Lew's AUTHOR BLOG

* Lew’s novels

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 20, 2014

Lew + 5 novels

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* Cathy’s review of THE HERETIC on Goodreads

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 19, 2014

Heretic & Hereje

English & Spanish editions

 

If I kept a GR shelf for family sagas, this book would be proudly placed there along withThe Pillars of the Earth, Gone With the Wind, and The Age Of Innocence. In my mind they are all historical novels which describe families and their trials and tribulations of living in troubling and/or interesting times. 

This historical fiction was set during the Spanish Inquisition which I knew little about. During this inquisition under Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain in the late 1400’s and early 1500’s, the Catalan family tries to live a peaceful life with their own beliefs. In public the family professes to be Catholic but behind closed doors, some family members still practiced Judaism. (It was a stigma to be anything other than Catholic.) 

Each and every character is fully described and so well-drawn that the reader is totally immersed in the storyline. I was vested in this family, wanting them to succeed. Reading the book I had an urgent need to know what happens next to each one. I cared about them and that’s always rewarding to me as a reader. 

Lewis Weinstein does what he does best and does it well. He researches before he writes and it’s obvious he’s aware of the world he’s in when he’s writing. And good for him that his writing is not complicated. I hate useless words and there are none in this book. 

Weinstein’s writing fulfills the need to know at that particular moment of the story and moves the reader gently around each corner with just enough to urge the reader to flip to the next page sometimes more quickly than others. 

I enjoyed reading this book so much. The ending, well the ending in my estimation was incredible. Just amazing. I re-read the ending because it was surprising and so beautifully written. 

This book is a winner and is the first Weinstein I’ve read but I assure you it won’t be my last.

***

Thank you, Cathy

***

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* Chuck’s Goodreads review of THE HERETIC

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 3, 2014

Heretic & Hereje

THE HERETIC … English & Spanish editions

Chuck’s review …

The author, Lewis Weinstein, is one of my Goodreads friends. Outstanding job, Lew.

Historical fiction is my favorite genre and this is historical fiction of the first order. It is very well written, exhaustively researched and historically accurate. This book increased my knowledge of the religious conflict in 15th century Spain by one hundred fold.

The folks writing positive acknowledgements about the book include Elie Wiesel, Alan Dershowitz and Faye Kellerman.

 The Heretic tells the story from the viewpoint of Gabrel Catalan, a Jewish goldsmith whose ancestors were forced to convert to Christianity under threat of death and, as a result, were known as Conversos. The story lays out the events leading to the infamous Spanish Inquisition.

Mr. Weinstein does a great job of introducing his characters and making them into real people. I heartily recommend it.

THANK YOU, CHUCK!

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* Lew’s comments on “The Holocaust and the Church” … and Cardinal Faulhaber

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 30, 2014

Scolino-cover

Sciolino provides a useful overview of a truly despicable history. In particular, he shows how the Catholic Church supported the Enabling Act of 1933 which gave Hitler dictatorial powers, and that the Church never objected to the deportation and murder of Jews in the 1940s, of which they were well aware.

For my purposes, there were several references to Cardinal Michael Faulhaber of Munich which will be helpful to me in my novel-in-progress.

Cardinal Faulhaber

Cardinal Faulhaber … is a fascinating character. In the 1920s he appears to have been openly supportive of Jews, tolerant and opposing Nazi street violence and other forms of persecution. He was a member of a group called “Friends of Israel” until it was disbanded by the Vatican. In the 1930s, however, Faulhaber and other German bishops were forced by the Vatican to collude with Hitler, both before and during the Holocaust, so long as Church property and other assets were not taken.

It is of course the height of hypocrisy to claim to be a moral force in the world and yet to sit by without saying a word while millions were murdered simply for being Jews. For this the Catholic Church has never, in my opinion, sufficiently atoned. After the Holocaust, the main action of the Church was to ferociously keep hidden Vatican archives which described what it did and did not do. Even today, much of this record remains secret.

In my new novel … 

I look forward to exploring how Cardinal Faulhaber, who I believe was actually a quite decent person, might have felt about the Vatican-generated facade in which he participated. He lived through it all, as Archbishop of Munich from 1917 to his death in 1952. Little is written by or about Faulhaber. Who, if anyone, was his confidant?

To show Faulhaber’s thoughts in the context of my story, I am creating a fictional young priest (Fr. Johannes) who will, through his discussions with Faulhaber, recognize the Church’s hypocrisy and the consequences of Church inaction for the Jews and the world. Fr. Johannes’ interactions with my main German character (Berthold Becker), if I can write those scenes the way I hope to, will be heartbreaking and damning.

Ah … the power of historical fiction.

***

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* Lisa’s 5 ***** review of THE HERETIC on Goodreads

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 20, 2014

The Heretic and Hereje (Spanish edition published in 2012)

The Heretic and Hereje (Spanish edition published in 2012)

Lisa wrote …

This historical novel is well-researched and the story is captivating, although difficult to read in places because of the terrible violence perpetrated against Jews and forcibly baptized Christians (and their descendants) suspected of “reverting” to Judaism in medieval Spain.

The author captures well the dangers in the lives of these conversos and, for those who wish to live as Jews, the risks they ran to practice their faith and be true to their heritage. All of this is in the context of the lives of the Catalan family and their associates, for whom I came to care. How tragic that so many people were persecuted for their beliefs based on false and perverted doctrines, when the value of every human being as a child of God and the importance of agency and freedom of conscience are fundamental to God’s true plan of salvation.

The author waxes didactic in places (as I just did), trying to get the details of the various points of view into the record, but that did not mar the book for me–it was fascinating, if deeply disappointing at times, to learn the positions of those who, as Milton wrote in Areopagitica, use the means of “a false and bloody superstition” to protect what is supposed to be a loving and agency-respecting truth.

The book ended too soon for me–I would have liked to see what happened to later generations of the Catalan family–so this is perhaps a call for a sequel. [NOTE: There is a sequel: THE POPE'S CONSPIRACY]

For readers who wish to know more about the position of Jews in medieval Spain and get good mystery stories into the bargain, I also recommend Caroline Roe’s “Isaac of Girona” series. Congratulations to Lewis Weinstein on a job well done, and some truly impressive support for The Heretic from notable people such as Elie Wiesel and Cardinal O’Connor, among others.

Thank you, Lisa

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* “Case Closed” Author Discusses FBI Anthrax Cover-up and Possible Al-Qaeda Involvement

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 6, 2014

Here is an interview I did in 2010 regarding

the FBI’s failed case against Bruce Ivins

and the need for the American people to know the truth.

Author Photo 2012

 

***

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zI69unuq6A

***

My novel CASE CLOSED, a fictional scenario I invented in 2008

with no research and no special knowledge, seems each day

to move closer to the truth than the FBI’s unprovable assertions.

CC - front cover for Create Space

purchase CASE CLOSED at …

http://www.amazon.com/Case-Closed-Lewis-M-Weinstein/dp/1595943188/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394155296&sr=8-1&keywords=weinstein+case+closed

***

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* Father Edward Flannery: Christians must come to full recognition of the huge crime committed by Christianity against the Jews (research for Lew’s novel-in-progress)

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 25, 2014

anguish of the jews

***

Father Edward Flannery, who died in 1998, was a Catholic priest who was the first director of Catholic-Jewish Relations for the U.S. Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, a position he held from 1967 to 1976. His book was published in 1965.

Flannery’s famous statement … “it is little exaggeration to state that those pages of history Jews have committed to memory are the very ones that have been torn from Christian history books” … was quoted by Dr. Eugene J. Fisher, his successor at the U.S. Bishops’ Committee, in Dr. Fisher’s comments praising my novel THE HERETIC for bringing those pages back to Christian view.

***

Father Flannery pulls no punches in his denunciation of the Catholic Church for its role in promulgating antisemitism and providing the foundation for Hitler’s Holocaust …

*** Pope Pius XII’s silence during the Holocaust rested on the acquiescence of the German episcopacy, which in turn rested on the still wider apathy or collusion with Nazism of German Catholics, themselves so ill prepared for any better response by accustomed antisemitic attitudes so often aided and abetted in the past by the Church itself … the Pope’s “subjects” in Germany were little prepared to heed any denunciations of Hitler and Nazism

*** Judaism lived on as a theological challenge to the Christian claim to be a new and true Israel … the threat of that challenge can hardly be overestimated

*** in the minds of the Church Fathers the only solution to the appeal of the old Israel was to discredit the Jew theologically … to depict the Jew as rejected, even cursed, by God … diabolical, the slayer of God Himself … antisemitism based on theological rivalry

*** modern racial antisemitism – as exemplified by the Nazi regime – would not have been possible without centuries of anti-Judaic and antisemitic precedents … from the beginning, Hitler had his target, the Jews, already set up, defenseless, and discredited

***

Flannery’s conclusion sets a monumental challenge

for contemporary Christians …

*** Christians must come to full recognition of the preponderant role played by the Christian churches in the development of antisemitism … and the huge crime committed by Christianity against the Jews … deplorable … should stain the souls of all Christians … antisemitism is a denial of Christian faith, a failure of Christian hope, a malady of Christian love.

***

The Heretic - for blog

http://www.amazon.com/Heretic-Lewis-M-Weinstein/dp/1475082843/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393338540&sr=1-1&keywords=weinstein+heretic

***

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* the questions in this 4 year old video remained unanswered … the scenario of the 2001 anthrax attacks presented in my novel is still “more plausible” than the one asserted by the FBI … why do we still not know who perpetrated the 2001 anthrax attacks?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 13, 2014

I first posted these questions to YouTube 4 years ago. The questions have not been answered. Meanwhile, the FBI’s case against Dr. Bruce Ivins has been totally demolished on my Case Closed blog (over 323,000 clicks so far) …

http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/  

… but the FBI has never responded to any of these issues, continuing to assert an impossible set of allegations. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says it is conducting a review of the FBI’s investigation, but they are years behind their initially communicated completion date. Nobody seems to care.

My novel CASE CLOSED presents a scenario which many, including a highly placed member of our Intelligence Community, say is “more plausible” than the one still put forward by the FBI.

CC - front cover for Create Space

I can imagine three reasons for the FBI’s failure to adjust its views

in the face of overwhelming refutation of its position …

  1. The FBI has more evidence against Dr. Ivins but is, for some undisclosed reason, withholding that evidence … POSSIBLE BUT NOT SO LIKELY
  2. The FBI, despite the most expensive and extensive investigation in its history, has not solved the case and has no idea who prepared and mailed the anthrax letters that killed 5 Americans in 2001 … EVEN LESS LIKELY
  3. The FBI knows who did it (not Dr. Ivins) but is covering up the actual perpetrators, for undisclosed reasons … THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO

This case is definitely not closed!

***

purchase CASE CLOSED at amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Case-Closed-failed-solve-anthrax/dp/1475131801/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392300941&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=cse+closed+weinstein

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* Lew’s review of EUROPE’S LAST SUMMER by David Fromkin

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 10, 2014

Europe's Last Summer

***

Q: Who Started World War I? … A: Germany!

One of the main props of Hitler’s vitriolic propaganda was to condemn the Allies’ position at Versailles that Germany should be the only nation to pay reparations since it was solely responsible for starting the First World War. Putting aside the problems caused by the reparations, which were substantial and in hindsight bad policy, there remains the issue of who started the war.

