Monday, October 8, 2012

Prague Winter

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 by Madeleine Albright  467 pp.

Former U.S. Secretary of State was two years old when the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia. Her family moved to England where her diplomat father worked for the Czech government in exile and the BBC. Albright was nearly 60 years old when she learned that her family was really Jewish and that many of her relatives had been victims of the Nazi death camps. In this book she chronicles the fight of the Czech people, their resistance, the successful assassination of occupation leader, Reinhard Heydrich--"The Butcher of Prague," and the horrors of the Terezin ghetto. The story continues on into the post war years as the Czech government tries to reestablish itself only to find itself up against Stalin. During that time Albright's father, Joseph Körbel, became the Czech ambassador to Yugoslavia and the family spent a brief time there. When Czechoslovakia once again became a battleground, this time against the Communists, Körbel's life was in danger and the family left the country for good, settling in the U.S. This is an extremely interesting and well written book. By including her family connections along with the factual material, Albright has produced a very readable account of a part of the war I knew very little about.

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