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Eros and Thanatos; a Hollywood Story
Max Denken, author
It’s 3 am. A dejected Hollywood studio employee and filmmaker who had just been fired goes to a coffee shop and meets a woman who will upend his life and bring misfortune to his beloved mother. So begins the true story that took the author from Los Angeles to Munich and from there, via his mother’s wartime memoir, to the bloodlands of Galicia under Soviet, then German, then Soviet again occupations in 1939‒1945. A story of love between a mother and her son and of lust between the son and a woman who, unknown to him, had been a Nazi collaborator and his mother’s tormentor. Then the key to the mystery and an extraordinary story of survival revealed in his mother’s wartime memoir—a testimony to the power of one woman’s will to live amidst the greatest horrors and the voice of conscience that moves some men recruited to do evil to risk their lives for decency. All that with a simultaneous jaunt through films, Mozart, Elvis, German poetry, German pastries, Hollywood morals—in a nonfiction memoir stranger than a spun tale could be.