How I came to write Hidden Falls

I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Norway several times. Living for a while in Bergen and traveling in the Sognefjord inspired me to set Hidden Falls in that region. I was blessed to grow up in the Pacific Northwest. My immigrant grandparents (mother’s parents from Norway; father’s parents from the Swedish-speaking part of Finland) were a big part of my life, and I cherish my memories of them. When I met my Israeli husband at the University of Washington, I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn that he never knew his grandparents—they were murdered by the Nazis in the death camps of Europe.  As a teenager I had followed (on TV) the 1961 trial in Israel of the notorious Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. Hearing of my husband’s loss made the Holocaust much more real to me.  It also reinforced my belief that Nazi war criminals should be hunted down, arrested, and tried for their crimes against humanity.

Years later, as a freelance journalist and also a fan of mystery and romance, I set out to write a novel. This mystery/romance/international thriller, set near the end of the 20th century, draws from the brutal Nazi occupation of Europe (including Norway) during World War II and also the role American and other Allied soldiers played in liberating the concentration camps at the end of the war. It also demonstrates the impact of the war and the Holocaust on those who lived through it as well as those generations who came afterwards.

I’d known about the Norwegian Resistance to the Nazi occupation ever since I was a kid, but very little about Norwegian Jews. I researched these subjects in order to understand my characters.  As I wrote Hidden Falls, I brought in “current events” such as the controversial trial in Israel of John Demjanjuk, an alleged guard at the Treblinka and Sobibor extermination camps; the brilliant expose of Nazi Erich Priebke by ABC TV Sam Donaldson; and also the hopeful Oslo Accords facilitated by Norway between the Israelis and Palestinians. After the tragic assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995, I decided my story had to be set in August 1995, when both the peace process and Mr. Rabin were alive and seemingly well. All these events simply served as background to the fictional story, which is still relevant today. 

I was gratified that the Midwest Book Review referred to Hidden Falls not only as a “cliff-hanger” but also as a “travelogue” because it was my intention that Norway’s beautiful scenery would provide inspiration for my readers.

I welcome your comments about the book and/or this website. Please write me at carladanziger@yahoo.com.  Thank you.




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