It all started with a question, one my parents had been unable to answer for 70 years. What happened to the French doctor they had taken in during the Russian siege of Budapest? He was an escaped prisoner of war. They were just trying to hang on. Together, they hid in a cellar, beneath the feet of German soldiers who had made the home their headquarters. My parents' recollections of those times surfaced only rarely. But when they talked about the winter of 1944–1945, everything seemed more vivid. It was like their memories of the flare of the bombs lit up their lives. As a couple, that time was their beginning. When my father, who had deserted from the Hungarian Army, and my mother, who had refused to move to the ghetto and wear the yellow star, cast their lot together. Whenever I heard about that winter—it was usually on a snowy night that reminded them of the bitter cold they experienced all those years ago—one name would always come up: Dr. Lanusse, a man my parents admired without reservation, a courageous doctor who had lived up to his oath and treated anyone in need. After the war, my parents… Read full this story
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