CURRENTS OF WAR is my (WIP) work-in-progress novel. It’s a story about a German Jew growing up in the Weimar Republic and pre-war Nazi Germany and his eventual incredible journey of escape. This isn’t a story about soldiers at war, but of normal people caught up in the throes of war, of fear, courage, and survival.
The aspects of this story are true. Most people don’t know about or understand what civilians had to go through to achieve freedom. Or what it was like at that time living in pre-Nazi Germany. This isn’t the Hollywood version of World War Two or Nazi concentration camps. It’s about the tragic realities that insinuated into the psyche of every nation. War makes strange bedfellows, and none is stranger than where many Jews found safety while the world around them burned.
This story is based on many interviews I had with Jack Goldstone in 1996-7 when he was 86 years old. I was so captivated by his story, that we became friends, and he allowed me to audio tape many of the interviews. We jointly applied for the copyright. Jack died in 2009. The copyright now belongs to his daughter and me. At the time, Jack and I wanted to make his story into a movie or a book, but the Internet wasn’t active like it is now, so there was no way I could research all the details of this story. I would have had to travel to each location, 70 years after the events, to learn about them. Naturally, I couldn’t do this. I wrote out a pitch and took it to agents, and production companies, but got nowhere. The story was too massive. There was no HBO or mini-series, but for a few TV movies based on best-selling novels.
In 2015, I decided to write the story as a novel. I spent a year writing the first half, which goes from 1923 to 1939, the start of World War II. This is already the size of one full novel. Why so long and why did it take a year? The true story is so interesting, that I needed to learn all the elements of what it was like for the country and the people of that day. And of the horrible events that transpired then from the Nazi regime. This took an immense amount of time, even with the Internet. I had to read many books, watch many German films, read countless letters by people involved during that time. I had to know how people were during that era and from different countries.
The original story of Frank’s life and his escape was told in sections, including the exact times and dates of his incredible life. I had to bring all of what he told me into real life, with his real characters, and some of whom I had to invent. All the main characters were real people as Frank told me about them. I did makeup scenes and descriptions, but the essence of the story is true, the dates are true, the locations are true, and the destinations are true. All the historical elements are true as they happened. And all the plot points, moving through his journey as they happened to him, are true.
As anyone who has read any books I’ve written which takes place in bygone eras, they will know that I never change historically known elements. I weave my stories around the confirmed history. In this case, I didn’t need to do any weaving.
I’m hoping it won’t take me another year to write the second half of the book, but the research is ever growing.
From time to time, I will post first draft excerpts. These drafts are not the end results, but show which direction I’m heading, even though some or most might change. This is the first time I’ve allowed pre-published drafts, so constructive criticism is welcome. Please, I am a writer and human being, and not open to hatred of any kind. All the historical events depicted are true, and if you need to correct, please understand the history before doing so. If you know of some elements you believe would enhance this, please send me a private message on Facebook. (https://www.facebook.com/currentsofwar/)
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