Wednesday 3 August 2022

The Fuhrer’s Orphans : a moving and powerful novel based on true events by David Laws


Peter and Claudia get twenty-seven Jewish children to safety.

Peter is a pacifist but not afraid of danger. He agrees to work as a spy. Claudia is a teacher and has a secret from her past. Both have been involved with the Kindertransport. Part of Peter’s mission is to sabotage the new engine for the Breitspurbahn – the new die gauge railway that Hitler is planning.

I worry about some things, though. A hard plastic chair in the 1940s?   The incorrect spelling of “Führer”. The unlikely success of the way the children are hidden. They are confined in cavities in the new railway carriages. What about toilet facilities? Would it be that easy to hide them?

Nevertheless we are left with some interesting complexities. We leave the story as the children are being ferried across the lake into Switzerland.  Claudia decides to return to Germany which she believes is fundamentally a good country and will soon be rid of the Nazi regime.

A thought-provoking read and one that shows a German point of view.       

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