Friendly Enemies (by Bruce Cooke)



When Australian Peter Stevens falls in love with Jennifer Stewart in Darwin at the outbreak of war, neither suspects the traumas ahead. Jennifer’s heart is broken when Peter is captured in the desert and believed dead. After another relationship ends in disaster, she believes she is a jinx to every man who loves her.

Peter’s life is saved by Hans Schneider, a German soldier who has suffered the horrors of Auschwitz and becomes a prisoner of war. Hans is released but falls foul of a sadistic Gestapo officer hiding in disguise. When the Gestapo officer dies, Peter must get Hans away. He takes Hans back to Australia, although after hearing news of the bombing of Darwin, he fears that Jennifer is dead. This gripping tale of love and war plays out on an epic canvas, from Nazi Germany to Australia.

As the truck neared the camp Hans turned to Kurt, raised his eyebrow and screwed up his nose.

“What’s that strange smell, Kurt?”

“I can smell something but I can’t place it. It must be the fuel they’re burning in those chimneys.” Hans looked at the two tall chimneys blowing out smoke.

The barbed wired gates of the camp were opened and the troops leapt out when the truck came to rest. Responding to orders being shouted at them, they lined up and were addressed by an SS Captain. Hans stole a quick glance around and saw prisoners dressed in thin striped clothing, shuffling aimlessly around the grounds in the cold spring air.

Most of them appeared to be no more than middle aged, but with a haunted look of despair on their faces. All were very thin and looked undernourished as they toiled away at various tasks. The Captain called the troops to attention.

“You have been sent here to carry out the wishes of the Reich. Let me make it very clear, no word of what goes on here is to be spoken of outside these gates. Anyone who breaks this order will be shot instantly. Do you understand?”

“Sir,” shouted the troop.


eBook ISBN: 9780980473919
Print ISBN: 9781926640921


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