"Till First Morning Light" is an autobiographical novel by a survivor of the Holocaust, the core of which is truth and the shell imagination. The story takes place in three countries - Hungary, Austria and Germany - during the years of Nazi rule. The story depicts a cross-section of Hungarian Jewry, whose bitter fate ended one year after the battle of Stalingrad and three months before the invasion of Normandy by the Allied forces. Lyrically told, the story moves forwards and backwards - associative and not chronological, the past and the present mixed together.The book expresses the meeting between Holocaust and humour. The characters are honest and innocent people, happy and angry, who quarrel and conciliate, love and marry, laugh and joke, up until the final moments of their lives. They are people plucked from their homes, from their work, from their children and their schools, the flames of their lives extinguished before their time. Between all the characters and the plot there is a principal character, the mother of the narrator.With her courage, her desire to live and her love for family she succeeds in bringing her children to the shores of safety, even if the father of the family remains behind in the death camp Bergen-Belsen.
Time after time she confronts the angel of death. She prevails throughout all these confrontations and the angel of death withdraws.
Yakov Barzilai was born in Hungary in 1933. After surviving Bergen-Belsen, he made aliyah to Israel in 1949. A member of the Hebrew Writers Association and of the Yad Vashem Council, he has published eight books of poetry and prose.