Book Announcement: New Canadian Holocaust Memoir by Ferenc Andai, Published by the Azrieli Foundation

Ferenc Andai’s memoir is a riveting story that sheds light on a little-known chapter of the Holocaust, when thousands of Hungarian Jewish men were sent to do forced labour in a mining camp complex in Bor, Serbia, in 1944. In the lush mountains of Serbia, young Ferenc finds a community of poets, artists and intellectuals whose lives are shattered by Nazi terror.

Andai toiled alongside the Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti — one of the greatest Hungarian poets of the twentieth century — in the forced labour camp in the months preceding Radnóti’s murder, and much of the first half of the memoir recounts time spent with him and his literary circle in the camp as Radnóti composes and recites his poems. The author includes many excerpts of Radnóti’s poems, which are about their shared experience in the labour camp. 

The book is a haunting remembrance of a man’s experience as a nineteen-year-old, told in present-tense but clearly as remembered many decades later by someone who became a well-educated and masterful storyteller.

This is the first English translation of Ferenc Andai’s Hungarian memoir, which was published in 2003 and won the Miklós Radnóti National Prize the following year.

Titles in the Azrieli Series of Holocaust Memoirs are available free of charge to Canadian scholars, students, and teachers. Request copies by email:

The Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program was established by the Azrieli Foundation in 2005 to collect, preserve and share the memoirs and diaries written by survivors of the Holocaust who came to Canada.

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