Waldman, Gabriel


Gabriel Waldman was born Gabor from a Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary, in 1938, exactly two months before Hitler’s army marched into Austria annexing the country and, thereby, making frontier with Hungary. When this was invaded, in 1944, Gabriel was six years old. He survived along with his mother but lost his father and most of his family in the war, most of them murdered in concentration camps. In 1949, after some years of the bleak and hopeless Soviet regime in the country, his mother decided to leave. They fled to Austria, where they spent a couple of years, and then immigrated to Brazil, the only country by then that accepted a woman as the chief of the family. He was 16 years old. In São Paulo, he was enrolled at the international school for foreigners and refugees, where he met Ingrid.

He was always a writer, but having lost his mother language early in life, he didn’t feel proficient in any language he spoke to literarily express his ideas and feelings. In the ‘60s, he wrote a short story half in Hungarian, half in Portuguese, that won first place in a university literary contest and was later published in the prestigious literary supplement of the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo. In the ‘90s, he published two novels independently to a very good return. Now, late in life, retired from his corporative career and finally comfortable with his own language, i.e. Portuguese, he was finally able to dedicate himself to writing the novel of his life. It is THE COMMANDER’S DAUGHTER.