I have read many books on the Holocaust but nothing has touched me like this book. This autobiography, written in the format of a novel, spans the years from the mid 1930s to the time when Hungary was liberated from the German occupation by the Soviet Red Army in the spring of 1945. The uniqueness of the book is the introduction to and exposition of the gradually worsening situation, ultimately leading to the 'final solution', that faced the Hungarian Jewish society as seen through the eyes of a child. Peter Oszmann was born to Jewish parents but was denied his true identity by his parents who hoped to provide him safety by raising him as a Lutheran. Perhaps, as he recaunts the story, that might have saved his life, but, this imposed conversion did not spare him all the pain and suffering which befell the Hungarian Jewery at that time. Without any doubt, the discovery of his true identity and subsequent events which forced him to assume yet another religious identity (Catholic)in order to survive the harshest period of the war and the Holocaust, has left an indelible mark on his psychic. Peter Oszmann's book has a certain purity and clarity showing the inner struggles and dillemas faced by a child in trying to rationalize and to cope with the outside cruel world. The emotional pain, agony and dispair are very touching. He has given us a rare inside view of a child's innocent reaction to the inexplicable horrors brought upon mankind by his fellow men. At the same time he has also let us see the good in us through the many heroic deeds his family members and other kind strangers who risked their lives to save him and others. In addition to the main theme of his book Oszmann has managed to describe the political and historic framework of the late 1930s and early 1940s providing an excellent context for the events unfolding in Europe and in Hungary. His research is excellent and he skillfully integrated his personal history with a sufficient overview of the history of Europe and Hungary without detracting from the story. The author's sense of humor is evident from the very first pages. While this is not a 'fun' book to read it does have many funny and even hillarious moments. It appears that humor was one of the many weapons Peter Oszmann used to protect himself from the harms around him. I laughed and I wept reading the book. This is not an easy book to read. It takes almost 30 pages to get through the Dedication, Preface, Acknowledgement and the Prologue before the main story unfolds. The book is 530 pages long and the author quotes extensively in Latin, German, and French, not to mention the many Hungarian names and idioms used. Fortunately, he diligently provides for the English translation with foot notes on each page. However, the rewards of reading this book far outweigh the occasional inconveniences of reading it. I can hardly wait for book 2.