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Plot - The Hooked Cross

Close-up image of a barbed wire with a sunset sky in the background

Drama; second conflict | Schwarzenborn, 1939

Main characters

Andreas and Anja are a young German farming couple living on a large farm far from the noise of politics and the Nazi rise. They are simple people, attached to the land that before them belonged to their parents and grandparents. The two are in love, and she has just given birth to their first-born daughter: Sabine.

The call to adventure

The invasion of Poland is greeted with joy and pride by much of the German population, even by many of Andreas and Anja's fellow citizens. The couple tries to keep themselves apart from the events, but it is not possible: the echoes of the war are increasingly powerful, contaminating the neighboring village, reaching all the way to the farm. Then Andrea is called to active duty.

The conflict

Andreas and Anja are devastated before the call to arms. Andreas even considers deserting, but this would not help the family. Hitler has promised a short, successful war and Andreas clings to this hope. So, he leaves his wife and little Sabine behind and departs. Andreas is trained and sent to the Eastern Front where he participates in the Russian campaign. News from home becomes increasingly fragmentary until it ceases when he is taken prisoner.

The key

Andres does not return home until many years later. To greet him he finds his elderly father-in-law, the last survivor of the war. The old man has no news of his daughter and granddaughter, who fled to Berlin during the Nazi retreat. Andreas reaches Berlin but there is nothing but rubble, devastation and a divided city. Andreas will return to the farm, alone. He and his father-in-law will only be able to share memories of the good old days.

Plot alternatives

You can imagine the Andreas story set in a different era: World War I, a crusade, a war between duchies. Or just structure it in a different location: in the Italian countryside, on a Japanese farm. And also, you can create a different ending: with his wife and daughter waiting for him, or with only the presence of their tombstones, or perhaps taking refuge in a remote place, convinced that their father was dead.


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