Late spring 1945, Soviet-occupied Poland.
Soviet leader Josef Stalin aims to weaken the Western Allies’ positions in the world wherever he can during the months preceding the Big Three Conference. One of his targets is British Palestine in the heart of the oil-rich Middle East. On his orders, Soviet Intelligence is running Operation Jericho, whose goal is to throw Palestine into bloody chaos, taking advantage of the ever-increasing flow of Jewish survivors of the Nazi camps to Palestine. In the game, the ends justify the means, and everyone is expendable. Meanwhile, people continue to die among the ruins of Auschwitz . . .
Aaron Goldstein, son of a Galician rabbi and now an officer in the Red Army Counterintelligence Directorate, SMERSH, arrives at a Soviet-run displaced-persons camp set up near the ruins of Auschwitz to house thousands of Jewish survivors of the Nazi death camps. His mission is to investigate the murder of a senior Soviet Intelligence official whose mutilated body was found inside the ruins of an Auschwitz gas chamber.
At the camp, Aaron discovers his brother David and sister Naomi, from whom he was separated twenty-five years earlier after a vicious pogrom in their native village. David, a Polish rabbi and death camp survivor, has become the camp’s spiritual leader, while Naomi is now an emissary from Palestine whose mission is to recruit Jewish soldiers for the Haganah and transport them to Palestine. It seems, at first, that the goals of the Haganah and the Soviets are aligned. But things may not be what they seem…
As Aaron investigates the murder, he uncovers the true purpose of Operation Jericho. Soon he, David, and Naomi become entangled in a struggle for their lives, and Aaron is forced to choose between his military oath and his loyalty to his family and his people.
About Leo Braginsky
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Published August 1, 2012
Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction.