Meet the Characters
Max's and his Berlin Kriminalpolizei colleagues
Maximilian Siegfried BECKER (Max) Kriminalhauptkommisar - (Det Chf Insp)
Born 5 June 1918 the only child of Wilhelm and Elsa Becker. In 1936, aged 18 he joined, with his best friend Matty (learn his fate in the first novel - Angel Avenger) - The 3rd Panzer Regiment. He fought throughout the war as a tank commander, ending as a company commander of a heavy Panzer unit, with the rank of Hauptman (Capt.) A tank ace, with more than 100 credited kills, he was wounded five times and highly decorated.
After the war, he was taken prisoner by the Americans, but was transferred to the British where he assited in hunting down a key Nazi war criminal (stories explored in future Becker books). Soon after he was freed and immediately sought out a nurse, Anna Fischer, he had met and fallen in love with back in 1941. They got married; he joined the police, and they settled in Hannover. In 1952 he , and his family moved to Berlin after he was head-hunted by former friend and Panzer comrade, August Dehler, head of the Berlin Kripos Murder Squad (KD1). His twins - Heike and Markus were born 3 Oct 1947.
Max is a family man, a team player and loves his kids. A good leader and detective. He suffers from the trauma he experienced during the war and the guilt of having fought for a criminal regime (topics that are explored further in the Becker stories).
He loves motorbikes, favourite colour is pink (panzer colour), a good sense of humour, apolitical and not religious, non-smoker, likes beer.
Tobias Wolfgang KLEIN (Tobi) - Kriminaloberkommisar - (Det Insp)
Born 1922, Tobi to his friends and colleagues. At the outbreak of war, he joined 216th Infantry Division - initially, a machine gunner, his courage and tactical prowess soon got him noticed, and he rose through the ranks. He trained as a marksman (the Wehrmacht did not like the term 'Sniper') and played an important role for his regiment on the Eastern Front. He was very successful but his war was very hard, and he witnessed some terrible atrocities carried out by the advancing Russian army. He was wounded several times and awarded the Knights Cross. At the end of the war, he was stuck in Hungary, but managed to walk back to Austria, finally surrendering to the Americans. By this time he had hidden all trace of his role as a sniper, and after a brief period of incarceration was released. He met Max at police college where they became firm friends. When Max went to Berlin in 1952, he asked Tobi to join him.
He is married to Else, and they have two children, Charlotte (Lotte) born 1950 and Martin born 1952. Tobi loves music, motorbikes and is a keen carpenter.
A Short History of Bergen Belsen 1940-1945
A pocket history of the infamous Nazi concentration camp, Bergen Belsen. How did Belsen become the visual synonym for Nazi atrocities? What happened after libearation? What happened in the trials that followed: this account reveals all. Following libeartion, the camp was fully documented by the Bristish Army Film and Photographic Unit and the films shown across the world. Belsen holds a special place as a lasting reminder of the horror of the Nazi genocide and was where Anne Frank and her sister Margot, transferred from Auschwitz, died just a few weeks before libeartion.