It was 1944 during the last fifteen
months of WWII. Twelve thousand Jews, men, women and children were
being herded daily onto the Budapest train platform for transport to
Auschwitz. Yet on an adjacent platform another train was poised to
transport one thousand six hundred eighty-four Jews to Switzerland.
Why this odd number of
Jews on the other train? What and who was behind this incredible,
totally unbelievable situation? The SS allowing a train full of Jews
to proceed to Switzerland in the middle of the war was akin to sending
it to the moon. Concluding that the order must have come from the
highest echelon of the Nazi hierarchy, prompted the author to embark
on a five year research quest. As the full story unfolded, layer by
complex layer, doubts as to whether there still was an untold WWII
story were soon alleviated. The odd passenger train turned out to be
just the tip of the iceberg.
The reader is taken along
from one incongruous plot to another, to an array of implausible,
incredible and surreal sub-plots. The story gallops across Europe,
from war torn, gritty Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg and Budapest, to the
Bergen-Belsen and Mauthausen camps, to neutral, peaceful Stockholm and
to elegant St. Gallen and Zurich and on to exotic Istanbul, Aleppo,
Jerusalem and Cairo, all in an adventurous and breathless chase aimed
at beating the clock and save as many lives as possible of camp
inmates, POW�s, British troops and local civilians, A colorful cast of
characters accompanies the reader, among them world leaders and
including Oskar Schindler and Raul Wallenberg.
It is a tale of human
nature in all its vagaries, a �tour-de-force� of brain vs. brute force
that challenges the mind, a precipitous gamble of life and death in a
fast, high stakes poker game.