Thursday, November 11, 2021

Man of Clay by Alan Derosby - Book Tour

 Book Blurb

1930’s Germany:
Karl Auerbach escapes Buchenwald concentration camp. Ashamed of the truth of how he fled , Karl vows never to speak of the memories of his imprisonment.

Present Day – Rhode Island:
When Karl’s grandson Zachariah is faced with prejudice of his own and a close friend is subjected to a horrific assault, Karl knows he must finally confront the demons of his past before Zachariah sets in motion a deadly chain of events.

MAN OF CLAY explores the consequences of being held captive by the ghosts of our past, the decisions we make and what happens when someone crosses the line in search of revenge and retribution.


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Dieter Krueger was a byproduct of a world at war.  Born at the turn of the century, he lived through a war that ravaged his country.  There was an attempt to join the German army in 1917, but Dieter failed the physical due to a limp caused by flat feet.  Instead, he stood on the sidelines while his country was embarrassed by the Allies.  The post-war years were no better.  Dieter married, had a son, moving from unskilled job to unskilled job, looking to make a quick dollar while overestimating his own skills.  Eventually, his wife desired to start a new life without her husband or child, unable to be with someone with no future.  It wasn't until 1927 when Dieter found his real purpose.

          If Dieter hated anyone, it was the communists.  They single-handedly overthrew the Russian monarchy and created chaos and discontent in Eastern Europe.  They had become a presence in Germany and had significant power in the Reichstag, one half of the German Parliament, along with the Reichsrat.  When he heard that there was to be a Day of Awakening rally at Nuremberg, Dieter found transportation so he could attend. Here he witnessed the nationalism and pride in the German nation he had long hoped for.  Brown Shirts, also known as the SA, marched in the streets, yelling their commands to cheering crowds. Hitler and other top Nazi officials spoke of the threats to Germany, including the Jews, who started the Bolshevik Revolution as part of a more massive Jewish conspiracy.  To be present at such a rally, where swastika banners decorated various buildings and bright red armbands with bent crosses were worn with pride on the arms of patriots and visitors alike, Dieter realized this was something he could believe in. He cheered as Hitler spoke to the crowd and sang along as Brown Shirts belted out Horst Wessel Lied, the official song of the party. And it was at this rally that he met his wife.

          Ilse Fischer didn't remember much about the Great War. She spent her youth living the life of a socialite with her parents and grandparents on the outskirts of Leipzig.  It was old money, not finances gained through hard work and dedication. It was passed down from generation to generation; at a time were working for one's money was still frowned upon.  Her father was called to serve the country in 1914, but grandfather called in a favor and, with a quick and sizeable contributable donation, kept the entire family together. Here, Ilse learned to ride horses, read and write, never attending public school, instead learning from private tutors.  The end of the war brought about pain across the entire country, and this time the social status of the family could not save them. The Mark, the German currency, had stabilized directly after the war. However, unpaid reparations caused the Reichsmark to be worthless, and by 1923, a single US dollar was worth over four trillion marks.  Like many wealthy families who carried their status like a badge of honor, this dramatic change destroyed the lifestyles of the elites, and the Fischer’s were no exception. All money was lost, necessitating the sale of the large home outside Leipzig. A smaller home was purchased in Nuremberg through the sale of several expensive items sold outside of the country.  The war did not completely break the Fischer family, and though Ilse no longer could live like a princess, she was able to get things most Germans could not afford.

Art, jewelry, and land outside of Germany kept its value and, in time, would allow the Fischers to regain most of their wealth. However, it caused the family, like many others, to hate the Weimar Republic. When Hitler spoke, the elite also listened.  The Fischer family was no exception. Ilse agreed with most of the rhetoric though the antisemitism was new to her. Her family had many Jewish acquaintances who had contributed much to German society. Perhaps a closer look would help. She also made her way to the Day of Awakening rally to gain a better understanding of what this Herr Hitler spoke of. Not only did she come away from that day a loyal and rabid Nazi, but she also met the man she'd marry in Dieter Krueger, a hardworking and dedicated German who brought with him a two-year-old son, Hans Ulrich.  A year later, on August 19th, Ilse and Dieter officially became man and wife, not only proclaiming loyalty to one another but to the German nation and its leader.  The happy couple announced to their families they would be helping the process of rebuilding Germany by giving their country a healthy Aryan child. In April 1931, they gave birth to a child of their own, Karl Adolf Krueger. While both children were brought up with strong Aryan ideals, their lives branched in very different directions.


Author Bio
Alan Derosby, a Maine native, has spent the past several years focusing on his passion: writing.  Alan has created original and spooky short stories, having several published in a variety of anthologies. MAN OF CLAY is his debut novel.

 When not writing, Alan is teaching history at Messalonskee High School in Oakland, Maine, spending time with his wife and daughter, or watching the New York Mets suffer through another disappointing season.


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