The Amber Room by
H D Evans
Published by Pipeline
ÂŠ Hugh Evans 01 November 2011 & 20 August 2012
Ministry of Propaganda
Summer Solstice: June 1941
���������� �� Markus von Jungingen was an uncomfortable member of the National Socialist Party. The first time he had visited the Leopold Palace in Berlin, it was in his capacity as Scientific Curator of the Königsberg Castle. He remembered having to attach his Nazi badge on his suit lapel especially for the trip. However, that was several years ago, now it was approaching midsummer’s eve of 1941 and he was revisiting the Reich capitol in his Wehrmacht field-grey officers' uniform. He tapped on the window and the cab slowed to the pavement, he got out, it was hot for June, and he crossed Wilhelm Strasse to the Leopold Palace. This grand building was the powerhouse of Reichsleiter, Dr Paul Joseph Goebbels, Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, which functions, Markus had joked privately with his family, were like chalk and cheese. He went through security, signed in his personal Walther P38 sidearm and was searched by the SS Police. He waited some time outside the Minister's rooms opposite a very attractive blonde secretary wearing bright red lipstick, who kept looking up at him and smiling. The black Bakelite phone rang several times: appointments were constantly being rearranged. Markus felt that he may have had a wasted journey like the last time. Another longer period of silence, only interrupted by typewriter clacks and dings from a near room, ringing phones and blonde smiles. He gazed from his darkness through the tall, deep-set windows to the blue sky and watched a few clouds drift by. Markus picked his nails, the phone rang a few more times and then thankfully, Gerta with the red lipstick broke the boredom, “Herr Reichsleiter will be ready in a few moments.” “Thank you.” Another pause, then several civilian and military-suited men came through the large double doors. Another pause, and the phone rang again, “You may go in now Herr Colonel.” “Thank you.” Markus got up, keeping his hat under his arm, picked up his leather satchel and walked through the double doors. He crossed the parquet floor and walked over to a group of men working around three Nazi embellished tables. At the head, somewhat silhouetted against the early afternoon sun streaming through the windows, was Dr
4 Goebbels. A strawberry blonde, female stenographer in pastel pink blouse and tight black pencil skirt was making notes and a steward in a white tunic was arranging drinks. “Hiel Hitler, welcome Colonel.” “Hiel Hitler,” Markus replied unzealously. “Thank you for coming here today, would you like something to drink?” “Just some water thank you Herr Reichminister.” Goebbels snapped his fingers in the direction of the steward who nodded and went about his work. “Please, sit.” He didn't like to look up at taller people. “Thank you.” Goebbels reached for a swastika-stamped, manilla file on his desk and removed some papers, he was, as Markus remembered him last time, in his iconic beige double breasted jacket with red Nazi armband, black trousers, white shirt and black tie. He wasted nothing protecting his image. Adolf Hitler gazed down from the ubiquitous office portrait. “I read the synopsis of your report on the Amber Room, our Cultural Heritage Department is very interested in it...It is very German.” “Prussian Sir.” Goebbels looked up and paused, “Yes, that is what I said,” amused and upset at the correction. He paused again, “Very interesting indeed,” this time looking the Colonel in the eye, “we must have it.” “Why?” asked Markus. . . . . at the end of the chapter . . . Markus's leave had been cancelled since Whitsun, as had that for the 1 st Division and the 18th Army. Four weeks from Whitsun was midsummer. It would be ironic if the invasion was timed for dawn of midsummer 22 June, he thought it would only be arranged so in a Wagnerian opera and smiled to himself, then his smile dropped when he realised if he could work it out, then for sure the Russians would have worked it out and would be waiting for them. His transcripts of intercepted messages also showed an increase in their radio chatter, orders and units moving about the front. His aerial reconnaissance was thin because of the risk of flying directly over Russian territory and alerting their airforce, so he did not have hard evidence to back up his hunches. His liaison counterpart in the Luftwaffe had given him the training rotas for the coming month on his request, ostensibly to check military
5 preparedness. He knew that Stuka pilots were now flying up to nine sorties a day in training, same as they would fly in combat. If war was coming then he was ready in his mind. The 1 st Infantry Division were descended from the Teutonic Knights, Grenadier-Regiment Kรถnig Friedrich Wilhelm I. There was a great challenge ahead and very little risk at 18th Army HQ, but he thought of his friends and family who were in frontline units; they would be at the sharp, bloody end. He closed his eyes, held his right fist out in front of himself, palm down, just above his lap and murmured some words in prayer. He opened his eyes, lifted his little finger and looked at the cygnet ring, then turned his hand slowly and opened it. He looked at the pale yellow piece of amber in his hand and the insect petrified within it.
