This book is a great gift. Jewish life in Debrecen, a provincial capital in prewar Hungary, the early impact of authoritarian rule on her family’s life, the resilience of her grandmother and her mother, but also the educational ambition of her father, all this is told with a great sense for the right balance between necessary detail and the wider context, complemented by the ‘historian’s voice’ of Dr László Csősz. Her memories from childhood and early youth, and the story of her and her family’s unlikely survival during the Second World War as slave laborers in Austria reflect an enduring commitment to humanity and decency. The book also tells the story of a young woman of exceptional intellectual ambition as one of very few female electrical engineers – first in Stalinist Hungary, and then, after a narrow escape in the turmoil of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, in Britain. Agnes Kaposi is a witness of one of the darkest periods in European history. She inspires us with her kindness, her commitment to truth, and her generous invitation to follow her unique life trajectory.
Professor of Modern Jewish History Departmental Graduate Tutor Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, UCL