I met Kathi last February when she was one of the excellent keynote speakers at the San Miguel de Allende Writers Conference. She had her audience enthralled with her story of researching the life of Dora Diamant, proclaimed to be the last love of Czeck author, Franz Kafka. For the past 15 years Kathi has been trying to answer a question posed to her by a college German professor: was she a relative of Dora Diamant? Her research has taken her far and wide in Eastern Europe and Russia as she sought to learn more about the elusive Dora who managed to survive the Holocaust, Stalinist Russia and the death of her first and perhaps only true love, Kafka, who died from tuberculosis in a Sanatarium under Dora's care just 9 months after their first meeting when she was only 26 and he was almost 41. Her book about her findings is well worth the read.
My interest in Kathi Diamant's tour was heightened by my desire to do my own research for my next novel, which will take place possibly in Poland or the Czech Republic and Sweden during the rise of the Nazis. Relatives in Sweden are connecting me with a 100 yr old family member who is quite lucid and multi lingual(my French will come in handy!). I will interview her about some aspects of the war years. I also hope to interview a post doctoral student Kathi knows in Poland about Poland under the Nazi occupation. This information will help give my story historical legs to stand on. I am not yet disclosing the premise of the novel or it's main characters---it's good to keep my potential readers wondering.
I will post stories of my travels weekly. Hope you can join me on my overseas adventures. Stay tuned.