The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World

by Kati Marton

Book, 2006



Call number

736 MAR



New York : Simon & Schuster, c2006.


Journalist Marton brings to life an unknown chapter of World War II: the tale of nine men who grew up in Budapest's brief Golden Age, then, driven from Hungary by anti-Semitism, fled to the West, especially to the United States, and changed the world. These nine men, each celebrated for individual achievements, were actually part of a unique group who grew up in a time and place that will never come again, shaped by Budapest's lively cafĂ© life before the darkness closed in. She follows the lives of four history-changing scientists who helped usher in the nuclear age and the computer (Edward Teller, John von Neumann, Leo Szilard, and Eugene Wigner); two major filmmakers (Michael Curtiz, who directed Casablanca, and Alexander Korda, who produced The Third Man); two immortal photographers (Robert Capa and Andre Kertesz); and one seminal writer (Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon).--From publisher description.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Sandydog1
The title is exciting; it sounds like a harrowing adventure similar to Paul Brikhill's Luftstalag breakout with a similar title. But other than perhaps some visa glitches, the 9 Hungarian Jews apparently had no real harrowing challenges to escaping pre-WW II Europe. They had the foresight to leave
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Budapest in plenty of time, and most ended up in the USA. Marton follows the fascinating and productive lives of 4 scientists (Teller, von Neumann,Szilard, Wigner) 2 movie makers (Cutiz, Korda) 2 photographers (Capa, Kertesz) and a writer (Koestler). She is a wonderful writer, but Her Julio Cortazar-esque mixing of nine biographies makes things a bit confusing.
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LibraryThing member Eliz12
Yes, the title is misleading. There is no great drama here in terms of a physical escape.
Yet this IS a dramatic story filled with romance, friendship and betrayal, death, Hollywood and some of the greatest mathematical minds in the world.
I loved this book. It gives an intimate (though brief)
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portrait of a collection of thoroughly fascinating figures.
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Original publication date



0743261151 / 9780743261159
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