All I know about Leros is in this book. I know that this is another story about crazy people, many crazy people, more than 4,000 at first. I know that ‘Leros’ means dirty and that they came to this island from all over Greece, chosen from among the worst cases, the ones they’d given up on in the psychiatric hospitals.
I know that they were housed in an ex-military base on the island, which had previously been used as a jail for all political prisoners. I know that the islanders began working in the new psychiatric hospital. I know that soon Leros’ story began to be associated with its psychiatric hospital and that the world knew nothing about it.
I know that inside the asylum you didn’t live, you survived.
For nearly 20 years, Leros was taken over for the purpose of housing mental patients. This book documents the severity of the conditions and treatment of the inmates; their daily lives both inside the hospital and outside it when they were freed in the 1990s upon closure of the hospital.