Gabor Boritt Looks at His Own Past

As many of you know Gabor Boritt recently retired from his position as director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College. Boritt is the author of numerous edited collections, an excellent study of Lincoln’s economic outlook as well as a recent study of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.  The position is now open and I know a number of scholars who are interested.  It goes without saying that it is going to be a highly competitive search and I wish them all the best of luck.

A few years ago Gabor Boritt’s son, Jake, produced a documentary about his father’s own history titled, “Budapest to Gettysburg”.  It includes commentary by Jack Kemp, Peter Jennings, Ken Burns, and Sandra Day O’Connor.  I haven’t seen the movie in its entirety and what is included below is just a preview.

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Kevin-I did see the whole documentary, and it's excellent. The most chilling portion for me was a casual reference to the Borritts' pre-WW II life in Hungary that made me realize that the family was Jewish. I knew about Gabor Borritt surviving the Hungarian Uprising against the Communists in the 1950s; however, this meant that he had, as a child, also survived the horrific fate of the Hungarian Jewish community which came very close to being annihilated after the Nazis invaded (the Hungarian govt. was pro-Axis but not hostile enough to Jews for Hitler's liking). That realization brought into even sharper the irony of how painfully difficult it was for Borrit, a man who had spent his career studying one war, to discuss the horrors of his life before he made it to America.

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