Excerpt & Giveaway: Wolf: A Novel by Herbert J. Stern & Alan A. Winter

Wolf: A Novel by Herbert J. Stern & Alan A. Winter

Publication Date: February 11, 2020
Hardcover & eBook; 552 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

In the Great Tradition of Herman Wouk, Author of Winds of War and War and Remembrance, Wolf is a Thoroughly Researched and Illustrated Historical Novel about a Man who is Not Yet a Monster . . . but Will Soon Become the Ultimate One: Adolf Hitler.

Perhaps no man on Earth is more controversial, more hated, or more studied than Adolf Hitler. His exploits and every move are well-documented, from the time he first became chancellor and then-dictator of Germany to starting World War II to the systematic killing of millions of Jews. But how did he achieve power, and what was the makeup of the mind of a man who would deliberately inflict unimaginable horrors on millions of people?

Meet Friedrich Richard, an amnesiac soldier who, in 1918, encounters Hitler in the mental ward at Pasewalk Hospital. Hitler, then a corporal, diagnosed as a psychopath and helpless, suffering from hysterical blindness, introduces himself as Wolf to Friedrich and becomes dependent upon Friedrich for assistance, forming an unbreakable bond between the two men.

Follow Friedich—our protagonist—who interacts with real people, places, and events, through the fifteen-year friendship that witnesses Hitler turn from a quiet painter into a megalomaniacal dictator. Using brand-new historical research to construct a realistic portrait of the evolving Hitler, Wolf will satisfy, by turns, history buffs and fiction fans alike. And as this complex story is masterfully presented, it answers the question of how a nondescript man became the world’s greatest monster.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


“Adolf Hitler anointed himself with the name, Wolf, then plotted and connived with remorseless determination to become Der Fuhrer, Dictator, Savior of the Fatherland. As in ancient Greek drama, we know the ending to the story. The riddle is how we get there….A Hitler we did not know existed emerges page by page, all his bits and pieces, certain of his role as Savior of Germany, evil, driven, shrewd, an unrepentant, serial seducer of teenage girls, surrounded by toadies as ruthless as himself but not nearly so smart—his rise and words an unnerving parallel as we witness the continued erosion of democracy today in our own sweet land. Put this book on the shelf with Ludlum, Michener, and Clavell. Wolf deserves to be in their company.” —Stephen Foreman, author of Toehold, Watching Gideon, and Journey, and screenwriter of The Jazz Singer, Hostage, and America the Beautiful

“Based on extensive research, the extraordinary novel Wolf, by Herbert J. Stern and Alan A. Winter, lifts the curtain so that the reader can observe through the eyes of a fictional character how a seemingly unremarkable corporal who was denied a promotion for lack of ‘leadership ability’ became dictator of Germany. The result is a gripping page-turner, a masterful historical novel." —The Jewish Voice

“Wolf offers a front row seat to the Nazi Party’s early years, expertly using the fictional protagonist Friedrich Richard to take the reader on a fifteen-year journey from the end of the First World War to Adolf Hitler’s seizure of absolute power in Germany. The reader experiences the gradual death of democracy in Weimar Germany like a slow-motion train wreck, equally fascinated and horrified. We all know how Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich ended, but Wolf shows us how the nightmare began. A compelling, thoroughly researched, and important work. Wolf is an impressive achievement. Exhaustively researched and richly detailed, it draws on new historical research to paint a fascinating portrait of Adolph Hitler that is more human and recognizable than most depictions—and thus even more chilling and sobering.” —Alex DeMille, co-author of The Deserter with bestselling author Nelson DeMille

“Wolf will incite intense discussion in historical circles and book clubs alike. It is a poignant, persuasive, and ultimately terrifying story of how one man came to bend the path of history through oppression and genocide by taking one step at a time.” —Amy Wilhelm, senior writer, Book Club Babble


Berlin, February 28, 1933

“I am to meet Bernhard Weiss at this address.”

“He doesn’t live here,” said Lucie. Lucie Fuld-Traumann was a stout, married woman in her fifties. The whites of her eyes became more visible as her gaze traveled from my black high boots to the red swastika armband to the shoulder epaulets and finally to the SS lightning bolts on my collar. Her lips trembled in fear. Her gnarled hands twisted a blue-and-white dishtowel into knots.

“Damn it, woman, we don’t have a moment to waste. Where is your brother?” I brushed past her and slammed the door before removing my peaked cap. “You don’t want your neighbors gossiping that an Obergruppenführer was seen standing in your entranceway. Now get Bernhard.”

Lucie stood her ground. “I told you, Bernhard is not here.”

The house was compact: crystal chandelier above our heads, living area with an upright piano to the left, kitchen straight ahead, and the dining room to my right. The dinner table had been set for three. I knew that Lucie and her husband, Alfred, who must have been cowering in an upstairs room, did not have children. After Bernhard Weiss, deputy police commissioner of Berlin, had been removed from office some months earlier, he sent his wife and daughter to Prague while he sought refuge in his sister’s house . . . hiding from the very police he once commanded.

I turned back to Lucie. “Didn’t he tell you to expect Friedrich Richard?” I showed her my identification card. “I’m Friedrich.” Lucie remained frozen in place, unsure of what to do.

Time was of the essence. “You must trust me. We have a window of opportunity to get Bernhard to safety and join his family in Prague. It’s a seven-hour drive through the back roads to the Czech border. If we leave now, we can stay ahead of the men who have been dispatched to arrest him. Now take me to him. Immediately.” I glared down at her. “You brother’s life is in your hands.”

