Shadows Walking Virtual Book Tour Starts Tomorrow!

Please join author Douglas R. Skopp as he tours with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for his novel, Shadows Walking, from November 7th - November 28th!

About Shadows Walking

Release Date: December 21, 2010
Paperback | 482 pages

SYNOPSIS: Johann Brenner, an idealistic physician and ardent German nationalist, has joined the Nazi Party and willingly participated in its  "crimes against humanity." His Jewish childhood friend, Philipp Stein, has also become a doctor. Their lives inevitably intersect until their last, fateful meeting.
After the war, Brenner, with stolen papers and a new name, has become a janitor in the courthouse where the Nuremberg Trials are being held. Hoping to "heal himself" and wishing to begin a new life with his estranged wife, he decides that he must write her a letter telling what he has done and why.

Brenner's letter sets the theme for each chapter of Shadows Walking. Through his letter, we see him admit his choices and their consequences as he slips deeper and deeper into the brutality of the Third Reich.

Click HERE to read the first chapter.

About Douglas R. Skopp

With an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree at Connecticut College, Doug began his career as a college professor in 1964 at Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut. After three years, he began doctoral studies in European History at Brown University. With a Social Science Research Council Award, Doug researched the history of German elementary education in the mid-nineteenth century. He began teaching at SUNY Plattsburgh in 1972 and received a doctorate from Brown in 1974. Retiring in 2006 from SUNY Plattsburgh with the rank of Distinguished University Teaching Professor of History, Doug taught all levels of history courses and received many awards, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and a Fulbright Senior Scholar/Teacher Award to study medical ethics and practices in Germany between 1880 and 1945. During his Fulbright year in Germany, Doug began the research which underpins his novel, Shadows Walking. In 1998, Doug was an inaugural Fellow in SUNY Plattsburgh’s Institute for Ethics and Public Life and, even though retired, he continues to assist in the Institute’s “guided inquiry” faculty seminars on ethics, ethical practices, and the curriculum, as well as serve as SUNY Plattsburgh’s College Historian.

Please visit Douglas R. Skopp @ WEBSITE | FACEBOOK PAGE | TWITTER


Shadows Walking Virtual Tour Schedule

Monday, November 7th
Review at Impressions in Ink

Thursday, November 10th
Review at Small World Reads

Monday, November 14th
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, November 17th
Review at The Book Garden

Monday, November 21st
Author Interview at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, November 24th
Review at Confessions of a Book Hoarder

Monday, November 28th
Author Guest Post at Confessions of a Book Hoarder

*Follow the tour on Twitter at #ShadowsWalkingVirtualTour.

I hope to see everyone around the fabulous blogs we have on the tour!


  1. While it is a somewhat interesting concept, I don't see spending a novel trying to sympathize with a Nazi war criminal. I love WWII novels and a fresh look is a good idea--but this doesn't do it for me.

    I feel sort of bad about it, and I'm sure there will be people out there who'll feel differently.

  2. Let me point out that putting crimes against humanity in quotes implies that the murder of millions of people was not a crime against humanity. You might want to rethink that. I assume it is not intentional, but I wouldn't go there.

  3. I am grateful to J.R. Tomlin for his challenging thoughts about my novel, Shadows Walking.

    Yes, my novel is based on a very troubling premise: those who chose to become Nazis and committed crimes against humanity were motivated by their perceptions of the world around them and their hopes for a future in which their dreams would be more likely. But I do not for an instant justify their crimes. Nazi atrocities were among the most monstrous acts in a monstrous war. I put crimes against humanity in quotation marks only because that is verbatim one of the four official charges against the Nazi leadership at the Nuremberg Trials--and the charge on which most of the Nazi doctors who were brought to trial were found guilty. If putting the term in quotation marks implies I do not think it is true, I regret that very much, for that definitely is not the case. I see what the Nazis did as crimes against humanity in every sense of the word--perpetrating hate and violence upon innocents, not just Jews, but Gypsies, gays and lesbians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Slavs, against those whom the Nazis held to be "useless eaters" and those who were, in the Nazis' eyes, "living lives not worth living," countless human beings.

    My novel is an attempt to explore why the Nazis thought this way...why in particular a well-meaning physician let himself be persuaded to break his Hippocratic Oath and participate in Nazi crimes. This exploration is at the heart of my novel. Everything in it is either true or could have happened exactly as I describe it. So, rather than trying to evoke sympathy for a Nazi, even a well-intentioned one, I am seeking understanding. There is a difference, I believe. My novel is a challenge to those who are willing to read it to explore why we think we would be any different than the Nazis I describe...and to hope that we would be.

    Thank you once again for your comments. With best wishes, Doug Skopp

  4. This sounds like a fascinating book - I agree with Mr Skopp's comment above in that understanding isn't synonymous with sympathy.

    Understanding is necessary, as hard as it is, in making sure that nothing of the horrific nature of the holocaust happens again. If I remember rightly, there's a similar message at the Auschwitz-Birkenau site.

    It's too easy to condemn the soldiers, doctors and commanders as unnatural in some way because it helps us come to terms with it and means we don't have to confront the complicated underlying issues; easy but dangerous.

    I will almost definitely be searching out a copy of this book, no matter how difficult it might be to read.

  5. This is a book we will definitely be getting. It is a topic of interest, one that still hard to understand. How could people justify such cruel, immoral, and inhuman behavior?
    I am pleased to see someone from my home town as well as my alma mater has written such an interesting book. I graduated before Mr. Skopp arrived (1968). I am sorry I never got the opportunity to take one of his courses. I am sure there would have been lively discussions.

    Best of luck on your blog tour, Mr. Skopp, Reading your bio brought back good memories of SUNY Plattsburgh and my time there. Will there be another book exploring human ethics in the future?

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net


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