Chaos in Esperanto-Land
Echoes of the Holocaust
The Holocaust had a profound effect on the Esperanto movement. Many of the leading members of the Esperanto language community perished, and some survived. Recent years have seen a revival of interest in those who died and those who lived. Among the dead were most of the family of L. L. Zamenhof, author of Esperanto. Among the survivors was the father of the financier George Soros, Tivadar Soros, whose memoir of survival in Nazi-occupied Budapest, written originally in Esperanto and published in 1965, was published in English translation in the year 2000. An important player in the effort to protect the Jews of Budapest was the Esperantist Valdemar Langlet, of Sweden, whose memoir of his experiences was adapted and published, first in Swedish, then in Esperanto, by Nina Langlet, his widow. In 2003, Zofia Banet-Fornalowa published a memorial volume for six Esperantist victims of the Holocaust. Among other relatively recent Holocaust-related books in Esperanto are a translation of Imre Kértesz’s novel Fateless and a biography of Tilla Durieux.
Keywords: Tivadar Soros, Hungary, Valdemar Langlet, Tilla Durieux, Imre Kertész, Holocaust, Esperanto
Published online: 24 October 2011