The University of Wisconsin Press

European History / Holocaust Studies

When Angels Fooled the World
Rescuers of Jews in Wartime Hungary
Charles Fenyvesi

"I could not do otherwise."—Levente Thury, Hungarian journalist

In the years of Nazi occupation of Hungary, Hungarian Jews referred to their Gentile rescuers as "angels" — these seemingly ordinary men and women could hardly explain their actions. "I did what I had to do almost unconsciously," said Lutheran Pastor Gabor Sztehlos. Scrawny Mr. Kanalas, a disreputable janitor, could chase away Nazi thugs without hesitation—where did such behavior come from and why? Erzesebet David was a weak and indecisive woman—where did she find the will to forge Christian birth certificates? Charles Fenyvesi and members of his family were helped by these angels. Thousands of others were helped by Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish consul whose actions surprised many who knew him. Fenyvesi writes as a historian and beneficiary of these modest angels who, with their actions in a time of absolute terror, soared while others crawled.

Charles Fenyvesi is a former staff writer for The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report. He now edits an electronic newsletter on human rights, Bigotry Monitor from Dickerson, Maryland.

Copublished with Dyrad Press

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cover of Fenyvesi is art of angel

Publication Date
March 2003
368 pp.     6 x 9

Wisconsin edition for sale only in North America

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