The Swastika Tatto is about a German U-boat crewman who is captured by the Americans during WWII and sent to a POW camp in Arizona where he labors picking cotton for a Jewish farmer and comes face-to-face with the bigotry and intolerance he learned as a Hitler Youth. Through long months of internment, his only joy is his friendship with the farmer’s son who shows him the true meaning of humanity, individualism, and democracy and just as his repatriation to Germany is in sight, his camp bunk-mate is brutally murdered and he realizes he is the next target of the hard-core Nazis who really control the Arizona prison camp.
Writing has been my passion since I sat down at my mother's old Remington typewriter at the age of ten, pecking away in the cozy kitchen nook of my grandmother’s house in Los Angeles. Since then, I’ve worked as a reporter and editor for small community newspapers in Southern California and Arizona; but my best beat was as a stringer for the Los Angeles Times Ventura County Bureau (no longer in existence) for a number of years. It was there, under the tutelage of a great editor that I really learned to write. Since then, I’ve moved into the realm of fiction with Sedona: City of Refugees and then historical fiction with The Swastika Tattoo, a book about a real German POW camp located near Phoenix during WWII. That book received an honorable mention in Reader's Favorite international book contest. My newspaper column “Gerrymandering” received a first place award from the National Newspaper Association. While awards mean one’s work is recognized and appreciated by judges, nothing thrills me more than having someone tell me they have enjoyed my books. I have recently finished my memoir, Vision of a Happy Life, and plan to bring a few chapters onto Bublish.
While in Germany, doing research for this novel, I met a man who was a retired deep sea diver who worked on boat repair and salvage. He was such a mountain of a man! I could imagine him in his diving suit working in the depths of the sea and Hermann is a bit of that man.
The Swastika Tattoo
Every morning for forty-two years,
Hermann eagerly woke to face the hard labor of the day. He moved
quickly out of bed at 4:30 a.m., patted Luise on her fanny, which
he lovingly thought was his wife’s best feature, and headed for the
kitchen sink where he shaved, being careful not to nick the large
mole on his left cheek. When he looked closer in the mirror, he
wondered how he, Hermann Meier, this man with such large features,
managed to win the hand of his Luise, his bride of 40 years, a
woman of great beauty and sizzling temperament. He sighed,
reminding himself that her beauty far outweighed her carping.
Besides, her cooking was exceptional, which was more than a man
could ask considering his station in life.