A Liter of Soup and Sixty Grams of Bread: The Diary of Prisoner Number 109565, by Heinz Salvator Kounio
(New York: Published for Sephardic House by Block Publishing, 2003)
The Mazal collection includes a range of personal memoirs and testimonials by survivors of the Holocaust, including many rare self-published volumes and books by or about survivors from lesser-known Jewish communities, particularly those of the eastern Mediterranean (where Harry Mazal’s own ancestors originated from). This volume, an abbreviated version of the 1981 Greek original, conveys the story of a Greek Jew, Heinz Kounio, deported to Auschwitz in 1943 at age 15. Thessaloniki (Salonika), where Kounio grew up, was once a thriving center of Sephardic Jewry and has had a Jewish presence for two thousand years. It was one of the largest cities in the world with a majority Jewish population. In 1941, the Germans occupied Greece and the Jewish population of the city started to decline as many residents sought to emigrate to Palestine. Over 50,000 Jews were deported in 1943 and nearly 98% of the Jewish population of the city died during the war. Kounio survived, along with his mother, father, and sister. His personal diary was the basis of the Greek original, translated and abbreviated into this volume by Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos. Today, roughly 1,000-2,000 Jews live in Thessaloniki.