The Dead Man in the Bunker

The Dead Man in the Bunker

Martin Pollack

Sbarramento di Brennero, April 6, 1947: At the entrance of a bunker at the Austrian/Italian border, carabinieri discover a dead man. The man has been shot, twice in the head and once in the chest. Amongst his belongings the police find a passport that soon turns out to be forged. Investigations focussing on a tattoo on the man's left upper arm and the duelling scars on his face reveal the dead man's true identity: Dr Gerhard Bast, born 1911 in Gottschee, leading SS Stormtrooper, member of the Gestapo, and on the Linz police headquarter's "wanted" list of criminals of war. More than half a century later, Martin Pollack goes to South Tyrolia to research the circumstances of this death. It is a task he had long hesitated to undertake, fearing to confront facts that might exceed his worst expectations. Gerhard Bast's death marked the end of a life in which violence played a central role, and the beginning of a report that follows, with harrowing intensity, the traces left by one man. A man Martin Pollack hardly knew, yet who was closer to him than anyone else – for Gerhard Bast was his father.

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The Dead Man in the Bunker

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