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THE SINGING TREE by Marilyn Pesola & Peter Moss
From the darkness of war comes the need for one man’s salvation. Civilian stationmaster Kurt Hellmann can’t reconcile the atrocities of war. He blames himself for the death of 123 Jews due to a prank telephone call and, later on, envisions himself as the last Nazi mass murderer. The last straw is when the Nazis shoot the woman he loved, a Jew he had been hiding in his quarters until he could smuggle her out of the country. Too cowardly to stop Rachel’s execution lest he sign his own death warrant, he carves a swastika into his chest as a reminder that he couldn’t save her, then flees the war to seek salvation for all the wrong reasons. In the jungles of Brazil, blinded by the deep void in the center of what he thought were his values, he longs for punishment but does nothing when an opportunity presents itself – until the Nazi hunter of his nightmares shows up with his name on her list, the irony of which is that they become friends. Hellmann’s salvation finally comes from an unexpected source that reunites him with Rachel forever.