In 1983 a car was burned in a village in Northern Germany. One person died and the culprit who was employed in a major German dairy was seriously injured. Could this have been a personal dispute or were there perhaps traces that needed to be covered up?
Its pre-history started a good forty years previously. A division of German soldiers received an unusual assignment: to empty the Winter Palace in Leningrad of works of art and to send them to Germany. Hitler had plans to set up an impressive collection of art, which the Nazis had stolen at various locations around Europe. In the first instance, the works of art were hidden in an underground bunker in a field near Munich.
In Berlin a museum inspector lost his job when his museum for modern art was closed, and he got by doing menial jobs. One day he is given a special assignment: to catalogue the stolen works of art for the new museum. He had no alternative but to say yes in order to put bread on the table. However, he plans a sophisticated revenge. But one day all things went wrong…
Seventy years later valuable jewels from the court of the Russian Tsar turn up with the director for a large German company. Possibly this has something to do with a Dane who was involved in fakes until he disappeared without trace. The Danish police have been put on the case, but their German colleagues go to great lengths in order to avoid scanda.
With its many fine details, this book gives a remarkable insight into life during the Second World War, from soldiers who freeze in the Russian winter to ordinary people in Germany who try to live life in their own way. The reader is given a great deal of perspective as well as the opportunity to postulate.