Review Article: The Vanished Ghosts in Two Hungarian Family Memoirs. Farkas, Charles. 2013. Vanished by the Danube: Peace, War, Revolution, and Flight to the West (Introduction by Margaret McMullan). Albany: Excelsior Editions, State University of New York Press. 472 pp. Illus; and Barlay, Nick. 2013. Scattered Ghosts: One Family's Survival through War, Holocaust and Revolution. London and New York: I. B. Tauris. 240 pp. Illus.


  • Ruth G. Biro Duquesne University



Recent personal documentary works about major historical events of the twentieth century, e.g., World War II, the Holocaust and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, offer their readers a rich and multifaceted narrative, or a history that is also "his story," "her story" and that of entire families, cohorts and communities. Often, these works are accompanied by visual artifacts such as photographs, family tress, maps etc., or supported by concise historical surveys. Thus these memoirs complete the work of historians with the lived experiences of the few that represent many. Such is the case with two 2013 books by Charles Farkas and Nick Barlay depicting their mid-twentieth century Hungarian families, one Christian and one Jewish, through two World Wars and the anti-communist uprising, culminating in their escape to the West and in the two authors looking back upon the Hungarian past of their families.






Dedication: Seventy Years On, 1944-2014