Yellow Star-Red Star is the poignant memoir of Dr Agnes Kaposi, a Hungarian-born British engineer, educator, author and Holocaust survivor.
Dr Agnes Kaposi was born in Hungary in 1932, a year before Hitler came to power. She started school at the outbreak of World War II. Many of her family and friends were murdered in the Holocaust, together with half a million other Hungarian Jews, but a series of miracles and coincidences allowed her to survive. She worked as a child labourer in the agricultural and armament camps of Austria and was liberated by a rampaging Soviet Army.
She struggled through post-war hardship to re-enter Hungarian society, only to be caught up for a decade in the vice of Stalinism. In 1956, the Hungarian revolution offered the opportunity to escape. Entering Britain as a graduate engineer, she started a family and built a career as a researcher, educator and consultant. She was the third woman to become a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Her memoir is thoroughly researched and written with compassion and optimism, without self-pity. The tone is light and there is plenty of irony and even humour.
The narrative is underscored by the historian Dr László Csősz and illustrated by maps, documents, archival images and family photographs.
This book goes beyond the recollections of a survivor – it is an appeal to all of us to fight against prejudice and for human rights.
Dr Agnes Kaposi
Dr Agnes Kaposi is a Hungarian-born British engineer, educator and author. In 2020, Dr Kaposi published her autobiography Yellow Star-Red Star, underscored by comments by the Hungarian historian Dr László Csősz. This memoir is a candid account of life in Hungary during and after the Second World War, and her escape to Britain.
Dr Kaposi was born in 1932 to Hungarian-Jewish and socialist parents. Her family suffered from political and racial oppression, but only in the final year of the war did the Holocaust reach Hungary. Over the course of only two months, aided by the Hungarian gendarmerie, the Nazis murdered almost half a million Hungarian Jews. Dr Kaposi was there, witnessing the events. As a young girl she survived the Debrecen ghetto and worked as a child labourer in the camps of Austria, and she lost half her family.
Liberated from the camps by the Soviet army, Dr Kaposi returned to Hungary where a Stalinist regime followed. In 1951, she graduated from the Technical University of Budapest with a degree in electrical /electronic engineering, contributing to the development of the Hungarian TV broadcasting infrastructure. After the 1956 Uprising against Communist rule, she escaped from her native Hungary and obtained a labour permit to work in England as an industrial researcher in the Telecommunication and Computer industries.
In 1971, Dr Kaposi obtained her PhD in Computer Aided Design. She is a Churchill Fellow and was the third woman to have been elected as Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She worked in research and education, and as a consultant to industrial organisations and universities in the UK and globally. She is a role model for women in Science and Engineering.
Dr Kaposi is an advocate for social justice, anti-prejudice and equality. She continues to be active in numerous Jewish and secular human rights organizations. Dr Kaposi gives illustrated talks and seminars at various organisations, including universities and schools, addressing scholarly and public audiences–a testament to her passion for knowledge-sharing and education.
Dr László Csősz
is a senior archivist and historian at the National Archives of Hungary and Claims Conference University Partnership in Holocaust Studies Lecturer at the ELTE University in Budapest. He is the co-author of (with Gábor Kádár and Zoltán Vági) The Holocaust in Hungary. Evolution of a Genocide (Washington, DC: USHMM, 2013).
Yellow Star-Red Star
is available from the following:
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