Legacy of Rescue: A Daughter’s Tribute
The Holocaust and the Nazi era have been much written about. But you will find few with such a first-person feel, or so full of intriguing detail as the story Marta Fuchs tells here. Legacy of Rescue is about the experiences of her father, Morton (Miksa) Fuchs, and his family, as Jews in Nazi-era Hungary. Much of the story is first-person narrative, told by the people who survived these events.
As the title indicates, however, a major focus of the book is how Miksa survived, with assistance from a surprising quarter – the Hungarian (gentile) officer in charge of his forced labor battalion. Poignantly, Miksa Fuchs survived the war; his “rescuer” did not. The account of just how all this came about is a large part of what makes this book unique, and gripping reading. The example of heroism that the rescue demonstrates should stir us all, and especially provide a worthy model for young readers.
Another distinctive aspect of the book is the chapters devoted to Marta’s follow-up to her father’s story: her trips to Hungary to add to her knowledge of these events, and especially to honor Miksa’s rescuer. The account of her meeting with this Hungarian army officer’s son is one of the most moving passages in her Tribute.
It’s not only the subject, but the style, that recommend Legacy of Rescue. It’s full of detail, fascinating detail, and richly textured. Marta Fuchs has preserved her father’s words as far as she feasibly could, translating them from Hungarian, with as little editing to smooth the narrative out as possible. This leaves the writing with a strong first-person flavor. At times it feels as if you can almost hear the old accents in the speech patterns of the protagonists!