Fromkin puts that responsibility squarely on Germany, which encouraged and manipulated the Austrian declaration of war against Serbia into its own war against Russia and France.

*** the internationl conflict in the summer of 1914 consisted of two wars, not one … both were started deliberately, one by the Hapsburg Empire and the other by the German Empire … the decision to launch war – in both cases – was made by a few individuals at the top … both wars were about power, about the relative ranking among the great European powers … both Germany and Austria believed themselves on the way down … each started a war in order to stay where it was

*** it was (Chief of the German General Staff) Helmuth Moltke who wanted war against Russia and France … he artfully substituted his war for support of the Austrian-Serbian war … Moltke represented the Prussian Junker officer caste whose militarization of German life led to the war.

***

Untitled Novel - cover

in my new novel-in-progress … 

I plan to incorporate Fromkin’s controversial but well-documented conclusion (published in 2004) into a discussion one of my fictional characters will have with Marshal Josef Pilsudski of Poland. Pilsudski was involved in the WWI fighting, would probably have known the German generals and staff personnel, and was a brilliant strategist who could well have perceived events as Fromkin later reconstructed. Such is the opportunity offered to the writer of historical fiction to fill in the blanks of history – as long as the known (???) truth allows that it could have happened that way.

***

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* talking about books at DUVAL lunch

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 7, 2014

Lew at DUVAL

***

I had the privilege today of addressing the DUVAL lunch group, of which I am a member, as part of our ongoing authors’ series. Out of 16 members of DUVAL, 8 are published authors, so this group always presents a humbling challenge. I talked briefly about my 4 published novels and then about my work in process. Our venue today was the deck at the Pier House, a longtime Key West locale for authors and drinkers.

5 novels - covers & praise

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* The Heretic … a beautiful portrayal of a Jewish family as they try to live in a culture that denies their humanity

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 4, 2014

The Heretic - for blog

***

 excerpts from Paul Fadoju’s Dec 10, 2013 review of

“The Heretic” on Goodreads.com

A touching well written book. Set during the Spanish Inquisition it shows the beautiful portrayal of a Jewish Family as they try to live in a culture that denies their humanity. I was touched with the tapestry of their lives, the length they went to live the lives that was true to themselves….and as you go through their struggles, you ask yourself a simple question … what would I do in their situation? This ugly part of the Christian history is not well known to the modern church and it’s nice to know that society is moving to an enlighten era where we are tolerant to others who are not like us and long may it continue where we can all celebrate the Humanity that we all share together.

Thanks Lewis, your work is over a decade old

but speaks volume to the new generation.

***

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* The Key West Literary Seminar … a spectacular experience

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 24, 2014

Gerritsen, Connelly, Burke, Koryta

Tess Gerritsen, Michael Connelly, Alafair Burke, Michael Koryta

The 32nd annual Key West Literary Seminar, called THE DARK SIDE, focused on mystery and crime. The roster of authors included (1st weekend): Gillian Flynn, Sara Parestky, Joseph Kanon, Carl Hiaasen, Laura Lippman, Scott Turow and (2nd weekend): Elizabeth George, Lisa Unger, Lee Child, Malla Nunn, John Banville/Benjamin Black, Thomas Cook, Percival Everett, Kent Krueger, Michael Connelly, Michael Koryta, Tess Gerritsen and James Hall. There were individual presentations and panel discussions, and the chance to meet the authors. Pat and I attended the 2nd week.

***

Elizabeth George gave a brilliant keynote address titled “Writing in the Dark, from the Dark, about the Dark.” Later in the week, we had the opportunity to listen to Elizabeth, take her to lunch, and then have her at our home for pizza and to watch the Seattle Seahawks win their way into the Super Bowl. And, by the way, I think her latest – Just One Evil Act – is the best in a great series. I had her autograph her book – Write Away – which is the best book on writing I have ever read.

EG composite

***

One of the great things about the KWLS is that the authors are easily accessible and very personable. Here is Pat with several of the many authors we chatted up.

Pat with Unger, Banville, Collins, Child, Hiaasen

Pat with Unger, Banville, Collins, Hiaasen and Child

***

On Friday afternoon, we were walking along Duval Street when Michael Connelly – yes, that Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch, Lincoln Lawyer) – came walking towards us. He came over to me and said, “Lew, I have something to show you.” Taking out his cell phone, he thumbed through his photos and showed me a photo of my book The Heretic.

“I found this in my room,” he said. Pat and I had spoken briefly with Michael at a cocktail party the previous night, but I am just dumfounded that he made the connection and then was kind enough to show me what he had found. He is not only a great author, but a very nice man.

Lew & Connelly, Heretic

***

With all the well-known names, one of the pleasures of the KWLS is to meet new authors, like Malla Nunn, who writes crime stories set in South Africa. I have started to read Malla’s Let The Dead Lie and it is terrific. So is she. Pat and I spoke with her several times, including lunch together at the seminar’s concluding Conch Chowder Lunch.

Malla Nunn

Malla Nunn

***

Added to the excitement of meeting so many great authors were the significant insights I received – from every session – into aspects of my own writing: how the slow building of dread can work even if you know the ending … people want to know the secrets behind the events … seeking out time-specific sensibilities … the private thoughts of historical characters, expressed in historical fiction permits a more illuminating portrayal than the history itself … characters lie (especially if they are the Nazis in the novel I am currently writing) … use, and choose when to reveal, the character’s misconceptions and purposeful lies. Thinking about writing is, for me, the main benefit of the sessions.

***

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* proposed OP-ED regarding … The “Fascination and Terror” exhibit in Nuremberg needs to be reviewed and re-designed

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 14, 2014

glorification of Hitler (2)

***

My wife and I visited the Nazi Documentation Center in Nuremberg on June 28, 2012, as part of a research trip related to a novel I am currently working on, a novel that will focus on the reasons why German citizens came to support Hitler’s programs of unprovoked war and murder of the Jews.

We walked through the exhibit called “Fascination and Terror” independently, each of us listening to the audio guide and viewing the panels. When we were about two-thirds through the exhibit, my wife asked me if I was receiving the same impression as she was. After a short discussion, we agreed that, to our eyes, the exhibit was very much a glorification of the rise and accomplishments of Adolf Hitler, almost always presented without comment or criticism.

We were horrified.

Our feeling was amplified by the remaining panels in the exhibit and then we were truly shaken by the concluding video, where a German woman says she was told by a friend who worked in a hospital about a patient who had a mental breakdown. She went on (paraphrase) … “He said he was the driver of a truck where Jews were gassed in the back of the truck. He said he couldn’t stand it anymore. But I don’t think this could be true. Our Fuhrer would never allow that to happen.”

It is my hope that historians and others who have seen the “Fascination and Terror” exhibit will offer their opinion of the impression received by my wife and myself. I think it would also be useful to make some effort to measure the response of the numerous viewers of the exhibit, particularly young German students, to learn what message they received.

Director Täubrich’s comments … I have reviewed my comments with the Director of the exhibit, Dr. Hans-Christian Täubrich, and I applaud Dr. Täubrich for his willingness to engage in dialogue with me. In several instances, he pointed out errors that I had made or parts of the exhibit I had not seen or remembered. There were many other objections by Dr. Täubrich which I did not find convincing.

After adjusting for those of Dr. Täubrich’s comments which I felt were valid, I am left with the following 14 specific examples of commission and omission …

1. The Heroic Putsch march … The audio describing Hitler’s failed 1923 putsch in Munich uses the word “heroic” to characterize the march into the center of Munich, an event which every other source I have read describes as incompetent, calamitous, and certainly treasonous. The exhibit book says (p.26) … “In the fall of 1923 Hitler decided that the time was ripe to topple the Reich government. On November 9, in a “heroic” action, he marched into the Munich government district …” The exhibit presents this distorted view of the 1923 putsch without interpretive comment.

2. How Hitler built his power … In the exhibit book, there are many pages presenting a positive panorama of the manner in which Hitler built his power:  the Fuhrer’s idea of national community … the idea of a superior people who would eradicate their opponents, including Jews … the cleverly constructed Fuhrer myth … Hitler’s absolute authority.

3. Forced labor camps … The pages describing forced labor in the later 1930s and during the war (p. 50-53) do express the horror of the work camps … “forced labour camps for Jews, where prisoners were exterminated by workowing to the inhuman conditions the death rate was extremely high” … but again fail to criticize Hitler directly for his role in establishing such camps. Hitler’s name, so prominent elsewhere, is never mentioned in these pages.

4. The Nuremberg Laws … There is but passing mention of the 1935 Nuremberg Laws and no emphasis on their clear purpose of disenfranchising German Jewish citizens of civil rights previously guaranteed by the German Constitution. In the catalog (72-75) we read: “in a perpetual struggle for survival, the weak elements would be eradicated by the strongthis body of thought held the Jews to be a parasitic people, seeking to destroy from within the peoples of the greatest valueBolshevism was an instrument of the Jews in their struggle to dominate the world.” … Does the exhibit offer any protest of these vicious Nazi slogans? Does it present moral objections to the legitimacy of a policy of eradicating the weak? Does it mention that Jewish Germans were actually loyal German citizens who had made numerous significant contributions, including army service in WWI? Not a word! The Nazi condemnations of Jews are left unchallenged, and thus seem to be endorsed by the exhibit.

5. Kristallnacht … Consider this direct quote dealing with Kristallnacht (p.77) … “The reason for this pogrom … was the assassination by a young Jew of the German diplomat Ernst von Rath in Paris.” Really? One killing, far away in Paris no less, was enough to set loose an immediate Germany-wide coordinated attack on Jews and Jewish property, which the exhibit allows to be called “spontaneous riots.” That outrageous lie should have been corrected in the same panel. It is unfortunately typical of the exhibit that the Nazi version of Kristallnacht (“spontaneous riots”) was left unchallenged.

6. Media campaigns against Jews … There is inadequate mention of the newspaper campaigns against German Jewish citizens in Der Sturmer and other Nazi publications. In the catalog there is one paragraph and one photo related to the Nazi propaganda against the Jews (p.75). The issue is proportion, in the catalog as well as in the museum. Why are there 39 pages on the rally grounds and just one paragraph on the unrelenting, untrue and often pornographic campaign against Jews ordered by Hitler (who is not mentioned on page 75), a campaign that set the stage for the systematic murder of 6,000,000 Jews?

7. Impact on Christian Germans … The exhibit here misses the opportunity to discuss the impact of this propaganda on Christian Germans. Did they believe what they were being told? Were they pleased to see the Jews demeaned and ultimately murdered? Were they “proud” of the way Hitler was purifying their country? Whatever the answers, these questions are critical for today’s Germans seeking to understand how their grandparents committed or allowed such atrocities. They are not raised by the exhibit. Hitler is not criticized for propagating lies about the Jews.

8. Complicity of Catholic and Protestant churches … There is no mention of the complicit role of the hierarchies of the Catholic and Protestant churches in supporting Hitler’s rise to power. The role of the German churches in allowing Hitler to seize and exercise power is an essential element of the Hitler years that needs to be dealt with honestly today. The churches represented, or should have represented, the moral fiber of the German people, and yet the highest church leaders stood by and never objected, going out of their way in some instances to instruct their flocks to support Hitler. It is troubling that an exhibit which purports to show the rise of Hitler makes no mention of the complicity of the Catholic and Protestant hierarchies in permitting that rise, including their role in passing the Enabling Act.

