The Man Who Shook the Earth (Doc Savage #43)

Heidegger’s Glasses combines the events of World War II and the Holocaust, mixes in a Nazi obsession with the supernatural, and adds a stubborn German philosopher named Heidegger who needs a new pair of glasses. The idea and concepts were interesting and i enjoyed the read, though I found the characters (especially the Germans) running together and the ending loose. This book was an uncorrected proof sent through Amazon’s Vine program.

The story revolves around a hidden camp, where Jews with particular language skills are pulled from the concentration camps and made to answer letters that come in for those whom have died in the camps.

“Himmler had forbade burning them. He believed in the supernatural with a vengeance and thought the dead would pester psychics for answers if they knew their letters were destroyed – eventually exposing the Final Solution. Goebbels, who despised the supernatural, wouldn’t burn them for a different reason. He wanted each letter to be answered for the sake of record keeping so there wouldn’t be any questions after the war. In order to look authentic, he decided the letters should be answered in their original language: hence the compound’s motto Like Answers Like.”

Elie is the lady with past whom takes care of the scribes and loves their German handler, Gerhardt, when she is not helping to smuggle Jews out of Germany. Their existence is strained, with the Scribes, Elie and the Germans assuming they wipe all be called to task by different masters soon.

Their world is put into chaos by a letter from Heidegger to his former glass maker, who happens to be in Auschwitz. The letter brings the compound into the focus of the Nazi leaders, with orders to answer the letter so that Heidegger, who had many philosophical discussions with his friend the glass maker, will be certain it came from his friend and will ask about him no further.

The disaster of the answer and the subsequent attempts to fix it reveal Elie’s past and make their already tenuous existence even more dangerous.

Heidegger’s Glasses is an inventive story. Given the material, there is a tone of dread and depression, of fear and loss throughout the characters and plot. I recommend it for anyone interest in the “what if” side of World War II

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