The Black Eagle Inn (Three Nations Trilogy Book 3)
The Black Eagle Inn is an old established Restaurant and Farm business in the sleepy Bavarian countryside outside of Heimkirchen. Childless Anna Hinterberger has fought hard to make it her own and keep it running through WWII. Religion and rivalry divide her family as one of her nephews, Markus has got her heart and another nephew, Lukas got her ear. Her husband Herbert is still missing and for the wider family life in post-war Germany also has some unexpected challenges in store.
Once again Fischer tells a family saga with war in the far background and weaves the political and religious into the personal. Being the third in the Three Nations Trilogy this book offers another perspective on war, its impact on people and the themes of nations and identity.
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he is still resident today. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013.He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
I’ve asked him to tell me more about what drove him to write this.
Why I wrote THE BLACK EAGLE INN
Early feedback to my third book in the Three Nations Trilogy stated that it would probably be of most interest for people with a German heritage. As author I had to ask myself: could this novel bear relevance and interest for other people and non-German readers? The answer is yes.
I was born 25 years after the end of the war. Our history lessons at school ended with the year 1945. One of the most urgent and important questions remained unanswered for me: How did a country with so much shame and horror in its past recover and move forward? How could it? I don’t think anything can ever make up for what has happened and nobody can forgive or atone for the collective guilt. But can the new generation ever deservedly rid itself of the stigma the previous generation has brought to the country?
Apart from the actual family story in my book I hope a great point of interest will be the way different characters carry on with their life and develop their philosophies, outlooks and politics. De-nazification, restructuring of a political landscape and implementation of new state leaders are issues the book touches upon. Only ten years after the end of the war a wave of Italian and Turkish Immigrants filled the hole in the German employment market, but how did the Nation respond to those foreigners (named Gastarbeiter)? Ten years after that a new right wing party formed and threatened to tip the political balance and bring new shame to the nation.
The Sixties brought the Bader Meinhoff Complex, student revolts and many family conflicts instigated by the generation born after WWII. Many of those were disillusioned with politics and turned violent. It took a new generation of politicians to instigate a modernisation of German society.
The year of my birth Chancellor Willy Brand famously fell on his knees in Warsaw, humbly honouring a monument for the victims Warsaw Uprising. An important symbolic gesture after previous governments tried too hastily to move on from the dark past. My book covers a lot of ground about post war Germany and should be interesting for those whose knowledge of Germany also ends with 1945. We know about the Nuremberg Trials and the Nazi’s on the run in South America, but what about the little man, guilty or not? What does he do with this broken country?
What is your personal experience with the issues in the book?
I grew up with the first generation of children of mixed marriages and Gastarbeiter families and I experienced them being treated badly by some but also very welcoming by others. I grew up in times of a United Europe, exchange students and pop music from Italy, France, Britain and America. For me other nations and cultures were never anything but an exciting cultural enrichment and I adored the people in my generation who had a similar vision and worked hard to make such a mentality part of a modern Germany.
Of the three books THE BLACK EAGLE INN is the one that is closest to my own life experience although I was born around the time the story ends. While all three books deal with family sagas vaguely similar to some of my ancestors, this story takes place in an environment and times that I know almost first hand. Yet, there were an awful lot of facts that I only learnt about while researching the foundations for the book. I hope it helps to understand more about the path of the German people from its past to the current state.
Christoph isn’t only an author, but he’s an avid reader too, and one who writes great reviews. If you are interested in his work and his reviews check him out on:
As a closure on this I would like to ask the readers what they think can be done to approve acceptance of mixed marriages, or if they ever encountered negativity about the subject.