At the height of the Holocaust it was Nazi policy to preserve small groups of 'privileged' Jews for possible use in exchanges with Allied-held German civilians. Held in the special 'Sternlager' at Bergen-Belsen their 'privilege' amounted to being kept alive rather than gassed. One such internee - Abel Herzberg, a Dutch lawyer and writer - managed, in the hell of Bergen-Belsen, to keep a diary which chronicles the horrific reality of daily existence in the camp. Among the passengers on the train that carried Herzberg both to Belsen and away from the camp a year later was a 9-year-old boy. That same boy - Jack Santcross - undertook to translate Herzberg's diary half a century later. The result is this unique eyewitness account of life in one of the most notorious Nazi concentration camps and a work of great historical importance.
Abel Herzberg, who was arrested by the Nazis in Holland and incarcerated in Bergen-Belsen during WWII, wrote many books on a wide variety of subjects, receiving numerous honours and prizes. In 1965 he was made Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau. In 1974 he was awarded the Dutch prize for literature for his collected works. He died in 1989.Jack Santcross and his family moved to Britain after their liberation from Bergen-Belsen. He would later study Dutch language and literature at the University of London. He is a translator and former fellow of the Institute of Linguists.