Talking Until Nightfall
'Whoever listens to a witness, becomes a witness.' – Elie WieselWhen 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.

Talking Until Nightfall Details

TitleTalking Until Nightfall
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 7th, 2020
PublisherBloomsbury Continuum
ISBN-139781472975881
Rating
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, War, World War II, Autobiography, Memoir

Talking Until Nightfall Review

  • Zandt McCue
    January 1, 1970
    It is not something I talk about very often but I am of Jewish descent. I grew up with my Grandparents but they were, unlike the rest of the family, nonpracticing. In fact, I mainly learned about Jewish Culture from my employers throughout the years. The story of the Jewish people throughout history is an odd, sorrow-filled tale. Parts of which I've heard many, many times. My specific interest in Jewish history is post-WWII but there is a need to revisit the war to learn why things happened to t It is not something I talk about very often but I am of Jewish descent. I grew up with my Grandparents but they were, unlike the rest of the family, nonpracticing. In fact, I mainly learned about Jewish Culture from my employers throughout the years. The story of the Jewish people throughout history is an odd, sorrow-filled tale. Parts of which I've heard many, many times. My specific interest in Jewish history is post-WWII but there is a need to revisit the war to learn why things happened to them afterward. When I see a book like this, I jump at it. I didn't like this book at all. As the other reviewers have pointed out there are structural issues to the story. The introduction takes up 30% of the book. So instead of Isaac and his son Robert having their stories heard, we also have Isaac's Daughter-in-law (I believe) explaining everything beforehand. What I would have done would have been to write the entire book as the in-law telling the narrative and supplementing it with Isaac and Robert's writings as opposed to keeping them separate. As far as content goes, and maybe I was too caught up in the layout of the book, but I couldn't get past the feeling that I'd already read this story somewhere before. That this specific experience wasn't as unique as I thought it would be. To each their own. I feel terrible about not liking this but what can you do?
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  • Hannah Harvey
    January 1, 1970
    Extremely informative and well written. This book takes you through some deeply emotional events, blending fact and emotion perfectly.I thoroughly enjoyed this read and would encourage everyone to read it. Especially if you have an interest in history.
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  • Courtney Stuart
    January 1, 1970
    This book is marketed as a memoir or as a book on history, and as such its an important manuscript for humanities understanding and remembrance. It is uneven in its written style, all too often the narrator foretells the story that is given by the first-hand witnesses and ruins the impact of what the witness is sharing, making it repetitive and annoying, which is a shame, as the stories held within the covers of this book are significant and at times gut-wrenching. In its very coolness without t This book is marketed as a memoir or as a book on history, and as such its an important manuscript for humanities understanding and remembrance. It is uneven in its written style, all too often the narrator foretells the story that is given by the first-hand witnesses and ruins the impact of what the witness is sharing, making it repetitive and annoying, which is a shame, as the stories held within the covers of this book are significant and at times gut-wrenching. In its very coolness without the hysteria that so often marks a Jewish memoir, the true brutality, cruelty, hideousness of what they endured, what they suffered, what they died from is starkly written down. Stories of what the main witness and his son (Isaac and Robert) saw should be read and noted in history. As said in the book, “There is more than one way to erase a person.” There is truth in the saying that if we do not heed the lessons of the past, we are destined to repeat the mistakes. The Nazis wanted to wipe out the Jewish people from the face of the earth and tried by physically destroying people and the artifacts and buildings of the race. Humanity needs to recall the crimes of the past to place better in our collective memories the existence, the importance of these people. We also need to do so for the nations in which genocide is a current affair in modern minds, such as for the Armenians which was the systematic mass murder and expulsion of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians carried out in Turkey, the Rwanda massacre which was the genocide against the Tutsi, Twa and moderate Hutu peoples, Cambodia’s terror from the Khmer Rouge under the leadership of Pol Pot and Ukraine's "Holodomor" or "Death by Hunger" orchestrated by Stalin to name but a few. Read this newspaper article for a greater understanding of this crime.https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/w...This book is not the easiest to read, being choppy in style, as it is the written reports taken by Isaac Matarasso after the war as a manner to make such horrors part of the modern-day knowledge, and the remembrances of Robert Matarasso in his old age of a time when he was a teenager during the war and the things he experienced and witnessed. It doesn’t flow effortlessly, but if the reader keeps in mind the source material that this is, it becomes easier to absorb. But this is another important document as to the horrors and misery inflected upon a people for no other reason than their religion. Humanity needs to keep this repugnant part of its history current and this book plays its part in this knowledge.
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  • Pam Walker
    January 1, 1970
    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 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. The author 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 was a fascinating book full of amazing detail by the author. Maybe it was because I was reading an ARC--thank you NetGalley and the publisher--but the format was hard for me to follow at times. Even with that issue, it was an well-written and footnoted with a lot more detail than even the body of the book. This story took place in a part of Europe not often written about in connection with the Holocaust.
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  • Cathe Olson
    January 1, 1970
    I appreciate the effort and the opportunity to read about what the Nazi occupation was like for Jews in Greece, but the format of this book made it a very tedious read. The first third is like one long prologue which is all "tell" and no "show" so that it reads like a history textbook. And the "telling" continues as the narrator feels the need to pre-explain every incident instead of just letting the reader experience it.
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