Magda's Daughter: A Hidden Child's Journey Home

Overview

To survive the long shadow of the Third Reich, many Jewish children were placed in hiding, forced to keep their true identities—names, religion, places of birth, even gender—absolutely secret. Although these "hidden children" avoided capture and murder, many of their -family members did not, and their experiences marked them for life. Evi Blaikie’s passionate memoir depicts a life lived in the shadow of exile.

Evelyne Juliette was born in Paris to privileged Hungarian immigrants...

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Overview

To survive the long shadow of the Third Reich, many Jewish children were placed in hiding, forced to keep their true identities—names, religion, places of birth, even gender—absolutely secret. Although these "hidden children" avoided capture and murder, many of their -family members did not, and their experiences marked them for life. Evi Blaikie’s passionate memoir depicts a life lived in the shadow of exile.

Evelyne Juliette was born in Paris to privileged Hungarian immigrants of high intellect and great passion. Scarcely a year following her birth, France would fall to the Nazis, putting Evi’s family among hundreds of thousands on the run. Her father, forced to flee Paris and go underground, never again emerged. Her mother, Madga, an indomitable woman, managed to send her young daughter to safety in Hungary before being captured in a dragnet and imprisoned in a forced labor camp. Evi, just barely three, was eventually brought by an aunt to Budapest under her cousin’s passport. "Claude Pollak" would be only the first of many identites assumed to protect the shattered remnants of this young child’s life.

Eventually reunited with her mother, Evi would survive the war and the chaos of post-World War II Europe, but not without tremendous cost: when life blurs with survival, when one is set adrift in perpetual exile, what does it mean to go on living? In Magda’s Daughter, Evi Blaikie, a natural storyteller, deftly explores the many -influences—cultural, geographic, religious—with which she had to come to terms in order to finally embrace her own true sense of home and self.

Advocate and board member of the Hidden Child Foundation of the ADL, Evi Blaikie lives and writes in New York City.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this heartbreaking memoir, Blaikie, an advocate and board member of the Hidden Child Foundation of the Anti-Defamation League, details her childhood years in hiding during the Holocaust and her painful struggles as a "perpetual refugee" in the years following. She explains that she began her book not "as a memoir, but as a safety valve," and as her account unfolds, five decades' worth of despair and subjugation floods out of her. She tells of a lifetime of adapting to new countries, languages, schools, religions, names and even genders, beginning when, at two years old, Blaikie was smuggled from Paris to Budapest on a male cousin's passport in 1941, and ending with her continuing search for a sense of home in New York in 1991. Understandably, she proves more adept at conveying grief than joy (which she tends to gloss over when it occasionally surfaces), and while likened to Anne Frank, she lacks the latter's optimistic spirit. Although the book could have benefited from an editor's firmer hand-Blaikie belabors her point about searching for identity, and some cliches blight her otherwise devastatingly lucid, precise writing-she pays a loving tribute to the extended family who raised her and powerfully bears witness to a part of history that cannot be forgotten. (Aug. 1) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Prologue 1
Paris - Budapest, 1939-1944 7
Hiding, 1944-1945 19
Liberation 40
1945 44
1946 53
Chateau des Groux, 1947-1948 63
Summer of 1948 71
Chateau Anna Szenes, 1948-1949 74
Cheltenham, England, 1949-1950 82
Paris and the Convent of Notre Dame, 1950-1951 95
Norwood Jewish Orphanage, 1951-1954 104
Saint Martin-in-the Fields High School for Girls, 1951-1957 120
What Color the Chameleon? 135
From Pillar to Post 141
62 Chippenham Road, 1956-1958 152
Reunion 168
Vienna, 1957-1960 178
Caracas, 1960 195
New York City, June 1960 211
An American Marriage, 1961-1978 228
The Storm Before the Calm 258
New York City, May 1991 266
Epilogue 271
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An Personal Eyeopening Account of History

    "A war does not end until the last survivor dies" is how this hidden child, now a parent and grandparent, describes her experiences as a hidden child in Hungry and subsequent moves to survive. It made me look at the ripple effects of a war in a completely new way. I read one chapter at a time and put the book down because each experience is more amazing than the last and I needed to think about it. I am the same age as the author but was born in NYC and had a totally different childhood. I can't imagine having to move to so many differnt countries and keep learning a new language and culture when one is so young. I would definately recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2003

    Heart Rending Story of a Hidden Child

    Evi went through a lot in her youth and emerged a troubled, confused adult who didn't know that she had to deal with her past before she could be at peace with herself and the world. A fascinating story, well told and well written.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

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