9 th August 2018 - Melbourne: In 1941, Ted Todd’s father was taken as part of an alliance between Hungary and Nazi Germany during WW2. Like most able bodied young Jewish men in Hungary at this time, he was drafted into the Jewish Labour Service to perform forced labour during the Holocaust. A large percentage of these men were sent with the Hungarian Second Army to the occupied territories of the Soviet Union and subjected to grinding brutality on the front. Some 80% never returned home, falling prey to battle, disease, Soviet captivity or murder at hands of Hungarian soldiers. Ted’s father was one of these men.
During this time his mother, who was an incredible survivor not only looked after her family in Budapest Jewish ghetto, but she managed to bribe their way off the train to Auschwitz on three separate occasions. Many years later these extraordinary tales of survival have been passed down by Ted to his family and in turn have led to the creation of his astonishing book which has been inspired by these events. The book entitled, “A Doubtful Inheritance”, falls under a new genre which Ted calls an ‘autobiofiction’. He describes this as blend of true events, overlaid with a heavy dollop of imaginary plotline.
The book follows the story of a man called Tim who is over 50, divorced, and very unhappy. Tim has spent his life searching for something missing in his psyche and on a whim decides to participate in a workshop on self-awareness. There he comes face to face with this obsession about the traumatic disappearance of his beloved father Lajos during WW2. What follows is a sweeping, multi-layered tale about Tim’s search for a rich inheritance and his lost sense of self and meaning. The action of the book crosses the globe as it moves through history, from a WW2 Siberian POW camp through to a present-day Budapest, Vienna, Argentina and Australia.
Ted says, “This was an incredibly difficult book to write and is inspired by some of the terrible things that my family in Budapest experienced during the Second World War. The best way to describe how these events have influenced the book is to say that everything in the book that is sad is true… and all of the happy elements are fiction. I hope to leave this novel as a legacy for my children and for their children so that they don’t forget where their ancestors came from and what they went through to get here.”
A Doubtful Inheritance provides a deep insight into not only one of darkest periods in human history but also to the entirely relatable journey of a man trying to find his own sense of self after the loss of his father. This novel was also part of Ted’s work for his PhD in literature/writing at Swinburne University in 2014.
This book will appeal to men and women who are lovers of history as well as those who enjoy stories about the trials and tribulations of life.
About the Author:
Ted Todd was born in Hungary in 1941. After the Holocaust and the following Stalinist years, he escaped Hungary with his mother and younger brother in 1956 after the Hungarian revolution. He currently lives in Melbourne where in 1970 he established a well-known retail chain, Ted’s Camera stores. Since the sale of the business, Ted has facilitated sales and marketing workshops and consultancies at the Australian Institute of Management and other venues, operated other businesses, and has concurrently facilitated ‘Human Relationships’ courses for the past 33 years. Ted was married for 25 years and is now divorced with three children and eight grandchildren. In more recent times Ted returned to tertiary studies, attaining a B.A. and a Grad. Dip. in Human Relationships Education, and a Ph.D. in Literature/Creative Writing. Now Dr. Ted he has written several books, including The Secrets of Successful Selling on sales, marketing and communications, 50 something male (a work of fiction), The Software of the Personality and more.