How one heroic Hungarian gentile impacted generations of jews
The Holocaust ensured that generations of Jewish families that might have been, never would be. Yet some did survive against monumental odds, often with the help of selfless individuals who risked their own lives to save others. One such story is told through many voices in Marta Fuchs’ haunting new memoir, Legacy of Rescue: A Daughter’s Tribute – a poignant yet uplifting tribute to the bravery of Jews like her parents as well as a man named Zoltán Kubinyi – a Seventh Day Adventist and Hungarian army officer who saved over 100 Jewish men – including Fuchs’ father, Morton (Miksa) Fuchs – under his command in a forced labor battalion during World War II.
As the Germans were retreating towards the end of the war, Kubinyi was ordered to send his men from the Briansk Forest in Russia to a concentration camp in Germany. Defying this order, he marched them back into Hungary, arranging to have them hidden in farmhouses along the way. Although he succeeded in rescuing those men, he himself was taken as a POW by the liberating Russian Army. He died a year later from typhus in a Siberian labor camp, leaving behind a young wife and infant son in Budapest.
The compelling testimonies relayed in Legacy of Rescue include:
- Morton Fuchs’ personal accounts of his dangerous experiences as a forced laborer, his dramatic escape and his attempts to rebuild a shattered life devoid of family
- First-person accounts of the author’s mother and aunts who were deported to Auschwitz (their parents sent directly to the gas chambers)
- The courageous efforts of Zoltán Kubinyi to save his Jewish battalion from the Nazis, at great personal risk
- The posthumous honoring of Kubinyi in 1990 as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem
- How the story of the rescue came full circle in 2011, when the author and her brother took their children back to Hungary to meet the rescuer’s family
- Three generations’ voices enriching the narrative and illustrating the intergenerational impact of one man’s selfless heroism
Born in Hungary, after the war, into the remnants of the virtually destroyed Hungarian Jewish community, Fuchs escaped to America at age 6-1/2 with her family in the wake of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Her childhood recollections of the escape are included in the book, as are her father’s.
“My father, who died in 2000, was such a wonderful man,” says Fuchs. “Despite all he lived through, he wasn’t bitter. He was a devout religious man saved by another devout religious man. Everyone gravitated to my father throughout his life. This book is a testament to both him and his rescuer, men cut from the same cloth of goodness.”
She adds, “People ask me how there can be an uplifting book about the Holocaust. My stories speak from the heart, celebrating kindness, courage, and doing the right thing. All of us can make a difference in everyday life. There are lessons to be learned from the past that are relevant today.”
“Legacy of Rescue… is that rare big story that reaches across timelines, across countries, and beyond one’s individual family story and touches the human story.”
– Jon Herzenberg, PsyD, family therapist and Director of School Counseling at Drew School, San Francisco, CA
“This book will stir you to tears, and inspire you with courage.”
– John F. Duge, PhD, MD, Retired Pastor, Central Seventh Day Adventist Church, San Francisco, CA
About the Author:
Marta Fuchs, MLS, MFT was born in Hungary, and escaped to America at age 6-1/2 with her family after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. She holds a BA in Linguistics and an MA in Library Science, both from UC Berkeley, and an MA in Clinical Psychology from JFK University. She is Director of Library Services at Drew School in San Francisco, CA and a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice in Albany, CA. With her brother Henry, she co-authored the multigenerational extended family memoir, Fragments of a Family: Remembering Hungary, the Holocaust, and Emigration to a New World.
Fuchs speaks publicly about her family’s Holocaust experiences, has been featured in newspapers and on television, and has published numerous articles in national and international journals. She has also provided clinical training in workshops and conferences to other health care providers working with Holocaust survivors and their families.
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