Many folks have already registered their fascination with the story of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus' adventures in Nazi Germany, and today's featured author, Steven Pressman, has compelling works of both fiction and nonfiction to recommend for those who want to pursue their interest in the subject.
"The best 'companion' book that jumps to mind is Erik Larson's "In the Garden of Beasts," he says. (Subtitled "Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin," it was published by Crown in May 2011.)
"His nonfiction account of William Dodd, the U.S. ambassador to Germany in the mid-1930s, along with the rather astonishing activities of Dodd's daughter, Martha, tells a fascinating story that unfolds in Berlin only a few years before Gil and Eleanor arrived. It also features some of the same characters -- particularly George Messersmith and Raymond Geist -- who figure prominently in '50 Children. ' "
Pressman also found himself mesmerized by the most recent novel from a prominent Bay Area author. "I just finished reading Ayelet Waldman's 'Love and Treasure' (Knopf, $26.95, 352 pages)," he says, "which uses the real Holocaust-era Hungarian 'Gold Train' episode as a departure for a pretty fascinating story and set of fictional characters."
-- Sue Gilmore, Staff