Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague – Book Report/Review Example

The paper "Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague" is a great example of a history book review. The book centers on memoirs of the author during the tragic Nazi and Stalinist periods when Germany occupied Czechoslovakia. Their family just like many other Jews was deported from Prague and taken to Lodz by the Nazis. Her parents were killed in Auschwitz under the oppressive regime. She systematically brings out the atrocities that faced non-communists during the eras by describing the torture, humiliation and hard labor they were subjected to. It is clearly evident there was no need to strive and publicize the truth in the era of Stalin as corruption was rampant, fear ruled everyone, false rumors spread fast and anti-Semitism was over. This allowed the regime to continually oppress and perpetuate their ideologies as resistance was almost impossible. They could do nothing other than watch as their own were taken brutal treatment and deaths. A perfect example is the Slansky Trial where those people in the communist party who were seen as opposing or favoring divergent views were accused and arraigned for their perceived rebellion. Most of them including Rudolf Slansky were executed while others were sentenced to life in prison. Those put before trial forcible confessed to the crime under duress. The author’s husband despite courting communism and rising ranks in the party ended up being killed as he was one of those not trusted during the party split. On page 117 she ways “if everyone were a hero, what would courage be worth?” This shows how hopeless it had gone under communism. Things just improved after Russia moved in after the year 1968 and some hope was reignited. It is, therefore, a very moving book showing true human survival; she lost her parents, most family members, and husband to the regime. It is worth reading by anyone interested in the Czech situation during World War II and after. You get to know much on the Slansky Trial, corruption, as well as anti-Semitism during the period and all these, come through experiences by a single brave woman who later published memoirs.