Mama had always told Susan that there was no safe place for a Jew, especially in German-occupied Hungary in 1944. Why, then, was she sending twelve year old Susan and her little sister Vera to a convent to be kept 'safe'? Susan’s fears for both her family and the preservation of her Jewish identity are soon eclipsed by the nuns’ and girls’ united struggle for survival. Based on true events, Guardian Angel House tells the dramatic story of how Susan and Vera survive in the care of a group of nuns who risk their lives in order to protect them. In the process Susan discovers a love that binds all people together.
WHY I WROTE "GUARDIAN ANGEL HOUSE":
In the spring of 2004, I watched a Hungarian Documentary called ‘Guardian Angel House’. The title was taken from the nickname given to a convent operated by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. The film described the heroic sacrifice of the nuns who sheltered over 120 Jewish children in their convent during the German invasion of Hungary from March 1944- January 1945. My mother and aunt had been amongst the girls hidden by the nuns and were among the women interviewed in the documentary.
After I finished watching the film I was impressed not only by the heroism of the Sisters of Charity, but also by their respect for the religion of the girls in their charge. I found it curious that none of the women interviewed in the film had converted to the Catholic faith as a result of their stay in the convent. Also, I was intrigued by the idea of what it must have been like for a Jewish girl to be suddenly immersed in the intimate daily lives of Catholic nuns. Immediately I sensed that this would make a great story, told through the eyes of one of the Jewish girls.
Though I was born and raised Jewish, through my personal search for truth, I converted to the Catholic faith when I was 24 years old. Since then, my Jewish heritage has become more significant and meaningful to me. Because of this, I hoped that in writing a book centered on the historical events surrounding Guardian Angel House I would also help to increase the awareness and respect of the two religions towards one another.