Item description for In My Brother's Image: Twin Brothers Separated by Faith after the Holocaust by Eugene L. Pogany...
Overview In a moving memoir of faith in the face of suffering, two twin brothers born Jewish but raised Catholic are divided by the Holocaust, with one returning the Judaism and the other remaining Catholic. Reprint.
Publishers Description In My Brother's Image is the extraordinary story of Eugene Pogany's father and uncle-identical twin brothers born in Hungary of Jewish parents but raised as devout Catholic converts until the Second World War unraveled their family. In eloquent prose, Pogany portrays how the Holocaust destroyed the brothers' close childhood bond: his father, a survivor of a Nazi internment camp, denounced Christianity and returned to the Judaism of his birth, while his uncle, who found shelter in an Italian monastic community during the war, became a Catholic priest. Even after emigrating to America the brothers remained estranged, each believing the other a traitor to their family's faith. This tragic memoir is a rich, moving family portrait as well as an objective historical account of the rupture between Jews and Catholics.
Citations And Professional Reviews In My Brother's Image: Twin Brothers Separated by Faith after the Holocaust by Eugene L. Pogany has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Kliatt - 03/01/2002 page 29
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Studio: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.46" Width: 5.48" Height: 0.81" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2001
Publisher Penguin (Non-Classics)
ISBN 0141002247 ISBN13 9780141002248 UPC 051488015000
Availability 0 units.
More About Eugene L. Pogany
Eugene L. Pogany is a practicing psychologist in Boston. A frequent speaker on anti-Semitism and Jewish-Catholic relations, he has written for Cross Currents, Sh'ma, Jewishfamily.com, and the Jewish Advocate.
Reviews - What do customers think about In My Brother's Image: Twin Brothers Separated by Faith after the Holocaust?
In My Brothers Image Feb 22, 2006
This Book is for everybody to read, it is very interesting and powerful
In My Brother's Image Apr 22, 2005
The book, In My Brother's Image, was a book that caught my attention and made me want to keep reading. This book showed this very well. You learn about Gyuri and Miklos', identical twin brothers, life before the war when they were best friends, during the war how religion had torn them apart and the events leading to it, and after how different they had become. Miklos' son Eugene wrote the book, not Gyuri or Miklos. He vicariously wrote it and he makes it seem as though he were right there. The accounts in this book are based upon his father, uncle, aunt, and printed documents from the time such as newspapers and books. I, personally, am very into the Holocaust and what happened to families before, during, and after the war so if you are too I definitely think you should consider this book. If you like to see how people can change on a general level this is a good book. If you are like me, liking to learn about the Holocaust or history for that matter, this is an excellent book. Those on grade level 10, 11, and 12 (and on) will be able to understand book because of the language and words used. So once again read this book.
I've met the author! Jan 5, 2005
I remember reading about this real-life story a number of years before this book was actually published; I still have the clipped article from the Boston Globe in one of my scrapbooks. Then, when I was a student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mr. Pogany came to our Hillel one Friday night and after services and dinner read from his book and spoke to us about the story behind it. Having met the author makes reading a book even better!
I've very interested in what befell Hungarian Jewry during WWII, possibly because it's so painful and haunting to realise that they were the last nation to be invaded by the Nazis, the final Jewish community in Europe still pretty much fully intact, but for the men who had been drafted into labour battalions or sent off to work camps several years earlier. It's an even more interesting and unique story because the family became Catholics shortly after WWI ended, and they were very devout, so much so that the author's uncle Gyuri eventually became a priest, and his father, Miklós, had seriously contemplated becoming one too. Because of a painful health condition, Gyuri got permission to recover his health in Italy, which was a stroke of luck, since he got out before things really began getting worse and worse, even before the arrival of the Nazis. Though the twins' mother was deported and murdered, the rest of the family did not live in the small town she did, and because they were in Budapest did not suffer the fate of the other Hungarian Jews in smaller towns and cities, who were packed into ghettos and then deported. The Budapest Ghetto wasn't erected until very late in the War, and when Miklós and his wife Muci (also a distant cousin of his) were finally deported, they were "only" taken to Bergen-Belsen as opposed to one of the death camps in Poland like the majority of their Hungarian co-religionists had been.
Because he was tucked away safely in Italy, a place which only lost about 19% of its prewar Jewish population, in the care of the holy mystic Padre Pio, Gyuri was not subject to anything like his twin brother and the rest of their family were. He could never understand why his beloved twin had lost faith in Catholicism and Christianity, how he could go back to Judaism, the religion they'd left as small boys and had never even really been very much of a part of in their early years before they all converted. Many people both then and now have made apologies for the collaboration, either active or through silent complicity, of ordinary citizens in allowing the Shoah to take place, much like Gyuri did, but Miklós and Muci had seen firsthand what had happened to them. Despite nearly thirty years of being a good Catholic, he was not protected from even the "good" labour brigade for converts. In the eyes of the Nazis and ordinary Hungarians, his family were still Jewish. The local parish priest arranged for their mother Gabriella to be taken from the ghetto to his church every day to hear Mass before she was deported, but he still didn't try to hide her or protect her from deportation. This book explores the complex relationship between not only the brothers who were separated by faith but also how the Church failed to protect its members, all members, and to speak out against what was going on, and how something of such a large scale could never have happened without the kind of hatred and collaboration from the common folk that the Poganies saw breaking through the surface after the Nazis and Hungarian fascists came to power.
Quick read, hits on many themes with us today. Mar 17, 2004
I thought this was a good book and could not put it down. It explores the issues of assimilation among Budapest's Jews, conversion issues, Jewish and Catholic relations, Jesiwh security or lack thereof, Catholic complicity in the Holocaust and the Catholic church setting the stage for millenia that made the Holocaust possible. It also talks of family love and connectedness despite serious philosophical differences. We're discussing this in my book club and it should be very interesting.
A compelling book indeed Aug 29, 2002
As the child of parents who came from the strictly Orthodox Jewish community of Hungary, and as one raised within that Orthodoxy, albeit transplanted to America, this book exposed me to a portion of Hungarian Jewish history I never really knew. This book speaks of the tragedy of so many Hungarian Jews. Jews who were totally estranged from their ancestral faith, who had no attachment to their heritage. For those people, Judaism was an undesirabe yoke to be cast aside or at best ignored. This book tells the reader however that one cannot truly escape his true identity. The true hero of the book, the author's father, discovers this in the hell of Bergen-Belsen. His uncle, the priest, spends the war in relative safety, but always in fear that he would be denounced. That uncle also has to contend with the very real possiblity that his Hungarian coreligionists "allowed" him to escape to Italy into the warm embrace of Padre Pio and the Capuchin monks not out of dedication to him in the spirit of Christian fellowship, but rather out of a desire to be rid of another Jew. The emotions that pervade this book are powerful. The characters are real. The dialogue, while made up, displays the pathos of the characters and speaks to the reader's soul. This book is about many things: religion, families and their dysfunctions, theodicy, Catholic-Jewish relations, and overding all of those, this book is about the complexity of life. Like all great works, the message of this book will be shaped by the reader and his/her weltanschaung.