This is a complex novel. It is 548 ages long and has numerous sub-plots. Near the beginning of the book is a list of characters, categorised by the places where their action happened: Altdorf, Berlin, JG23, and the Eastern Front. Most of the characters are fictional .A few really existed: Generalfeldmarschall von Kluge (Army Group Commander), General Von Greiffenberg (Army Group Chief of Staff), Carl-Heinz Graf Hardenberg (ADC to C-in C) and Philipp Freiherr von Boeslager (ADC to the C-in C). A little confusingly the protagonist, who is fictional, is Philip Freiherr von Feldburg (General Staff Officer).
Many of these characters resist the Nazi regime, one way or another. A few are fanatical Nazis. As I seek to do with my books in the Schellberg Cycle, Helena Schrader uses fiction as a way of uncovering fact and truth.
This long novel deals with multiple scenarios:
· Being bombed by the Allies
· Life on the Eastern Front for German soldiers
· Why Hitler was welcomed by the working class
· Why some people chose to help the suppressed
· What happened to those people who helped Jews and other undesirables
· Aftermath of World War II
Schrader is well qualified to write this text. She has studied the Nazi era for over thirty years and her PhD thesis was a biography of the German resistance leader who developed the Plan Valkyrie, which included the plan to assassinate Hitler, and details of how the regime would be handled after his death. A coup attempt was made but failed on 20 July 1944.
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