Isaac Matarasso was a Jewish doctor in Salonika during the occupation of Greece by the Nazis. He describes the degrees of oppression under the occupation in minute practical and emotional detail. To all intents and purposes, the Jewish population of Salonika was wiped out. He himself fled to the mountains. Of the 60,000 Jews in Salonika only 2,000 returned. The structure of the book is Departure/Return and finally, probably the most moving part of the book, a meditation on the human capacity for endurance in the face of what seems like unendurable suffering. It is thus not just another holocaust account. The author himself never went to Auschwitz. But it is a hymn to life in the manner of the Jewish prayer L'Chaim. If the ancient Greeks were right and the guts were the seat of the emotions, any reader of this book will be affected in the guts.