This book has three parts. The first part deals with the struggle of Leiden for independence, a dramatic story to say the least. The second part is not less dramatic. It deals with the suppression by the Nazis of the freedom of speech and of the closure of the university. And although on a smaller scale, Catena's struggle for independence and recognition is not less dramatic. The story is about an important part of my life, my teenage years and young adulthood. It certainly is not your usual story. This is in part due to the unusual circumstance that I was a young Jewish boy, who ad to run for his life. When I surfaced after the war I was fortunate to be united with my father, mother and sister, but 75 members of my family had perished in the gas chambers. My story has to be seen in that context. The search for a new identity, the frustration at high school, the impulsive desire to go and fly, and ultimately to go and study medicine, to help suffering mankind as I used to say sarcastically. Because I had no illusions about the practice of medicine, having observed my father over the years. But once I entered medical school I seemed to have found my calling. That I became the president of student society was coincidental. However, it contributed to the formation of my character more than any of the other events. You be the judge of that.