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NPR Specials: Kati Marton Navigates The Terrible Century

Enemies of the People: My Family's Journey to America was released last fall. AP/Simon & Schuster hide caption

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AP/Simon & Schuster

This Saturday on NPR Specials, we’re airing a discussion with Kati Marton, a former correspondent for ABC News and NPR.

This fall, Marton published Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America. The book follows the story of her journalist parents who were arrested by the AVO in 1955, communist Hungary’s secret police force; essentially the Hungarian version of the Stasi.

Marton’s parents were prominent journalists at the time of their arrest in Cold-War Budapest. Her father Endre Marton worked for the AP and her mother Ilona was a correspondent for the United Press International.

In 1955, Endre Marton was arrested by the AVO for treason and espionage. His wife was arrested a short time later, leaving Kati and her sister alone.

The Martons were later released under a short-lived thaw in tensions with Moscow, and, reunited, they soon after emigrated to the US.

After the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, the Hungarian government released AVO files to the public. When Kati Marton requested her own family’s files, she was warned that opening this door to the past was akin to “…opening Pandora’s Box.”

The book reads like a spy novel; it’s the real deal.

You can hear Marton’s talk this Saturday evening at 19.00 and Monday morning at 8:00 on 104.1.

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