9. Centuries of church-sponsored antisemitism … The exhibit also fails to mention the extent to which centuries of church-sponsored antisemitism laid the groundwork for hatred of the Jews without which many historians believe Hitler could not have succeeded. This is important for young Germans to understand, and the exhibit has again missed an opportunity to educate them.

10. Positive portrayal of Hitler’s unprovoked attacks … Catalogue pages (p.78 and after) … “the Wehrmacht marched into Austria … the German territories of Czechoslavakia were taken over … German nationalism appeared in 1938 on the way to fulfillment (of the old dream of) a common Reich for all Germans … powerful German units marched into Poland … with rapid mobile armoured formations and fighter bombers, the Army advanced … the Germans occupied Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium and France in a series of rapid campaigns … In only three months they ruled over almost all of Western Europe … Only Great Britain continued the war against the German Reich … Hitler hastened to the aid of his ally Italy … the Wehrmacht occupied Yugoslavia and Greece.”  One glorious triumph after another, unprovoked, over-reaching, and ultimately unsustainable (i.e., stupid). The exhibit fails to mention these results and consequences of Hitler’s actions, leaving to him the moments of triumph.

11. Hitler’s popularity … The exhibit presents Hitler’s military triumphs as if intending to quicken the heart of any patriotic German! Germany, under Hitler’s guidance, marched on, conquering everyone. The word “unprovoked” is not to be found. The words “ultimate failure” are missing. The exhibit presents the Nazi view, without critical interpretive comment, and thus seems to endorse it. On (p.79): “Hitler’s popularity with the Germans rose to unparalleled levels.” Are Germans supposed to be proud of what the Nazis accomplished on the battlefield? Is that the bottom line of the exhibit’s glorification of Hitler’s conquests?

12. Death camps … Hitler’s wartime accomplishments are portrayed in the glowing terms quoted above, but the fact that Hitler directly ordered the death camps is not mentioned. Instead, the exhibit states: “Plans for the systematic murder of all European Jews were being hatched … the SS set up three single-purpose extermination camps.” No mention of Hitler. Why does the exhibit refrain, again and again, from directly criticizing Hitler and calling him the monster he was? There is also no mention of what Germans knew or did not know about the death camps, a topic of vital importance to Germany’s current generation struggling to make judgments about the actions of their parents and grandparents.

13. Final exhibit (1)we thought it would be nice for the Jews … At the end of the exhibit, there is a video showing interviews with Germans who lived through the Nazi years. One woman says (paraphrase), “We had no idea what was happening to the Jews. We thought they were being taken away to Israel (sic), where it would be nice for them since they would all be together. They would have everything they needed, all the doctors, tailors, etc. But I guess if there were only Jews, some of them would have to be street cleaners.” 

14. Final exhibit (2)Our Fuhrer would never allow that to happen … Another woman says she was told by a friend who worked in a hospital about a patient who had a mental breakdown. She said (paraphrase) … “He said he was the driver of a truck where Jews were gassed in the back of the truck. He said he couldn’t stand it anymore. I don’t think this could be true. Our Fuhrer would never allow that to happen.”  

***

 Author Photo 2012

Mr. Weinstein is a graduate of Princeton University and the Harvard Business School. His management career included the direction of for-profit, government, and not-for-profit entities. More recently, he is the author of four published novels, and is currently working on a novel set in Germany and Poland during the Nazi years.

***

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* Thank you early readers … the first comments on the draft of part one of my new novel are just spectacular … and much appreciated

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 13, 2014

nuremberg-war-crimes-trial

***

Thank you early readers!

I have so far received “early reader”comments form three readers. The depth of their observations is truly impressive.

I asked specifically for “dead spots” that might be eliminated to improve the pace of the novel, and several of those have been identified. However, it is far more the case that early readers have asked for more, not less, most often with respect to deeper understanding of characters’ motivations.

This gives me much to consider as I work on revising my draft, which I will do after I have received feedback from the other early readers.

***

Posted in * AN UNTITLED NOVEL ... Lew's novel-in-progress | Leave a Comment »

* Fergie’s review of “The Heretic” on Goodreads

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 8, 2014

The Heretic - for blog

Fergie’s review

The Heretic is a wonderfully written novel about the Spanish Inquisition and the impact it had on the Jewish population in the 15th century. In Lewis Weinstein’s able hands, the history of Jewish culture trying to survive the Anti-Semitic acts of that era survive. In fact, Weinstein describes with great deft, the roots of Anti-Semitic views in Europe.

I read this book in one day, finding it difficult to put down. History, action, and love all abound in this book. Also present is the notion of ignorance and the discrimination that extends from it.

The Catholic Church’s sins are outlined historically and accurately in the book. To understand history is to make an effort not to repeat it. Had the world taken greater note of the issues described so well by Mr. Weinstein, perhaps the world, and most notably, the Jewish population, may not have been forced to suffer through the Holocaust.

Students of history should read this book. People of the Catholic and Jewish faiths should read this book. It may sound like an over-reaching statement, but I believe that all humanity would be well-served reading this book. Once you read the foreward, you’ll be compellingly hooked.

***

Thank you, Fergie.

***

Posted in * THE HERETIC | Leave a Comment »

* a new 5 ***** review of The Pope’s Conspiracy” on Goodreads

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 7, 2014

Pope's Conspiracy - cover for blog

***

Laura Uplinger‘s 5 ***** review 

In this inspiring book, Lewis Weinstein takes us to the heart of the Medici family and the fledgling Renaissance. He masterfully weaves love, religion, politics and friendship in his writer’s loom and it all becomes so palpable, so discernible… Much of what we experience today in our XXI Century world was germinating in those times of heroic pioneering… Thank you Lewis Weinstein for gifting your readers with a warm peek in the intimacy of the minds of men and women of that epoch.
***

Posted in * THE POPE'S CONSPIRACY | Leave a Comment »

* early readers take on Part One of “An Untitled Novel”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 7, 2014

nuremberg-war-crimes-trial

***

THANK YOU, EARLY READERS.

I have completed a draft of Part One of my novel set in Germany and Poland during the Nazi years. The first early reviewer was my wife, who is an excellent reader and who I encouraged to be critical, although such encouragement was not really necessary since Pat often describes herself as my “harshest critic.” After that, I did my own re-edit of the roughly 200 pages of Part One, then sent the latest revised draft to friends who have agreed to be “early readers.”

Some of these early readers are Goodreads and Facebook friends, others are people I met in Germany while doing research, some are friends from Key West, others are people who have been early readers on my previous novels.

Here’s what I’ve asked early readers to pay particular attention to …

1. First of all is your sense of the flow of the book. Does it pull you along? Are there dead spots where your interest flags? Are there scenes or parts of scenes which you don’t think are necessary?

2. This is harder. Are there things missing? For instance, do you feel you need a transition link between scenes or to set the scene? Or do you need a prior foundation for something you are reading and don’t fully understand?

3. Reaction to major characters … What is your view of Berthold and Anna? Do you think you have gotten to know them as young people? Are you interested in finding out what happens to bring them to Nuremberg?

4. Prologue and Interludes. Do you like the opening, with the Nuremberg charges and sentences? Do you like the way Marissa and Abraham frame the story at the beginning and then re-appear in the interludes? Do you like meeting Anna and Berthold in “real time” in the interludes?

Within two days, I have already received some really perceptive comments, enough to make the whole process worthwhile, and I am sure there will be many more.

***

THANK YOU, EARLY READERS.

***

Posted in * AN UNTITLED NOVEL ... Lew's novel-in-progress | Leave a Comment »

* Thank you Goodreads & Facebook friends … one more week for special ebook prices

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 24, 2013

one week left - author blog

***

The Heretic and the sequel The Pope’s Conspiracy …

available together as a single kindle edition

The Catalan Family Saga … $3.99

http://www.amazon.com/The-Catalan-Family-Saga-Conspiracy-ebook/dp/B0081TIHD4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387889585&sr=8-1&keywords=weinstein+catalan

A Good Conviction … $3.99

http://www.amazon.com/Good-Conviction-Lewis-M-Weinstein/dp/1595941622/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387889659&sr=8-1&keywords=weinstein+good+conviction

Cased Closed … $2.99

http://www.amazon.com/Case-Closed-failed-solve-anthrax/dp/1475131801/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387889721&sr=8-1&keywords=weinstein+case+closed

***

Posted in *** Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

* my review of ANGRY DAYS is published in the Key West Citizen

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 23, 2013

angry days 1

***

angry days 2

Posted in *** Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

* great prices on all kindle editions until Dec 31

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 16, 2013

4 novels - no problem - author blog

***

Thank you, Goodreads and Facebook friends

To express my appreciation for all the pleasure I get from interacting with you on Goodreads and Facebook, I have instituted special kindle pricing for my Goodreads and Facebook friends, from now (as soon as amazon processes my pricing updates) 

 ***

Special kindle pricing will end 12/31/13 …

if my books are on your “to read” list, now is the time to buy

***

The Heretic and the sequel The Pope’s Conspiracy …

available together as a single kindle edition

The Catalan Family Saga … $3.99

***

A Good Conviction … $3.99

 ***

Cased Closed … $2.99

 ***

Read what others say about my novels …

***

The Heretic 

the secretly Jewish Catalan family seeking to avoid the persecution of the Church

Elie Wiesel …  

The Heretic is deeply absorbing … it helps Jews and Christians better understand their complex and often painful relationship.”

Alan M. Dershowitz … 

“The historical novel that is both true to the past and relevant to the present is rare indeed. The Heretic humanizes the tragic history of religious persecution.”

Laura (on Goodreads) … “Thank you Lewis Weinstein for this fabulous book! It moved me so deeply… I admire your art and your research. The Heretic educated me, and the Catalan family now lives in my heart.”

*** 

The Pope’s Conspiracy

 the surviving Catalan family in the Florence of Lorenzo de Medici  

Sherril Rhoades  … “The Pope’s Conspiracy brings the Renaissance alive. The story focuses on a young Jewish printer and his wife who become caught up in the political machinations of the Vatican

Carol (on amazon) … This is a powerful sequel to the Heretic. Another well researched, informative story with characters you care about and a story that keeps the reader engaged.

***

A Good Conviction

convicted of a murder he did not commit by a prosecutor who knew he was innocent

*This is a “page turner” and I loved every minute of it.

* What’s scary about Josh’s situation is that it’s entirely plausible.

* The courtroom scene moved quickly in a compelling manner.

* My heart is breaking for this kid

***

Case Closed

what might really have happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks … not what the FBI says

Rawy … The whole Anthrax episode is unquestionably a dark moment in American history. But what makes it fascinating is how it was handled (or should I say mishandled) by the administration and the various agency involved. The books is a must read for anyone who wondered what really happened? Who did it? and why? … and finally, why didn’t they tell us the truth.

Sherril Rhoades  … This scary scenario is as close to truth as fiction can come. Lew Weinstein is a meticulous researcher and a determined storyteller. This book will keep you up at night — reading, then worrying.

