Doctor B

Birnbaum, Daniel
Swedish title
Dr B
Fiction \ Literature & Fiction
Pub Date
Oct 16, 2018

A highly anticipated fiction debut based on the true story of espionage, double agents and the life-changing repercussions of a letter written in invisible ink, set in 1940s Stockholm.

When Daniel Birnbaum clears out his parents attic, he unearths a mysterious cardboard box with his grandfather’s name, Immanuel Birmbaum, on it. Within lies a whole life story filled with unexpected drama and intrigue. He finds documents containing privileged information on some of the most overwhelming years in recent Swedish history, 1939-1943.

The time when Sweden was, quite unexpectedly, at the heart of world politics in its role as a neutral country in the middle of a soon-to-be raging war. A war which attracted diplomats, spies and double-agents alike to the hotel lobbies and back allies of Stockholm.

In the autumn of 1939, after Germany’s invasion of Poland, the German-Jewish journalist Immanuel Birnbaum arrives in Stockholm. He has been forced to flee with his wife and two children from Warsaw where he worked as a correspondent for several German newspapers, using the nom de plume Dr. B.

In Stockholm, he is soon contacted by the exiled German book publisher Behrman-Fischer of Fischer Verlag, who offers Immanuel a job at the renowned publishing house that has set up shop in central Stockholm, away from the war in its native Germany.

In his position at Behrman-Fischer he aids British spies to spread propaganda in Germany. But in a letter written in invisible ink, something taken straight out of a spy novel of the time but that actually happened, he also exposes plans by a local dissident group to blow up the Swedish trading port of Oxelösund, a move meant to force neutral Sweden into the war. Immanuel disappears into captivity, but turns up in history as a shadow in a novella by Stefan Zweig.

DOCTOR B is a work of fiction based on the larger than life story of a hitherto unknown World War II drama, played out in the world of book publishing, emigres, spies and diplomats in 1940’s Stockholm.