The three generations that fought WW2, their kids-and their kids are all fascinated by the bizarre story of Hitler’s rise to power. Not to mention the still barely understood murderous racial policies and the largely still secret “wonder weapons” and advanced technology of the Nazi regime.
I can’t remember a time when I was not reading one book or another about Hitler and World War II. To this very day, every year sees publication of one or more “non-fiction” books on these subjects. From “The Hunt for Zero Point,” “The Nazis and the Occult” to “The Spear of Destiny” to “Brotherhood of the Bell,” these books add some facts but mostly pose more questions than answers. Some of the books are sheer nonsense; some amateurish, some excellent journalism and some, such as Goodright-Clarke’s “The Occult Roots of Nazism” are brilliant academic treatments.
Still, more questions than answers. When I did get answers-they generated more questions. In the 1960s I read “Morning of the Magicians” by Pauwels and Bergier. This fascinating book generated so many ideas, not the least being thoughts about Hitler’s involvement with the occult. From that date I began to bring my general interest in Hitler to a focus. I read many biographies, especially any information I could find on his early life. Much was hidden during Hitler’s lifetime but as time went by more and more archives began to open. The tentative connections the young Hitler made, especially in Vienna, led in the direction of books on Guido von List, Lanz von Lebensfels and others whose roots lay in the busy occult world of early 19th century Germany.
A parallel interest was the development of German technology during the Nazi regime. There’s no doubt the Germans were open-minded when it came to science, medicine and technology. Very open-minded. As a result, Germany made great advances in practical and theoretical fronts. So much so that even today we owe much to the foundations laid by wartime German researchers. From rocketry to synthetic oil, the Allies reaped a rich harvest from the ashes of German universities and research labs. Then, there were the still prevailing mysteries-fabulous technologies that disappeared with the Nazi scientists-they still haunt the fringe elements of society today…Zero Point Energy, Time travel, Die Glocke…the subject spark vigorous debate throughout the Internet and elsewhere.
In 1995 this research began to coalesce into the concept for a fictional book that brings all these disparate elements together in one compelling story. And so the idea for “The Watch” was born.
In posts that follow, I explore this research and also discuss the process of building the narrative and the characters that populate the novel.