Budapest Exit: A Memoir of Fascism, Communism, and Freedom / Edition 1

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Overview

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: A Memoir of Fascism, Communism, and Freedom he tells the story of his twenty-year quest for freedom. During the war, the dramatic changes that had taken place in his country intensified with the invasion of the Nazis. After the terrifying siege of Budapest the Nazis' defeat should have led to freedom, but for Hungary it meant the brutal occupation by the Soviets. Life in Budapest was difficult, but Teglas rose to meet the challenges presented to him. Teglas protested, sometimes quietly, sometimes more vocally, against the Soviet and communist presence in Hungary. During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Teglas became more involved in the opposition to the communists. When it became dear that the revolutionaries were not going to succeed, he knew he had to leave. Teglas recounts his dramatic escape through the heavily guarded Iron Curtain and his subsequent journey to North America, where life as an immigrant presented new challenges.
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Editorial Reviews

Mark Pittaway
Teglas has written a lucid memoir…. a distinctive contribution.… superbly portrayed….wonderful source material. Teglas conveys a powerful impression of place and period to the general reader. This has never been done in an unambiguously factual account of this period of Hungarian history.
The Open University
Mari Szichman
Teglas' well-written memoirs help bring about an understanding of the daily lives of people under to-talitarian rulers… (he) analyzes, with intelligence and occasional humor, the plight of his people….
The Associated Press
Laura Dempsey
Teglas said... "In the Bosnian peace treaty, the war aggressors were rewarded. Serbs achieved spe-cial status and autonomy in Bosnia, but at the same time, the peace treaty did not demand that in Serbia, minorities would receive the same rights. What I am fearing is that with the Kosovo peace treaty, they may ignore the rights of other minorities in the general area." Budapest Exit, one man's personal saga whose echoes exist today, offers an education to those condemned to repeat the his-tory from which they failed to learn.
&3151;Dayton Daily News
Clara Gyorgyey
Teglas's fascinating and affecting autobiographical text is…a testimony of man's irrepressible yearn-ing for freedom. With tender perception and verve, Teglas penetrates with sharp glimpses into the world of Gyorgy Konrad and Milan Kundera, the cursed Central European fate…. Among the numer-ous memoirs and reminiscences penned by Hungarian Americans, Teglas's stands out as the most sincere, credible, and least pretentious text.
International Pen
Jeff Shields
My wartime experiences occurred long time ego," writes Teglas, who sees parallel for Hungarians - who have sub-stantial minority populations in Romania, Slovakia and Serbia - in the plight of ethnic Albanians. "For millions in the Balkans, the wounds of war have not healed yet. But despite the inter-vening years, the practices of ethnic cleansing and extreme nationalism in these episodes in history are quite similar." Teglas said the plight of those suffering should serve as a wake-up call to the dan-gers faced by ethnic minorities living within borders they didn't create.
Journal News
Library Journal
Teglas, now a "semi-retired city planning consultant," describes a number of the horrors he has lived through: the Nazi occupation of Hungary, the siege of Budapest, the "liberation" by the Red Army, the Stalinist takeover of Hungary, and the Revolution of 1956. Writing in a very accessible style, the author shows both the terrors he experienced and some more humorous episodes, such as his shrewd black-market dealings as a young boy immediately after the war. Teglas escaped into Austria a month after the beginning of the 1956 Revolution, emigrating to Canada and then finally to the United States. Unfortunately for the reader (but luckily for the author), Teglas did not live in post-1956 Hungary and provides only glimpses of life there through his visits. Nevertheless, this slim volume offers an interesting view of life under both Fascist and Communist dictatorships, although for a limited time period. Recommended for public--John A. Drobnicki, York Coll. Lib., CUNY
Clara Gyorgyey
"Csaba Teglas’s fascinating and affecting autobiographical text is . . . a testimony to man’s irrepressible yearning for freedom. With tender perception and verve, Teglas penetrates with sharp glimpses into the world of Gyorgy Konrad and Milan Kundera, the cursed Central European fate. . . . Among the numerous memoirs and reminiscences penned by Hungarian-Americans, Teglas’s account stands out as the most sincere, credible, and least pretentious text."—Clara Gyorgyey, President, Writers in Exile Center of International PEN
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Csaba Teglas, a native of Hungary, is a semi-retired city planning consultant. He has lived in White Plains, New York, with his Scottish-born wife, Rowena, since 1967.

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