‘Luck’ in times of War and Peace
My guest today is Christoph Fischer. He is here today to tell us about the research he did for his historical fiction novel. Part one of The Three Nations Trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiner” is now available on Amazon. The research was very poignant for Christoph as he looked at this period through the eyes of the descendant of a Czechoslovakian German. He explores the effects that the changing of national boundaries has on people, how war effects individuals.
Fiction about any war is rarely a light hearted enterprise. Although there are many publications on the subject out there, I was amazed at the new angles and perspectives I discovered during my research for the project. Especially a war as big as World War II, with such a long duration and with so many theatres, makes it hard to think of the endless number of private misfortunes and life-altering events and new circumstances.
It is easy to forget about the smaller ‘players’ in the political arena and the people whose lives don’t fit into the broad categories of sufferers we know about. Was surviving the war really “luck” for some? For many countries in the east of Europe the ‘liberation’ by the Red Army brought neither freedom nor improvement to their lives, one might argue.
Each survivor has a tale and many of those have never been told.
As more time elapses history can be re-invented. Archives have been destroyed by bombing and by the receding German administration and troops and so many public records are missing. There is a myth about Finland claiming that it had only re-captured occupied territory and was never a proper member of the Axis powers. Slovakia, independent with Hitler’s help and an axis power, implied that it had been liberated by the Allies, not defeated, and returned to a unified state with the Czechs.
As much as we can re-construct, there will always be plenty of individual life-stories worth writing about. In the face of six million dead we stop caring about the individual. We look at the changing maps of Europe and accept them as the new world. It is hard to imagine for people in the British Isles how life changed for individuals when the new border was drawn between their homes and their family or their work.
When the Austro-Hungarian Empire split in 1918 new nations were formed, separate cultures were fused together and people from the various corners of the large Empire found themselves stuck as a minority in a new and often hostile country. Enter the war and the implications for the individuals could become much more complex. In the space of a lifetime the changes could be extreme, something we probably do not appreciate enough in the UK, which has not seen war on its territory for so long. Imagine a Northern Ireland conflict, but one involving a few more languages, religions and ethnic groups.
The conflict raises the question where one’s loyalty lies? With the country, even if it is a newly created melting pot? With the ethnic group, even if it is clearly in the wrong? With your family, even if they are on different sides of the fence?
I researched the times because of my family’s origins in the area. As a fairly well educated German I thought I knew most that there was to know about the Hitler period but I was very wrong. The story and the characters of my novel “The Luck of the Weissensteiners” soon took a life of their own. I wrote the book and researched the historical facts simultaneously. I was always on the same page as the characters in their lives, which made the experience exciting and tense. I could not wait to find out what happened. I lived with them through every new occurence for the individuals and for their country. I deliberated with them through every decision that had to be made. I lived through the unpredictability and shared their amazement over life after the war, which was far from easy and fortunate for many
Christoph was born in Germany in 1970 as the son of a Sudeten German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He soon moved to Hamburg in pursuit of studies and a life full of literary indulgence.
After nine years in London and a short spell in Brighton he settled in the West to be nearer to Cornwall and Wales. Writing has become a full time adventure for him, something his dogs heavily object to
Christoph takes great interest in alternative therapies and energy work, like Reiki, Shiatsu and Tai Chi and has some qualifications in those areas.
Before writing he took a broader interest in Psychology, Politics and languages; with the research needed for some of his stories History has become his main focus.
“The Luck of The Weissensteiners” is his first published work. He has written several other novels, two of which are currently in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
Find out more on Christoph’s Blog http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/
Thank you very much Christoph for this interesting insight into war caused changes that we don’t necessarily consider when we are given the bald facts in our history lessons.
Have you researched your ancestors for any reason? Have you found out anything about your country that surprised or shocked you? Tell us about it in the comments.
- Suppressed, and/or little known history (larrysmusings.com)
- Europe’s History Soaked in Blood of Repeated Wars (abcnews.go.com)
- Hitler’s holocaust in the Soviet Union, photos (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Oradour-sur-Glane and Royan (kerrydwyer.net)
- Fort Luserna (kerrydwyer.net)