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Hardcover In My Brother's Image: Twin Brothers Separated by Faith After the Holocaust Book

ISBN: 067088538X

ISBN13: 9780670885381

In My Brother's Image: Twin Brothers Separated by Faith After the Holocaust

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

In My Brother's Image is Eugene Pogany's extraordinary story of his father and uncle - identical twin brothers born in Hungary of Jewish parents but raised as devout Catholics until the Second World... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Incredible Story

The author takes you on an incredible journey, beginning with his grandparents and their struggle with acceptance from his family in the intense social hierarchies, which existed in their nation. The grandmother coming from a working class background and the grandfather from a prominent and wealthy family was told a poor Jewish girl had nothing to offer him. These types of sentiments were not unheard of during that time. Then, the reader is introduced to the birth of their three children- the twins and their younger sister. You learn about how war, from the brother's early age begin to unravel the strings that held the family unit together even after converting to Catholicism. We continue to learn about the lives of the twins and how during the Holocaust they took very different paths. The Holocaust becomes a horrifying black hole consuming the Jewish communities in and around Germany, and you learn of the families' struggle for survival. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about the Holocaust and the many facets of anti-Semitism during this time. It unfolds to the author's upbringing, a son of one of the twins, in New Jersey as the child of Holocaust survivors and the search for closure, forgiveness and healing for both him and his father. It is a beautiful, moving account of some of the strongest people who have ever walked this planet. Read it!

I've met the author!

I remember reading about this real-life story a number of years before this book was actually published; I still have the clipped article from the Boston Globe in one of my scrapbooks. Then, when I was a student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mr. Pogany came to our Hillel one Friday night and after services and dinner read from his book and spoke to us about the story behind it. Having met the author makes reading a book even better! I've very interested in what befell Hungarian Jewry during WWII, possibly because it's so painful and haunting to realise that they were the last nation to be invaded by the Nazis, the final Jewish community in Europe still pretty much fully intact, but for the men who had been drafted into labour battalions or sent off to work camps several years earlier. It's an even more interesting and unique story because the family became Catholics shortly after WWI ended, and they were very devout, so much so that the author's uncle Gyuri eventually became a priest, and his father, Miklós, had seriously contemplated becoming one too. Because of a painful health condition, Gyuri got permission to recover his health in Italy, which was a stroke of luck, since he got out before things really began getting worse and worse, even before the arrival of the Nazis. Though the twins' mother was deported and murdered, the rest of the family did not live in the small town she did, and because they were in Budapest did not suffer the fate of the other Hungarian Jews in smaller towns and cities, who were packed into ghettos and then deported. The Budapest Ghetto wasn't erected until very late in the War, and when Miklós and his wife Muci (also a distant cousin of his) were finally deported, they were "only" taken to Bergen-Belsen as opposed to one of the death camps in Poland like the majority of their Hungarian co-religionists had been. Because he was tucked away safely in Italy, a place which only lost about 19% of its prewar Jewish population, in the care of the holy mystic Padre Pio, Gyuri was not subject to anything like his twin brother and the rest of their family were. He could never understand why his beloved twin had lost faith in Catholicism and Christianity, how he could go back to Judaism, the religion they'd left as small boys and had never even really been very much of a part of in their early years before they all converted. Many people both then and now have made apologies for the collaboration, either active or through silent complicity, of ordinary citizens in allowing the Shoah to take place, much like Gyuri did, but Miklós and Muci had seen firsthand what had happened to them. Despite nearly thirty years of being a good Catholic, he was not protected from even the "good" labour brigade for converts. In the eyes of the Nazis and ordinary Hungarians, his family were still Jewish. The local parish priest arranged for their mother Gabriella to be taken from the ghetto to his church every day to

Insightful, very well written family portrait

A very thoughtful and sensitive family story. Very insightful. It helped me to understand my own parents better. It is very well written, easy to read and I couldn't put it down.

Fascinating New Book

This book is riveting in a way that a novel never could be. We follow a real family's struggle to survive the appalling hostilities and unspeakable tragedies to which Hungary's Jewish citizens were subjected in the years prior to and during World War II. Pogany's unique work is a sensitive and insightful portrayal of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times. It is also a moving account of a child's desire to understand the people and events that shaped the lives of his grandparents, his parents, his uncle, his brother and sister and himself. Conversion to Catholicism was chosen by some Jewish people as a means to circumvent their surrounding atrocities. (This ultimately proved otherwise and Jews who converted were treated as brutally as those who did not.) Pogany's father and uncle (identical twins) followed their parents' route to the Catholic church, with one brother becoming a priest and the other eventually rediscovering his Jewish roots. The psychological interplay of these identical twins is marvelously revealed. The striking similarities, amazing differences and social connection of these twins will captivate and challenge everyone. Their life histories cannot help but deepen our fascination with how we come to be who we are.

A Powerful, Beautifully Written Book

While probably every survivor of the holocaust has a unique and compelling story to tell about the experience of the holocaust, the author of In My Brother's Image, who is the son of a survior, has written a fascinating account about the impact of the holocaust on the relationship between his father, and uncle, a Jew who became a priest.From the outset of the book, I was connected with the characters on an emotional level, notwithstanding the fact that the book is not a work of fiction. The historical back drop of Jewish life in Hungary from the early 20th century through the holocaust was enlightening in many respects. While there is no shortage of books about the Jewish community in Germany and Jews in Poland prior to the World War II, this book captures the life of the Hungarian Jewish community in particular. Until I read this book, I had no idea about the significant number of Hungarian Jews who converted to Catholicism. The Jews of Berlin were not unlike the Jews of Budapest, highly assimilated. non-observant etc. The book is so powerful because it deals with so many emotional issues through the very real lives of the author's family: the silence of the Catholic church in Hungary during the holocaust, the relationship between the Jews who converted to Catholicism and their fellow Jews, the "lesson" from the holocaust that it is impossible for a Jew to take on another religion or identity,no matter what efforts a Jew may take to do so, how can one believe in God after experiencing the holocaust etc.There is a personal and human element to this book that sets it apart. It is a literary "docudrama," if you will, that I could not put down reading; I found it to be compelling on so many different levels.
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