On 29 November, 1941, my grandmother, Ilse Cohn, was shot here, in this field, by members of the Nazi death squad Einsatzkommando 3, under the command of a Swiss-born SS colonel called Karl Jäger. On that one day alone, they murdered 2,000 Jews who had been deported by train from Vienna and from my grandmother's hometown of Breslau. So I have come to honour my grandmother's memory. My mother was her only child and although Ilse had three brothers, she had no nephews or nieces. My brother and I, and my two children, are her only living relatives.
As an author it is always nice to see one of your works top a specific category and I'm fortunate enough to have witnessed this a few times. I've topped the charts in Autobiographies (as a ghostwriter) Prisoners of War, and managed to scale the dizzy heights of the top ten with a crime fiction book and a true crime story.
This Sunday marks the 75th anniversary of the Kindertransport, a rescue mission that helped save nearly 10,000 Jewish children from Nazi Germany bringing them to the safety of Britain before the outbreak of WWII... I would like to take the opportunity to commemorate the people whose experiences still inspire the work we do today, helping communities around the world in need survive and revitalise with dignity and pride.
My book about Rudolph Hess is largely based on unofficial archives researched and collected by historians and conspiracy buffs in Britain, Germany, America and Central Europe. I was surprised enough when Scotland Yard's release of the secret report under Freedom of Information legislation coincided with the publishing of my novel Death Order.
Historian Laurence Rees, author of The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler and producer of the titular BBC documentary, spoke at the London School of Economics last night on the nature of leadership - mainly, how could significant portions of populations support groups such as the Nazi Party or Golden Dawn?