At the Fire's Center: A Story of Love and Holocaust Survival
Like his boyhood friend Paul Ornstein, Steve Hornstein had dreams of becoming a doctor, even though admission to Hungarian universities was all but closed to Jews. Both managed to pursue their educations in Budapest and never lost hope of realizing their dreams, even when the Germans invaded Hungary in March 1944. Both were consigned to forced-labor camps; both escaped and endured the terror of life on the run. Anna Brunn grew up in a small village in Hungary and met Paul in 1941. They saw each other only a few times before the war intervened, but Paul had every intention of marrying Annaprovided they both survived. Anna and her parents were sent to Auschwitz, where her father died and she helped her mother survive. Lusia Schwarzwald, born and brought up in privilege in Lvov, Poland, lost her parents and brothers during the war. She became part of the Polish underground and hid in Warsaw with false papers that identified her as a Polish Catholic. After the war she became acquainted with Steve, Paul, and Anna. During the early postwar years as medical students in Heidelberg, Germany these determined friends identified their goals and made their plans. Eventually they arrived penniless in the United States with only their medical training, their hopes for the future - and each other.
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