20130226_albrightpraguewinter_2What a great book! What a great story! In my quest to read as many interesting memoirs as possible these days, I came across this fascinating work by our former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.   She served under President Bill Clinton and was the first woman to be called Madam Secretary.  Once she became famous in this role, people naturally became interested in her background.  When it was discovered that her ancestry was Jewish, Madeleine was taken by surprise!  Due to her father’s position in the Czechoslovakian government and the rise of the Third Reich,  her family chose to keep a low profile in terms of their religious leanings.

Born in 1937, Madeleine was very young during the period of unrest that led up to and included World War II.  When her  parents and siblings converted to Roman Catholicism, she was only eight.  Once Madeleine realized she was not very knowledgeable about her Eastern European ancestors, she and her siblings began to delve into the past.  Her book not only shares their findings about their family but presents a distinctive history of the period between 1937 and 1948.  For me the real beauty of this story is that Madeleine committed it to print and is now sharing it with the whole world.  What greater tribute could she have given to her dear people who suffered and died mercilessly in the holocaust?  This is a true masterpiece of a memoir that you won’t want to miss.