Book Review – Masaryk Station by David Downing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A very satisfying end to the series, although still leaving me with a wish for a more detailed epilogue that told us more about the rest of the cast’s lives.
As with the others there is a lot of history being told here, Downing does his research and then puts it on the page. Although one obvious lack was the bit about copying a film where the story goes straight from copying to playback without going through the development process. This is in an era where chemical processing was needed to view pictures on film after they’d been shot. Given the rest of the research I’d have thought that was known to Downing.
I did enjoy this though, and there were a number of different angles.
My favourite was Stroehm, who we met in Stettin Station as the railway worker that was tipping off Russell when the Jewish transports were leaving so that he could witness them. By this story he’s a senior member of the East German communist party (although not quite East Germany yet). He’s on the inside track of what the Soviets are planning and he’s also losing his faith in the Soviet control of the German Communist Party. Everything he’s asked to do goes against his inner principles and belief in socialism. This was a common part of the KPD survivors and most of those where finally repressed after the June 1953 uprising.
This is the last of the series, Russell has got his out from the blackmail that made him work for the Soviets. Although I wouldn’t be too surprised to find that there is a later book. Russell’s leverage with the soviets will eventually expire, and he’ll also have trouble working in the USA when the McCarthyites get going.