Life in Hungary during the Nazi Occupation and Cold War Era

These memoirs and histories depict life in Hungary – from World War II to living under Communist rule to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

Enemies of the People: My Family's Journey to America
By Kati Marton
Renowned author Kati Marton tells how her journalist parents survived the Nazis in Budapest and were imprisoned by the Soviets. After obtaining secret police files detailing her family's activities in Budapest during Nazi and Communist regimes, Marton discovered terrifying truths: secret love affairs, betrayals inside the family circle, and brutalities alongside acts of stunning courage - and, above all, deep family love. Based on reports and her own interviews, she reveals how her parents - pawns in the Cold War between Washington and Moscow - were betrayed by friends and colleagues, even their babysitter, and eventually imprisoned.

Budapest Exit book jacket

Budapest Exit: A Memoir of Fascism, Communism, and Freedom
By Csaba Teglas
Faced with the Nazi invasion of Hungary during World War II, the Soviet occupation following the Allied victory, and finally with the opportunity to escape the oppressive regime during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Csaba Teglas responded with ingenuity and hope. In Budapest Exit he tells the story of his twenty-year quest for freedom.

Swimming Across: A Memoir
By Andrew S. Grove
Former chairman of the board of Intel Corporation, Andrew Grove (born Andris Grof) tells his life story from his childhood in Hungary in the 1930s through the Nazi occupation and Communist governments to his success in the United States.

A Testament of Revolution
By Béla Lipták
Terse, staccato, like a dispatch from the front, Bela Liptak's A Testament of Revolution gives readers a vivid, firsthand look at the brief, doomed struggle of Hungarian freedom fighters against Russian oppressors. Written in 1956 in an Austrian refugee camp where the author had fled to escape reprisals for his role in the rebellion, Liptak's memoir compellingly sketches the conflict between university students, factory workers, and Hungarian nationalists on the one side and the hated Hungarian secret police and Russian army troops on the other.

Journey to a Revolution book jacket

Journey to a Revolution: A Personal History of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956
By Michael Korda
In October 1956, Michael Korda and three fellow Oxford undergraduates traveled to Budapest in a beat-up Volkswagen to bring badly needed medicine to the hospitals – and to participate, at street level, in one of the great battles of the postwar era. Journey to a Revolution is at once history and a compelling memoir – the author's riveting account of the course of the revolution, from its heroic beginnings to the sad martyrdom of its end.

One Day That Shook the Communist World: The 1956 Hungarian Uprising and Its Legacy
By Paul Lendvai
Paul Lendvai was a young journalist covering politics in Hungary when the uprising broke out. He was on the front lines of the student protests and the bloody street fights, and he saw the revolutionary government smashed by the Red Army. In this riveting, deeply personal, and often irreverent book, Lendvai weaves his own experiences with in-depth reportage to unravel the complex chain of events leading up to and including the uprising, its brutal suppression, and its far-reaching political repercussions in Hungary and neighboring Eastern Bloc countries.

Revolution in Hungary: The 1956 Budapest Uprising
By Erich Lessing
Erich Lessing documented the short-lived Budapest uprising and its aftermath in a series of world-famous photographs, reproduced here in stunning duotone. They bring to life once more the hope and euphoria of the first days of the revolt, so soon to be followed by the pain and punishment of its brutal suppression.

Books by Kati Marton

The Great Escape book jacket

The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World
By Kati Marton
This book tells the stunning story of the breathtaking journey of nine extraordinary men from Budapest to the New World, what they experienced along their dangerous route, and how they changed America and the world.

Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our Recent History
By Kati Marton
Kati Marton's bestselling Hidden Power is an engrossing look at twelve presidential marriages – from Edith and Woodrow Wilson to Laura and George W. Bush – that have profoundly affected America's history.

Wallenberg: Missing Hero
By Kati Marton
January 17, 1995, marked the 50th anniversary of the disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg, one of the greatest heroes of the Holocaust. Here is an authoritative account of Wallenberg's days in Budapest, his mysterious disappearance into Soviet prisons, and the most detailed account available of how he saved over 100,000 Jews from Nazi death camps.

A Death in Jerusalem
By Kati Marton
This book tells the story of the 1948 assassination of the Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, a United Nations mediator, by members of a militant Zionist group.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.