***

WELCOME TO MY AUTHOR BLOG … 

http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/

***

Posted in *** Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

* Joe Stamber’s review of CASE CLOSED on Goodreads … authentic … fascinating … a novel which could easily be mistaken for a factual account (of what actually happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed 5 people and paralyzed the nation) … $2.99 on kindle until Dec 31

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 15, 2013

CASE CLOSED

***

special pricing until Dec 31, 2013

Kindle edition on amazon … $2.99

to purchase, click >>>

Case Closed: … why the FBI failed to solve the 2001 anthrax case 

***

Joe Stamber’s review of CASE CLOSED … 

I have only vague recollections of the anthrax attacks that took place in 2001 and little knowledge of the subsequent FBI investigation, but I didn’t have to look far to catch up. It isn’t essential to know the details before reading Case Closed as the author gives a brief introduction explaining his reasons for writing the novel, although reading up on the “facts” elsewhere may lead to a greater understanding.

The FBI investigation into the anthrax attacks was long winded and controversial. Case Closed is a fictional scenario where some officials are angry enough at the outcome of the investigation to do something about out it. Due to Lew Weinstein’s style (in this particular book) and attention to detail, Case Closed has a very authentic feel. It doesn’t read like a novel, more like an account of events which despite being fictional sound credible.

The word that most comes to mind after finishing Case Closed is “fascinating”. If presented to a reader unaware of its fictional status, it could easily be mistaken for a factual account of events. That what makes it stand out. A well thought out, well written and intriguing read for those seeking something a little different.

***

Ivins & FBI logo

This man, Dr. Bruce Ivins, was accused by the FBI … after he had committed suicide … there is no credible evidence to support the FBI’s case

Lew’s comment …

The FBI has never told the true story of the anthrax attacks or its own investigation. The FBI assertion that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator does not stand up. Every element of the FBI case has been thoroughly demolished on  my CASE CLOSED blog.

… http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/  

… over 1,300 posts, 17,000 comments, 300,000 clicks … so far

the search for the truth goes on

***

A well-respected source in the U.S. Intelligence Community says … 

Lew’s novel is a plausible explanation of what might have happened 

***

4 novels + author

Posted in * CASE CLOSED | Leave a Comment »

* THE HERETIC & THE POPE’S CONSPIRACY … special ebook price of $3.99 (for a combined edition of both books) … until Dec 31 … a thank you for my Facebook and Goodreads friends

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 13, 2013

$3.99 for both novels

purchase at amazon.com

The Catalan Family Saga – The Heretic & The Pope’s Conspiracy

***

special pricing until Dec 31 …

a thank you for all the pleasure I get

interacting with my

GOODREADS & FACEBOOK FRIENDS

***

learn more about THE HERETIC at …

* THE HERETIC

***

learn more about THE POPE’S CONSPIRACY at …

* THE POPE’S CONSPIRACY

***

4 novels + author

Posted in *** Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

* two book signings in Key West on the same day

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 12, 2013

Somebody said there are more authors per square foot in Key West than any place else on the planet. Here is some evidence to support that assertion.

Last Saturday morning The Studios of Key West (TSKW) had a combined craft and local author festival. Also on display were fantastic rooster creations by Key West artists.

TSKW - Dec 2013

Later that afternoon, Sherril Rhoades’ Absolutely Amazing E-books …  (http://www.absolutelyamazingebooks.com/) … sponsored a book signing for 35 authors at the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon. Photos by Carol Tedesco.

Author event at Smokin' Tuna

Just a normal day in Key West. Oh, yes, there was also the Holiday Parade that night, featuring dozens of floats that took over two hours to ride down Truman and across Duval. I carried the ACLU banner and Pat gave out candy to the kids lining the route. Here was our “official” car driven (and owned) by Michael Shields.

Michael & Mary Sheerin

Posted in *** appearances & news | Leave a Comment »

* A GOOD CONVICTION … special ebook price of $3.99 until Dec 31 … a thank you for my Facebook and Goodreads friends

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 10, 2013

Good Con viction - cover for blog

***

Joshua Blake went to New York expecting to enter law school. Instead, he has been arrested and convicted of a murder he did not commit. He wakes up in Sing SIng prison with a cellmate name Spider and desperately seeks to regain his once promising life.

Purchase ebook edition for $3.99 until Dec 31 …

http://www.amazon.com/Good-Conviction-Lewis-M-Weinstein-ebook/dp/B0035WU3VQ/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1386668309&sr=8-1&keywords=weinstein+a+good+conviction

Wrongful prosecution of a young man for a murder he did not commit is at the core of A Good Conviction. Joshua Blake has been sent to Sing Sing by a prosecutor who may have known he was innocent. Josh struggles to survive in an environment completely alien to anything he has ever known or even imagined. He befriends some inmates, and has brutal exchanges with others, as he is inescapably corrupted by prison life. All the while he tries to understand how this could have happened to him, and what he can now do to restore his once promising future. Josh is aided in his quest by his cellmate Spider, by the NYPD detective who arrested him, by two defense attorneys and a New York Daily News reporter who are infuriated by the miscarriage of justice perpetrated against him, and by Darlene, a hooker he meets on his first day in New York. He is forcefully opposed by Manhattan ADA Roger Claiborne, and by an uncaring criminal justice system that is loathe to admit a mistake. A Good Conviction is set in Manhattan, Rikers Island and Sing Sing.

***

Wrongful prosecution could happen to anyone.

It could happen to you.

Most Americans are comfortable in the belief that if they don’t commit a crime, they have no risk of going to jail. Unfortunately, that’s not always the way things are.

In addition to writing a compelling novel, Mr. Weinstein has put forth a wakeup call about a problem which plagues the American criminal justice system. While most prosecutors are honest and try to afford all defendants the fair trial to which they are entitled, far too many prosecutors fail to uphold this sacred obligation.

Most often, those prosecutors who cheat to get a conviction do so by suppressing evidence that goes against their case, evidence that would produce `reasonable doubt’ in a juror’s mind. Sometimes, they even conspire to make up evidence which alleges guilt, for instance by planting a “stoolie” who will then testify about admissions by the defendant which never happened.

Don’t believe it? Think it can’t happen in America, the land of justice for all?

Consider these damning reports by very credible organizations …

* The Chicago Tribune reported that 381 murder convictions were reversed because of police or prosecutorial misconduct. * Columbia Law School documented “chronic prosecutorial suppression of evidence of innocence.” * Barry Scheck et al (in Actual Innocence: When Justice Goes Wrong and How to Make it Right ) report numerous cases of prosecutorial misconduct, usually by suppression of evidence that would have proven innocence. * The book In Spite Of Innocence: Erroneous Convictions in Capital Cases , published by Northeastern University Press, cites 400 wrongful convictions. * The heart-wrenching play The Exonerated presents the true stories, in their own words, of seven persons who were wrongfully convicted

How likely is it there are many more such cases that have never come to significant public attention? Is it possible that what we do know is but the tip of the iceberg?

When you have read A Good Conviction, you will know that wrongful prosecution could happen to anyone. It could happen to you.

 ***

ENTHUSIASTIC READER COMMENTS

* This gripping story demonstrates how one’s life can take a 180 degree turn in a moment. Innocent actions can be misinterpreted and unfortunate consequences result. Weinstein is a great story teller and this is a very well crafted story.

* The characters and their emotions were so vividly portrayed that I still think about them as if I knew them. Lovers of New York City will walk the streets of the city and visualize “A Good Conviction” happening. You will walk past a certain news-stand and wonder if the owner remembers Josh. When you read a book that you don’t want to end….that is a good book. “A Good Conviction” is a good book.

* This is a “page turner” and I loved every minute of it. This author avoids the common fault I find with many mysteries: not having a good ending that leaves you satisfied. The main character is entirely believable and his circumstances are chilling: something that could happen to any one of us. The research behind this book and the author’s familiarity with legal procedures (which are not hard to follow in the book) are evident.

* Once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down until it was finished – and that was in the wee hours of the morning! Weinstein allows the reader to feel the same anger, scare and frustration that Josh experiences, as we watch him become a victim of a corrupt DA. At the same time that we root for Josh to get justice, we are brought into the world of incarcerated criminals who fill their days with ways to survive. It’s a wild ride, and a story that I highly recommend.

* Having spent two years of a twenty year career with the NYPD transporting prisoners to and from Manhattan Central Booking, I read much of Mr. Weinstein’s book holding my breath. During those long 24 months I never got used to the sound of the cell doors sliding closed with a loud CLANG! Even knowing full well I would be leaving, it induced instant claustrophobia. Well, the scenes in this novel that take part on Riker’s Island brought that sound and more back to me with amazing clarity. If you want a glimpse into the hell that is American prison life, read this book.

* I am amazed at the research that Weinstein has done for both of his books. A Good Conviction, like The Heretic, is a real page turner with a lot of suspense. However, the book is more than just suspenseful. Weinstein illuminates an issue that is very serious and through a fictional account he sensitizes the reader to the plight of the many people who are incarcerated for crimes that they did not commit. I recommend the book highly and cannot wait for his next book.

* What a ride! A scary, yet thoroughly believable, journey through the police and court systems of New York City. Lewis Weinstein captures the tensions and fears of prison life so well, it’s hard to believe he hasn’t done hard time himself. It certainly makes you wonder how many innocent people are behind bars. Highly recommended!

* this is one of the few books that I could not put down and always looked forward to the next chapter! So many books have the tendency to be drawn out in the middle, but this one kept you on the edge throughout and you really did get to know every character. I love a book that when I read it I feel like I am living it and that can only be done by a talented writer. Thank You for the experience!

***

Posted in * A GOOD CONVICTION, *** Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

* great special KINDLE pricing on amazon.com for my Goodreads and Facebook friends … until 12/31/13

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 8, 2013

4 novels + author

***

Thank you, Goodreads and Facebook friends

To express my appreciation for all the pleasure I get from interacting with you on Goodreads and Facebook, I have instituted special kindle pricing for my Goodreads and Facebook friends, from now (as soon as amazon processes my pricing updates) 

 ***

Special kindle pricing will end 12/31/13 …

if my books are on your “to read” list, now is the time to buy

***

The Heretic and the sequel The Pope’s Conspiracy

available together as a single kindle edition

The Catalan Family Saga … $3.99

***

A Good Conviction … $3.99

 ***

Cased Closed … $2.99

 ***

Read what others say about my novels …

***

The Heretic 

the secretly Jewish Catalan family seeking to avoid the persecution of the Church 

Elie Wiesel …  The Heretic is deeply absorbing … it helps Jews and Christians better understand their complex and often painful relationship.”

Alan M. Dershowitz … “The historical novel that is both true to the past and relevant to the present is rare indeed. The Heretic humanizes the tragic history of religious persecution.”

Laura (on Goodreads) … “Thank you Lewis Weinstein for this fabulous book! It moved me so deeply… I admire your art and your research. The Heretic educated me, and the Catalan family now lives in my heart.”

*** 

The Pope’s Conspiracy

 the surviving Catalan family in the Florence of Lorenzo de Medici  

Sherril Rhoades  … “The Pope’s Conspiracy brings the Renaissance alive. The story focuses on a young Jewish printer and his wife who become caught up in the political machinations of the Vatican

Carol (on amazon) … This is a powerful sequel to the Heretic. Another well researched, informative story with characters you care about and a story that keeps the reader engaged.

***

A Good Conviction

convicted of a murder he did not commit by a prosecutor who knew he was innocent 

*This is a “page turner” and I loved every minute of it.

* What’s scary about Josh’s situation is that it’s entirely plausible.

