Monday, February 20, 2012

Please Welcome Our Guest Today, Dr. Allen Malnak, Author of Hitler's Silver Box

Dr. Allen Malnak

About the author: Dr. Allen Malnak

Following medical residency, Dr. Malnak served as chief internal medicine, U.S. Army Hospital, Fort Sill, OK, and as a clinical investigator in liver disease and medical director of the emergency department at Chicago’s Mount Sinai Hospital. A board-certified internist in the Chicago area, he was an assistant clinical professor at Stritch School of Medicine for 25 years. His interest in the Holocaust was sparked by the fact that his father’s entire Lithuanian family was murdered by the Nazis.
Novel's Trailer HERE

About the Novel, Hitler's Silver Box -

Hitler’s Silver Box, a modern day historical thriller set in Chicago, begins with an elderly bookseller and Holocaust survivor, Max Bloomberg, being brutally murdered by a trio of thugs. Max’s closest relative, Dr.Bruce Starkman, chief ER resident at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital is shocked when he learns his Orthodox uncle is dead—his body cremated, a violation of his uncle’s religious beliefs. Max leaves a clue, allowing Bruce to find a hidden journal in Max's handwriting detailing his uncle’s ordeal some fifty years before in a Nazi concentration camp, during which Max is forced to craft a silver box as a birthday present for Hitler. The box contains a document written by Nazi leaders, which if discovered will lead to a worldwide Nazi resurgence. Max manages to escape and bury it in a forest near Prague. Bruce decides to find the box and solve the mystery of his uncle’s untimely demise. He and an attractive Israeli female companion with a military background are pursued and attacked by present day Nazis intent on reviving the Reich. The novel leads from Chicago to Paris to Prague in swift, hair-raising turns. The full journal of Max Bloomberg is included in the book.

Background of the Novel:

After retiring from the practice and teaching of internal medicine, I took an adult education course taught by an outstanding novelist and previous short story editor of “The New Yorker,” Hollis Alpert. One of several topics for a short story was “A Silver Box.” Perhaps because my father’s entire Lithuanian family had been murdered by the Nazis, I wrote the story about a concentration camp prisoner, Max Bloomberg, who was forced to make a silver box as a birthday present for Hitler.

The professor suggested it had the making of a novel, and I changed the protagonist to a nephew of the victim, and while the silversmith’s experience in the camp is told in his journal, basically the historical thriller is about a search for the box and it’s horrendous contents with Bruce, the young ER physician going up against present day Nazis, who are willing to torture or kill to get their hands on the silver box, which his uncle Max was able to bury near Prague as the Second World War was coming to an end some fifty years before the novel begins.

Writing the novel required considerable research. Having worked during my training and military service in a number of emergency rooms as well as having been medical director of a large ER department in Chicago’s Mount Sinai Hospital, I was familiar with that aspect of the story. I studied articles and books on life inTheresienstadt concentration camp and had to learn a great deal about silversmithing.

The most difficult chapters for me to write were the two that made up Max Bloomberg’s journal. Max is Bruce’s uncle and the silversmith who was forced while a prisoner in Theresienstadt concentration camp to make the silver box. Many aspects of Max’s fight for survival were gut wrenching. The provenance of the silver he had to use almost drove him and me mad.

Book’s website:,,, Soon in local book stores.


frans all genre reviews said...

I read and reviewed Hitler's Silver Box. It is a powerful, outstanding novel that everyone should read. The Holocaust cost so many their lives and Hitler's Silver Box is more than must a five star novel. Fran Lewis
I will repost the review for everyone to learn more about this book.

Mayra Calvani said...

I also read the book--quite a compelling story!

Thanks for hosting the author, Morgan. The post looks great!

Morgan Mandel said...

Welcome to Make Mine Mystery, Dr. Malnak. I'm glad to help get the word out about your intriguing thriller.

Morgan Mandel

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Glad to learn more about Dr. Malnak and Hitler's Silver Box.


Cheryl said...

This sounds like such a fascinating novel. I wanted to read it for the tour, but there is no way I could fit it into my schedule. I added the book to my wish list.

Steven J. Wangsness said...

Sounds very interesting. I spent two years in Lithuania and whenever I walked through the Old Town, particularly that part that had been the Jewish ghetto, felt the ghosts of all those murdered people.

Steven J. Wangsness said...

The Old Town of Vilnius, that is.

Sherry Isaac said...

Your premise sounds intriguing, Dr. Malnak. Any silver box would be, but Hitler's? Ka-pow!

I have an author friend who also has a history in medicine, and other with backgrounds in sales, economics, law... the list goes on. Amazing how all are later drawn to the craft of storytelling.

Maryann Miller said...

Nice to see you here, Dr. Malnak. I liked the sections of the book that were taken from Max's journal. They were very real and compelling. Now I know why.

Betty Gordon said...

Interesting interview, Morgan, and thank you, Dr. Malnak, for presenting a story we should read.

Malcolm Noble said...

What an intgriguing feature. Thanks for presenting it