The Illusion of Safety

The Story of the Greek Jews During the Second World War

by Michael Matsas

The Illusion of Safety contains Michael Matsas’s personal record of his teenage year with the villagers of Psilovrahos during the Second World War, and a young boy’s experience with the andartes who fought their nation’s enemies. Expanding on this story, he presents, for the first time in any language, a collection of memoirs by Jews who fought with the andartes in the mountains or were active in the urban resistance. These are the stories of Greeks, who spoke Greek, served in the Greek army, fought invaders and helped to liberate Greece, but who happened to be Jews.

Most of the author’s relatives from Ioannina were among the more than 65,000 Jews from occupied Greece sent to Auschwitz and Treblinka. He has collected numerous stories of individuals who escaped the Wehrmacht’s clutches or survived the horrors of the death camps.

The author is the first to explore State Department and OSS wartime reports on Greek Jews available to the American government, and to expose the hypocrisy that ignored the already known fate of Jews transported to concentration camps. Reports in British files also attest to the detailed knowledge about the Jews that Brtain, long considered a protector of Greeks, had at its disposal, but refused to make available to Greek Jews. Only the Greek resistance of EAM-ELAS gave warning, and then welcomed the refugees and fighters, as the author attests.

ISBN 0-918618-66-5    446 pp    $25.00    Qty: