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Friday, January 10, 2014

The Tenth Witness by Leonard Rosen

The Tenth Witness by Leonard Rosen is a prequel to the earlier All Cry Chaos. We find Henri Poincaré in his early years as a treasure hunter. He finds himself surrounded by Germans, an earlier generation associated with the Nazi’s and their children, Anselm, the older brother and head of very formidable and profitable KRAUS Steel Company and Liesel, the younger sister and do gooder of the family. She uses their money to make schools and hospitals in which his brother pulls ore from third world countries. She attracts men and Henri is used to deflect her brother’s choice of man. Anselm is enamored with the shipwreck, Lutine, Henri is seeking. It gets complicated.
Death camps and WWII labor camps are merging into more modern day salvage docks and plants. Similar labor forces with similar life expectancies. Henri is concerned and alarmed. Henri is attempting to learn more about his uncle who worked in a concentration camp for Otto Kraus, the father of Anselm and Liesel. Apparently ten men vouched for Otto’s good and fair treatment and called him a hero. Otto was spared a trial and was allowed to continue with Kraus Steel. However these witnesses keep dying just before Henri can talk to them. He is getting in deeper and deeper with the family, especially Liesel. There is an Interpol agent sniffing around and confronting Henri. Henri is being torn apart as his own company is flourishing.
A visit to the flats reminded me of like places in Iceland, nothing and screaming. In answering his son, “Henri, beasts come in all shapes and sizes. The worst ones walk on two legs.”  Beware the two leggeds. Rosen explores the Nazi migration to Argentina, the name changing, the empire building, and the legacy the Nazi’s left for the next generation to maneuver and to deconstruct again.

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