The Restless Hungarian
What happens when everything you thought you knew about your family was based on a lie that changes the entire complexion of your family dynamic? Tom Weidlinger’s relationship had been complex, but not without love. Before his father’s death, Tom was shocked to find out that he had been disinherited from his father’s estate, but also that he descended from a Jewish background. His father had fled Europe as the Holocaust was in its infancy. His relatives, Hungarian Jews, did their utmost to escape the fate of their fellow Europeans who had already been rounded up and herded into concentration camps.
The population of Hungary was restless, and times were turbulent in post-World War One. The rise of communism was met with violence and repression as Hungary began to resemble more of a dictatorship. Anti-Semitism was rampant. Tom’s father Paul was smart and headstrong. He clashed with his father and rebelled in his teenage years, embracing Communism. His father wanted the best for Paul and sent him to school in Czechoslovakia. Paul’s intelligence served him well at school. Paul’s life took shape when he met and fell in love with Madeline. Their future was uncertain as Europe was devolving into a volatile powder keg as Fascism reared its ugly head across the continent. Paul would develop an affinity for architecture and a specialty in urban planning.
Paul sat at the feet of prominent designers. His work soon took him to Paris. As the flickering flame of Nazism got closer, Paul and Madeline fled to Bolivia with their young daughter. Their time in Bolivia was a quick detour on the road to the United States, where Paul found more work and left his own mark. Paul and his new family adopted to their new surroundings, but Madeline was soon brought down by schizophrenia. She needed to be institutionalized, so Paul started his own business in an effort to generate funds to pay the hospital bills. The birth of Tom mitigated Madeline’s illness for a time, but the weight of the mental illness proved to be too much.
Despite the bumps in his personal life, Paul thrived in his work. He became involved in nuclear deterrence, gaining a contract with the US government. But as he tackled problems with figures and blueprints, did he do that at the expense of ignoring his family?
The Restless Hungarian is a touching discovery of buried family history. The engaging journey, which seeks out the dormant past, is harrowing and revealing. The history is personal and compelling. Paul Weidlinger is flawed, but nonetheless fascinating. This is a biography-history book that readers will find entrancing.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||304 pages|
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|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|