Of Jewish Romanian origin, Sergiu Dan was the subject of antisemitic defamation, and, during World War II, was deported to Transnistria. After his return home, Dan spoke about his experiences in the book Unde începe noaptea ("Where Night Begins"), which endures one of the few Romanian contributions to Holocaust literature, and has for long been censored by dictatorial regimes. The writer's political stance also clashed with the post-1948 communist establishment, and, during the 1950s, he was interned at Aiud prison. Dan was eventually forced to adapt his writing style to the aesthetic requirements of Romanian Socialist realism, and spent the final decades of his life in relative obscurity. His work was rediscovered and reassessed following the 1989 Revolution.