* The courtroom scene moved quickly in a compelling manner.

* My heart is breaking for this kid

***

Case Closed

what might really have happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks … not what the FBI says

Rawy … The whole Anthrax episode is unquestionably a dark moment in American history. But what makes it fascinating is how it was handled (or should I say mishandled) by the administration and the various agency involved. The books is a must read for anyone who wondered what really happened? Who did it? and why? … and finally, why didn’t they tell us the truth.

Sherril Rhoades  … This scary scenario is as close to truth as fiction can come. Lew Weinstein is a meticulous researcher and a determined storyteller. This book will keep you up at night — reading, then worrying.

***

WELCOME TO MY AUTHOR BLOG … 

http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/

***

***

Posted in *** Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

* Lew’s review of BYSTANDERS – Conscience and Complicity During the Holocaust

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 6, 2013

WELCOME TO MY AUTHOR BLOG … 

http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/welcome_to_my_author_blog/

***

Bystanders - cover

BYSTANDERS – Conscience and Complicity During the Holocaust … by Victoria Barnett

***

This is probably the most thought-provoking book I have yet read in my research for my new novel. By examining the motivation and behavior of bystanders, and including the Catholic and Protestant churches as bystanders, Barnett clearly demonstrates how and why these bystanders were not neutral observers, but were instead complicit in furthering the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis. I will return to this book many times as I write scenes for my German and Polish characters related to these issues.

a few quotes (among so many that could be chosen) …

… The Christian community not only failed to stop the Holocaust … to a horrifying degree it had passively watched and even participated … it had consistently emphasized obedience to the Nazi state, not resistance on behalf of of its victims

… Elie Wiesel: If Christianity hadn’t taught anti-Semitism and hatred of the Jews, the Holocaust would not have happened

… For the victims, indifference and silence of bystanders had the same consequences has the active hatred of perpetrators

… many people thought that even if Jews shouldn’t be killed, they weren’t worth saving

… Christian teachings predisposed Germans to view Jewish suffering with indifference

… In 1941, the International Committee of the Red Cross began to receive reports that Nazi concentration camps were in fact killing factories for hundreds of thousands of European Jews … Red Cross leaders decided that the importance of their organization’s humanitarian role outweighed any possible benefits of taking a public position against Nazi authorities

… The churches supported state policies and carried out state orders … Such cooperation with the Nazi regime encouraged complicity and blocked effective resistance … no opposing voices were heard

… By not protesting Nazi measures against Jews and by allowing church records to be used as proof of racial purity the churches tacitly authorized state violence against the Jews … laying the foundation for death lists and gas chambers to follow

… LEW WEINSTEIN

***

WELCOME TO MY AUTHOR BLOG … 

http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/welcome_to_my_author_blog/

***

4 novels + author

Posted in ** RESEARCH for Lew's NEXT NOVEL | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

* Laura’s (5*****) review of THE HERETIC by Lew Weinstein

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 3, 2013

The Heretic - for blog

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.

.

Laura rated THE HERETIC 5 of 5 stars (on Goodreads) …

“Thank you Lewis Weinstein for this fabulous book! It moved me so deeply… I admire your art and your research. “The Heretic” educated me, and the Catalan family now lives in my heart.”

.

***

for links my 4 published novels

and my new novel in progress, CLICK >>>  

http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/welcome_to_my_author_blog/

***********************************

4 novels + author

Posted in * THE HERETIC, *** Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

* Ellis Katz’s (5*****) review of A GOOD CONVICTION by Lew Weinstein (on Goodreads)

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 1, 2013

Good Con viction - cover for blog
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Ellis’ review …
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Poor Josh Blake. He just moved to NYC from Baltimore to begin law school at NYU. Before he has a chance to settle in, he is arrested for the Central Park murder of an elderly woman.
.
He is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in Sing Sing.
.
Needless to say, he is completely innocent, but no one seems to care and it looks like he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
.
However, a detective, a reporter, a lawyer and a prostitute take his pleas of innocence seriously and set out to overturn his conviction. It is no easy task because the judges, the prosecutors and the police consider the case closed and just want to move onto the next case.
.
What happens to Josh? Read the book and find out, and learn something about the American criminal justice system at the same time. The book is face-paced and well-researched. It is a good read in every sense of the term.
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***

for links my 4 published novels and my new novel in progress, CLICK >>>  

http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/welcome_to_my_author_blog/

4 novels + author

Posted in *** Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

* Mike’s (5*****) review of THE POPE’S CONSPIRACY

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 1, 2013

Pope's Conspiracy - cover for blog

.

excerpts from Mike’s review …

… The Pope’s Conspiracy is a great read which tightly binds the intrigue of a thriller with the lightness of a narrative history.

… the characters are extremely well depicted, both real and fictitious.

… Fans of historical fiction should read it as a thrilling introduction to a very interesting period in time

… fans of Renaissance history should read it as an accurate walking tour of Europe’s most important city of the day

… The book is set in 1478 in Florence, which was at that time approaching the zenith of its powers as an unrivaled artistic, scientific and financial centre. Rarely can an city on earth have laid a claim to have been so important in the development of the modern world.

… Into this world of political chess and creative mastery come the characters of Benjamin and Esther Catalan, whose story began with Lew Weinstein’s previous book, The Heretic.

The Heretic - for blog … https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/727093.The_Heretic

… the couple are immediately likable, faults and all, and that this leads the reader to hope that they avoid the perils of European Jewry of that age, which surround them from the very first page.

… this reader was left hungry to find a copy of The Heretic and find out more fully how Benjamin and Esther came to be in Florence.

… the story is captivating – clearly very thoroughly researched, balanced, and with a development and definition of character that sticks closely to known historical fact as much as possible while leaving room for enough to be changed to suit the direction of the plot without ruining the realism.

… There was also enough information on the every day lives of Jews five hundred years ago to open my interests in a new subject altogether, and the book certainly has a wealth to offer in that respect.

***

for links my 4 published novels and my new novel in progress, CLICK >>>  

http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/welcome_to_my_author_blog/

4 novels + author

Posted in *** Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

* excerpts from Judie’s (5 *****) review of THE HERETIC on Goodreads

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 21, 2013

The Heretic - for blog

.

excerpts from Judie’s review 

… THE HERETIC provides an intriguing story of life in Spain during the 15th Century.

… It grabbed and held my interest, making me want to learn more about the characters, both the good and bad ones.

… The book presents well-told explanations of the political situation at the time between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. It tells why and how Spain introduced the Inquisition and what it meant to the people involved.

… I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in … the Inquisition … the history of printing … the history of Christianity … the relationships between (Christianity) and other religions.

… Weinstein tells how Christianity developed as Jews rejected the message of the original Christians. He suggests a major reason for anti-Semitism was the fear that if the Jews were right in their beliefs, then Christians must be wrong.

… “What if the Jews are still God’s Chosen People? What if Christ is not the Jewish Messiah? What if the Old Law of Moses is not invalid? If the Jews are right, then what is left to Christianity?”

… Weinstein provides information about the lives of the rulers of Spain at that time beginning with King Enrique, a rather inept monarch and brother to the future Queen Isabella. He also provides a theory of why Isabella, who had good relationships with Jews, became a supporter of the Inquisition.

***

The end of the book includes references for further reading. A study guide is also available at the author’s blog … http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/2013/04/22/discussion-questions-for-the-heretic/

***

for more posts about THE HERETIC, click >>> 

http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/category/the-heretic/

***

also in praise of THE HERETIC …

http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/2012/06/13/praise-for-the-heretic/

wiesel & dershowitz.

Elie Wiesel & Alan Dershowitz have lauded THE HERETIC

***

for links my 4 published novels and my new novel in progress, CLICK >>>  

http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/welcome_to_my_author_blog/

4 novels + author

Posted in * THE HERETIC | Leave a Comment »

* writing in a Paris cafe … a scene in my new novel … tentatively titled NO EXIT

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 27, 2013

La favorite (1)

Here I am at one of our favorite cafes, called La Favorite, a few steps from our apartment, having morning coffee and croissant, working on my novel. What I’m doing is watching the 1930 movie “All Quiet on the Western Front,” while taking notes for the scene I’m working on.

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Posted in * AN UNTITLED NOVEL ... Lew's novel-in-progress, *** Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

* new tentative title for my novel on progress … NO EXIT

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 21, 2013

nuremberg-war-crimes-trial

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NO EXIT

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I’m writing a historical novel about events in Germany and Poland in the Nazi years. The major characters are a German boy who becomes a Nazi and a Polish girl who becomes a victim. Their story, and their relationship, unfolds against a background neither can escape.

The title is taken from a powerful play by Jean Paul Sartre written in 1944.

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What do you think?

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* the article reproduced below describes incomprehensible acts of murder against innocent civilians committed by the German people. The question I am addressing in my new novel-in-progress is why they were capable of such behavior.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 7, 2013

glorification of Hitler (2)

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Inside the Nazi Mind at the Nuremberg Trials

 http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/07/inside-the-nazi-mind-at-the-nuremberg-trials.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=cheatsheet_afternoon&cid=newsletter%3Bemail%3Bcheatsheet_afternoon&utm_term=Cheat%20Sheet

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At Nuremberg, 24 of the highest-ranking Nazis were put on trial, but behind the scenes they were also being analyzed by leading American psychologists to figure out the root of their evil. Thomas Harding on what they discovered.

by Thomas Harding  | September 7, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

Why do men commit evil? Were the kommandants who ran the Nazi death camps psychopaths? Did they have subnormal intelligence? Were they just ordinary men who made appalling decisions?

I have been thinking about these questions ever since I found out that my great-uncle, Hanns Alexander, a German Jew, was a Nazi Hunter. At the end of the Second World War he tracked down and caught one of the worst mass murderers of all time, Rudolf Höss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz.

These were also the questions that a team of American psychologists and psychiatrists were directed to answer during the Nuremberg Trials that opened on November 20, 1945, six months after the war’s end.

Charges of crimes against humanity were read out against 24 of the highest-ranking Nazis then in captivity, including Ernst Kaltenbrunner, chief of the Reich Security Main Office and the highest-ranking SS officer after Himmler’s death.

With so many senior Nazis held in one place at the same time, the Americans instructed a panel of psychologists to conduct exten­sive interviews and tests with the defendants. Such horrific crimes were committed surely by damaged men, men different in some fundamental way from the rest of humanity.

Among the defendants examined was Rudolf Höss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz. Unlike the others held in Nuremberg, Höss had been intimately involved in the design and day-to-day operations of the extermination camps.

First he was visited by Gustave Gilbert, a New Yorker born to Jewish-Austrian immigrants. Gilbert later wrote about his meeting with the Kommandant in his 1947 book Nuremberg Diary.

Gilbert asked for a brief career summary, and was surprised when Höss admitted in an unemotional tone that he had been responsible for the deaths of more than two and a half million Jews.

The American asked how it was possible to kill so many people. “Technically,” answered Höss, “that wasn’t so hard—it would not have been hard to exterminate even greater numbers.” Gilbert then pressed him for an emotional response, but Höss continued in a similar tone: “At the time there were no consequences to consider. It didn’t occur to me that I would be held responsible. You see, in Germany it was understood that if something went wrong, then the man who gave the orders was responsible.” Gilbert started to ask, “But what about the human—” before Höss interrupted, “That just didn’t enter into it.” After a few more questions, Höss said, “I suppose you want to know in this way if my thought and habits are normal.” “Well, what do you think?” Gilbert asked. “I am entirely normal,” said Höss. “Even while I was doing the extermination work, I led a normal family life.”

