Heda Margolius Kovaly who wrote “Under a Cruel Star” writes about her horrible, suffering and tragedy life she endured first in the Nazi communist rule in her citizen Czechoslovakia. She was born in Prague to a Jewish family. She was young at the time when the Germany attacked Czechoslovakia during the World War II.
Heda was in concentration camps during the World War II she escaped from the Nazi, she hardly survived, but her family died. At the end of the war; she returned to Prague and took part in uprising against the Germany in May 1945, she got married to an old friend, named Rudolf Margolius who is Jewish too.
I will be writing about how Heda Kovaly suffered under the Nazism and had high hope for communism, how she view freedom and how it changed after her life changed too. Moreover, how Rudolf trial changed her life. Heda suffered a lot to escape from the camps, but her insists and demand to be free were more powerful than her fear of dead. “People often ask me: How did you manage? To survive the camps! To escape! Everyone assumes it is easy to die but that the struggle to live requires a superhuman effort. Mostly it is the other way around. There is, perhaps, nothing harder than waiting passively for death.
Staying alive is simple and natural and does not require any particular resolve. ”(16). Towards the end of the war, Heda managed to escape from a death march to Bergen-Belsen and get to Prague. She fought for her personal freedom, but freedom perspective changed when she escaped from Nazi concentration then by joining the communist party thinking Friends were too scared of the punishments they would face if they helped her and she was wandered around the city for days trying to avoid arrest. After the end of World War II was ended the soviets had taken over Czechoslovakia Kovaly meaning of freedom change as her life changes.
She united with her beloved Rudolph who got married and had son. They were struggling to find a house after they were sent to camps. At the end they were given a small apartment. Kovaly explains “although we continually hoped for freedom, our concept of freedom changed. ” (60). Her concept of freedom before imprisonment was that it was “natural and self – evident. “By the end of their time in the camps, many prisoners came to accept the view that freedom is something that has to be earned and fought for, a privilege that is awarded, like a medal. (60-61). She clarified how it was impossible for the Czech people not to become “somewhat twisted”. Kovaly had fought for her personal freedom when she had escaped. From her experience and the problems she faced while she was escaping the camp, made her well aware of the politics around her. She was very intelligent and had her own opinion and she acknowledged the fact that “Our democracy had allowed the growth of the fascist and Nazi parties which in the end destroyed it” (57).
She clarified that people were willing to work extremely hard to achieve their goal, that they want to rebuild the world. She always mentions how hard her husband worked to the party and many innocent people were thrown in jail. Heda’s life was different from all the other people in Czechoslovakia, because she was married to a man who was enrolled in the government administration. She had a unique point of view into the communist working government because her husband was a deputy minister in Czechoslovakian government. That helped Heda a lot to see the hypocrisies