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Diamand, Salim.

Oakville (Ont.), Mosaic Press, 1987. 160pp, paper, ISBN 0-88962-368-6 (cloth) $19.95, 0-88962-369-4 (paper) $12.95. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Floyd Spracklin

Volume 16 Number 2
1988 March

Dottore! Internment in Italy 1940-45 by Dr. Salim Diamand is a very special piece of writing. It is not so much the work of a professional writer as the result of one man's need to record his part in a past of which history has recorded much. As a camp doctor, Diamand lakes the reader into the Fascist and Nazi-occupied Italy of World War II to relate the many different Jewish stories of survival, especially his own. The reader is taken inside the gates of concentration camps, behind German lines, and even into a Gestapo headquarters.

Diamand has the reader's undivided attention as he matter of factly describes the medical horrors of war: "The wound. . .was slightly bluish and discoloured and secreted a brownish pus-like material." The reader is exposed to gas warfare: "Occasionally, a sulphur-bearing breeze wafted into our cave." Diamand gives an additional contrasting view in which Resistance members befriend him; "The lady of the house broiled some sausages in the fireplace and served them to me with bread, macaroni and wine."

Dr. Diamand, now a Toronto physician, has given Canada, indeed the world, an eye-witness account of an intriguing slice of life!

One quite "unpleasant" element of the book, however, is the more than acceptable number of typographical errors. Dr. Diamand'!, efforts and his will to survive, however, are to be commended.

Floyd Spracklin, G.C. Rowe J.H.S., Corner Brook, Nfld.
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