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Madeleine Albright sheds light on long-hidden family secrets

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will be at the Enoch Pratt library's main branch on Thursday to discuss her new memoir, "Prague Winter," which delves into a family background that had been shielded from her for decades.

As The Baltimore Sun's Mary Carole McCauley reports, in 1997, at age 59, just days after being confirmed as U.S. secretary of state, Albright learned about a family secret. "I had no idea that my family heritage was Jewish," said Albright, a native of Czechoslovakia. "I had no idea that more than two dozen of my relatives died in the Holocaust."

Albright compared the timing of the revelation to being "the first woman to represent my country in the running of a marathon. Just as the race was starting, I was given a very heavy package. I not only had to hold it, I had to unwrap it as I ran."

Her parents died before the revelation was made by a reporter, so Albright never got an explanation for the secrecy -- or why the family converted to Catholicism in 1941.

Albright's appearance at the Pratt on Cathedral Street starts at 7 p.m. For  information, call 410-545-5430 or go to



Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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