By Rebecca Cantrell
The main character in my novels “A Trace of Smoke” and “A Night of Long Knives” is Hannah Vogel. She spends a great deal of her time doing community service: spying on the Nazis. She risks her life to smuggle out documents to the British government in the hope that they might intervene and prevent Hitler from building up his military forces and starting a war. We all know she didn’t manage to avert World War II, but she definitely does a lifetime of community service for Germany.
By the end of 1938, after the events of Kristallnacht, Hannah would have donated all her time and money to the Kindertransport, also known as the Refugee Children Movement. Starting less than a month after Kristallnacht and continuing until a few days before the start of World War II, approximately 10,000 Jewish children were sent from their homes in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to foster homes in Britain. Most of them survived the war. Most of their parents did not.
To the right is a picture entitled: "Refugee girl, part of a Children's Transport (Kindertransport), shortly after arrival in Harwich. Great Britain, December 2, 1938.
— Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris"
If Hannah were alive today, she would probably donate to efforts to reunite these children and educate the next generation of their fate, including The Kindertransport Association and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
What would Mina Murray, the main character in “iDrakula” do?
Mina was six when the World Trade Center towers fell. When she was five she went to the very top of them with her father. She stood in the wind and looked down and felt like a bird. Because it was a cold day, she wore a red scarf her mother knitted her. She was angry that her father wouldn’t give her a quarter for the telescope, but she forgave him when he bought her a hot chocolate. She remembered the smoke and the confusion on the day the towers fell.
She donates time and money to the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund, an organization that helps the families of fallen first responders. She also saves some energy for The Red Cross (because she knows how important it is to have blood when you need it).
Sorry for the schizophrenic post, but as someone with two main characters, sometimes my posts have to do double duty.