Germany

Audrey Hepburn Versus the Nazis

  The teenage girl entered the forest on what appeared to be an ordinary stroll, stopping to pick wildflowers along the way. In truth, she was on a secret mission to deliver an important message...

Hobbits and World War I

The world-famous fantasy epic, Lord of the Rings, might never have been written if the author had not come down with a fever. The author of the trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien, was an officer for the...

Finding New Life in the Death Strip

An elderly man shoves two packages out of a fourth floor window, and then he crawls out and sits on the ledge, staring down at the ground below. Then slowly, carefully, he turns himself...

The Greatest Escape

I trudged along a canal in Berlin back in 2011, hoping to see the inside of one of the few remaining watchtowers in the city—a guard tower where East Berlin soldiers kept an eagle...

How Prayer Brought Down the Berlin Wall

This week, as the world observed the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, one of the forgotten stories from the amazing year of 1989 was what took place in Leipzig, East...

Swords and Plowshares in the Heart of Berlin

When I was writing my novel The Puzzle People, I came across a photo of the Church of Reconciliation as it was being blown up in 1985 (shown on the left). But what caught...

Location, Location, Location: Doing Novel Research On-Site

NOTE—An earlier blog, Doing Your Research Right, discussed my research habits when writing historical novels. This is a follow-up blog.  *  *  * I guess I should have known what day it was when I showed...

How Did the Nazis Become So Popular?

It seems hard to imagine today, but the Nazis rose to power because they were considered a populist movement at one time, working for the common good. But how could people come to believe...

The Church From Below

How the Church Helped Bring Down the Berlin Wall With the last name of "Fuhrer," he made an unlikely German hero. His full name was Christian Fuhrer, and this pastor led a movement that helped to...

Wind of Change

One of the great things about researching my novel, The Puzzle People, was that I could go to Youtube and see videos taken of the Berlin Wall as it went up in 1961 and then came...