One Woman in the War
Alaine Polcz (1922-2007) was a writer, psychologist, thanatologist, and the founder of the Hungarian Hospice Movement.
Translated and with an introduction by Albert Tezla
Before the publication of this book, Alaine Polcz was
widely recognized as a psychologist ministering to the
needs of disturbed and incurably ill children and their
families, as the author of numerous articles and several
books on thanatology, and as the founder of the hospice
movement in Hungary.
The autobiographic account of the experiences of a
woman, then 19-20, in the closing months of the Second
World War. When it was first published, in 1991, the
book was a revelation of past horrors in Hungary which,
until then, had lingered on in the farthest reaches
of the national memory as rumor and suspicion about
the violent acts committed against women during a time
of chaos, havoc, and savagery.
The literary world quickly recognized the merits of
this book: It was highly praised by Hungarian reviewers,
awarded prizes, and has already been translated into
French, Rumanian, Slovenian, and Serbian.
"A woman's life at the front. Hunger, lice, digging
trenches, peeling potatoes, cold, filth. This life was
not only mine. My husband's white-haired mother was
dragged away and raped as pubescent girls were. Russian
soldiers attacked me, beat me, protected me, stepped
on my hand with a boot, fed me.
What were they like? What were we like? Why did they
rape women knowing they possibly would pay for it with
Not only bombs and projectiles annihilated, not only
Hungarians and Germans were killed. Why did they make
war? And why did we?" - the author's note to the second
edition in Hungarian
Introduction Chapter 1 The Honeymoon Chapter
2 The Refugee's Idyll Chapter 3 The Front
Chapter 4 Peace Epilogue Notes
ISBN 978-963-9241-54-1 paperback $19.95 / €16.95 /