Prague Farewell by Heda Margolius Kovály (68,000 words and 8 photographs)
Note: Under A Cruel Star first appeared in the UK under the title Prague Farewell; except for title and cover, both eBooks are identical
"A story of the human spirit as its most indomitable... one of the outstanding autobiographies of the century." San Francisco Chronicle
"Once in a rare while we read a book that puts the urgencies of our time and ourselves in perspective, making us confront the darker realities of human nature... Mrs. Kovaly experienced the two supreme horrors of what Hannah Arendt called this terrible century. But her book is not just a personal memoir of inhumanity. In telling her story — simply, without self-pity — she illuminates some general truths of human behavior... Quietly, with cumulative force, it shows us how the totalitarian state feeds on the blindness and the weakness of man." Anthony Lewis, New York Times
"A wonderfully expressive writer. Although her approach is above all personal, Kovaly’s reflections on her experiences reveal a high degree of insight into politics, individual and institutional behavior, and the formation of attitudes." Christian Science Monitor
"A Jew in Czechoslovakia under the Nazis, Kovaly spent the war years in the Lodz ghetto and several concentration camps, losing her family and barely surviving herself. Returning to Prague at the end of the war, she married an old friend, a bright, enthusiastic young Jewish economist named Rudolf Margolius, who saw the country's only hope for the future in the Communist Party. Thereafter, Rudolf became deputy minister for foreign trade. For a time, the Margoliuses lived like royalty, albeit reluctantly, but then, in a replay of the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, Rudolf and others, mostly of Jewish background, were arrested and hung in the infamous Slansky Trial of 1952. Kovaly's memoir of these years that end with her emigration to the West after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 are a tragic story told with aplomb, humor and tenderness. The reader alternately laughs and cries as Kovaly describes her mother being sent to death by Dr. Mengele, Czech Communist Party leader Klement Gottwald drunk at a reception, the last sight of her husband, the feverish happiness of the Prague Spring. Highly recommended." Publishers Weekly
Ratings and Reviews
Be the first to rate and review this book!
You've already shared your review for this item. Thanks!
We are currently reviewing your submission. Thanks!
by Heda Margolius Kovály
Share your thoughts
Tell readers what you thought by rating and reviewing this book.
Rate it *
Please make sure to choose a rating
Add a review* Required
How to write a great review
- Say what you liked best and least
- Describe the author's style
- Explain the rating you gave
- Use rude and profane language
- Include any personal information
- Mention spoilers or the book's price
- Recap the plot
(0) 50 characters minimum
The review must be at least 50 characters long.
The title should be at least 4 characters long.
Display Name *
Your display name should be at least 2 characters long.
Report a review
At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information.
Would you like us to take another look at this review?
You've successfully reported this review. We appreciate your feedback.
by Heda Margolius Kovály
Thanks for Sharing!
You submitted the following rating and review. We'll publish them on our site once we've reviewed them.
by on September 30, 2016
- Plunkett Lake Press, December 2012
- Download options:
- EPUB 2 (Adobe DRM)
You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices: