Under a Cruel Star : A Life in Prague 1941-1968, Paperback

Under a Cruel Star : A Life in Prague 1941-1968 Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The daughter of prosperous Jews, Heda Kovaly found her world turned upside down with the German annexation of Czechoslovakia.

Deported to Lodz Ghetto in 1941 and then to Auschwitz, where her parents were murdered, in 1944, Kovaly made a miraculous escape from a column of prisoners being marched to Bergen-Belsen in early 1945. On reuniting with her husband in Prague after the war, things started to look more hopeful.

Rudolf Margolius became a deputy minister of foreign trade.

But in 1952 he and 13 other government officials were tried and 11 of those hanged in one of the era's most notorious show trials.

Heda Kovaly and her four year old son were hounded by the state and shunned by society. In this powerful and moving memoir, Kovaly describes her imprisonment by the Nazis during WWII and her persecution by the Communists in the 1950s - a classic account of life under totalitarianism.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Memoirs
  • ISBN: 9781847084767



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Heda was a young woman when she was imprisoned in the Lodz Ghetto following the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, and later deported to Auschwitz. During a march to Bergen Belsen she escaped and made her way back to Prague and was eventually sheltered by the resistance.After the war Heda is reunited with her husband Rudolf Margolius and they begin to get their lives back together. Unfortunately the reign of terror is not over, as the new communist party perpetrates its own wave of terror on its citizens.Heda is an ordinary person who suffered extraordinary deprivations and her memoirs give us a succinct view of the horrors and hardships suffered by millions .

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