This is the extraordinary tale of a brave young man who defied the might of Nazi Germany.
Cioma Schonhaus is a Jewish youth whose parents dismissed the threat Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party posed for the Jews before World War II.
They thought submissiveness would make them invisible and earn them good marks. They hoped and prayed that the horror would just go away on its own.
They paid for their belief in German respect for honour and law and order with their lives.
The author, like all young men everywhere, enjoyed cocking a snook at the authorities. He roamed war-time Berlin at will, breaking the laws against Jews with impunity.
He dined amid the enemy, relishing the night life of the city.
He embarked on several sexual adventures. One of his admirers luckily saved him from being shot when he wandered too close to a military training ground.
He became the Berlin underground's most successful forger of documents, post office books, railway passes and military books.
Cioma writes with a deft hand about his adventures in love and living underground right in the middle of the enemy.
His many friends received help from German citizens who did not believe in Hitler's inhumane eradication of the Jews in Europe.
He tells humorous anecdotes about his successes and mishaps.
This is a true account of survival in trying times. It has parallels with other lives lived under oppressive regimes.
The book is hugely enjoyable for its wit, deprecation and immodesty, and is highly recommended as an antidote to the gloomy and horrid account of the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis.