The Gravel Pit Lake did well enough in Hungary but, undeservedly, failed to raise any particular storms. It took a German audience to come and throw laurels amid the waves of the lake. Over the past months, directly after its publication in German translation, the book was lauded in superlatives by the most prestigious dailies and literary forums.
Ladislaus Löb, Hungarian-born professor of German Studies in England and translator of Béla Zsolt's Nine Suitcases, described in a book his way from Hungary through Bergen-Belsen to Switzerland in 1944. György Vári talks to the author about Nine Suitcases, the disappearance of family history and the debate around his rescuer, Rezso Kasztner.
Their love was not an idyll without tensions as the textbooks would have it, yet that is precisely what made it an indissoluble bond, still alive today. Fanni Gyarmati, who was 100 last year, is still living in the apartment that the couple used to share.