"As a child of the war in Europe, you must write your remembrances of the war," 80-year-old Harold, a veteran of WWII, said to Bert Wouters. Sadly, Harold passed away three weeks later.
If he had not spoken these words, 'Madonna on the Bridge' would not have been written.
During research on WWII, Bert Wouters discovered a footnote about the Circassian people, who had come to the attention of the SS in Germany. Based on their expertise in secret military operations, Himmler decided to recruit Circassians for his intelligence gathering operations. But the Allied beat him to the task. It was sheer coincidence that the author remembered his mother telling him of a family secret, the birth of his grandfather—the offspring of a Circassian beauty, who became pregnant by a professor in the German Reich, serving under Himmler. At the age of sixteen, Wouters did not think much of it. But further research awakened him to the richness of Circassian tradition, culture and family values. Why had he not learned about these remarkable people in school during history lessons? The result of this nagging question was 'Madonna on the Bridge', a journey of hard work and passion, which the author hopes will help solidify the bond between Circassians with their unified desire to regain their homeland on the shores of the Black Sea.
Bert Wouters is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, Independent Writers of Southern California, and the Ventura County Genealogical Society.