Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 by
Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright is one of the best books I‘ve read in a very long time. And I’m not just saying that because I think she is one of the most fascinating women in history. It really is worth reading.
Prague Winter is more than a memoir, it’s a mix of the author’s personal remembrance of growing up in World War II, the story of her extended family, and a history of Czechoslovakia. Albright does a wonderful job of tying all three stories together.
Recalling her own memories, Albright talks about living in Prague and Belgrade before World War II because of her father’s diplomatic role in the Czechoslovakia government. She also discusses the time her family spent in England during WWII.
The story of Albright’s extended family is a tragic one. It was during Albright’s time as Secretary of State that she learned of her Jewish heritage (an event detailed in Albright’s book Madam Secretary) and that many of her family members died in the Holocaust. Prague Winter details the research Albright did on her family to learn about their movement during WWII. She tells how many of them ended up at Terezín (more commonly known as the Theresienstadt concentration camp), describes life at the camp, and explains how their life ended at the hands of the Nazis.
Woven throughout Albright’s personal and family history is the history of Czechoslovakia. The author adds the history of the country to put the personal stories in the social and political context of the time. Together, the three narratives give an in-depth look into the lives of the Czechoslovakian people during a precarious time in history.
Prague Winter is available for checkout in print and audiobook at the VC/UHV Library.
Review written by Amanda B.