Anton Fischer, a curator at the prestigious Belvedere art museum, stands at the crossroads. War is on the horizon. Should he stay in Vienna under Germany`s oppressive regime, hide to avoid conscription in the Wehrmacht, or flee and join those opposed to Adolf Hitler?
Sacrificing his feelings for the woman he loves, Anton makes his way to England, and joins the Royal Air Force. Suffering injury during combat, Anton is seconded to the Monuments, Fine Art and Archives Programme. Its aim, to safeguard, and where possible, return to their rightful owners’ works of art expropriated by the Nazis.
In the final stages of the Second World War he returns to Vienna, in search of the woman he loves. But nothing is simple. In following his heart, Anton is painfully aware that she may be beyond his reach.
This is a unique take on World War II fiction. The Nazis, in the midst of all their evil atrocities, stole important works of art from victims, galleries, and museums in the countries they conquered. They began to either sell or destroy the art that wasn’t being saved for Hitler’s future “fuhrermuseum,” a place Hitler planned to keep all art he deemed acceptable after he won the war. This of course never happened, and the fight to save much of the world’s precious art is told here. The fictional journey of Anton Fischer from occupied Austria to England and elsewhere in Europe is a retelling of important moments in World War II, a look at how the Nazis plundered, killed, and destroyed, and the fight to save precious artifacts from falling into their hands.
The character development of Anton and his friend Milo is well done, and fictional characters are expertly woven into actual history to create a compelling story. The author did a great job of portraying the passion of those who worked so hard to save precious works of art from the Nazis. Overall, this is a gripping historical novel that fans of Art history and World War II history will appreciate.
I received a free copy of this book from Zooloo’s Book Tours. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (In his own words)
I studied History of Art, and lectured at the Central School of Art and Design in London. However, marketing was my main occupation; and in this role I have worked for a number of German, American and British companies.
Latterly, I joined the family trade development company, working principally with government departments of foreign countries. To relieve the tedium of long-haul flights and the four walls of rooms in impersonal hotels, I turned to writing.
Over time I amassed a number of manuscripts, which were stored in the metaphorical bottom drawer. The number grew until, in exasperation, my wife declared I should either attempt to get them published, or she would.
In fact, she did submit the first novel; and, to date, ten have been published.
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