The Story of Vilma

by Barbara D. Katz-Brown



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 4/1/2021

Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 8.5x8.5
Page Count : 112
ISBN : 9781664162082
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 112
ISBN : 9781664162068
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 8.5x8.5
Page Count : 112
ISBN : 9781664162075

About the Book

This is a story of a young woman who, with her husband and her baby, made a brave decision in 1923 to travel from her country of origin, Hungary/Romania. She left her extended family behind to start a new life in America. Part of the story is based on a fictionalized account of Vilma Weisz’s early life, and part is based on authentic research by the author and her team of relatives. Vilma’s decision was a critical choice in her life and the lives of her future children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

About the Author

Barbara D. Katz-Brown has always been curious about her grandparents and where they had lived as children. She realized at an early age that all three of her living grandparents had a foreign accent when they spoke English. Lying in bed at whatever grandparent’s apartment she was staying, Barbara would imitate their speech and try to approximate their pronunciation. “Vas iz dat?” “Vhat time it iz?” Part of this curiosity of speech sound development led her to become a speech pathologist and then, later in her career, an administrator in the public schools. As life progressed, and with the death of her father, George Katz, she began to become aware of the fact that those grandparents came from families she knew little about. After traveling through Europe many times with her husband and jazz guitarist, Steve Brown, the possibility of returning to her grandparents’ roots in Hungary and Romania became real. Barbara began the journey by locating the city of Oradea (Hungary), now Romania, where her grandmother Vilma was born, and began to write a fictionalized version of Vilma’s life. When she realized that she needed more authentic information, she contacted her cousin Iris who had shared this grandmother, Wilma Weisz Katz Freund, and began planning to visit the homeland with Iris’s oldest daughter, Meredith, and Barbara’s husband, Steve. By 2019, Romania’s borders were open, and travel from Budapest, Hungary, was only a four-and-a-half-hour car ride away. They were able to make the trip in October 2019 to complete the research about Vilma.