- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc; Reprint edition (25 Oct. 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141002247
- ISBN-13: 978-0141002248
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 447,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
In My Brothers Image: Twin Brothers Separated by Faith After the Holocaust Paperback – 25 Oct 2001
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"Highly readable and deeply inspiring.... I recommend it to all readers who wish to know more about what happened to European Jewry during the Holocaust." --Elie Wiesel
"A gripping, wrenching tale, a powerful addition to the Holocaust literature." --The Boston Globe
About the Author
Eugene L. Pogany is a practicing psychologist in Boston. A frequent speaker on anti-Semitism and Jewish-Catholic relations, he has written for Cross Currents, Sh'ma, Jewishfamily.com, and the Jewish Advocate.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The emotions that pervade this book are powerful. The characters are real. The dialogue, while made up, displays the pathos of the characters and speaks to the reader's soul.
This book is about many things: religion, families and their dysfunctions, theodicy, Catholic-Jewish relations, and overding all of those, this book is about the complexity of life. Like all great works, the message of this book will be shaped by the reader and his/her weltanschaung.
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 hear Mass before she was deported, but he still didn't try to hide her or protect her from deportation. This book explores the complex relationship between not only the brothers who were separated by faith but also how the Church failed to protect its members, all members, and to speak out against what was going on, and how something of such a large scale could never have happened without the kind of hatred and collaboration from the common folk that the Poganies saw breaking through the surface after the Nazis and Hungarian fascists came to power.
I, personally, am very into the Holocaust and what happened to families before, during, and after the war so if you are too I definitely think you should consider this book. If you like to see how people can change on a general level this is a good book. If you are like me, liking to learn about the Holocaust or history for that matter, this is an excellent book. Those on grade level 10, 11, and 12 (and on) will be able to understand book because of the language and words used. So once again read this book.
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