In March 12, 1938, German troops marched into Austria as Adolf Hitler prepared to annex the country. Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg, who had opposed the Nazi take-over of his homeland, was placed under house arrest and subsequently sent with his wife to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
This is the gripping story of von Schuschnigg and his family as told by his son, who came of age during these dramatic events. His memoir is a tribute to the faith, hope and perseverance of his family and the many people who took great risks in order to help them survive Nazi rule and the Second World War.
The story begins with the junior von Schuschnigg's boyhood and his father's efforts to maintain Austrian independence during the rise of Nazism in Germany, Fascism in Italy, and political unrest in Austria. After the Anschluss, von Schuschnigg's son was allowed to finish his education in Germany, where in order to avoid being drafted into the German army, he went to the naval academy. He ended up on a warship of the Third Reich, serving the regime that held his family captive.
Von Schuschnigg recounts his many harrowing escapes, first as a young naval officer and later as a deserter on the run. At every turn, he is helped not only by his own wits but also by the mysterious working of Providence, which sometimes manifests itself in surprising acts of goodness by others.