Book review – A Carpathian Folk Song: Freedom, Love, Gold
A Carpathian Folk Song: Freedom, Love, Gold tells a true story. It recounts the story of the attempt to save the Hungarian Treasury during the unpredictable last days of World War II. Thanks to a kind reader of ours, we can introduce this wonderful book to you.
“The book tells about the culture and values of a typical ordinary Hungarian family that is seldom seen today. This is why the book is dedicated to the future Hungarian generation. It is for them to find themselves, their roots and help them mold their own lives so they can be at peace with their language and culture.” – Steve Tarnay
As amazon.com writes, the novel introduces the Tarnay Family, whose members witnessed this struggle personally. The Hungarian National Bank employed Their relatives, Kati Tarnay and her three sons, who had to accompany an train. That engine carried 32 tons of gold from the Nazis to the intruding Sovjets.
Fred Tarnay was one of the supporters of the bank. He walked 70 miles, crossing the enemy’s territory so that he can hand over a secret letter to the Allies. Namely, a request for help in saving the gold. Because he managed to reach Patton’s Army, the treasury was rescued.
After the war, the Soviet Communists accused the people working for the bank and identified the Tarnay family as “gold robbers”. Therefore, they had to run away and doing so, Fred and Kati got separated. We know about their lives only because they carefully wrote every event down in their diaries, including many letters and photographs. Official documents and the records of their trials give us a deeper look into history. Their love for each other and their country gives the new generations an insight into their lives and the historical era they lived in.
A deeper look
Steve Tarnay, the editor of the book, noted the following:
“what lies beneath: the loss of identity of the Hungarian people today”
He also shared his feelings and thoughts on Hungary and the Hungarian people. He left Hungary in 1945 when he was only four years old, and he went back only after he retired. During the time he was away, a lot has changed. He returned to his motherland but found it shockingly changed, and saw people who were desperately trying to find their identity and feelings. He experienced the new “Oh well, that’s the way it is” and the “Nem lehet” (It cannot be done) attitudes. As he believes, the older Hungarian generations were taught not to think, and the main problem became that the following generations also inherited this way of thinking. Another issue that he highlighted is the lack of confidence they have and the extinction of respect and honesty. He makes the revolution of 1956 responsible for the loss of identity, culture, and language. He also warns that the Hungarian culture and language will disappear, if nothing will change.
Featured image: www.amazon.com
Source: budapesttimes-archiv.bzt.hu, amazon.com