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El camino al lago desierto (Paperback) (Franz Kain)
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At the end of World War II, before the imminent defeat of the Third Reich, many national socialist leaders, conscious of their crimes and the punishment awaiting them, sought secret refuge in the Alpine region of Salzkammergut, Austria, to escape justice. The main character of this story—a man who once carried a very high rank in the ****** hierarchy—is one such person. From the cultured bourgeois of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy came Ernst Kaltenbrunner, an early ****** after the annexation of Austria by the German Reich who quickly made his way up the career ladder in the new regime. In 1943 he is given the position of director of the central department of security of the Reich, turning him into the right-hand man to Reichsführer-SS Heinrich ******, creator of the concentration camps and principal author of the extermination of the Jewish people. When the military collapse of Germany seems inevitable, Kaltenbrunner begins his ascent of the Totes Gebirge, accompanied by two helpers and a regional hunter as their guide, to hide himself in a mountain refuge until the storm passes and he is able to reintegrate himself into civilian life—offering his services to the Austrian conservatives in the fight against the "dangerous communists" in the presumable conflict against the Soviet Union. This brief novel combines history and nature through gorgeous prose to create, based on true data, what Kaltenbrunner would think and how he would act in his moments of escape.