Relying on the often-discredited Rorschach ink-blot test, Gilbert concluded that “one gets the general impres­sion of a man who is intellectually normal but with a schizoid apathy, insensitivity, and lack of empathy that could hardly be more extreme in a frank psychotic.”

Two days later, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, Major Leon Goldensohn, came to visit Rudolf Höss. Thirty-five years old, Goldensohn was, like Gilbert, a Jew who had been born and raised in New York. Goldensohn had arrived recently in Nuremberg to replace Douglas Kelley, another American psychiatrist who had conducted interviews with many of the prisoners (and would later publish his findings in a 1947 book Twenty-two Cells in Nuremberg.)

Goldensohn made detailed notes of his encounter with the kommandant, which were posthumously published in 2005 in the volume The Nuremberg Interviews.

When he arrived in the cell, sucking at a pipe dangling from his mouth, Goldensohn found the prisoner sitting on the edge of his cot with his trousers rolled up, bathing his feet in a tub of warm water.

Through an interpreter, Goldensohn asked him how he felt mentally. Rudolf Höss replied: “I feel less nervous now than I did.” He was then asked if he felt upset over what he had done in Auschwitz. “I thought I was doing the right thing,” said Höss. “I was obeying orders, and now, of course, I see that it was unnecessary and wrong. But I don’t know what you mean by being upset about these things because I didn’t personally murder anybody. I was just the director of the extermination program at Auschwitz. It was Hitler who ordered it through Himmler and it was Eichmann who gave me the orders regarding transports.”

When Goldensohn asked if he was haunted by nightmares—by images of the executions, gas chambers, or burning corpses—Höss replied: “No, I have no such fantasies.”

Overseeing the murder of over a million people had left him unhaunted by “fantasies.”

In a letter, written on 20 May 1946, Goldensohn gave his assess­ment: “His character is that of the amoral psychopath, which in itself, and correlated with his personal development history, indicates a dearth of parental love and unconscious hostility toward the father.”

On 15 April 1946, Rudolf Höss provided his testimony at Nuremberg. In its candor and detail regarding the mechanics of the Final Solution it changed the course of the trial.

Rudolf Höss’ testimony was reported around the world. The New York Times described it as the “crushing climax to the case.” In Britain, The Times of London went further. They said of Höss’ signed testimony: “its dreadful implications must surpass any document ever penned.”

A few days later, Rudolf Höss was handed to the Polish authorities to face his own trial. In April 1947, the former kommandant was hung on the gallows next to the old crematorium in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The conclusion of the psychologists and psychiatrists at Nuremberg was clear: they both decided that though Rudolf Höss was intelligent, he was mentally ill: a psychopath, psychotic, amoral, lacking empathy.

But Rudolf flatly denied this to be the case. He declared himself to be normal.  He regretted, at most, doing something unnecessary.  Overseeing the murder of over a million people had left him unhaunted by “fantasies.”

The impression of the mental health professionals was also contradicted by two of the intelligence officers who interrogated Rudolf Höss.

First, there was the British war crimes investigator, Captain Hanns Alexander, my great-uncle Hanns, the German Jew turned British soldier, who had arrested the kommandant. Alexander had expected Höss to be a monster and was surprised to find him to appear “normal.”

Then there was Whitney Harris, the American prosecutor (and member of the OSS) who took Höss’s affidavit in Nuremberg. Harris said that Höss appeared like a “grocery clerk,” someone you would pay no attention to if you met him on the street.

This view that Höss was “normal,” no different essentially from other human beings, is supported by the kommandant’s own daughter, Brigitte, who said in a recent interview that her father was “kind” to her as a child, indeed he was “the nicest father in the world.” Brigitte even recalled that he looked “sad when he came back from work.” Brigitte was also clear that, as far as an 11-year-old would be able to tell, her father was sane.

An alternative theory of what underlies the character of the men and women who executed the Final Solution is put forward by Hannah Arendt. She argued that these men and women were typically not psychopaths or two-dimensional monsters. Rather they were ordinary men, who made a series of terrible decisions with horrific consequences.

To paraphrase Hannah Arendt—as portrayed in the recently released movie of the same name—the Nazi war criminal’s actions stemmed from her well-known phrase “banality of evil,” not as a result of mental illness but as a result of a lack of thinking. Their greatest error was delegating the process of thinking and decision-making to their higher ups. In Rudolf Höss’s case, this would have been his superiors, particularly Heinrich Himmler.

To many this conclusion is troubling, for it suggests that if everyday, “normal,” sane men and women are capable of evil, then the atrocities perpetrated during the Holocaust and other genocides could be repeated today and into the future.

Yet, this is exactly the lesson we must learn from the war criminals at Nuremberg. We must be ever wary of those who do not take responsibility for their actions. And we ourselves must be extra vigilant, particularly in this day of accelerated technological power, heightened state surveillance, and global corporate reach, that we do not delegate our thinking to others.

© 2013 The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC

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* Lew’s review of The International Jew by Henry Ford … research for my 5th novel

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 1, 2013

??????????

Henry Ford … bigot

I’m only about 20% into this disgusting series of tirades published in a paper Ford owned. Probably the rest is more of the same. It seems to me that Ford’s loathing and fear of Jews matches that of Hitler, who had a life-size portrait of Ford in his Munich office.

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Henry Ford was a very successful man.

What drove him to write this? What was he afraid of?

Where in his background or education did this fear come from?

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Ford wrote 91 articles bashing the Jews in the 1920s, received much criticism at the time, and never changed his position or apologized then. He also got an award from Hitler, I think in 1937.

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Henry Ford was a disgusting bigot who spread his views widely,

and surely contributed to America’s shameful failure to lift a single finger

to save Jews on their way to the ovens.

He spread the same message in the U.S.

as Hitler did in Germany.

.

Here are some excerpts from what I have read so far.

• (the) International Jew and his satellites (are) the conscious enemies of all that Anglo-Saxons mean by civilization
• The Jew is the world’s enigma. Poor in his masses, he yet controls the world’s finances.
• there are ancient prophecies to the effect that the Jew will return to his own land and from that center rule the world
• The Jews’ enemies were always stripping them of their last ounce of wealth, yet strangely, the Jews recovered very quickly and were soon rich again.
• This distribution of the Jews over Europe and the world, each Jewish community linked in a fellowship of blood, faith and suffering with every other group, made it possible for the Jew to be international in the sense that no other race or group of merchants could be at that time.
• The main source of the sickness of the German national body is charged to be the influence of the Jews
• the German people that the collapse which has come since the armistice, and the revolution from which they are being prevented a recovery, are the result of Jewish intrigue
• The principal Jewish influences which are charged with bringing about the downfall of German order may be named under three heads: (a) the spirit of Bolshevism which masqueraded under the name of German Socialism; (b) Jewish ownership and control of the Press; (c) Jewish control of the food supply and the industrial machinery of the country
• the German people knew that war meant sacrifice and suffering, and like other people they were willing to share the common lot. But they found themselves preyed upon by a class of Jews who had prepared everything to make profit out of the common distress
• Judaism is the most closely organized power on earth, even more than the British Empire. It forms a State whose citizens are unconditionally loyal wherever they may be … Its fleet is the British fleet, which guards from hindrance the progress of all-Jewish world
• we are not talking about merely rich men who have, many of them, gained their riches by serving a System, we are talking about those who Control
• the world will go on thinking of the Jew as a member of a race, a race whose persistence has defeated the utmost efforts made for its extermination

… More to follow if I can force myself to read more.

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* Lew’s review of … The Myth of the Twentieth Century by Alfred Rosenberg

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 30, 2013

Rosenberg & Hitler

This is Rosenberg’s incomprehensible, unreadable and I think mostly unsuccessful attempt to cast Hitler’s hatred in more scholarly form. He ranges pretentiously over a wide variety of topics with no regard for connection, consistency or truth. UTTER GARBAGE. Some examples …

• Greedy for the goods of this world, the Jew moves from city to city, from land to land, and remains where he finds the least resistance to his parasitical business.
• The Jew sought domination and, until 1933, seemed stronger than us.
• Where any kind of wound is torn open in the body of a nation, the Jewish demon always eats itself into the infected part and, as a parasite, it exploits the weak hours of the great nations of this world.
• The emancipation of the Jews followed from the preaching of the insane idea of human equality.
• Every German and non German living in Germany who through word, writing and action makes himself guilty of insulting the German people will, depending upon the gravity of the case, be punished with imprisonment, jail, or death.
• the so called old testament must be abolished once and for all as a book of religion.
• England had conquered south Africa for the Jewish diamond dealers … It had handed over control of all financial transactions to Jewish bankers … It had allowed the opium trade to fall increasingly into Jewish hands.

Rosenberg reveals a fundamental fear of Jews,

based on what I read as a clear sense of his own inferiority,

much like Hitler’s.

In the eyes of Rosenberg (and Hitler), all Jewish accomplishments must be viewed as the result of an evil worldwide conspiracy to take advantage of the good German (Christian) people.

Only by exterminating the Jews like plague bacilli

can the German people flourish.

• The law of the coming Reich will sweep here with an iron broom. It will fulfill the words of Lagarde concerning Jews. He said that one cannot convert plague bacilli, but must render them harmless as quickly as possible.

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* Lew’s review of “Those Angry Days” by Lynne Olson … research for my novel-in-progress (tentatively titled … Choosing Hitler: a novel)

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 7, 2013

those angry days-cover

An absolutely fantastic read. Olson writes history with the pace and intensity of a novel. Characters (real characters) are exposed bit by bit through their actions to have their strengths (Wendell Willkie) and weaknesses (FDR and Lindbergh) picked open to view.

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I have always liked FDR but now like him much less.

I have never liked Lindbergh and now dislike him much more.

I never knew about Willkie and now think he was a real political hero,

the likes of which we have rarely seen.

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Always extremely tentative, FDR refused to lead, to try to convince the American people and thus Congress. He did invent Lend-Lease, but then did nothing to assure any substantial flow of material to the Brits. Without Pearl Harbor, he would likely have allowed Hitler to conquer Britain and where would we be now if that had happened? Even after Pearl Harbor, we were lucky Hitler made a mistake and declared war on us.

FDR’s inability to make a decision is portrayed in a way I have never read before. It makes you want to give him a swift kick. In addition to being a ditherer, he is shown as a mean nasty man. Such disillusionment.

Lindbergh never learned from his experiences, which were many and varied. He never grew beyond the super-hero status he achieved early in his life. He comes across as a thoroughly immature and unlikable man who thought during the 1930s that Hitler and the Nazis were “not so bad,” and who, even after the Holocaust, never recanted. He seems to have been completely indifferent to the plight of the Jews in Germany.

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Lindbergh equated the Nazis’ wholesale murder of Jews with other war crimes.  

This is absurd. The murder of Jews was not a war crime.

It had nothing to do with the war, in fact, it hurt the German war effort.

For Lindbergh to equate brutal fanatical racist murder with war crimes

shows his ignorance and insensitivity, as well as his antisemitism.

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He did know how to fly an airplane, but apparently nothing else, including an appreciation of his own limits. If he had emotions, they were never seen. He reminds me of some of our over-paid athletes today, celebrities with nothing to offer when off the field.

