Jo Langer was an idealistic teenager in 1940s Hungary when she began a correspondence course in Marxism. Her tutor was Oskar Langer, a committed young communist from the former Czechoslovakia. They eventually met and married, and Jo left her bourgeois upbringing behind to become part of the new Socialist future in Bratislavia. But when Oskar, a respected economist and party-member, was arrested and imprisoned, Jo was immediately stripped of her home and her job. She spent the next ten years eking out a life for herself and her two daughters in near-impossible conditions. Convictions is Jo's compelling memoir of that time, told without sensationalism, but with candour and wit. It is the story of an immensely courageous, resourceful young woman, a portrait of a marriage, and a tale of survival in a totalitarian state. At its heart it is a demand for people to come before politics, and a protest against the terrible human consequences of unquestioning convictions and blind faith.
Jo Langer was born in Budapest in 1912. In 1934 she married Oskar Langer and moved to his homeland, Czechoslovakia. In 1938 they escaped the Holocaust by emigrating to the US, returning to Czechoslovakia after the war. Oskar Langer was arrested and imprisoned in 1951, and died not long after his release ten years later. After the Soviet invasion in 1968, Jo Langer emigrated with her family once more, this time to Sweden. She died in 1990.