Mark’s #40 – Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright

While serving as America’s first female Secretary of State in the 1990s, Czechlosovakian born Madeleine Albright discovered that she was of Jewish descent.  When Hitler and the Nazi regime rolled in to Prague in 1939, Madeleine and her immediate family fled to London, where her father worked with the Czech government in exile.

This is both a personal story as well as a well written and researched national history of Czechloslovakia – focused primarily on the years between 1937-1948.  Madeleleine’s research led her to places like Terizin, where many of her Jewish relatives were sent to live in what Hitler called a “prosperous village for Jews”.  Sadly, only traces of her relatives remained after the war, as they, along with thousands of other Czechloslovak Jews were sent by train to the gas chambers of Auschwitz and Berkanou.

I have long been interested in WWII history in particular, but this book was absolutely fascinating to me as I have gone to school in Prague, and I hope to one day serve as a missionary in the Czech Republic.  This book gave me a great insight into the particular Czech tragedies of WWII, and some of its shaping influences that persist in the country today.

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