Wendell Willkie, FDR’s opponent in the 1940 Presidential election, agreed with FDR to not make certain information into a campaign issue, due to national security considerations. Later, after he had lost the election, he urged all Americans to support the President’s foreign agenda, and later he travelled abroad for FDR during the war to interact with our allies. And he didn’t even like Roosevelt! He died too early, in 1944, at the age of 52.

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There are many striking parallels between the political events of 1939-41

and our own recent history.

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The Republican obstructionism then was as bad as it is now. Had it succeeded, the U.S. would have left Hitler to conquer both Britain (likely) and Russia (possible), and maybe even us.

It is clear from Olson’s writing that there was little concern in the U.S. for what Hitler was doing to the Jews, even after Kristallnacht in 1938. Antisemites like Henry Ford, the America First group, and Father Coughlin put out their message of hate virtually unopposed. American Jews were reluctant to push harder than they did, fearing backlash antisemitism here. So Hitler was free to go ahead and murder six million Jews.

In sum, highly recommended. A great pick for our book club opener in December.

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* My novel CASE CLOSED may yet make the news … a long-delayed GAO report, evaluating the FBI’s investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks, promised for September 2013, may be issued “some time next year”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 30, 2013

GAO, Mueller & Ivins

There’s a story about Amerithrax in today’s Frederick News-Post with mention that GAO may issue its report sometime next year.

“Scientists who worked with Ivins still question government’s methods,” July 29, 2013 … http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/crime_and_justice/article_f791e81b-1735-54a7-9258-922edc1dcbdc.html

It is abundantly clear from thousands of posts on my CASE CLOSED blog …  (http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/) … that the FBI has not presented evidence that Dr. Bruce Ivins was even involved in the anthrax mailings, let alone, as they claim, the “sole perpetrator.”

What is the real story?

Why does the FBI continue to stick with its discredited assertions?

I see three possible reasons …

1. The FBI has more evidence against Ivins but won’t release it … HIGHLY UNLIKELY

2. The FBI has not solved the case, doesn’t know who prepared the anthrax and mailed the letters, but won’t admit its failure … POSSIBLE

3. The FBI knows who perpetrated the anthrax attacks (possibly Al Qaeda related) but will not say it … MOST LIKELY

I wrote a novel about this matter titled “CASE CLOSED.”  Many, including one highly placed in the U.S. Intelligence Community,  say my fictional scenario is more plausible than the FBI’s story.

CASE CLOSED

You can purchase CASE CLOSED ($5.00 in kindle format, $9.45 in paper) at …

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* meeting a Goodreads friend in Villefranche

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 29, 2013

DSCN1328-lunch at harbor-Trevor & Julia

I have been a member of Goodreads for several years, and have many GR friends with whom I share comments and opinions about books. But this is the first time Pat and I have had the pleasure of actually meeting one of my GR friends who we did not know before.

Trevor and Julia live near Villefranche/Nice. We had a delightful 3 hour lunch along the Villefranche harbor yesterday and will perhaps get together again before we leave Nice at the end of August.

If there are others among my GR friends who live in Nice (Aug) or Paris (Sep) and would like to get together, please contact me.

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* Lew’s first international book signing

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 25, 2013

What do you do when in Madrid? Go to the bookstore and see if your book is on the shelf. It was! Hereje (The Heretic in Spanish) was published a year ago. What a thrill! So I did my first international book signing.

book signing in Madrid

Purchase The Heretic at …

http://www.amazon.com/The-Heretic-ebook/dp/B0032UY4MA/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374777849&sr=1-4&keywords=The+Heretic

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* It’s time to write more chapters of “Choosing Hitler”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 20, 2013

Read the draft prologue of “Choosing Hitler” at …

http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/2013/06/20/prologue-to-lews-novel-in-progress-draft-at-june-2013-tentatively-titled-choosing-hitler/

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Lewis M. Weinstein

Lewis M. Weinstein

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For the past several months I have not written a single word on my new novel, tentatively titled “Choosing Hitler.”

What I have done is read and take thousands of notes from varied sources leading to January 30, 1933, that crucial day when Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. I will now carry forward the lives and relationship of my two major characters, Berthold Becker in Munich and Anna Gorska in Warsaw, from the earlier chapters already written into the tumult of the early 1930s.

When these new chapters are completed, so will the first section of my novel. My intent, as those of you who have read the Prologue know, is to take Berthold and Anna’s story through the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials in 1946. 

Many of you have been following my research-related reviews on Goodreads. I thank you very much for your encouragement and for many helpful comments and suggestions. For those of you who served as “early readers,” my special thanks for your thoughtful assistance. I look forward to calling on you again when there is more to read.

If you would like to know more about the premise of  “Choosing Hitler,”

you can read the Prologue at …

http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/2013/06/20/prologue-to-lews-novel-in-progress-draft-at-june-2013-tentatively-titled-choosing-hitler/

***

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* Prologue to Lew’s novel-in-progress … tentatively titled “Choosing Hitler”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 20, 2013

nuremberg-war-crimes-trial

Defendants at War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg

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NOTE: The prologue has been modified so I deleted the earlier version.

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* Lew’s review of “Hitler – the Missing Years” by Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 18, 2013

hanfstaengl

Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl was often in Hitler’s company from the early 1920s to the mid 1930s. Harvard educated and a friend (so he says) of FDR, Putzi was Hitler’s link to the foreign press corp. He has much to say about personal moments and matters (eg, Hitler was impotent) but all of this was written after he had escaped what he describes as Hitler’s plan to kill him in 1937. A fascinating but not necessarily reliable witness.

For example, here are Putzi’s observations on the infamous and tragic Geli Raubal … Hitler had moved into a handsome 9 room apartment at 16 Prinz Regentenplatz in one of the most expensive parts of the city … Geli was by then a buxom young woman of 21 … she had made some pretense of starting some course of study at Munich University … She was soon having an affair with Hitler’s driver … And others … Hitler found out about her and she was given a room in his house … She went round went very well dressed at his expense (the Party’s expense) … Much resentment was expressed about these expenditures … Hitler hovered near her looking like an infatuated adolescent … She was an empty headed little slut without either brains or character … She took singing lessons … Hitler had some idea she might develop into a Wagner heroine … She was not an apt pupil … on 9/18/31 she shot herself with Hitler’s revolver … Hitler was in a state of hysteria … Within a few days all the opposition papers carried the news.

For my novel-writing purposes, gossip may be as useful as facts.

Several scenes suggested themselves as I read through Putzi’s memoir.

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” Lew’s review of “My First Seventy-six Years” by Hjalmar Schacht

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 17, 2013

ischach001p1

Hjalmar Schacht was perhaps the most competent person ever in the employ of the Nazis. He was President of the Reichsbank and Economic Minister. In 1938, he fell out with Hitler and was dismissed. Later, he participated in the 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler, for which he was arrested and sent to a concentration camp.

When the war ended, Schacht was charged at the War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg, at which he was acquitted.

Schacht’s views on a variety of subjects are of great interest, and his descriptions of conditions at Nuremberg will be of great value to me when I get to that section of my novel-in-progress. I am looking forward to inventing conversations between Schacht and my fictional character Berthold Becker, also a defendant at the same trial, in which Berthold will challenge some of Schacht’s actions and particularly what he says he knew (or didn’t know) about the holocaust.

Schacht’s knowledge of the holocaust …

  • when I received the Bill of Indictment at Nuremberg in 1945 … I learnt for the first time of the monstrous crimes committed against humanity, above all the Jews, by Hitler himself and by his orders.

LMW: I DON’T BELIEVE HIM !!!

Schacht on the Jews …

  • Hitler promised that the laws relating to foreigners should apply to the Jews … that is that Jews should enjoy the same protection accorded to foreigners … (instead) he caused the Jews to be deprived of all rights and treated as outlaws …

  • One of the most insidiously disruptive statements ever made is that religion is a private matter … religion cannot be a private matter … as exemplified in the church it is the foundation of every state and of every national community … a Christian country cannot permit non-Christians to exercise an influence which would admit of their directly the spiritual and moral life of the community along other than Christian lines … Religion is no private affair … It is the foundation stone of the State

  • It seems to me that anti-Semitism is not based on religious factors even on the assertion that Jews crucified the Saviour … rather it is the fact that, owing to his ability … whenever he resides in a non-Jewish community that the Jew endeavors to insinuate himself into the intellectual and cultural leadership of that community … When, as a result, the legal and medical professions show an unusually high percentage of Jews … When most of the theaters, the press, the concerts were under Jewish management … Then this constitutes the incursion of a foreign element into the spirit of the hostess nation … All of the above-mentioned professions exercise a civilizing influence … a nation whose civilization is rooted in Christianity will therefore always be at pains to preserve Christianity as the basis of the civilization … and to discourage foreign elements in its cultural life … So long as the Jews fail to appreciate this fact they will come up against difficulties, as a history of many nations reveals

  • I have always declared myself in favor of limiting Jewish activity to a certain extent in governmental, legal and cultural matters … based on a certain percentage

  • At the 1938 Reichsbank Christmas party for the office boys … I referred to the events of November 9 (Krystallnacht) … the deliberate burning of Jewish synagogues … the destruction and looting of Jewish businesses … and the ill treatment of Jewish citizens … was such a wanton and outrageous undertaking as to make every decent German blush for shame … I hope none among you had any share in these goings on … If any of you did take part I advise you to get out of the Reischbank as quickly as possible … We have no room in the Reichsbank for people who do not respect the life property and convictions of others … Several party “pundits” were present during the speech

Schacht’s dismissal by Hitler followed soon thereafter …

  • I received a message letting me to come to the chancellery punctually at 9 o’clock the following morning (Jan 20) … scarcely had I entered the big drawing room looking out onto the garden of the old Chancellory … when the Fuhrer came in and the following conversation took place … Hitler: I sent for you, Herr Schacht, to hand you the written notice of dismissal from the office of president of the Reichsbank … You don’t fit in to the general National-Socialist scheme of things … You have refused to allow your staff to submit to political scrutiny by the Party … You have criticized and condemned the events of the 9th November to your employees … Finally Hitler said he was too upset to continue this conversation … I replied I can always come back when you have grown calmer …

Why did Schacht advocate for Hitler to be part of the government, and why did Schacht later join that government?

  • I had met Hitler at Goring’s house … subsequently I went to see Bruning … I urged him to include the NS in his cabinet because I believe that only in this way could one capture and chain the tremendous propagandist force that I had observed in Hitler … the NS must be gradually initiated into the practical duties of government … they must not be allowed to remain in opposition … Bruning would have none of my suggestion

  • the Nazi’s “political economists” (Gottfried Feder and Karl Rower) would spell ruin for German economic policy … I felt it my duty to prevent such a disaster … I therefore gave Hitler to understand that if he came into power I would not refuse to collaborate with him

Repression of the German people under the Nazis

  • Once Hitler took power … any possibility of political propaganda among the German people could be completely ruled out … there was no freedom of assembly, no freedom of speech, no freedom of authorship … it was not even possible to engage in conversation and small intimate circles … Every word uttered in the presence of more than one other person was liable to endanger one’s life

 ***

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* Lew’s review of “Hitler’s Thirty Days to Power” by Henry Ashby Turner

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 15, 2013

30 dyas cover

A fascinating, day-to-day, person-by-person review of the 30 days that ended with Hitler being appointed Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. Turner’s conclusions in the final chapter pull no punches. He assigns culpability and guilt, making it clear that it was the ignorance, ineptitude, personal grudges, mendacity, and ambition of the characters in power (mainly Hindenburg, Schleicher and Papen) who gave Germany to Hitler and thus Hitler to the world. Those who supported democratic government in Germany simply gave it up without much of a fight, often because they were fighting with each other. It is true, Turner asserts, that Hitler played the weaknesses of the others brilliantly, but he was only playing the cards he was dealt.