Without further denial, Lucie guided me to the basement door. It was dark. At the bottom, she pushed a button and a small light buzzed to life, casting macabre shadows on the damp walls. She called her brother’s name.

Then I bellowed, “It’s me. Friedrich. We need to go . . . now.”

Clothes rustled from an unlit corner. A soot-smeared Bern- hard Weiss emerged from behind the coal stack. He coughed into a handkerchief before he could speak.

“I knew you would come,” he said without preamble. We clasped hands.

“Goebbels has ordered your immediate arrest. We don’t have much time.”

Weiss nodded and pushed passed me. Upstairs, he grabbed a packed bag stashed for the day he needed a quick getaway, snatched a pistol from a side table that he shoved into the back of his pants, hugged his sister, promised he would see her again, and left his beloved Berlin . . . without realizing he might never return.


When we found the address on Kaprova Street, in Prague’s Jewish Quarter of Josefov, Bernhard said, “Don’t stop. We’ll get out a few blocks from here. No need to connect this car to my family’s address.”

We parked on a street with many stores. As I came around the car to join him, Bernhard motioned me to the other side of the street. “We make an odd couple. People will remember us if asked. Walk over there.” He made a valid point. I was more than a head taller than him. I walked at a different pace than him, turning corners a few seconds after he did. After a number of blocks, he looked both ways before entering an aged apartment house. I counted to twenty and then followed through the front door.

“Here.” I looked up. Weiss leaned over the railing and pointed to the stairs. There was an open door to the left of the landing. I found Bernhard hugging and kissing his wife and daughter in the salon. After he introduced me, I followed him into a smaller room.
“Close the door.” There was a small table with two wooden chairs arranged below medallion macramé lace curtains.

Before he said anything, I blurted, “I can’t go back. Not after what we just did.”

“Friedrich, no one but us knows what happened today.” His steel-gray eyes were piercing as he added, “There were no witnesses.”

“I’m not talking about just today, Bernhard. I’m talking about what is in store for your people in the days and years ahead. The Nazis are fanatical in their racial theories.”

“That is all the more reason why you have to go back.”

“I don’t know if I can return to Berlin and look at Hitler or those around him in the eye anymore.”

“No one is closer to the Führer than you. You’re the only one in a position to do something. You must return.”

I pushed up from the small table and paced like a caged animal. “If I try to stop them I’ll be killed.”

“No one expects you to march into a room and wipe out everyone. But there will be opportune times when you may be able to affect change. You’re Hitler’s favorite. There is no one in a better position to speak sense to him. That’s your destiny. To make that possible.” He raised his right hand. “God help me, I didn’t want to, but I had to execute that poor guard.”

I went to the window, lifted the edge of the curtain, and gazed out at the city I thought might be my new home. When I dressed in my uniform before fetching Bernhard, I believed it would have been the last time I would wear it. That’s why I stuffed my pockets with Reichsmarks, took my precious photograph that I had carried since the war, and left everything else, intending never to return.

Bernhard cleared his throat.

I turned from the curtain and faced him.

“There’s one more thing you must do, Friedrich. You need to keep an account.”

“An account of what?”

“You were there at the beginning. When the Nazis weren’t even the Nazis. When they were an aimless group of puny men who met in a tavern to swill beer and discuss politics. No one knows the history of how this happened better than you. Write it down. Don’t leave out anything. Then, when this madness is over, share it with the world.”

“To what end?”

“To make certain no one forgets.”

I thought about the magnitude of what he asked. “There has been so much. I would not know where to begin.”

Weiss gave his small smile. “Ah, yes. Begin at the beginning.”

Excerpted with permission from WOLF: A Novel by Herbert J. Stern and Alan A. Winter. Published by Skyhorse Publishing. Copyright (c) 2020. All rights reserved.

About the Authors

Herbert J. Stern, formerly US attorney for the District of New Jersey, who prosecuted the mayors of Newark, Jersey City and Atlantic City, and served as judge of the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, is a trial lawyer. He also served as judge of the United States Court for Berlin. There he presided over a hijacking trial in the occupied American Sector of West Berlin. His book about the case, Judgment in Berlin, won the 1974 Freedom Foundation Award and became a film starring Martin Sheen and Sean Penn. He also wrote Diary of a DA: The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Took on the Mob, Fought Corruption, and Won, as well as the multi-volume legal work Trying Cases to Win.

Alan A. Winter is the author of four novels, including Island Bluffs, Snowflakes in the Sahara, Someone Else’s Son, and Savior’s Day, which Kirkus selected as a Best Book of 2013. Winter graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in history and has professional degrees from both New York University and Columbia, where he was an associate professor for many years. He edited an award-winning journal and has published more than twenty professional articles. Alan studied creative writing at Columbia’s Graduate School of General Studies. His screenplay, Polly, received honorable mention in the Austin Film Festival, and became the basis for Island Bluffs.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 3
Review at Books and Zebras

Tuesday, February 4
Review at YA, It's Lit

Wednesday, February 5
Excerpt at Donna's Book Blog

Friday, February 7
Review at Tales from the Book Dragon

Saturday, February 8
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, February 10
Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads It All

Tuesday, February 11
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, February 12
Feature at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Thursday, February 13
Review at Impressions In Ink

Friday, February 14
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Wolf! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Passages to the Past
All rights reserved © 2013

Custom Blog Design by Blogger Boutique

Blogger Boutique