The book is a memoir, covering the years 1940 – 1946, in which the author – from a distance of forty to fifty years – records events he had experienced as a child of eight to twelve. These were the years of Lithuania’s occupation, first by the Russian Red Army, then, during most of World War II, by the Germans, and again by the Russians. The memoir reflects the instability of those six years, emphasizing the horror of the Nazi persecution. The account continues with the boy’s flight across the Russian border through Poland and West Germany, until he sailed in mid-1946 to Palestine.
The account is not a mere retelling of events. Rather, the adult, while recalling the terrorized child that he was and how he then perceived the adult world, also takes stock of his present life and existence. Throughout the memoir, he attempts to reconcile his present life as husband, father, scientist and writer, with the images, feelings and thoughts from the past that have left an indelible mark on his life and that continue to haunt him.