30th out of 42 books — 3 voters
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Will to Freedom: A Perilous Journey Through Fascism and Communism
by Egon Balas
Balas (mathematics, Carnegie Mellon U.) remembers his live under Nazi and communist rule in Hungary and Romania and provides a eyewitness account of the social and political upheaval in the region from the middle 1930s to the middle 1960s. Particularly he charts his course as underground resistance fighter, political prisoner, fugitive, Community Party official, and ...more
Paperback, 469 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Syracuse University Press
(first published November 1st 1999)
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This was a good autobiography. Like most lives, some parts (escaping from Nazi prison, enduring solitary confinement for a couple years in a communist prison) were more interesting than others (his career as a mathematician or details of the post-war Romanian Communist party). The author faced very difficult circumstances, and with only a few exceptions, acted admirably. The book made me grateful for my freedom!
This book is a rather extraordinary autobiography of a Hungarian jewish man who lived through both the Nazi and subsequent Soviet occupations of Hungary. Like so many of his compatriots, he was repeatedly imprisoned and tortured and oppressed under both regimes. His story is compelling and full of anguish and suspense, and he describes each and every episode in precise and sometimes gruesome detail; it's sort of a shame that this objectively fascinating and extraordinary life story has the ...more