1943— Obersturmbannführer Lt. Colonel Carl von Glasow and his fellow battle-weary officers of Rommel’s 15th Panzer Division, Afrika Corps, have endured the humiliation of surrendering to the Allies in Tunisia. Resigned to riding out the war in a North African prisoner of war camp they are surprised to learn they are being shipped instead to a U.S. Army POW camp in America. Nothing prepares them for the vivid contrast between the burning sands of the Tunisian desert and the murderous tank wars they waged there and the small, peaceful and idyllic Georgia coastal island town of Sorrel Island.
During the summer the population swells as mainlanders from nearby Savannah alight from the daily Central of Georgia trains or drive over the causeway in their Ford Deluxe Fordors and Chrysler 66s. Vacationers flock to the pristine beaches, revel in the cool saltwater breezes, and enjoy the amusement pier with its Ferris wheel and the music pavilion that host traveling big band tours.
Referred to as the “Nazi camp” by the locals, and Nazilager by the inmates who still proudly wear their sand-colored desert fighting uniforms their presence incites disturbing emotions. The coastal islanders are nervous about sharing their idyllic community with prisoners of war. Though they couldn’t feel further away from the ravages of the far away war they are not immune from it. The persistent chatter on the beaches and in the hotels and rooming houses is now the likelihood of a prisoner escape.
When on the first day a German escapee is shot in broad daylight a groundswell of opposition and fear from vacationers and year-around residents erupts. Young first-term town council president and mayor Connie Hopkins does her best to assuage their fears all the while confronting her own feelings when Major Bill Ferguson, the camp’s assistant commandant, launches a campaign to seduce her.
Meanwhile behind the fences and guard towers, and inside their wooden barracks and mess halls, several renegade Nazi officers embark on a plan to escape to neutral Argentina. And when Lt. Colonel von Glasow learns of the plan his mettle is tested as he makes the most fateful decision of his life.
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About the Author
J.R. Rogers is a historical thriller novelist. He has written six novels and also a collection of short stories. A number of his stories have been published in various literary and online publications. Besides writing fiction his interests include art, culture, indie film, photography and world travel. He lives in Palm Springs, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite Nazilager by JR Rogers tells the story of a Nazi Panzer brigade captured in North Africa, shipped across the Atlantic Ocean and imprisoned in a prisoner of war camp in Georgia in the United States. The camp has been hastily constructed in a small seaside town, which causes alarm among the local population, who are worried that the presence of the Germans will have a negative impact on the tourism that is the mainstay of their town. There is a long list of characters, both German and American, some are endearing, others are most unpleasant. I was concerned I would get them confused, but, no, each soldier was clearly described and easy to remember, not an easy task for an author. I found Nazilager particularly fascinating as I didn’t know there were POW camps in America and it was a long way to transport these men in war time. All the camp inmates were officers and, according to the Geneva Convention, there were rules and regulations to follow. However, it was a learning experience for everyone, and many of the German officers did not believe the Americans who drew the rules up in the first place would follow them. Those in charge of the prisoners were army personnel and, except for one officer who had worked in the prison service, looking after prisoners was a whole new experience. In Nazilager, JR Rogers has given us a vivid account of what life might well have been like in a POW camp for German prisoners of war in 1943. Although the camp and the location are fictional, I suspect the author researched this topic in depth before writing about it. The characters leapt off the page, the narrative was tense and exciting, especially towards the end, and I loved the final few pages – very satisfying. You don’t have to be a lover of war stories to enjoy this book. I finished it in two days and thoroughly enjoyed it. Certainly worth five stars.