6 The Amber Room Synopsis 30 chapters in five periods. 1 Present day, 2-6 Roman, 7 Europe 1750, 8-14 WW2, 15-30 Present Day. Roman: [SPRING] Roman officer, ordered by Nero, goes in search of Amber, meets mysterious forest woman. Modern Roman civilisation and the barbarian German tribes, their different beliefs, their mutual conflicts and the ancient routes of the amber trade. Feasting, fighting, fornicating, murder, mystery, mayhem, ends with a major battle whilst crossing the Rhine. Europe 1750: [WINTER] The inception and construction of The Amber Room set against the rise of the Prussian Empire and the battles in Europe over the Holy Roman Empire. WW2: [SUMMER] German Wehrmacht intelligence officer, ordered by Goebbels, goes off to Operation Barbarossa. Female Russian Museum Curator visits the Amber Room, Leningrad, surviving an air attack. The Officer captures the Amber Room and the Curator, and they return to Konigsberg, where they make a family. The tide of war turns, Lancasters bomb Konigsberg, the Russians advance, the family is scattered tragically, the Amber Room is lost. Present Day: [AUTUMN] US researcher meets female publisher in New York with new evidence about the location of the Amber Room. Under threat, they travel to Berlin and visit the old Nazi buildings to find the Amber Room. Now monitored by British Intelligence, they go to east finding a trail of clues left for them. They are split by a battle involving the German Police, British Agents and mysterious dark forces who abduct the female publisher and the Amber Room clues. The US researcher goes in search of the her, another battle occurs in Dresden with US special forces support and the lead characters are reunited but on the run from various groups and chasing the Amber Room in Germany. They visit locations, castles and the chase intensifies at each stage. They are attacked, survive, develop their relationship and find the location of The Amber Room. They go to the location which is the centre of a global meeting where powerful people are deciding the fate of the modern world. The Amber Room is being demonstrated as the main feature of the meeting but a small group try to use it to control the world and all the sovereign debts of nation states. It does not go to plan and the Amber Room opens the way for the evil ethereal forces to once again overtake the forces of good. The heroes are able to stop this happening and the world is saved. Prehistory (Epilogue): The eternal battle between good and evil, order and chaos, light and dark, procreation and destruction.
""The Amber Room" is an extraordinary achievement for a first-time author. From its primordial, primeval beginning, the novel races through time and space to a dramatic and almost apocalyptic conclusion. Heroes Mark and Ema battle against giant forces of Man and of Nature herself to reveal the truth about The Amber Room and its properties. But do they? May this reviewer beg the reader not to skip pages, but to wait for the last line which "explains" it all. An exciting, difficult and dangerous book that will keep you turning the pages."
Hugh Evans, the author of this well-researched story, takes us through a fascinating kaleidoscope of historical events surrounding the construction and subsequent disappearance of the Amber Room, cleverly intermingling fact and fiction from the beginnings of time to the present day. The pace of his tale is fast moving and it is with some regret that one has to leave the atmospheric intrigues of the various time periods and move on to the next. However the thread of the powerful connections with the main male and female characters echoing through the ages, compels and intrigues and pulls the reader along urgently, eager to see where this epic tale leads. Evans picks up the fictional trail of the Amber Room mystery in the present time, crafting tension and intrigue with surprising twists and turns in his story, culminating in an explosive clash of good versus evil, driven by the mysterious and powerful energy of the Amber Room. How it ‘ends’ is up to the reader to decide, but this is an allegorical tale containing all the elements of a ‘good read’ that will appeal to both men and women. A superb debut novel designed to entertain but also to challenge emotional and intellectual inertia - if you let it. Patricia Abercromby PGCE Freelance journalist and Co-Author of: Seated Acupressure Therapy