Viviane Janouin-Benanti

The Double Face of Dr. Karl Roos

Version française

A Spy Nest in Alsace-Lorraine

During the interwar period in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France, which was once a German territory, separatism is on the rise. Hitler asks Robert Ernst to recruit people to serve German interests. He finances them.

Very intelligent, more cunning and manipulative than even his like-minded compatriots, the separatist Karl Roos would become a National Socialist and the secret weapon of the Third Reich in eastern France.

But seeing the rise of Nazism, Alsatian Jews decide they must defend themselves. They will not go down without a fight. Aware early on of the dangers outlined in Hitler’s Mein Kampf, the eminent Dr. Joseph Weill organizes a Jewish resistance movement.

In 1933, when Hitler takes power, refugees stream in France. Lazare Blum and the Jewish community of Strasbourg mobilize to welcome them. Meetings are held to think about Mein Kampf and Trifles for a Massacre, an antisemitic pamphlet published by French author Louis-Ferdinand Céline.

Dr. Joseph Weill sets up a powerful network to share information, in collaboration with French secret services. It is an incredible counter-intelligence operation to reveal the true faces of those collaborating with the Nazis, and it leads to the arrest of Nazi spies.

In the Alsatian cities of Strasbourg, Colmar, Besançon, and Nancy, there’s one trial after another. In the end, justice prevails.

Author Viviane Janouin-Benanti uses her storytelling talent to share this fascinating, little-known slice of European history in this, her 15th book.