Hitler’s Silver Box
Max Bloomberg had an untimely and mysterious death that will not go unnoticed or forgotten. Max Bloomberg survived more than just the atrocities that befell him in the camps at the hands of the Nazi’s but a death so heinous and so horrific that his one family member will stop at nothing to uncover the secrets that were supposedly cremated along with him as he tries to find out just what was in Hitler’s Silver Box that cost this man his life.
A home invasion started off a chain of events that would rock the world of Dr. Bruce Starkman his nephew as he learns of the death of his uncle.
Can you hear his voice? I can. As you read the novel and listen closely for the voice of Max Bloomberg as he tells you the story and relates the events at the start of each chapter in his very own words from his journal. Do you hear the agony and pain in his voice, the loud screams of the others and the fear in his heart? Max Bloomberg gave his life in order to prevent the Nazi’s from getting what he so bravely hid in a silver box. Detailing the events of what he endured and encapsulating the events, his feelings and the horrors in his own words, the reader experiences what he did at the hand of Hitler’s henchman or pawns. Degraded, defaced, reduced to mere skeletons, his Jewish prisoner and many others to mere shells of themselves but Max gave his life in order to prevent his secrets from being uncovered and one silver box that is coveted by his captures and killers holds the answers and much more.
As Dr. Bruce Starkman learns the truth behind his uncle’s death or what he is told as the truth we see many inconsistencies arise. Max as an orthodox Jewish man would never allow himself to be cremated and not taken to an orthodox funeral home. So, why wasn’t he and why was he cremated? As Chief of ER resident at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital he understands the ramifications of a massive coronary and what the causes would be. Was this the reason his uncle died or was it fabricated? Why did the attending doctor sign off on his death and the certificate based on the word of an investigator named Joseph Paisley who does not exist? Why did he just sign off and why didn’t he look into it further? But, Bruce would not stop there until he uncovers the answers as you hear the voice of the victims, the screams, the pain and the torment as I continue my review of this thought provoking and heartbreaking book Hitler’s Silver Box.
As Bruce becomes more aware of the unusual circumstances surrounding his uncle’s death, adds up the clues and finds reasons to involve the police, a funeral director is beaten up and told to stay silent, files are taken from the funeral home and Winnie his uncle’s dog had died under strange circumstances and why was Max cremated? With the help of his friend on the police force an investigation into his uncle’s death is started but what Bruce does not know is that the same people are after him. Why is there so much hate for the Jewish people? Why do they want to annihilate us and create a world filled with only their own? That’s a question that I don’t think will ever be entirely answered or solved.
When Bruce’s girlfriend is kidnapped, he is attacked and a man from the JDL befriends him and saves her things begin to take on a different perspective. No long seeing Sari his girlfriend eliminates the danger she was in, allows her to find someone else and leads Bruce in a whole other direction. Learning that the funeral director was hurt, seeing him in person and then hearing that the police detective that has been helping him is out of town changes the complexion on things as Bruce learns the detective’s son was in a car accident. Could this be linked to the murder of his uncle? What comes next is a graphic account of the events his uncle endured at the hands of the Nazi’s while in the concentration camp. Degraded, beaten, abused and mistreated Max became a pawn in their nasty little game to create a silver box for one of the officers to present to Hitler for his birthday.
Crude tools, insults and poor working conditions and the help of a friend named Chaim what happens will definitely bring tears to the reader’s eyes, anger in your heart and hope that this never happens again. As the author describes what Max endures and the reasons he never falters you begin to hear his voice loud and clear as he describes the method used to create this silver box and how he followed the exact way to purify the silver taught to him by the two men allowed to work with him. Yet, they were never satisfied and Max, being a Jewish man could not stand what was to be engraved on the box so he added something of his own. When one officer came to see what he was doing it was requested that he create a Bronze Cross for his wife and many others too. The end result was that he was taken from this prison camp and finally gets free but you have to read the events to understand how and why. Imagine what is going through Bruce’s mind as he reads this horrific account of what happened to his uncle and how he must figure out why these men killed him using a drug that is employed in executions of prisoners. This is a sad, heartbreaking and well- written account of the events that befell not just Max but many others. It allows the world to hear the voice of this man and those imprisoned with him and those that were responsible for carrying out the wishes of a madman.
Author Allen Malnek really brings to light the Holocaust, the events and the history behind it so that we never forget. As Bruce rereads the manuscript and learns about what his uncle endured, the very man that rescued her and was pretending to help Bruce learn more about his uncle’s death places Sari in danger. But, the warning signs were there but Sari did not pay close enough attention until it was too late and what happens will bring chills down the reader’s spine and fear in your heart that what Hitler started has not yet ended. How could Max and anyone live through the horrors that befell them? Finally free as result of an accident and the death of his captures he is finally rescued by the Fourth Armory Division and survives leaving the silver box and its contents to Bruce to find and the author allowing the reader to know that all things silver, the box and the contents were poison to Max. Just think about where the silver for the box came from and the people who were tortured for it and you would cringe.
Sari is missing and the emails Bruce receives ring false as he goes to the police to report his suspicions, which fall on deaf ears. Two men who killed his uncle the same two responsible for what happens to Sari. What will happen next and will Bruce ever find out the truth? When Sari’s body is found and the truth behind her murder revealed what happens next will make the reader understand that those behind the murder want to rekindle what Hitler started and killing Jews was just part of their plan and burning synagogues just the tip of the iceberg.
As Bruce decides to visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum he leaves information for survivors to contact him hoping one will be related to Chaim Horowitz the man who shared so much time and his bunk with Max. Enter Miriam, and Israeli who knows what she wants, is smart and has decided to work with Bruce to find the answers, get the box and deal with those responsible.
As Miriam and Bruce search for the silver box there are many who want to destroy them and their spirit. Hunted by the Neo-Nazi’s and their minions can they or will they be able to withstand and survive what they have in store for them. When all seems lost and everything turns against them will they be able to find the silver box, destroy it and leave Hitler’s wishes buried in rubble or obliterated forever? An ending so riveting you will stay glued to the printed page and pray for both Bruce and Miriam. Can a doctor who took an oath to heal and cure those in need turn murderer and be able to stop when so many want to continue? One man named Gerhard whose agenda and reasons you won’t believe. So many that follows him because of the hate imbedded in their hearts and minds. Six million Jews died at the hand of Hitler and his men. Six million lives gone up in smoke because of one word: HATE! Six million lives that will never be forgotten and one people that will always stand tall and survive.
This is one book whose voice and characters need to be heard. The story might be fiction, the events too the situations are real and could happen even now. One author who brought it all to light. Hate is a terrible word. Let’s see if we can change the meaning of those four letters: Let H stand for the Hope that everyone will start to see the light. A: All those that died a senseless death. T: Trust and Truths that we will learn from the past and E: Equal, which everyone really is. We are all put here on this earth for a purpose. Why not work together?
I dedicate this review to the memory of my grandmother, Katie Goldberg and her sisters who lived it.