Errikos Sevillias was born in Athens in 1901 into a Sephardic family. He learned how to work in leather as a child and opened his own leather workshop when he was 16. From 1919 until 1923 he served in the Greek army, for three years fighting in Asia Minor. After the war he reopened his workshop, married, and had a daughter. Life, as he writes, "went along well" until he experienced "an inexplicable and unexpected great adventure," meaning Auschwitz.
Errikos Sevillias was killed in Athens by a motorcycle in 1974, when he was 73 years old. The manuscript of this book was found among his papers after he died. He describes the appalling events at Auschwitz with extraordinary calm, saying merely that he couldn΄t understand "what they wanted in doing such an unjust and evil thing." His simple statements of events give the clearest possible image of the indescribable.
The manuscript was translated by Nikos Stavroulakis, who also has provided an extremely useful historical outline of the Jewish presence in Greece with a description of the occupation and final solution.