Handelsresande i liv (Trading in lives; 1999)

“Stateless, arrogant, and lunatic” was what the British government called Gilel Storch, when in 1945 he was preparing to go down to Berlin and negotiate with Heinrich Himmler about saving Jews. Storch, himself a Jew, had been personally invited by Reichsführer Himmler. Storch cooperated with a most varied group of people – German spies, Swedish foreign ministers, men like Raul Wallenberg and Folke Bernadotte and with Felix Kersten, Himmler´s masseur. These individuals were all threads in a very fine weave which really was not permitted to exist. From completely different vantage points, and with entirely different objectives, these people met in their attempts at saving the victims of the Holocaust. But this is not only the story of a few activists. It is also the story of their endeavors at raising the consciousness of the democratic governments of the world and how futile these attempts were initially. Through thorough studies of original sources and led by a strong need to understand and explain, Lena Einhorn tells about these unbelievable meetings in the shadow of the Second World War.

– English manuscript available.

Press Voices

”After reading her book, one realizes that one doesn’t always have to search for spy thrillers.”
Mats Rosin, Västerbottens Folkblad 

”In her magnificent Handelsresande i liv…. Lena Einhorn has created an epic about the intrinsic inertia of every political, ideological, social or economic system, and about humanity’s imprisonment in these systems of its own making…
To my knowledge, there exists in the Swedish language no other description as detailed, well documented and free from stuffiness, of the cumbersome efforts it entailed to save even a few Jewish souls from this hell.”
Rita Tornborg, Svenska Dagbladet

”Lena Einhorn’s brilliant Handelsresande i liv is a study in courage and discourage and at the same time a piece of history told with journalistic zest and scientific stringency.”
Rita Tornborg, Svenska Dagbladet, in her selection of the year’s three best books.

”We journalists very much want to surprise the world by depicting decisive moments that have up to now gone unnoticed. It is called making a scoop……Lena Einhorn’s book Handelsresande i liv holds a scoop with wide implications…
Unbelievably, nobody before Einhorn has made a scientific analysis of the Bernadotte mission.”
Arne Ruth, Judisk Krönika. 

”(Lena Einhorn) is by now an established film maker, but she also has a past in medicin. The scientific scalpel and the razor sharp scissors are her instruments. With a dizzying exactness she uncovers the scenes in her documentary on Gilel Storch, which now also has become a book.”
Salomon Schulman, Sydsvenska Dagbladet

”Einhorn has written a remarkable book which cross-fertilizes different genres; it has the weight of the documentary, and the imagination of the drama, it states all the sources, while at the same time with the nerve of the realistic prose it depicts a decisive era for Europe and the Jewish people.”
Thomas Nydahl, Kvällsposten 

”Perhaps one of the most important books in recent years about Sweden’s relationship to…. the Holocaust.”
Håkan Hermansson, Arbetet

”It’s a thrilling adventure story, it’s a detective novel, and it is an outstandingly close historical narrative of an evil course of events. Einhorn brings out details, she depicts conversations as if she herself had been present, she has watched and describes the most banal things, something which suddenly gives evil the contours of a face. Himmler’s face?…
Let this book be part of the literature of the school system!”
Leif Nelson, Ystads Allehanda

”Irrespective of time and place, Lena Einhorn shows a remarkable ability to inject life into the many actors. Equally clear are her intentions to paint these characters with passion and empathy. She is always palpably present…
Einhorn builds a strong and creepy athmosphere…
Lena Einhorn’s challenging and extraordinarily well-documented narrative functions as a reminder of what happened during, as well as after, the Second World War.”
Gert-Ove Fridlund, Hallandsposten

”She combines great passion with a desire to be fair to the actors. As a consequence, the ”heroes” in several cases are not only heroes, but also show less sympathetic traits. The book is well-written and captivating.”
Statement of the Swedish Library Service (used as basis for library purchases in Sweden)

”A gripping and exciting book about the many attempts to save Jewish lives from the Nazis…
The book is incredibly captivating and well-documented. A line of remarkable human stories are painted, at times it’s very dramatic…
Lena Einhorn doesn’t judge, she delivers facts. It’s left to us to draw the conclusions.”
Hans Menzing, Falköpings Tidning

”Reading Handelsresande i liv is like trying to find ones way through a terrifying labyrinth.”
Peter Ortman, Helsingborgs Dagblad

”Einhorn clearly demonstrates that there is a larger pattern, that all those who tried to do something, from Gilel Storch, Kersten, Bernadotte and Wallenberg to the circles around Himmler, such as SS-general Walter Schellenberg and the executioner Adolf Eichmann, at some point were in touch with each other. And in the background looms the spooky and mysterious figure of Adolf Hitler.”
Jan-Erik Berglund, Åland

Sweden (Prisma)

Germany (Klettcotta)