Invitation to the launch of Outcasts –the Hungarian version
May 26th 2010
Susan Papp Aykler’s Outcasts – A Love Story (published by Dundurn Press in May 2009) has been translated into Hungarian and is being published by Aposztroph Press in Hungary in time for the annual national Book Week which takes place June3-7th 2010. After the successful film version of the book which premiered on Omni in November 2009, the story of the two lovers separated by war and peace is now available for Hungarian readers. For more information on the story, see our webpage HERE and the Hungarian invitation to the launch and autograph session with the author on June 5th at 17.00 at the Publisher’s booth on Vorosmarty Ter (Square). Aposztrof publishers can be found at pavilion 129 on Vorosmarty Ter. The new Hungarian version of Outcasts (Megtagadva) is also being launched at Toronto in June. We congratulate Susan on this new success!
Outcasts - A Love Story
May 7th 2009
By Susan M. Papp, Published by Dundurn Press, available in bookstores across Canada now.
Advance praise for Outcasts: A Love Story
"A lyric story of love within an epic saga of hate. You know it's true; inventing it would be impossible. It really is a fascinating and highly readable book.”
-George Jonas, author of Vengeance: "The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorism Team" and "Reflections on Islam: Ideas, Opinions, Arguments".
Susan Papp has done a masterful job at what was an extremely difficult task. She has chosen a poignant love story to explore and explain a part of Europe in a time of crisis and extraordinary danger. As Papp eloquently explains, in this highly contested part of Europe, survival was paramount. Her book tells us much about the catastrophes that befell Europe both before and during the Second World War and the possibilities that came with the War's end. Papp gives us an immensely readable book that tells a personal story with big implications.
-Robert C Austin, Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Munk
Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto.
Outcasts: A Love Story is a bittersweet story that has taken two families through war and peace -- from Europe to Canada -- amid happiness and heartbreak.
Central to their saga is the true tale of a man and a woman who chose the worst possible moment to fall in love -- and their surviving brothers’ lifelong search for understanding and forgiveness.
Their story unfolds in Nagyszollos—the city of wine, in a region of rolling riversides, nestled in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains of Central Europe, where Hungary, Ukraine and Slovakia converge.
The town was a place of tolerance, where families of many creeds pursued their lives in harmony. But by 1944, Central Europe has been shattered by three years of war, and the vineyards of the Carpathian foothills are under the Nazi shadow. It is during this perilous environment that a young businessman named Tibor Schroeder and a stunning beauty named Hedy Weisz fall in love, and pledge to marry. She works as the office manager for his company.
Photo: Hedy Weisz (far left) with a group of friends from business college.
Tibor and Hedy’s love for each other blossoms at the worst possible time. Tibor is a Christian, Hedy a Jew -- their relationship is a violation of Hungarian Law. What is more, Tibor is the son of the head of the press corps for the Hungarian army.
Tibor is a reservist in the Hungarian army. His unit receives its orders to leave by train. Hedy’s fate is much more ominous. She and her family are herded into the Nagysz?llos ghetto.
Tibor resolves to try to save her. His plan is to hide her in a railway baggage car on his troop train and take her to safety -- wherever that may be. He constructs a secret compartment out of ammunition boxes, and stocks it with food, blankets and tokens of his love. He promises that he will desert and they will journey together to a new life.
But Tibor’s plan collapses. After one night in the compartment, Hedy tells him that she cannot abandon her family. She returns to the ghetto, awaiting transport to Auschwitz, and almost certain death. The lovers are swept apart by the war and its aftermath.
Photo to the right: Tibor Schroeder as a young man
Twenty-five years pass before the lovers are finally reunited in Canada.
Outcasts – A Love Story is a sensitive and compelling human story, but it also is, in many ways, the story of all of Canada’s immigrants, and the lives and loves they left behind. This story is one of the millions that formed the unique mosaic of Canada after World War II -- a new nation built of displaced families, broken lives, and lost loves. By the time Canada reached its Centennial in 1967, the war had receded far into the past -- but for one man in Toronto, and one woman in Montreal, history and heartbreak were far too strong to ever be forgotten.
In the poignant climax of the book, we join Tibor in Canada’s Centennial year of 1967, aboard a train from Toronto to Montreal, bound for a reunion with his beloved Hedy and what, he dreams, will be a renewal of a love stronger than hate and war.
Based on true events, this sprawling love story of hope, courage, and redemption will stay with readers long after finishing the book. A documentary, based on this story, from Postmodern Productions is scheduled for release in Summer 2009.
Photo: Tibor and Istvan Schroeder overlooking the vineyards
About the Author
Susan M. Papp earned a Master of Arts in North American Social History at York University in Toronto in 1985. Ms. Papp began her career in journalism at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio Drama department in 1981 as a historical researcher. In 1985, she worked in the national newsroom as researcher and program organizer.
In 1988, Ms. Papp became a current affairs producer in the regional news department at the CBC. One of the televised documentaries she produced was entitled The Half Million Dollar Man. It told the story of one Canadian addict who went to the United States and manipulated his way in and out of seven addiction treatment centres in a matter of twenty months. The story brought about the resignation of the Minister of Health, and within months, caused the Government of Ontario to change its out-of-country payment policies for addiction treatment. It won two of the most prestigious awards in Canada: The Michener Award and The Best Investigative Award of the Canadian Journalists Association.
Susan Papp developed a profile and reputation as an on-camera current affairs reporter specializing in social issues for CBC TV. In 1991, she was chosen to work as field producer for The Journal, and its subsequent retitled version Prime Time News. In 1993, while on leave of absence from the CBC, Ms. Papp founded her own television production company, Postmodern Productions. Her first independently produced film entitled Debris of War is an hour long documentary on the trauma of the war in the former Yugoslavia. Its Canadian premiere was February 1994. In 1998, Debris of War was awarded the Canadian Ethnic Journalists and Writers Award for Best Documentary. The documentary is being distributed internationally by Great North Releasing. In June 1995, Susan Papp left her position at the CBC and has devoted all her energies to independent television production.
Postmodern Productions has developed strategic alliances with respected entertainment companies in Los Angeles, Winnipeg, and Budapest, Hungary. In 1998, Ms. Papp produced and directed Hundred Something -- The World of the Oldest Old, a one-hour documentary for Discovery Channel. In 1999, she produced and directed Monuments in Miniature, an arts documentary for Bravo! . Susan Papp recently completed a documentary on the life of George L. Mackay, entitled: The Black Bearded Barbarian of Taiwan. This documentary premiered in the fall of 2006 on OMNI Television. In 2007, she produced and directed a documentary Young Rebels about the story of the arrival of 37,565 refugees who came to Canada following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. She has served on many film festival juries, including the International Emmy Awards.
Susan Papp teaches in the School of Journalism at Ryerson University. She is Adjunct Scholar at the Multicultural History Society of Ontario.