Four Scraps of Bread by Magda Hollander-Lafon, translated by Anthony T. Fuller, is now available in an English translation. This slender, poetic Holocaust memoir was originally published in France in 2012, where it has sold more than 40,000 copies.
Born in Hungary in 1927, Magda Hollander-Lafon was among the 437,000 Jews deported from Hungary between May and July 1944. Magda, her mother, and her younger sister survived a three-day deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau; there, she was considered fit for work and so spared, while her mother and sister were sent straight to their deaths. For over twenty years, Hollander-Lafon has shared her experiences with thousands of high-school students. She first published her story as Quatre petits bouts de pain in France where it received two prestigious literary awards, including the 2012 Panorama-La Procure prize for books on spirituality. The book has been translated into six languages and now into English as Four Scraps of Bread.
“Magda Hollander-Lafon’s book shines with an unquenchable yearning for life despite the appalling suffering and brutality it portrays. Through the eyes of her memory we see the whole gamut of human reactions to unspeakable suffering and cruelty. We connect with them at extraordinary depth through the heart of a tortured child whose hope never died. This is a heartbreaking, compassionate, triumphant book filled with a rare insight into human evil and suffering.” —Gemma Simmonds, CJ, Heythrop College, University of London
“The brevity of Magda Hollander-Lafon’s Four Scraps of Bread only magnifies its power. Part prose, part poetry, it takes us into the gates of Auschwitz, where her sensitive observations and intense self-examination open up the inner world of the Lager. One must appreciate the power of her words; more importantly the integrity of her example. I was moved, touched, frightened, and horrified. One must be grateful for such a distinct act of witness.” —Michael Berenbaum, director, Sigi Ziering Institute