Friday, November 25, 2005

Magyar témájú könyvsiker

Magyar vonatkozású hír jelent meg az eMediaWire web-oldalán. Egy könyvet propagálnak, mely a szovjet börtönök titkairól szól, és amelyekről eddig nem tudott a külvilág. A könyv címe: “A turul kardja” (SWORD OF THE TURUL ) és szerzője Catherine Eva Schandl, aki édesapja elbeszélései alapján írta meg igaz történetét a Lubjanka, Lefortovo és Vlagyimir börtönök belső életéről.

A Lulu és Amazon internetes könyváruházak által világszerte megrendelhető könyv szerzője állítja, hogy édesapja Karoly William Schandl (magyar) ügyvéd volt, és egy neves politikus fia, aki több mint 11 évet töltött szovjet börtönökben, miután 1944. december 8-án a szovjetek letartóztatták egy briteknek dolgozó náciellenes csoport tagjaként. A szerző szerint édesapja a svéd követséggel szemben lévő házban lakott. Schandl Károly 1956-ban szabadult a Szovjetunióból, és kivándorolt Észak-Amerikába, ahol leánya, az írónő született. A könyvben szó van egy barlang templomról is. Többet nem igazán árulnak el a web-oldalak, jelezve, hogy tessék megvenni a könyvet és elolvasni.

Kicsit utánanéztem az Internet-en, Schandl Károlyt illetően. Találtam egy valóban neves korabeli politikust, Schandl Károlyt, aki az Életrajzi lexikon szerint 1882-ben születetett, felsőházi képviselő volt, 1950-52 között letartóztatásban volt, és 1956-ban az Egyesült Államokba emigrált. Más források szerint 1951-ben tartoztatták le és két évet ült. Nagyon szépen emlékezik meg róla Csoóri Sándor egyik írásában, ahol megemlíti, hogy Schandl Károly a Gellért-hegyen lakott egy villában.

A pálos rendiek Gellért-hegyi sziklatemplomának történetében is említést tesz Csizmadia Zoltán egy Schandl Károlyról, aki a HANGYA vállalat igazgatója volt, és akinek villájában 1950 nyarán a sziklatemplom noviciátusát bujtatta. Családjával nyugatra akart szökni, de a határon elfogták, és háromévi börtönre ítélték.

Ezek az információk azonban nem utalnak a szerző édesapjára, aki feltehetőleg, valóban fia lehetett Schandl Károlynak. Az egyetlen pont, ami a történetet megkérdőjelezi, a könyvbeli letartóztatási dátum. 1944. december 8-án a szovjetek nem lehettek Wallenberg követsége közelében, hiszen akkor még a Vörös Hadsereg nem zárta körbe Budapestet.


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Fejlemény

3 Comments:

At 5:19 AM, Anonymous Catherine Eva Schandl said...

Hello,
I am Catherine Eva Schandl, author of "Sword of the Turul." Thank you for your interest in my father's story. Yes, you are correct,he was the son of Karoly Schandl the politician and president of OKH.
My father was working in the British led anti-Nazi Hungarian resistance.
As stated in the book, my father was arrested by the Red Army 17 miles south of Lake Velence in early December 1944. He had been ordered by British inteligence to take a Dutch officer to the Russians. The Russians were supposed to forward the Dutch officer to the British Intelligence Service and forward my father to the "allegedly newly formed anti-Nazi Hungarian government." The Red Army arrested them both. Sadly, the Dutch officer did not survive in the prison.He had been working for Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest.My father and his group had all been helping the persecuted Jewish community of Hungary. A number of the young men in his group were of Jewish origin.
The Schandl villa was located across from the Swedish embassy in Budapest, but my father was not arrested at that location.
Catherine Eva Schandl, M.Ed.

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger Pocakos said...

Dear Catherine (Kati),

thank you so much for your response and explanation. I was delighted to read your comment, and wondering about the phenomenon of Internet. As you see, your web-site is observed by Hungarians too, who know the historic background of your book quite well. It would be worthy of mention to the Hungarian readers (visitors) some detailed notes on your web-site regarding to your father’s family(tree)* and locations of the events.
Sincerely yours

*
- was he the only child/son?
- did the family (your grandfather) meet in the US or Canada later on? etc.
.
I guess the Hungarians (particularly the new generation) are much more interested in your father's biography (family and his entirely life) than (just) the Soviet prison system.

