This month we are featuring a portrait of Magda László, whom we have never featured before. We were struck by this portrait; its different textures and contrasting tones bring out a depth the longer you look at it.
Magda herself had many layers. Her mother had converted to Judaism from Catholicism prior to marrying Magda’s father, who was Jewish. As a child, she attended both a Jewish school and a Roman Catholic school. She wanted to become a doctor, but that education was not available to her because she was Jewish. In 1944, she and her parents and grandmother were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where her family was killed, and she was forced to do slave labor. She returned to Hungary after the war. Magda never became a doctor, but after the war she finished education school and worked as a teacher of geography and history until her retirement. “Basically the Hungarian poets and poems brought me home: Petőfi, Arany, Vörösmarty. I could have gone abroad, to the west. I knew my parents were not alive,” she later wrote in her memoir.