The Land of Thunder
A Saga of Love in Brutal Germany
by Lester S. Taube
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About the Author
A poignant love triangle between childhood sweethearts and their closest friend, set in Stuttgart, Germany,
during the rise of Hitler's Third Reich, this tale takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride of pain,
despair, and eventually, joy.
Sweethearts, Marc and Lisbeth marry while their friend, Hans, who is a fugitive after joining Hitler's aborted
putsch in Munich, can only watch from afar as the object of his affection pledges her love to his friend. Later,
the couple and their daughter move to Holland in an effort to avoid Hitler's demoniac rule. Marc, on business in
Switzerland during Germany's conquest of Holland, learns his family has been swept up by the SS. Unable to make
contact, he returns to Germany, hoping he can ransom his wife and daughter.
Apprehended by the Gestapo, he is told his family died in transit. Stricken to the core, Marc seeks only death.
But the Gestapo tortures him to reveal the large sum of money they know he has hidden. After much suffering, he
escapes to Switzerland, where he joins the American Army and returns to Europe as an infantry officer.
In the interim, Lisbeth and her daughter are enduring their own torments in a work camp where they are at the
mercy of their sadistic guards. Just when things seem their worst, Hans, now a Waffen SS officer, becomes camp
commandant and learns the two are prisoners. Still deeply in love with Lisbeth, Hans risks severe censure to
keep the two safe and to look for information about Marc. He eventually obtains a Gestapo report stating that
Marc has certainly died during his escape. Knowing that the inmates in the camp will eventually be killed, Hans
must weigh his love for Lisbeth against his loyalty to his country.
The struggle of the three becomes an exciting story as the wheel of chance turns full circle.
Lester Taube was born of Russian and Lithuanian immigrants in Trenton, New Jersey. He began soldiering
in a horse artillery regiment while in his teens, where in four years he rose from the grade of private to
the exalted rank of private first class. During World War II, he became an infantry platoon leader and
participated in operations in the Bismarck Archipelago, was attached to the 3rd Marines for action on Iwo
Jima, and finally combat on Okinawa, the last battle of the war.
After leaving the army and recuperating from wounds and malaria, he became general manager of a 400
employee electronic company in California, manager of a 450 employee paper stock company in Pennsylvania,
and finally opened a logging and pulpwood cutting operation in Canada.
Called back to duty during the Korea Police Action, he served as an advisor to the Turkish army, then
as an intelligence officer and company commander in Korea. During the Vietnam period, he was stationed in
France and Germany as a general staff officer working in intelligence and war plans.
Prior to retirement as a full colonel, he moved to a small village in the mountains of North Tyrol,
Austria, and kept a boat for five years on the Côte d’Azur, France. He began writing novels while in
France, and after producing four books, which were published in a number of countries, and selling two
for motion pictures, he stopped - “as there was heavy soldiering to do and children to raise”.
Returning to the U.S. after 13 years overseas, he worked as an economic development specialist for
the State of New Jersey helping companies move to New Jersey or expand therein. He has four children,
all born in different countries.
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