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The Cross or the Swastika by S. J. Tagliareni


The Cross or the Swastika is the complex story of many characters caught in the web of the Second World War. It delves into collective pathology, where normal human beings accept and endorse inhuman behaviors. It also explores the roles and influence of the most powerful moral leaders in the world, and attempts to understand their silence as the innocents are led to the crematoria. In the vast array of characters there are monsters and heroes.

Broad in scope and thematic undertakings, settings range from a prison cell in London to the Eternal City of Rome, from Denmark to the Russian Front. It imagines the secret conversations of the Nazi inner circle, as Hitler and Goebbels enact their plans for European domination and the extermination of the Jews. The plot follows decision-makers within the Vatican who must choose what course of action the Catholic Church will take as the Nazi cloud descends over Europe. Will they become involved in the politics of the day, going against the tradition of the church, or will they remain neutral and silent, not speaking out against horrific atrocities?

An exploration of the role of the church, the depths of human depravity, and the inner strength needed to sustain individuals in times of deep crises, this novel ultimately asks: Which would you have chosen, the Cross or the Swastika?



Format: 6" x 9" hardcover printed on acid-free natural paper in the USA
Pages: 278
ISBN 10:  1-939995-04-3
ISBN 13:  978-1-939995-04-9
LCCN: 2014944614

"This is a stunning book that shines a bright light on the depravity of evil leaders and the silence of ordinary citizens. Tagliareni pulls no punches in exposing the moral nihilism of the Vatican and the political leaders of too many nations. And he helps us understand why some citizens rise to moral heights as they respond with strength and courage. His historical fiction style engages us immediately and holds our attention throughout.  A must read for anyone who cares about making our world a better place."

Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff 
Past president, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Vice President for Special Projects
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Emanu-El, Westfield, NJ 


About the Author

S. J. Tagliareni

Salvatore Tagliareni is a story teller, writer, business consultant, art dealer, and former Catholic priest. He was profoundly influenced by his relationship with Dr.Viktor Frankl, the celebrated psychiatrist and author of the well-known book Man’s Search for Meaning. The desire to humanize the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust is the driving force behind The Cross or the Swastika, his second novel after the widely acclaimed Hiter’s Priest. A gifted speaker, he is blessed with a great sense of humor and can invigorate an audience with insights on life and leadership. Salvatore lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife of forty years and returns to Europe as often as possible.

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This product was added to our catalog on Monday 14 July, 2014.

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