The Swastika Tattoo

The Swastika Tattoo is the story of an intolerant bastard, Rudolf Meier, whose adherence to Nazi ideology is as visible as his swastika tattoo.


But Rudolf’s belief system begins to crumble in the sweltering heat of the Arizona desert where he picks cotton as a prisoner of war. Years spent in the Hitler Youth have taught Rudolf to believe Jews are swarthy, hook-nosed merchants. They are not cotton farmers who treat him with kindness, invite him for Thanksgiving dinner, and give him books by Hemingway. Now he finds himself in a wrenching moral dilemma as he begins to understand American democracy and individualism amidst the tyrannical hold of the Nazi officers who control the POW camp.

The Swastika Tattoo is a historical novel set in Nazi Germany and Arizona. The novel is steeped in exhaustive research including interviews in Germany with people who lived during that era.

As the story opens in autumn 1944, Rudolf is asked a question by the farmer’s son that reverberates throughout his life: Why do the German people still believe in Adolf Hitler? Struck by the impertinence of the question and shaken to his core, Rudolf believes no one, particularly an ignorant American should question the leadership of Der Fuehrer.

Dreary months of waiting to return home become a time of learning for Rudolf. He becomes attached to the American family and after the horrific murder of a camp mate, Rudolf begins to understand the power of his Nazi officers, realizing his own life is in danger.

Copyright Geraldine Birch.  All rights reserved.

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