Published: 15/12/2017
ISBN: 9781788039109
Format: Paperback

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by Peter Haden

This is a story of several lives and love affairs during a terrible period of European history. It is also a tense, action-packed drama of life in Nazi Germany and of desperate military and espionage activity behind enemy lines.

The book spans the last months of the First World War, with operations by German special forces behind Allied lines, to the first months of the Second and the invasions of Poland and the Low Countries.

It tells of a love affair between a wealthy young German and the daughter of a prominent Jewish family. After the severe depression of the 1920s, both families endure persecution as the Nazis rise to power in Hitler's Germany. Jan, a young Pole is forced to seek work just across the border. His father and sister are brutally killed during the invasion of Poland. His brother remains on their small farm to assist the partisans.

As Nazi persecution and blackmail increase, Jan is asked to make a desperate flight to safety with Renate, his employer's mixed heritage daughter, who has been offered shelter on a farm near the Belgian border. After a frightening drive across Nazi Germany Jan eventually reaches England. Following specialist military training he undertakes two missions, first with the partisans in Poland, from where he eventually escapes by sea to Sweden, and then rejoining Renate to report on the build-up of German forces behind the Western front. Although he avoids pursuit by both air and ground assets Jan and Renate are arrested by the Gestapo. They escape following a gun battle and must be smuggled across the border to Belgium and England.

This book is a work of fiction but Jan was Peter's uncle and he did make that journey.

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