HISTORY

Talking Until Nightfall: Remembering Jewish Salonica, 1941–44

Bloomsbury Continuum. Aug. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9781472975881. $28. HIST
COPY ISBN
Matarasso was a Jewish physician from Salonica (now Thessaloniki, Greece), who fell in love with a Catholic Frenchwoman, Andreé, while completing his education. She joined him after he returned to Salonica; they married and had one son, Robert, whose experiences and memories are also chronicled here. Robert’s wife, Pauline Matarasso, translated Robert’s writing from Greek, and Robert and Pauline’s son, François, added his own research and editing to bring the story to life. During World War II, Salonica was overtaken by the Nazis, and while the family was spared the concentration camps, they experienced imprisonment, torture, and deprivation. Yet all three—father, mother, and son—survived, and from that survival arose Isaac’s need to record what he’d seen, heard, and done during the war. While he published a small volume of his recollections in Greek and French during his lifetime, adding Robert’s memories of the same time period brings something new and unique to this translation.
VERDICT A poignant, gripping, and beautiful multigenerational look at life before and during the Holocaust, as well as the process of rebuilding after the war.

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