Through personal narrative and letters preserved for decades, Béla’s Letters tells the remarkable story of a large Eastern European family torn apart by war and the Holocaust, the extraordinary circumstances that each family member endures, and the survivors’ struggle to come to terms with the feelings of guilt, hatred, fear, and abandonment that haunt them.

“Béla’s Letters,” a historical fiction novel spanning eight decades, revolves around the remarkable life of Béla Ingber, who was born before the onset of WWI in Munkács, a small city nestled in the Carpathian Mountains. The book tells of the struggles of Béla and his extended family to comprehend and prepare for the Holocaust, the implausible circumstances that the survivors endure before reuniting in the New World, and the crushing impact on them of their wartime experiences together with the feelings of guilt, hatred, fear, and abandonment that haunt them. At the core of the novel are the poignant letters and postcards that family members wrote to Béla, undeterred by the feasibility of delivery, which were his lifeline, even decades after the war ended.


The author has created a captivating work of historical fiction based on stories told by his surviving parents and relatives, and inspired by the packet of letters his father, Béla Ingber, carried when he fled his native Hungary.  - Donna Ford, U.S. Review of Books (RECOMMENDED RATING)

I found this book both heartbreaking and beautiful. It's a story of one Jewish family during World War II, and it's a story of love. There is such detail and humanity in the characters that I almost feel as though I met them and felt their losses. This is the kind of human story everyone should read.  - (4 out of 4 stars)

A major prerequisite for a sweeping historical novel to prove successfully compelling is to take a real-world setting and infuse it with more than just a dramatic retelling of historical fact - and this is the point where many a historical novel fails. When too much drama supersedes individual lives and twists history into something unbelievable and larger than life, the story fails - but Béla's Letters is proof that, under the right pen, history can come alive even when it covers a sweeping eighty years of experience.

Ultimately it's a universal story of survival and how even the most impossible of circumstances can offer hope, inspiration, and a healthy dose of history chronicling different family members and their individual evolution. - D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Béla's Letters by Jeff Ingber is a work of historical fiction so closely tied to history that it reads more like a moving non-fiction account. The epistolary nature of Ingber's novel makes the subject all the more powerful, as an historical work looks through the lens of the entire experience, whereas these letters unveil a perspective that isn't fully aware of what's ahead. - Henry Baum, Self-Publishing Review

Honorable Mention, New York Book Festival (Memoir category)

Profile Photo Jeff Ingber

About Jeff Ingber

JEFF INGBER, the son of Holocaust survivors, is a financial industry consultant. His previous book, "Resurrecting the Street: Overcoming the Greatest Operational Crisis in History," chronicles the devastating impact of the events of 9/11 on the financial markets.

All books by Jeff Ingber

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