|This novel, set in
the Second World War, traces the gradual transformation of a loyal -
albeit critical - German General Staff Officer into a traitor and
assassin candidate. Secondary characters in the novel reflect
great diversity of feelings toward National Socialism from idealistic
enthusiasm to self interested support, cautious approval and
Drawing on more than 10 years of research including over 100 interviews with survivors of the war, the Resistance, and concentration camps, the novel goes beyond the naked facts and the familiar assumptions to look at human emotions, motives and behaviour. On the one hand, the novel explores the difficulties and obstacles - both physical and psychological - to opposition and resistance in a totalitarian state. On the other hand, it also looks at the creeping moral corruption and moral compromises that characterized life in Nazi Germany.
A Brief Look at the Main Characters in the Novel:
Philip, Baron von Feldburg, is a young General Staff officer, deeply concerned about the direction Germany is going and particularly distressed by the policies of the Nazi government, but in 1938 the whole country seems completely captivated by the pied piper from Austria, Adolf Hitler. Philip's own family is no exception, and while his younger brother, Christian, is thrilled to be given the Luftwaffe's latest fighter, his younger sister, Liesl, marries a self-made man with good Nazi Party connections and a bright future in industry. As victory follows victory, Philip feels increasingly isolated and obsolete - until he meets Alexandra v. Mollwitz, the attractive young secretary of a certain General Friedrich Olbricht. In Alix Philip not only finds a kindred spirit and love, but also makes contact to a small group of senior officers actively working to overthrow the Nazi regime.
Marianne Moldenauer is a young girl raised to liberalism and tolerance, who finds the Nazis brutal and barbaric. Reacting out of naked humanitarian concern, she soon finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into an underworld of illegal activity directed only at saving the victims of a perverse and racist dictatorship. But the young man she has fallen in love with is an idealistic commissar of the Gestapo and with each day the risk of her two lives coming in conflict grow more intense.
Maria Sophia, Baroness von Feldburg, is a widow struggling to keep the estate she holds in trust for her sons intact in an increasingly difficult political and economic environment. Although she despises the Nazis, she finds herself increasing forced into making compromises with the regime. But how far can she go without becoming one of them? And what is she to do with a daughter who has wholeheartedly embraced the Nazi ideology, including all its racial doctrine?
This novel has received the prestigious Editor's Choice literary award.
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Reader's View interview with Helena on An Obsolete Honor
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|NOTE: In building
this site, I thought about many things - such as what spelling standard
I should use in
referring to World War II, and what keyword spelling people might use
in a search engine to find this page. I found it interesting
note the following numbers of page listings for the various ways one
might type World War II into a search engine.
6,050,000 for world war two
5,860,000 for world war 2
134,000,000 for world war II (using the capital i for the 2)
83,900 for world war ll (using the lower case L for the 2)
26,200,000 for second world war
310,000 for 2nd world war
21,600 for ww two
804,000 for ww 2
7,130,000 for ww ii (using the i for the 2)
46,300 for ww ll (using the lower case L for the 2)
21,600 for w.w. two
804,000 for W.W.2
7,130,000 for w.w.II (using the capital i for the 2)
46,300 for w.w.ll (using the lower case l for the 2)
Note that capitalization, punctuation and spacing changes introduced no differences. So if you are looking for information on a particular subject, remember to use all variations of the wrods related to the subject. The pages a search engine will give you to look at will vary with each method. Also in general, I have referred to World War II on these pages using WWII (using the capital i for the 2).
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