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In My Brothers Image: Twin Brothers Separated by Faith After the Holocaust Paperback – 25 Oct 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • 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)

Product Description


"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,, and the Jewish Advocate.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this true story is deep and it shows how life can be so different to two brothers. I could not put it down and I will read it again in the near future.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and Amazing story 27 Mar. 2008
By D. Whitehill - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written biographical story about the Hungarian experience during the Holocaust and beyond. Very revealing. Fascinating story about two brothers and their different choices.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling book indeed 28 Aug. 2002
By Daniel B. Schwartz - Published on
Format: Paperback
As the child of parents who came from the strictly Orthodox Jewish community of Hungary, and as one raised within that Orthodoxy, albeit transplanted to America, this book exposed me to a portion of Hungarian Jewish history I never really knew. This book speaks of the tragedy of so many Hungarian Jews. Jews who were totally estranged from their ancestral faith, who had no attachment to their heritage. For those people, Judaism was an undesirabe yoke to be cast aside or at best ignored. This book tells the reader however that one cannot truly escape his true identity. The true hero of the book, the author's father, discovers this in the hell of Bergen-Belsen. His uncle, the priest, spends the war in relative safety, but always in fear that he would be denounced. That uncle also has to contend with the very real possiblity that his Hungarian coreligionists "allowed" him to escape to Italy into the warm embrace of Padre Pio and the Capuchin monks not out of dedication to him in the spirit of Christian fellowship, but rather out of a desire to be rid of another Jew.
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.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've met the author! 4 Jan. 2005
By Anyechka - Published on
Format: Paperback
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 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.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Story 12 May 2009
By E. McGlinchey - Published on
Format: Paperback
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!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In My Brother's Image 22 April 2005
By Softball Player - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book, In My Brother's Image, was a book that caught my attention and made me want to keep reading. This book showed this very well. You learn about Gyuri and Miklos', identical twin brothers, life before the war when they were best friends, during the war how religion had torn them apart and the events leading to it, and after how different they had become. Miklos' son Eugene wrote the book, not Gyuri or Miklos. He vicariously wrote it and he makes it seem as though he were right there. The accounts in this book are based upon his father, uncle, aunt, and printed documents from the time such as newspapers and books.

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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