Skip to comments.Surviving Hitler, fleeing Stalin
Posted on 04/22/2012 2:07:33 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Like anyone who survived Hitler, Frank Shatz could write a book.
But Shatz a Jew, a native-born Czech and later a journalist in communist Hungary also survived Stalin.
So a book was inevitable.
"Reports From a Distant Place" is a compilation of Shatz's columns about those death-defying years. Now a resident of Williamsburg, his work appeared in The Virginia Gazette.
"I want it should get into young people's hands," Shatz said in a phone interview. "Because I think history, how usually is presented, is very dry. This one is a personal story of somebody who survived."
Shatz's story isn't just about survival. It's about a young man a teenager when fascists took over Hungary who relied on his wits and instincts to escape from a slave-labor camp, join the underground, dodge the dreaded Arrow Cross fascist gangs, conspire against Nazis right under their noses, and evade tight spots by what could only be described as chutzpah.
It's also a story about the inexplicable coincidences that often decide who lives and who dies.
After his escape from the labor camp, Shatz wrote, he "roamed the streets of Budapest, like a hunted animal in search of a safe haven." By chance, he encountered a childhood friend who took him to a safe house operating under the auspices of Raoul Wallenberg, the legendary Swedish diplomat who risked his life to save thousands of Jews.
After the Soviets overran Budapest, Shatz was recruited as a translator under the Soviet Marshal over Hungary. Too late, he learned the Soviets had arrested Wallenberg as a suspected spy. Shatz still wonders if, had he known in time, he might have interceded and saved him.
(Excerpt) Read more at articles.dailypress.com ...
Good for him. I think I will buy this book; I am interested in these amazing personal histories.
Sound familiar to the story of Solomon Perel, the subject of the movie, “Europa, Europa.”
Amazing and far out movie. Loved it.
My former employer had a Russian instructor with an interesting story. He was a native of the Ukraine who’d been conscripted into the Red Army. Poor sod was captured around Stalingrad and shipped back to Germany as a POW. He had no great love for the Stalinistas and the Nazis recruited him to work against the Soviets. He was then captured by the U.S. Army, turned, and was teaching Russians to our soldiers at the Army language school at Oberammergau, where he was recruited by the former employer.
Thanks for posting this; I’ll be ordering this book for sure.
That’s amazing. What a strong will and mind to manage all that.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.