First Person

The Day the Russians Came

I was not yet six years old when the Russians came to our provincial town in the north-west of Hungary. I don’t know the date but it was early European spring, in 1945. There wasn’t any serious fighting in the immediate vicinity that I know of, although there were three burned-out Russian tanks two or three kilometres east of the town on the main road, pointing towards us, so there must have been some action before the arrival of the Red Army. Our family—my parents, myself and my barely one-year-old baby brother—was staying in the cellar of the house next…

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