Max Becker - Bio
Kriminalhauptkommisar KHK - (Det Chf Insp)
Maximilian Siegfried Becker 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, who passed him on to the British who he helped with capturing a key Nazi war criminal. He 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 was head-hunted by former Panzer comrade, August Dehler and he with his family moved to Berlin. His twins - Heike and Markus were born 3 Oct 1947. Most of the Max Becker stories will be set in the 1960s.
Max is a family man, a team player and loves his kids. He suffers from the trauma he experienced during the war and the guilt of having fought for a criminal regime – this topic is explored further in the stories.
He loves motorbikes, favourite colour is pink, a good sense of humour, apolitical and not religious, non-smoker, likes beer.
Anna Becker (nee Fischer) - Bio
Anna Elfrieda Becker: born 3 May 1919. At the outbreak of war she joined the Red Cross aa a nurse and at the start of Operation Barbarossa (invasion of Russia) joined a front line military hospital unit that followed the troops. In 1941 a wounded Max, was bought in, and they fell in love. During this time another character that features in the later Becker books, Dr Paul Schmidt appears as a military doctor. During an air raid, Anna is seriously wounded, and despite all his efforts, Paul has to amputate her left leg just above the knee. Despite her wound, she carries on through out the war and is a rare and early female recipient of the Iron Cross Second Class. After the war Max finds her in Hannover, where she is training to be a Doctor, they get married and settle down. In '47 they have twins and following their move to Berlin she lands a position at the Zelendorf General Hospital as a physician. She is an essential character in the Becker books, as a partner to Max, supporting and understanding but also good at solving problems. This character is based (very loosely on a real person - Elfrieda Wnuk, pictured below).
Tobias Klein (Tobi) - Bio
Kriminaloberkommisar KOK (Det Insp)
Tobias Wolfgang Klein: 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, he was released. He met Max at police college and they joined up together. 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) and Martin. He loves music, motorbikes and is a keen carpenter.
Other key characters:
Lutz Jensen born 1915 (Forensic scientist) Former naval officer (Kriegsmarine) and engineer aboard the Pocket Battleship KMS Deutschland (renamed the Lützow in 1940). A clever and cultured man and maker of the best coffee in Berlin.
Dr Paul Schmidt Born 1910 (Pathologist) a Wehrmacht doctor on the Eastern Front he worked with Max's wife, Anna, and met Max in 1941 while treating him for injuries. Details of this can be found in the Max Becker short story Tiergarten 4 out July 2019. Following an air raid, Paul saved Anna's life but had to amputate her leg. After the war, he returned to Berlin and became a pathologist.
August Dehler born 1915 - like Max a Panzer commander who met Max late on in the war and they became friends. August is Max's boss and founder of team KD1. The name for the character came from a real Panzer commander who was killed in a tragic accident in the winter of 1943. More information can be found in the Author notes of Angel Avenger or by reading the book 'Tigers in the Mud by Otto Carius - Stackpole books'.
Heike Becker - born 3 Oct 1947 Max and Anna's daughter is a twin to Markus. A confident, bright and sporty girl she is the apple of Max's eye. She is very taken with Otti and takes her as her role model. In the Epilogue of Angel Avenger, we find out that Heike plans to become a detective and I have more distant plans for her to be included in later Becker books. She plays a significant part in the short story, Girl Hunter.
Markus Becker - born 3 Oct 1947 Max and Anna's son is a twin to Heike. Markus is a bright and thoughtful boy, quite different from the outgoing Heike. He loves reading and is into science and maths.
Ottilie Jäger (Otti) - Bio
Ottilie Emily Jäger: born 1935. Otti to her friends and colleagues, she was born and brought up in Berlin. Her father stood up to the Nazis and paid the price - (see Angel Avenger). Max spotted her potential when he visited the detective college and gave her a job on his firm. She is smart, resourceful and having been given a chance to become a front-line detective in Max's elite squad she soon proves her physical and intellectual prowess. Early on she is paired with Bastian Döhl (see below), and they are attracted to one another, forming a clandestine relationship.
She becomes a role model for Max's daughter and a firm friend of the family.
Bastian Döhl - Bio
Kriminalhauptmeister - KHM (Det Sgt)
Bastian Alrick Döhl - born 4 Jan 1922 is the stabilising rock in Max's team. In 1940 he joined the Luftwaffe and after basic training passed selection as an elite Fallschirmjäger (Paratrooper) being deployed in the costly airborne invasion of Crete. He had a traumatic and challenging war, serving on all fronts. He married his childhood sweetheart, Lara, early in 1943 but saw little of her, and in March 1945 she was killed in one of the last American air raids on Berlin. Surrendering to the Americans, he was for a time suspected of being involved in a war crime but was able to identify the SS Officer who had carried out the atrocity (See Angel Avenger). After his release, he returned to Berlin and joined the Polizei later becoming a detective and after being spotted at a shooting competition by August Dehler, joined his team. Unable to get over the loss of his beloved wife, he is a workaholic, and it isn't until he meets Otti in the Summer of 1960 that he begins to realise that it might be possible to love again. Their relationship is an central back-story in Angel Avenger and will continue to play a part in upcoming Backer stories.
Bastian is a crack shot and part of the Polizei shooting team.