Book Highlight - Susanna (Zsuzsanna) Lápossy: "Life Behind the Iron Curtain"
The book "Life behind the iron curtain" is a unique trilogy, containing lesser-known facts about 20th century Hungary as seen through a middle-class family during WWI, the Trianon pact, inter-war peace time, WWII, German and Russian invasions, communist rule, forced relocations, the iron-curtain, 1956 revolution, to the socialist era and finally regime change from socialism to market economy.
Through the story of a Hungarian family, one can get an inside view into the tragedies that befell Hungary and the cost to her families. Life Behind the Iron Curtain I and II contains the story itself, while book III contains short stories relating to the main topic.
What Readers had to Say:
“We were all very interested indeed to read your mother-in-law’s memoires. I must emphasise how enjoyable we’ve found this book. The memories’re fantastic, the descriptions so vivid I fall under its spell & just feel as if I’ve been transported back with her & actually “feeling” the atmosphere & seeing the houses, garden etc. I’d like to meet the authoress one day. I feel she’s a remarkable woman and was very fortunate to belong to such a loving family. She seems to have “taken me right into her family”- it’s incredible!
I’m just reading & reading the next installment of the most
interesting story. We’re all loving it. I wish I was so gifted as
she. I can’t read
pleasure reading this book has brought to me. The description of her mother
brought tears to my eyes - she had such overwhelming love. All through
her life she’s been surrounded with people who loved her and she
returned this. The world would be a wonderful place if we could all have
received & returned love!” We recommend this book to all who
like adventurous, readable, unforgettable books.” - readers
Fred and Mollie Green, Great Britain
How to Order
About the Authoress
Susanna / Zsuzsánna/ Lápossy started to write her book relatively late, at mature age. Her life was started in the 1920-s. She graduated in the Collegiate School for Schoolmistress Studies in 1942. During her checered carrier she worked as a secretary, a worker in a textile factory, a hygienical gymnastics teacher for lame children, later for twelve years as teacher of first class for boys at elementary school. Out of her two marriages a daughter and four sons were born.
highly popular “searching for the roots” motivated her to
write down her memoire for her five wonderful children, 10 talented nice
grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The reason was to make her
adventurous, highly exciting and happy or deeply sad stories of her life
and through that also those of her ancestors!
Interview with Susanna Lápossy authoress of the recently released book Life Behind the Iron Curtain
• Hungary - where also you live - has had a very varied 20th century history. What did you personally experience during this period?
With my family nearly everything. Firstly there was the W.W.I., theTrianon-pact,
pre-war peace time. I also experienced W.W.II., German and Russian invasions
followed by the communist rule plus the relocation then the 1956 revolution.
• What motivated you at the age of 76 to start writing a book?
I wanted to create something “dateless” to commemorate my life and that of my ancestors. It also proved to be a great fun for me. Firstly I planned to give my book only to my children and grandchildren, so that they can learn more about their roots. I thought it would be much more informative than a scrap-book containing rusty old photos, with no real explanation of the people in the photographs and of their lives.
• Those famous “happy peace-times” were they happy indeed?
Yes. For me the happy childhood began in 1923 in our peaceful, nice home. Our long family vacations gave me added inner strength and enery for my whole life.
• Presumably this energy was needed in the eve of theWWII. How did you live through this time?
When I was a teenage girl, the war had already started. One of my happiest occasions took place during a bombing attack from a Serb plane which is when I met the the love of my life. Otherwise during this time we had to live from minute to minute. We just concentrated on staying alive. For example the tennis-club, where we used to play regularly with my friend was not far away from the place where the Russian sharpshooters fired around me with a machine gun. Notwithstandig the bomb attacks we had to work in factories underground in the air raid shelters. It was terrible to hear the bombs falling buildings collapsing.
• The end of W.W.II did not mean liberation and peace for Hungary! What was it like to live behind the Iron curtain?
Completely separate from the western countries, no news came in and no news left the country for 45 years. The “liberating and temporarily occupying” Russian troops deeply influenced the life of the whole population. The term Iron-curtain in effect meant the wire fence at the border that could not have been crossed over through the noone’s land, but more about that in the book Life behind the Iron Curtain II.
• Does this mean that more books are to be published in the future?
Yes. The story after 1956 would follow in the book Life behind the Iron Curtain II., my short stories in part III. of the same title.
• Nowadays many leave Hungary in hope of a better living elsewhere. How is it that you did stay there in 1956?
The reason I never left Hungary the same time as my brother was because I was suffering with a serious liver complaint. My brother left because the communists forbade him from studying and he was dismissed. We were eventually relocated to the country to rich peasants. During this time I collected lots of ‘surviving’ experiences.
• Have good health and thank you for the interview!
- Interviewer Chris Davidhouse
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