Scattered Ghosts : One Family’s Survival Through War, Holocaust and Revolution
by Nick Barlay
Editor: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
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When two Hungarian Jewish refugees accidentally landed in Britain in the winter of 1956, they had little idea what would hold the future.But that they carried with them the traces of their past, just enough to provide clues to their turbulent past.The scattered ghosts combine memory, investigation and travel to resurrect the 200 years of wars and revolutions, from the Austro-Hungarian Empire through two totalitarianism in contemporary BritainIt is the story of a world that is anything but disappeared, told through the eyes of the same family, broken by great forces and sometimes joined together by cherry strudel.Through disordered and fragmented possessions – a letter of blunt-coloured pencil; a final photo; a hastily typed certificate; a protective document; a farewell postcard from a remote location; a recipe – Nick Barlay traces the footsteps of the disappeared woman.There is the march of a grandfather’s death, the military manoeuvres of a great-uncle, the last weeks and moments of a great-grandmother, deported to Auschwitz, the survival of two boys from an unspeakable massacre and baptized spies operating in Great Britain during the Cold War.Ordinary mysteries and emotional legacies still resonate today in the parallel lives of distant family members.Diaspora, division and cultural identity form the backdrop to the history of the ancestors who walked barefoot from Eastern Europe to experience communism and Nazism and survive both.Scattered Ghosts is a family story that explores the events, large and small, on which the family’s existence is based.How one person survives and the other diesHow a Soviet Char shell caused a sister-sister revolutionHow two refugees escaped an invasion armyWhere successive generations end upAnd, ultimately, where does the cherry strudel recipe come from?
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