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

Heda Margolius Kovály

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Heda Margolius Kovály (1919–2010) endured both the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz and the brutality of Czechoslovakia's postwar Stalinist government. Her husband, after surviving Dachau and Auschwitz and becoming Czechoslovakia's deputy minister of foreign trade, was convicted of conspiracy in the infamous 1952 Slansky trial and then executed. This clear-eyed memoir of her life during those horrific days is resonant with lyricism, managing somehow to be heartening even as it helps us to understand the political tragedies of the twentieth century.