Her name was Adriana. She was Belgian by birth and the widow of a German. When she died at a ripe old age in a retirement home in Germany, all she had left to her name was a case filled with photographs, letters and documents. The photos reveal her to have been an extraordinarily attractive and elegant woman. The letters are testament to her grasp of several languages – quite remarkable, considering the fact her husband ran a humble bicycle shop in the Ruhr Valley. Among the documents is an employment permit from a German firm in Antwerp dating back to the German occupation, and one for Neusalz on the Oder, now the Polish city of Nowa Sol – the site of the Gross-Rosen concentration camp in the days of the Reich. But what brought her here? How did this young woman from Belgium come to live out her life in Germany? Could she perhaps have been a collaborator?
Intrigued by Adriana’s life, Claudia Seifert has applied her well-honed detective flair to researching this woman’s puzzling legacy, set against the backdrop of the 20th century.