Csaba Téglás, was born in Újszállás, Hungary. He studied at the Technical University of Budapest. In 1956, after the Soviets crushed the Hungarian Freedomfight, he fled to the West. Since 1967, he has been living in White Plains, New York, with his Scottish-born wife. He raised his two American sons to be proud of their Hungarian heritage. Téglás, a semi-retired city planning consultant wrote a most fascinating book for his sons, the American public and Hungarians, who never had to live under any kind of dictatorship. Budapest Exit: A Memoir of Fascism, Communism, and Freedom is the story of his twenty-year quest for freedom, which he found in America.
Téglás compares the genocide and brutality of Nazi order and communist rule in Hungary to recent international events and ethnic cleansing in Central and Eastern Europe, including the former Yugoslavia. This memoir is Csaba Téglás’ personal story of his youth, told from the point of view of a man with sons of his own.
Budapest Exit was published by Texas A&M University Press and is available from the publisher, in larger bookstores and on the Internet. The book’s sensitive illustrations by famous graphic artist Lajos Szalay (1909-1995) emphasize the anguish and helplessness of the victims during times of oppression, wars and ethnic cleansing, described by Téglás in an entertaining and informative style.
Budapest Exit was praised by numerous newspapers and magazines, and received excellent reviews:
“Téglás has written a lucid memoir… a distinctive contribution… superbly portrayed… wonderful source material. Téglás conveys a powerful impression of place and period to the general reader. This has never been done in an unambiguously factual account of this period of Hungarian history.”
The Open University (UK)
“Téglás’ well-written memoirs help bring about an understanding of the daily lives of people under totalitarian rulers… (he) analyzes, with intelligence and occasional humor, the plight of his people…”
“Writing in a very accessible style, the author shows both the terrors he experienced and some humorous episodes… (Budapest Exit) offers an interesting view of life under both Fascist and Communist dictatorships… Recommended for public.”
Library Journal’s pre-publication review (July, 1998, p. 111)
“Téglás’s fascinating and affecting autobiographical text is … a testimony of man’s irrepressible yearning for freedom. With tender perception and verve, Téglás penetrates with sharp glimpses into the world of György Konrád and Milan Kundera, the cursed Central European fate … Among the numerous memoirs and reminiscences penned by Hungarian Americans, Téglás’s stands out as the most sincere, credible, and least pretentious text.”
C. Györgyey, pres. of Writers in Exile Center of International Pen.
“Budapest Exit, one man’s personal saga whose echoes exist today, offers an education to those condemned to repeat the history from which they failed to learn.”
Dayton Daily News
“’My wartime experiences occurred long time ego,’ writes Téglás, who sees parallel for Hungarians – who have substantial minority populations in Romania, Slovakia and Serbia – in the plight of ethnic Albanians. ‘For millions in the Balkans, the wound of war have not healed yet. But despite the intervening years, the practices of ethnic cleansing and extreme nationalism in these episodes in history are quite similar.’ Téglás said the plight of those suffering should serve as a wake-up call to the dangers faced by ethnic minorities living within borders they didn’t create.”
The Journal News
“Téglás has produced an unusually memorable work… I could not put it down… Buy it, read it, get your library to order it. Téglás’s history has been told here in a thoroughly form.”
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