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* Lew’s review of “Socialist, Anti-Semite, and Jew: German Social Democracy Confronts the Problem of Anti-Semitism, 1918-1933″ by Donald L. Niewyk

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 10, 2013

This is an outstanding compilation of the way the German Socialist Party (SPD) defended Jews, many of whom were members of the party, against Nazi attacks. There is a mind-numbing list of particulars, all of which have the ring of truth.

The problem was that this defense was all verbal,

mainly consisting of articles in Socialist newspapers

that nobody but socialists would read.

The SPD was sincere, and they recognized the problem, and their counter-arguments were to the point, but I suspect they convinced nobody who wasn’t already convinced.

What form might action have taken, as opposed to speech?

Perhaps an outreach to voters outside the SPD perimeter? Perhaps an outreach to the Catholic and Lutheran churches who continued to teach their Christian antisemitic message throughout the Hitler years? Perhaps an international appeal, or at least an effort to create greater awareness, in France, England, or the US?

Of course this is all with hindsight, and nobody at that time anticipated the ovens, and as Donna Harsch so clearly articulated in German Social Democracy And The Rise Of Nazism (the last book I read and reviewed here), those kinds of political initiatives were well beyond the capability or even the inclination of anyone in the SPD.

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* Lew’s review of “German Social Democracy and the Rise of Nazism” by Donna Harsch

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 10, 2013

Harsch-cover-mod

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The failure of SPD to effectively oppose the Nazis is even more heart-wrenching

in light of Harsch’ conclusion that …

the Nazi dictatorship in 1933 was only one of several possible outcomes

of the Weimar crisis.

Excellent insights, clearly written … tells a powerful story of opportunities missed … how difficult it is for serious, reasonable people to merge their multiple views to confront a focused and brilliantly opportunistic maniac who consults with no one and murders those who disagree with him.

One strange omission … there is no mention of Jews, who I believe were very active in SPD, and no mention of SPD’s concern (if they had any) for Hitler’s attitude and promises regarding Jews, should he come to power. On this topic, I am next reading Donald Niewyk’s “Socialist, Anti-Semite, and Jew.”

Consider … in 1928 … SPD was at its peak, with 30% of the vote while the Nazis received less than 3% … SPD, with 937,000 party members, held power in the state of Prussia, with 2/3 of the German population. Five years later, Hitler was Chancellor and the SPD had been totally demolished and made illegal.

How did this happen?

Harsch focuses on the inability and unwillingness of SPD

to recognize what was happening

and adjust to prevent it.

Among her conclusions …

… ideological blinders hampered the ability of SPD to comprehend NS … they thus failed to exploit their political leverage when they had it

… the fragmentation of German society and political parties facilitated the rise of the NS “one people, one Reich, one leader” ideology

… SPD never produced a charismatic leader who could have broken the fetters that bound SPD

… SPD struggled to change but could never bring itself to make reasonable compromises with other non-radical parties who also opposed Hitler.

… like a protagonist in a tragedy … SPD was thus unable to save itself, Germany or Europe from disaster

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* Lew’s review of “Mission to Paris” by Alan Furst

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 4, 2013

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mission to paris - furst - cover_

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Another excellent story by Alan Furst, one of my favorite novelists, set mostly in 1938 Paris, with some scenes in Berlin and a few in a Hungarian palace. Furst describes vicious and thorough Nazi political espionage efforts to demoralize France and convince them of the futility of fighting. Needless to say, it worked. When the Nazis invaded, France gave up after 5 weeks.

The story is told around the making of a movie, a plot device Furst has used before, and one which works well here. My only complaint is the wrap-up at the end, which I thought was done too quickly and was not totally convincing.

There was one historical issue I want to read more about. Furst presents the French as knowing the Maginot line was incomplete and that the Germans could easily go around it through Belgium, which they later did. I had read that the French thinking was the forest would stop the German advance in that area. Maybe that was just the public excuse.

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* Lew’s review of “Gregor Strasser and the Rise of Nazism” by Peter D. Stachura … research for CHOOSING HITLER, Lew’s novel-in-progress

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 25, 2013

Gregor_Strasser

Gregor Strasser

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Had Gregor Strasser carried through on what he started,

there may have been no Hitler Chancellorship and thus no Holocaust.

Strasser was a loyal follower of Hitler for over a decade, and was responsible for the impressive organizing of the Nazi party structure in Germany’s 35 election districts. In late 1932, the Nazis had suffered reversals in the polls; members were quitting; internal dissension was beginning to boil, especially in the SA; the party was deep in debt. In the face of all this, Strasser grew disillusioned with Hitler’s refusal to enter the government in cooperation with other political parties. Hitler of course wanted total control or nothing.

During negotiations Strasser was carrying out on behalf of the Nazis, he was offered the Deputy Chancellorship on the assumption he would bring enough Nazi Reichstag members with him to be a part of a majority-backed government. Strasser was tempted, but Hitler told him to remove himself from the negotiations.

Strasser, who was not sure how much of the Nazi party he could take with him if he challenged Hitler, chose to resign from his party positions rather than take the chance. Hitler, knowing he had been pushed to the wall, by election results and by internal party issues, gambled and won; 30 days later, he was Chancellor.

Stachura has presented a clear depiction of these events including a reasonable guess of Strasser’s motivations and understanding of his own options. In the end, Stachura suggests, Strasser was too loyal to Hitler, too enamored with the “Fuhrer mystique,” to challenge him.

Strasser’s loyalty did him no good. Eighteen months later Hitler had him murdered, among others, in what became known as the “night of the long knives.”

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* Lew’s review of “The Coming of the Third Reich” by Richard Evans … research for CHOOSING HITLER, Lew’s novel-in-progress

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 15, 2013

evans - coming of 3rd reich - cover

A brilliantly clear and comprehensive exposition of the complex events of 1930-32 which led to the appointment of Hitler as Reich Chancellor on January 30, 1933, corresponding exactly to the next chapter(s) I will be writing in my novel-in-progress CHOOSING HITLER.

Evans paints a heartbreaking scenario of the many opportunities

(albeit with hindsight)

whereby Hitler could have been stopped.

These include …

… Nov 1932 vote was a disappointment to NS leaders … they had gathered splinter party votes but had not made inroads into Social Democrat or Centre Party voters … a feeling (among NS leaders) that NS vote may have peaked … Goebbels: “we won’t get to an absolute majority this way … something must happen … the time for (electoral) opposition is over … now deeds!” … Goebbels and Hitler agreed that, if they stuck to a parliamentary route to power, the stagnation of their vote suggested that the situation might start to slip out of their grasp … Hitler’s only open route to power was to get appointed Chancellor

… the unwillingness of the Centre Party (Catholic) and the Social Democrats (socialist) to work together … NS now (Nov 1932) had less seats (196) than the combined two Marxist parties – Communists (100) + Social Democrats (121) = 221 … Centre Party had 70 seats … the Nazis were jubilant at the failure of the Social Democrats and trade unions to respond to the Papen coup … Goebbels wrote in his diary … “They have missed their big chance. It’s never going to come again.”

… the arrogant assumptions by the military and some industrialists that Hitler could be used but also controlled … Schleicher: if Hitler establishes a dictatorship in Germany, the army will be the dictatorship within the dictatorship … Papen: within two months we will have pushed Hitler so far into a corner that he’ll squeak

… the evident peaking of the Nazi electorate … the NS vote (Nov 1932) fell from 13.7 million to 11.7 … seats fell from 230 to 196 … in local elections held in Thuringia (in Dec 1932) the NS vote plummeted by 40% from the previous July … NS was virtually bankrupt

This is where the Nazis stood on Jan 1 1933.

Yet just 30 days later, Hitler was Chancellor.

What made this turnaround possible was the fact that parliamentary government no longer functioned in Germany. The country was run by Presidential decree, exercised through an appointed Chancellor. Hindenburg, in his 80s and after 7 years as President, was tired and declining. He never considered democratic alternatives. There was no effective leadership from the more moderate parties.

… after 1930 election, Reichstag virtually unmanageable … 107 brown-shirted, uniformed Nazis joined 77 well-organized Communists … raising incessant points of order, chanting, shouting, interrupting, demonstrating their total contempt for the legislature at every juncture … power drained from the Reichstag … every session ended in an uproar … soon came to seem pointless to meet at all … after Sept 1930 only negative majorities were possible .. in Feb 1931, Reichstag adjourned itself for 6 months – did not return until Oct … from July 1932 to Feb 1933, Reichstag convened for 3 days in 6 months

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* Lew’s review of “The Churches and the Third Reich Volume One: 1918-1934″ by Klaus Scholder

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 9, 2013

Pio_XII_Pacelli

Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII

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An extraordinary study, published in 1977, presenting the response of the German churches – Catholic and Protestant – to the challenges posed by the rise of Hitler and his National Socialist Party. It is Scholder’s well documented conclusion that words like “blindness, lies, arrogance, stupidity, and opportunism” are appropriate to describe the behavior of both Catholic and Protestant churches in their interactions with Hitler.

The Protestant Churches – there were 28 regional organizations in Germany – talked and talked and talked, without ever taking a stand, while Hitler acted relentlessly in ways that, day by day, restricted the opportunities to oppose him.

By contrast, German Catholicism initially presented an almost united front against Hitler. The Diocesan offices in Mainz proclaimed this position (in 1930) as follows … “no Catholic may be a card-carrying member of the Hitler party … no member of the Nazi party may participate in funerals or any other Catholic events … so long as a Catholic is a card-carrying member of the Hitler party he may not be admitted to the sacraments … Racial hatred is fundamentally un-Christian and un-Catholic.”

In 1931-32, Catholic writers continued the attack … “The Nazis are a brutal party that would do away with all rights of the people … Hitler’s message does not proclaim peace and justice but rather violence and hate … National Socialism means enmity with neighboring countries, despotism in internal affairs, civil war, international war … National Socialism means lies, hatred, fratricide, and unbounded misery.”

What changed and totally undercut this Catholic opposition to Hitler were the workings of Pope Pius XI and Cardinal Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) from Rome. Focused to the exclusion of all other considerations on the threat of Communism and the desire for a Reich Concordat, the Vatican began by disapproving the Mainz proclamation and then increasingly compelled the Catholic Centre Party to consider how it was to collaborate with Hitler.

The Catholic Centre Party in 1931-32 was the only power in Germany still capable of mediating between the different political parties to forge a moderate alternative to Hitler, but it failed to even make an effort to do so because of pressure from the Pope and Pacelli. German Catholicism’s previous open opposition to Hitler was thus undercut by pressure from Rome. The Catholic Centre party ended up fully capitulating to Hitler (in passing the infamous Enabling Act which made Hitler an unrestricted dictator) before voting itself out of existence.

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