Author's Note


As with any major event such as World War II, its secrets tend to leak out afterward, often over many decades. Some were reported contemporaneously, so they were never really secret, but often were relegated to the back pages of newspapers, their significance not realized without the context and broader perspective of hindsight.

This novel is based on facts and historical events, some of which trickled into public view many years after they occurred. Some remain obscure though well documented.

Sadly, nowhere are all these incidents compiled, placed in context, and given the historical treatment they deserve. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, written by William L. Shirer in 1960, doesn’t mention many of them, including one of the most fateful episodes in Hitler’s rise to power: a little‐known deal that saved Hitler’s regime in its infancy, a deal between Zionists (Jews dedicated to the creation of a Jewish state) and the Nazis.

To remind readers, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany in January 1933. He assumed full dictatorial power in March. A growing worldwide boycott of German goods was threatening to topple the Nazi regime. The boycott gained momentum following a steady series of accounts of Nazi atrocities committed against Jews in Germany that were smuggled out and printed in Western newspapers.

transfer-agreementBy the summer of 1933, the impact of the boycott on Germany’s economy was reaching critical mass. A commonly expressed opinion by those who followed these events was that Hitler would not last through the winter.

The Nazi‐Zionist deal changed all that. Sealed in August 1933, the agreement was a complex arrangement that enabled the emigration of Jews and the transfer of their frozen assets out of Germany and into Palestine, largely in the form of German manufactured goods, which were resold there. In essence, Palestine became a sales agent for German goods in the Mideast and elsewhere. As part of the deal, the Zionists agreed to use their political influence to end the worldwide boycott of German goods, which they did to great effect. For a full treatment of the Nazi‐Zionist deal, I recommend the meticulously researched and well written 1984 book by Edwin Black, The Transfer Agreement, which was invaluable in my research, or visit the book’s website: This deal is just one of many little‐known episodes from WWII used in the setting of this novel. For references used by me for other “secret” facts and events, please refer to this website.

Though the setting of Masters of War is historically accurate and it ties together many obscure WWII incidents and hidden alliances, this book is fiction, not history.