Follow Max Across Europe. Click on a marker to read more.
Max arrives at Mr. Churchill's estate in the English countryside: Mr. Churchill's secretary greeted me at the door. The driver took my luggage inside. "Mr. Churchill is not here to welcome you and asked me to get you settled in. Your godfather has called several times asking that we call him when you arrive. Mr. Churchill has suggested that you select one of two rooms on the ground level with a view of the pond. He'll return within the next few days. He said to make yourself at home and to ask me for anything you need or want."
— Chapter 1: Training
The scientist tells Max: "The bombs will explode in two hours' time because they're on time-delayed detonators…After we place the bombs, (y)ou and I will separate from the others except for one Norwegian who will guide us to the harbor where a British submarine is waiting to take us back to England… (W)e'll travel only at night and sleep during the day…The skiing will be easy, as it's all downhill."
— Chapter 27: Atomic Bomb
In the aftermath of torture, Max describes: My whole body was in pain after being in that damp cell for such a long time where I could neither stand nor stretch out…Of course, there were also the effects of the electric shock, sleep deprivation and the interrogation process. I asked myself to what extent they had affected my state of body and mind.
— Chapter 32: Torture
The package…I was to receive was so highly confidential that they only trusted the messenger to pass it directly to the barber who was also of Polish descent. Once the barber received this package, he would personally hand it to me…(W)e arrived at…a bombed-out building…but the staircase was still intact. I followed him (the barber) as we stepped over the debris and climbed the stairs to the fifth floor. "This is where you'll be staying until the messenger arrives with the package."
— Chapter 16: The Barber of Vienna
A monk at the monastery where Max is recovering from wounds of torture warns: "That's the signal for trouble. Hide your hands underneath your robe. Get down on your knees and bow your head in prayer. Do not move. If someone talks to you, do not respond. You are mute. I'll speak for you…We have nothing to hide here except you. We'll let them enter and search if they wish. When they find nothing, they'll leave." The gates were opened and about 200 Germans entered the monastery at a run.
— Chapter 34: The Monastery
Max escapes into Switzerland on skis: When we arrived, a small produce van was parked and waiting. The driver and two women climbed out to help me. My heart was full as I thanked the brothers for their devoted care. They hoisted me into the back of the van where one of the women helped me into civilian clothes as we drove toward a new chapter in my recovery, the Hotel School of Lausanne.
— Chapter 35: Convalescence
The King of the gypsies explains: "There will always be six of our men with you, but I need to organize the other gypsies along the route…all the way to the foot of the Pyrenees in France…You know, it's about 3,500 kilometers (from Sofia, Bulgaria) to Lisbon, depending on your exact route. There may be changes, depending on circumstances, but I'll formulate the plan, segment by segment."
— Chapter 19: Crossing Europe on Foot
Morocco, Cape Fedala
I want to explain to you the importance of what you'll be doing," he (Churchill) continued. "I've already talked to President Roosevelt about this. We are planning a landing in North Africa, probably beginning with Morocco and Algeria. Since England is in a state of war with both of them because they are pro-Vichy, it would be useful to have you assigned to General Patton's immediate staff to play the part of liaison between the Americans, the French, and later, the English. It is Patton who will be in charge of the landing."
— Chapter 28: Patton in North Africa
Max describes the room at the Vatican as he waits to see the Pope: The silence was deafening, almost suffocating. People spoke only in hushed voices. The ambience was austere and cold. A priest came in and took me to another room for those specifically waiting to see the Pope…After a while, I was escorted to yet another room, and eventually to a final one where I was the only person waiting.
— Chapter 18: The Vatican
"My mission is to get a Jewish scientist out of Bulgaria," I told the King (of the gypsies). "Mr. Churchill prefers to pick him up in a plane but suspects he will refuse. It is imperative that I meet him in Sofia within the next few days. Whatever day I arrive, I need to be at the synagogue at noontime. The scientist and his family are staying with the rabbi at his home until I get there."
— Chapter 19: Crossing Europe on Foot
(Mr. Churchill) got right to the point… "I'm going to send you on a mission to determine the location of German divisions deployed in Europe…You'll be traveling through Europe under the guise of a reporter for a Swiss gastronomic magazine…You'll have appropriate identification and additional papers proving you are doing this particular article under sanction of the Swiss government…We'll deliver the motorcycle and papers to you in Turkey."
— Chapter 5: Motorcycling in Europe
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Churchill's other agent tells me: "In Ethiopia, we'll find a guide to take us on camelback to Addis Ababa. All along the way, I'll take photos of all of you with the 'scenery' of German and Italian forces in the background. In Addis Ababa, we'll rent cars and drive throughout Ethiopia, Somalia, the Sudan—all around Africa, secretly taking photos of enemy troops."
— Chapter 4: Spying in Africa