Alaine Polcz

Alaine Polcz

Polcz Alaine (1922-2007) hungarian psychologist, writer. She is the author of A woman on the front (original title: Asszony a fronton). When it first appeared, this book by Alaine Polcz (original title: Asszony a fronton) raised considerable surprise. It is not as though the genre of wartime memoirs, diaries and confessions had been unknown in Hungarian literature. Still, this book of non-fiction, using reality as its raw material, came rather unexpectedly from an author who had been known partly as a thanatologist (a psychologist studying the ways we deal with dying and others' deaths). The book itself is more than just a recollection of memories from the war years. In the first part, the scene is taken up not so much by the war as the events of the author's first marriage. The first chapter starts on 27 March 1944, the day she first married, and it goes on to talk about the ensuing period. To be sure, it does include facts about various people who were deported from the street where the author and her husband lived, as well as the way the deportations took place. The focus, however, is on the attitude of the Other – whether and how he helps her, how he treats the woman he has chosen to be his life partner. The account is tinted by retrospective knowledge, in the light of which the narrator evaluates gestures and actions.


FROM THE HONEYMOON An old railway man stood on the platform pointing to the sky, “Bombers!” Then his face turned pale, “Look, there come the bombers!” Three formations of what looked like three specks were descending above the buildings. I ran toward garrison headquarters. I found János there; we ran,


While we were still living in the cellar, where people bickered and were impatient and edgy, we were often told how truly rare it was for a mother and daughter to love each other so much; we never raised our voices to each other. I corrected them. Mami was my