A World War Two Historical Fiction Novel Based On A True Story
As World War II comes to an end for Germany, 14-year-old Karl Veth and his best friend, Harold Kellner, narrowly survive the fall of Berlin. Their knowledge of the city's subway system plays a key role in their survival during the battle of Berlin and will do so again in the days that follow as the Soviets control the city.
After being arrested by a Russian Political Kommissar, Karl and Harold are given the option of being shipped off to Russian labor camps or completing missions for the Kommissar and earning their freedom. The promise of freedom and the possibility of receiving information about the fate of their families is more than enough to ensure their cooperation.
The Kommissar is continually surprised by Karl and Harold's ingenuity and resourcefulness as they complete each mission. He develops a fondness for the boys and offers to adopt them and take them back to Russia with him when he returns. Holding out hope they will eventually be reunited with their families, they refuse the Kommissar's offer. Unfortunately, only one boy's dream of seeing his family again will come true.
The ravages of war dramatically changed their lives and while Karl and Harold have each suffered the loss of loved ones – one has lost more than the other. One boy will struggle to put his life back on track and the other will embark on a path of revenge – fueled by grief and anger at the lies that caused his loss and the destruction of his homeland.
One boy's story comes to an end, while the other's is just beginning.
Books In The Series:
Children To A Degree
Loyal To A Degree
Trust To A Degree
Partners To A Degree
About the Author
When Horst was 10, he entered the "Jungvolk," a subdivision of the Hitler Youth, which was mandatory in the Berlin school system. He then entered the Hitler Youth at the age of 14, also mandatory, and continued writing for the Hitler Youth periodicals "Der Pimpf" and "Die Deutsche Jugend Burg."
His favorite pastime was playing in the U-Bahn (subway) tunnels. While other children played soccer, Horst, with a few other likeminded children, explored Berlin by riding the subway trains.
Drafted to help defend Berlin against the Soviets at the age of 14 because of his unique knowledge of the subway system, he served as a guide for various SS demolition commandos.
In the early 1950s, Horst immigrated to the United States and became a US citizen after the mandatory 5-year waiting period. He loves to travel and has visited all 50 states in the US, most of Europe, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and some Central American countries. He now resides with his wife Jennifer of 42 years, in Northern California, where he has been for the last thirty years.