Talking Until Nightfall: Remembering Jewish Salonica, 1941–44 (Hardcover)

Talking Until Nightfall: Remembering Jewish Salonica, 1941–44 By Isaac Matarasso, Pauline Matarasso (Translated by) Cover Image
By Isaac Matarasso, Pauline Matarasso (Translated by)
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'Whoever listens to a witness, becomes a witness.' – Elie Wiesel

When Nazi occupiers arrived in Greece in 1941, it was the beginning of a horror that would reverberate through generations. In the city of Salonica (Thessaloniki), almost 50,000 Jews were sent to Nazi concentration camps during the war, and only 2,000 returned. A Jewish doctor named Isaac Matarasso and his son escaped imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Nazis and joined the resistance. After the city's liberation they returned to rebuild Salonica and, along with the other survivors, to grapple with the near-total destruction of their community.

Isaac was a witness to his Jewish community's devastation, and the tangled aftermath of grief, guilt and grace as survivors returned home. Talking Until Nightfall presents his account of the tragedy and his moving tribute to the living and the dead. His story is woven together with his son Robert's memories of being a frightened teenager spared by a twist of fate, with an afterword by his grandson Francois that looks back on the survivors' stories and his family's place in history. This slim, wrenching account of loss, survival, and the strength of the human spirit will captivate readers and ensure the Jews of Salonica are never forgotten.

About the Author

Dr Isaac Matarasso was born in Salonica in 1892, when the city was part of the Ottoman Empire. He studied medicine at the University of Toulouse, and published his thesis in 1917. He practised in Salonica until his arrest in 1943, and organised health services for the Jewish survivors after the German withdrawal. He moved to Athens in 1947, with his wife Andrée and son Robert, where he resumed medical practice until his death in 1958.

Praise For…

“The resurrection and enhancement of [this] 1948 manuscript is a triumph … A unique Holocaust memoir.” —Kirkus Reviews

Powerful … This poignant eyewitness account articulates the human cost of the Holocaust.” —Publishers Weekly

“A poignant, gripping, and beautiful multigenerational look at life before and during the Holocaust, as well as the process of rebuilding after the war.” —Library Journal

The book is one of the most moving books I've ever read and truly unique … Matarasso is revealed in a series of poignant literary snapshots – some taken by others, some by himself – which give the book a unique, multi-layered perspective. They utterly confound my neat rabbinic categorisations and convey the unbearable anguish of faith and truth.
” —Rabbi Tony Bayfield, former Head of Britain's Movement for Reform Judaism and author of Being Jewish Today

“Powerful ... Dr Matarasso's calm and humane narrative tells a story too little known.” —The Tablet

Extraordinary ... An account of the destruction of the Jewish population of Salonica, now Thessaloniki, during the
Second World War, related by a man who was at its heart.” —New European

"This is an important book. It is not an academic interpretation or analysis. It is powerful and unique, a first-hand account that also describes the lasting impact of the Greek Holocaust on its few survivors and their heirs." - The Spectator (US)

"The book vividly brings to life the Jewish community of Salonica and is a powerful reminder to never forget … An essential read." - The National Herald

Product Details
ISBN: 9781472975881
ISBN-10: 147297588X
Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum
Publication Date: August 25th, 2020
Pages: 272
Language: English