top of page

The Journey

In the midst of the global COVID pandemic, a unique opportunity emerged that set Ted on a journey. With the world at a standstill, Ted found freedom and flexibility that  gave him the opportunity to  embark on this undertaking. The world was gripped by somber times, and he, like many others, sought inspiration to navigate through the challenges the pandemic brought. It was during this period that he turned to the stories of their own family's past — stories of bravery that crossed continents in the quest for a brighter future.


As he dove into  his family's history, Ted realized that his ancestors' willingness to take risks for the sake of a brighter future held valuable lessons. Just as they had overcome the odds to provide their family with improved opportunities, he too could find the strength to navigate the complexities of our times.


He searched through and studied reams of documents to establish the basic history, but then took the extra step few are able to take. He visited the places where his family had lived, where peace turned to war and they were forced to flee. He went to Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Trieste, Opatija, Slovakia, Salzburg, Switzerland, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, New York, and Chicago to trace their journey and walk in their footsteps.

In doing so he developed an understanding of the emotional burden his ancestors bore, and the dramatic, life-altering calculated risks they took. 


Handcrafted and intricately designed globle purchased on a research trip for this book, the globe stands as a tangible representation of the varied journeys embarked upon by the Blum and Mandl families across the world, ultimately finding a new home in the United States.

Book wallpaper.png
Ted's mother Eva
Settling into a stable life in Illinois
Ted's mom Eva brought this little house as her single toy in her journey to America
Budapest during WWII
Painting of Paris during the time Martin lived there
Eva's toy house and portable home
Ted's grandmother Elsa's Hungarian passport
Leaving Budapest
Opatija, Croatia (formerly, Abbazia, Italy)
Living in Chicago
Surviving in Siberia
Ted's family visit to the Mandl grocery store in Budapest
Ted's grandfather Martin and a 1939 World's Fair Flyer
Mandl Family living apart as war erupts in Europe
POW camp in Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Ted's grandmother Elsa's clutch used to carry her passport during her travels
Elsa and Martin at their wedding
Train ride from Sterlimak to Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Leaving Lisbon
The star Ted's great grandfather was forced to wear in Budapest marking him as a Jew
Biding time in Madrid
Eva's wish for Santa Clause, December 1944
Ted's parents meeting in Champaign, Illinois
Ted's grandfather Henry as a prisoner of war in Siberia
The POW in Sterlitamak, Russia
Sailing the Seven Seas
Overlooking the Danube River
Adjusting to life in Baltimore
Ted's grandmother's Hungarian passport stamped by Nazi officials during her escape from Budapest
Train ride through enemy territory
Henry's trenches on the eastern front during WWI
Ted's grandmother Elsa's Hungarian passport
Visiting the 1939 World's Fair
The Brusilov Offensive
Henry's POW camp in Sterlitamak, Russia
Arriving in New York
Vacheron Constantin advertisement for the 1939 World's Fair
Martin's train ride through hostile Nazi-occupied territory
Eva and Gyögyke in Budapest before leaving for America
Martin saying goodbye to baby Eva on his way out of Budapest
Ted's grandmother’s passport stamped with the Swastika by the German authorities
Awaiting Eva's birth in Abbazia, Italy
Sailing to America
Moving to the Midwest
Preaching antisemitism in Budapest
Back of Henry's portrait as POW
Henry's first cousins spreading out throughout the globe
Returning home from war
The Mandl home address in Budapest
Henry's odyssey home at the end of WWI
Interrogation of the POW in Siberia
bottom of page