Pinball Games
by George F. Eber
Trafford Publishing

"I did not want to go, but my father was firmly convinced that the army would defend its white-banded troops against the Germans. So, on the appointed day, I went to the railway station to commence a journey into uncertainty."

George F. Eber is a Hungarian citizen, who managed to survive the dark days of World War II. As a youth, Eber spent his carefree days growing up on the mighty Danube River, whiling away sunny days at the Hungarian countryside, frequenting cafes in Budapest, and later studying art at a university. When his beloved motorcycle was confiscated for the war effort, and when he himself was drafted as a part of the white-banded labor battalion of Christian Jews to aid the war effort, his father, a retired army officer, was sure that the army would protect his son against the Germans. But, Eber's group was eventually detained by the gendarmes and loaded up on a train to be shipped to a death camp. Eber, along with a group of several daring friends, jumped from the jam-packed train to save their lives and eventually returned to Budapest. Eber himself survived the siege of Budapest and eventually immigrated to Canada, where he became an architect.

This is a heart-wrenching, first-hand account of what life was like during Hitler's terror during the war, and how Eber learned to survive through sheer luck and wits. The text is engaging, and the readers will root for the author, who is also the main protagonist, through his many trials and tribulations. All the characters in the book are fleshed out well, and the author often compares the various dangerous situations he found himself in to pinball games, where the ball could roll whichever direction to give him survival or the doom that Hitler brought. The text is accompanied by author's black and white sketches, portraying well the mood that reigned at those times—bleak and desperate. A great book for the lovers of the history of the WWII and a good read for all ages.

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