A vital book in our comprehension of the Holocaust in Hungary and the Communist regime that followed. Yellow Star-Red Star refers to the two totalitarian regimes that Agnes Kaposi survived, first as a child slave labourer during the Holocaust, and then as a student and worker in Communist Hungary.

Yellow Star:  It is the story of a little girl growing up in pre-war Hungary who, with her family, was caught up in the Holocaust.  By a fluke of fate, their deportation train to Auschwitz (and certain death) was diverted to Austria where they were forced to work in intolerable conditions.  Her story shows how innocent people can be pawns in political machinations beyond their control.

Red Star:  We may be familiar with the story of survivors who came to the West, and to Britain after the war; we may be familiar with Hungarians who fled Hungary in 1956 and made new lives in a free democracy.  After liberation by the Soviet Army, Agnes and her family returned to Hungary and lived under a Communist regime.  The description of her years there gives us an insight into the political and social situation in Eastern Europe in the years after the Second World War and helps us to understand better the situation there today.

Agnes has grounded her story in the general history of the time with the addition of chapters by Hungarian historian Dr Laszlo Csosz who gives the context of the wider picture against which Agnes’s story plays out.  We see the micro, the individual, as well as the macro, the wider angle.

Esther Gilbert
Creator and Editor, Holocaust Memoir Digest