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In My Brother's Image


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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.


Primarily an account of the author's Hungarian grandparents between 1910 and 1945, this Holocaust survivors' story brings the profound emotional effects of the trauma to life. Although from secular Jewish families, they converted to Roman Catholicism and raised their three children in that faith. Nevertheless, they were all regarded by their neighbors as Jews during the 1930s and 1940s and were treated accordingly. The couple's twin sons had very different experiences of the Holocaust. One, who had been ordained a priest, was sheltered in a southern Italian friary during the war and always refused to believe that the leaders of his Church could have failed to combat the horror. The other (the author's father) had remained in Hungary and saw most of his family transported to concentration camps; he later turned to secular Judaism. Both brothers immigrated to America, but their different experiences of the Holocaust drove a permanent wedge between them. This is also the story of the author's attempts to learn about his family, since much was not discussed when he was a child. Based primarily on interviews and conversations, this moving tale of faith and acceptance belongs in most general collections.ÄMarcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Here is an eloquent memoir of a family ripped apart by the Holocaust. Born into a Jewish family, Pog ny's grandfather, B‚la, converted to Roman Catholicism before WWI so he could work in the Hungarian civil service. A few years later, his wife, Gabriella, and their six-year-old twin sons, Mikl¢s (the author's father) and Gyuri, were also baptized as Catholics. Gabriella took her new religion more seriously than her husband and was delighted when Gyuri became a priest. At the outbreak of WWII, he was in Italy living with Padre Poi, a noted Catholic mystic, and he remained there for the duration of the war. Initially, their status as converts protected Gabriella and Mikl¢s (B‚la died in 1943) from the Nazis, but not for longÄMikl¢s was interned in Bergen-Belsen and Gabriella died at Auschwitz. After the war, Mikl¢s settled with his wife in the U.S., where, revolted by the passivity of Christians during the Holocaust, he returned to Judaism. A few years later, his brother also arrived in the U.S. and became a parish priest in New Jersey. But as Pog ny, a clinical psychologist, movingly explains, the war created an unbridgeable emotional gulf between the brothers: Mikl¢s couldn't forgive Gyuri, who could not, or would not, acknowledge the savageness of the persecution of the Jews, not only by the Nazis, but by Hungarian Christians as well. Gyuri, in turn, considered Mikl¢s's return to Judaism to be a betrayal. Pog ny deftly conveys the power of the brothers' feelings as he relates this tragic story. Author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"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

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