antisemitic polices, Hanna’s grandfather, Manfred Weiss, negotiated a controversial deal. In return for turning over the family’s vast manufacturing plants to Nazi officials, they were granted safe passage to Portugal,
By compiling the diaries, memoirs and letters her family members saved, Szegedy-Maszak recreated their harrowing escape and how the family survived after the war. In addition to offering a compelling personal account of resilience and survival, Szegedy-Maszak provides an insider’s perspective on the fight to preserve Hungary’s democracy at the end of World War II.
REVIEWS AND AUTHOR INFORMATION
Kirchick, James, “Book Review: ‘I Kiss Your Hands Many Times’ by Marianne Szegedy-Maszak, The Wall Street Journal, November 22, 2013. https://www.wsj.com/articles/book-review-8216i-kiss-your-hands-many-times8217-by-marianne-szegedymas225k-1385155698
Teitelbaum, Ilana, “Maximum Shelf: I Kiss Your Hands Many Times,” Shelf Awareness, July 24, 2013.https://www.shelf-awareness.com/max-issue.html?issue=62#m128
Despite the hardships they faced during their escape, Szegedy-Maszak’s grandparents were accused of being collaborators. What other options might the family have had to stay alive?
Szegedy-Maszak describes the depression and survivor guilt her family experienced after they escaped from Hungary. In what ways did the trauma the family endured persist and continue to color the way they looked at life?
Aladar’s quest to preserve Hungary’s democracy was doomed to fail. What, if anything, might have changed Hungary’s destiny after World War II was over?
By accessing the diaries, memoirs. and letters her family members preserved, Szegedy-Maszak was able to recreate the story of how her family survived during World War II. How important is it to preserve our family history? What are the tools that can help with this process?