During World War II, the Third Reich wasn’t a pleasant environment. It was especially difficult for:
– Dieter, an army officer who served in the Great War. His wounded leg had never fully healed. When called up again, he was initially confined to a desk job in army intelligence. He was passing information to the British and risked being shot as a spy;
– Clara, the woman Dieter loved, had a mysterious past and was afraid for her life;
– Ernst, a top salesman for Krupp before the war, lost his job when Hitler stopped all sales of steel outside the Reich. Unable to find other employment, he accepted a commission in the army;
– Paula, who left and divorced Ernst when he could no longer support her life style;
– Berthold, Ernst’s brother, who enlisted in the Luftwaffe but was too tall to fit in the cockpit of a fighter;
– Karl, a fanatic Nazi and Himmler’s nephew, who served in the SS but was disgraced in battle. With his uncle’s help Karl found a job as a Gestapo inspector, which gave him leverage to pursue Dieter, his competitor for Clara.
A House in Berlin is an epic novel covering the period from 1939 to the summer of 1944. It follows actual events, and provides plausible interactions between fictional and historical characters. As things fall apart, Dieter and Clara flee. Karl and his Gestapo henchman wait for them and spring their trap.