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Showing posts by: Paul Grossman click to see Paul Grossman's profile
Thu
Jan 12 2012 1:30pm

Bernhard Weiss: True Life Crime Fighter Done in by Gangsters

Bernhard WeissMild mannered, maybe.  But beneath the bookish looks this guy was tough enough to become the most famous cop in Germany. 

Born in 1880 under the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm I, Bernhard Weiss was a patriotic Jew who served in the imperial army during the Great War of 1914-18, achieving the extremely rare (for a Jew) rank of officer and even rarer award of the nation’s highest military honor, Iron Cross First Class. In the war’s last months, when Germany’s home front was in worse shape than her battle lines, Weiss’ superiors took the unprecedented step of yanking him from the army and appointing him deputy head of Berlin’s criminal police (Kripo) to try and stabilize the capital. He was the first Jew ever to hold such a position.

With the collapse of Imperial Germany and the establishment of a constitutional republic Weiss became chief architect in turning the Berlin police from the tool of iron-fisted dictatorship into a model “citizens” force, defending and promoting the values of Germany’s first ever parliamentary democracy, and suppressing attempts by both radical left and right to overthrow the new republic.  

[Politics and the police force...]

Mon
Sep 12 2011 1:00pm

The Sleepwalkers: First in Series Excerpt

The Sleepwalkers by Paul GrossmanDuring the final weeks of the Weimar Republic, a young woman washes up in the Havel River in picture-perfect Old Spandau. Bodies in rivers are hardly news in the chaos of 1932 Berlin, maddened by years of war, defeat, revolution, inflation, depravity, and now the Great Depression. But this one is different. Her dark hair is too short. Her wisdom teeth have been removed, something few German girls could afford. And her legs, dotted with suture marks, are bizarrely deformed, as if someone had taken giant pliers and turned them around inside her skin.

Willi Kraus is a decorated soldier and Germany’s most celebrated Jewish detective, thanks to his recent success at nabbing a monstrous child killer. Sent to investigate the floater, his search leads him into a German underworld he hardly recognizes. A princess goes missing, a hypnotist has dark secrets to hide, and a new power is ushering in the tides of change: the Third Reich.

“Simultaneously a work of historical fiction, a medical mystery, a thriller, and a work of crime noir, this debut novel powerfully captures the atmosphere of Berlin on the verge of Nazi takeover, the elegance and cultural brilliance amid the decadence, and the sense of impending doom.” – Library Journal, starred review

[Read an Extended Excerpt of Chapters 1 and 2 of Paul Grossman’s The Sleepwalkers, the debut of Berlin detective Willi Kraus...]