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Alex was seventeen years old when he was deported to Auschwitz from his home in Salonika, Greece. Selected to work in the Birkenau Sonderkommando, he outlived his family, his faith, and even his true name. His memory was filled with the death of a people; bitter, damaged, and unable to speak of what he had done to survive, he was locked in the silent prison of his guilt.
Now, more than sixty years later, Alex decides to confront his memories and seek atonement for his complicity. His spiritual struggle will lead him back into his past, and into the long history of his people, in search of an answer to the silence of God. But his destiny is bound up with that of a woman born in a different world—the only one alive who can help him find the strength to keep his promises to the dead.
Returning is a fearless exploration of the choices we make in a choiceless time; the terrifying strength and burden of the will to survive; and the power of the human spirit to recover even from its own seeming destruction.