Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Seventh Secret - Irving Wallace

Its a fiction by Irving Wallace with the idea that Adolf Hitler survived the second world war by escaping from one of his under ground bunkers and letting his and his  wife's double die in the so called "Suicidal End" in the war.

One Oxford historian Harrison Ashcroft, when preparing to publish his book of biography of Hitler called "Herr Hitler" along with his daughter Emily Ashcroft receives a letter from an stranger in West Berlin telling that the book could be wrong if published with the popular version of suicide of Hitler as its end. He even writes that he can prove that the corpse shown in the 1945, April 30th photos of fuhrerbunker suicide plot were not of Hitler and his bride Eva Braun.

Intrigued by this information, Harrison travels to West Berlin and finds the stranger. Soon after a short meeting with the informant, Harrison calls a press conference and reveals that he doubts Hitler would've escaped the war and would be hiding under a false name and that he would excavate the graves of Hitler and Eva on the Russian side of Berlin.

Only seconds after this press conference, he would be killed in the crazy truck accident which will be witnessed by a press reporter. This press reporter writes to Ashcroft's daughter telling her that it wasn't an accident but a deliberate attempt to kill Harrison.

With the intention of finding why her father was killed, Emily comes to West Berlin and starts investigating. At the same time due to their own initiatives to resolve the mystery of Hitler's death 3 more people join her in the investigation. One Rex Foster - an architect from America, Neil Kirvov - a curator from a Russian museum and Tovah Levine from Jerusalem. Rex would be publishing a book of surviving buildings of Third Reich and he would be missing the 7 mystery buildings built during the final days of the war in Germany. To find those buildings and to get their plans, he comes to Berlin and finds Emily. Neil Kirvov would be a collector of Hitler's art and posses a valid Hitler oil painting which he wants to display in his museum's exhibition. He want someone to validate the oil as Hitler's and also to find the provenance of the painting. Tovah is a Mossad agent with the identity of a press reporter to Jerusalem post and she wants to trace surviving Nazis of second world war.

Emily along with Kirvov, Foster and Levine all used their combined power which leads them the unbelievable truth. Kirvov finds out about the painting that is supposed to be an authentic painting by Hitler that the real Adolf Hitler might still be alive. The painting that depicted a Nazi building shows the image of a renovated building that had an additional element that would be constructed in 1952. How could this painting which is supposed to be an authentic Hitler painting still have the designs of the builing that were added in 1952 which is 7 years after his supposed death?

Levine helps the four of them by discovering that Hitler and Eva Braun(his wife) had legitimate duplicates who normally attended functions in their place and who resembled Hitler very closely. Could the Hitler and Eva doubles have been the one who died in the bunker instead of the actual two people?

Rex discovers through a former Nazi bunker architect that Hitler had seven bunkers even though only six were known to other people. He discovers that the seventh Bunker is right next to the bunker that Hitler supposedly died in and he goes and investigates to find a secret passage that leads from the Hitler and Eva's personal bedroom to a seventh bunker in a hidden passage route which was previously build by Jewish slaves (who were later killed to silence by Hitler himself). As Foster goes through this passage he find out that it certainly leads to another unknown bunker where he find that his love, Emily Ashcroft, is hidden after her sudden disappearance in the Cafe Wolf (this bunker happens to be right beneath this cafe which Eva Braun first used as her photo studio and later turned into a cafe to not attract too much attention).

He also finds that Eva Braun is still alive and sleeping is the adjacent room! He will ask Emily to escape and he later drugs Eva(who goes by the name Evelyn Hoffman to not attract too much attention)with the truth drug which will make her spit out the facts! Braun admits that she and Hitler used their doubles when they claimed their death and were alive and living in this bunker the entire time which completely escaped the eyes of the Soviets when they raided the bunker. She claims that the real Hitler died on the same day as JFK did and ever since that, she has been at the head of the Nazis. She says that over fifty Nazis were in the secret bunker at the moment and that they would rise once more when Nazis were strong enough and when the Americans and Soviets destroyed each other with their missiles! Eva Braun also reveals one of the most ghastly secrets that she and Hitler had a child before he died!

The daughter that they had was kept a secret from the rest of the world. Hitler did not want his daughter to rot in the bunker so he arranged for their previous maid to take care of the daughter as her own in exchange of a great bribe. The daughter's name is Klara Feigbig who is already married and pregnant with Hitler's grandchild but she has no idea about her actual parentage and she lives a peaceful life. Eva also reveals that the police chief, Wolfgang Scmitct, who the whole town trusted as an anti-Nazi was actually one of Hitler secret SS guards and was to take over as leader when the new Nazi Germany was established once again!

Though the book is slow paced, its worth a read. Its full of mystery and thrilling. Of course an  unputdownable!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Kavya Srinivasan,

    Nicely written review. Though i am quite new to the unexplored world of novels, i thoroughly enjoyed this book by Irving Wallace. I know there are many hardcore novel readers who beg to differ on this...Anyways i was so thrilled by the the idea of Adolf Hitler surviving the second world war that i went on exploring into all the documentaries, movies, blogs related to Hitler. Now i got a huge collection of Hitler or Nazi Germany or Third Reich for that matter. For me , this book holds the special place in my heart as the author opened my hidden desire n passion for history which otherwise could have remained as undisclosed interest.

    If you don't mind could you suggest me something of similar kind, as to me, you appear to be veracious reader :)

    thanks for writing and keep up the good work!!!