Ansgar Christensen is another idealist in my novel. He believes in the Monarchy, which he perceives to be under serious threat from Democrats and Communists in Europe. He is more cunning and streetwise but has a fondness and deep admiration for Zacharias and his goodness.
As the son of a wealthy pig farmer, Ansgar once was the newbie in Zacharias’s school class where the two formed an unlikely but instant friendship, based on kindness, support and respect; later on in life what they find to have in common is a need for meaning and a higher purpose, something beyond the mundane day to day life and pure survival; even though they disagree on how this can be achieved.
Their bond against the odds was one of the key inspirations for this novel and is based on an actual friendship that I formed and cherished in my youth. I still think very fondly of the person who was one of my best friends, despite our vast ideological and lifestyle differences.
Ansgar finds it difficult to watch as Zacharias falls under the influence of the communist teacher, Holger Beck, but holds back taking action out of respect for his friend. Once in Finland, Ansgar allows his political work to take over his life but he cannot run from his problems forever.
How far will he go? Can his friendship to Zacharias last?
If ever a film version was made, I hope that Jake Gyllenhaal would play him.
In 1918 young Zacharias Nielsen boards a ship in Copenhagen to join the Red Guards in the Finnish Civil War.Encouraged by an idolised teacher with communist leanings, he follows the call for help from his Nordic Comrades, despite his privileged background.
His best friend, Ansgar, has opposing political ideals to Zacharias but, for his own personal reasons, finds himself soon stuck in the Scandinavian North with Zacharias and Raisa, a Finnish nurse who helps them in their new life.
Through the years that follow the brotherly war the trio see the political landscape in Finland and Europe change as Communists and Fascists try to make their mark and attempt to change the world order.
Our heroes must find their own personal and ideological place in these turbulent times as friendship, honour, idealism and love triangles bring out some personal truths.
The book spans almost thirty years of history and the various Finnish conflicts: Civil War, Winter War, Continuation War and the Lapland War. Watch the political and personal self discovery of characters in search of their own revolution.
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 now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.
Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. “Time To Let Go” , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.