 
At 3:43 AM, Anonymous Catherine Eva Schandl said...

Hello again! Here is some information about the Schandls in case the young people of Hungary would like to know more about them:
My father - Karoly William Schandl - was born in 1912 (he died in 1990, a few weeks before the Soviet soldiers left Hungary). He was the only son of Karoly Schandl Senior - http://www.ogyk.hu/e-konyvt/mpgy/alm/al935_40/359.htm - and his wife Terezia (they also had a daughter). The website above is the page about Schandl Karoly in the 1935-40 Magyar Almanach.
My grandmother Terezia was a devout Catholic and had a close relationship with the Paulist (Palos) Order. My father attended a Piarist school in Budapest and later graduated as a lawyer from Petrus Pazmany University. During the 2nd World War, my father was involved in an anti-Nazi resistance group of Hungarians who were led by British intelligence. The young men in his group were his friends from the Piarist Boy Scouts (Oreg Cserkeszek). My father was also hiding a Jewish friend in his apartment (his apartment was on the 2nd floor of the Schandl Gellert Hill villa, which was at 16-18 Kelenhegyi Street. His apartment had a separate entrance).
His mother, Terezia Schandl, was hiding Jewish Hungarians in the Catholic charities on whose board she served (she secretly placed them in the retirement homes as "helpers" and gave them false identities).
The entire time my father was in prison in the Soviet Union, he was considered "missing" and the Soviets denied knowing where he was, but my grandmother refused to believe he was not alive. She prayed for him a great deal and set a place for him at the table every Christmas.
In 1950, the AVO tricked Terezia and Karoly Senior and arrested them for trying to flee the country. They were taken to Gyor prison (and were then separated and she was put in a few other prisons). After 2 years, they were let out of prison, but everything they owned was gone. The Communists had seized everything they owned and made their home on Gellert Hill into a passport office (at that time). Years later, the Communists also sold the large lot of land which belonged to the house - to the Finnish embassy. (http://www.finland.hu/en - click on the left side where it says "Embassy", then click on "History." Near the bottom of the page is written "After long negotiations, the Finnish state managed to buy the neighboring land parcel of 1500 square meters at 18 Kelenhegyi Street."
In late september of 1956, my father was released from prison and immediately went into hiding. After the Hungarian revolution, the Soviets were looking for him again so he had to leave the country. He went to England but left after "Whitehall" refused to listen to him that there were still members of the British led anti-Nazi resistance (from different countries) being secretly kept in Soviet prisons. "They acted as if they would be afraid of me," he wrote in his memoirs.
In 1957, he moved to Canada, where he became a Chartered Accountant and university professor. In 1958, he married my mother in Canada (she grew up in Hungary and was 24 years younger than him).
The Hungarian government did not permit my grandfather Karoly Schandl Senior and my grandmother Terezia to leave Hungary until 1962. In 1962, my grandparents came to Canada and lived with my parents for 1 year, in the small town in eastern Canada, where my father was teaching at a university. After a year, Karoly Senior and Terezia moved to the United States.
This information is all in the book, which includes 16 pages of excerpts from my father's memoirs and 15 pages of excerpts from my grandmother's memoirs.
One thing the book does not mention, however, is that my grandfather Karoly's younger brother was Jozsef Schandl, the "Kossuth Dijas" Hungarian scientist.
http://konyvtar.univet.hu/portre/arckepcd/schandsz.htm
I never met my great-uncle Jozsef but his name and address are still in my father's old address book.
My father never returned to Hungary and my grandparents didn't either. They felt it would be too risky as they had been classified as "osztalyidegen" even though they were good people who tried to help others. While he was the State Secretary of Agriculture (in Bethlen's cabinet), my grandfather Karoly Schandl was a strong advocate of land reform.
I knew both my grandparents well when I was a child. They visited us in Canada frequently. My grandmother was a great lady and my grandfather was a quiet and dignified gentleman who was unhappy that he had to leave his country. I have one brother and one sister - but I can't really say more about the family as I need to respect their privacy. :)
Kati
http://www.swordoftheturul.com
P.S. According to my father, Raoul Wallenberg was hiding 30 Jewish men, women, and children at the Finnish embassy, which was next door to my father's home. When the Arrow Cross (Nyilasok) learned about it, they set the embassy on fire (and they killed an entire Jewish family). The Finnish embassy website does not say this but maybe it's because their staff was already gone from Budapest at that time and no one ever told them what really happened.

 

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