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The Stamp Collector

approx. 300 pages, 20 illu­stra­tions.
Preliminary date of publication: autumn 2022.

Occident Express


Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, it is awfully hard to get it back in.
Harry Robbins Haldeman. Watergate and Related Activities. 1973.


Some high-ranking diplomat in the German Foreign Office seems to have an eccentric hobby: vintage and antique stamps, mostly of the times of the German Reich, between 1871 and 1945. He steals them together with old envelopes from the archives of the Foreign Office. However, when his home is searched secretly, no trace of these stamps can be found. Nor does he sell them – anyway, they are not very valuable. What happens to them?

When Jack Boulder is asked to find out more, he thinks: "Who cares?" Then other people suddenly care – in Berlin and at the other end of the world, in South America.

Here Boulder meets Amanda Prutz, a charming, well-preserved widow of mature age and small stature who some twenty-five years ago had left her hometown Bytów in Kashubia in Eastern Pomerania. She had finally reached Germany after a de­tour via Winona, Minnesota in the United States, but now she lives in Chile. She speaks German and wanted to live in Germany or, as she put it: "Heim ins Reich – Home to the Reich.” Now a provincial town in Chile is the new Reich for her and a closely knit German-speaking community.

On arrival in Berlin her US passport was in the name of Amanda Prutz von Bütow. She had ennobled herself in tran­sit, and soon was carrying a German passport with the same name. She was a busy person, speaking German with a slight but kind of attractive Eastern European-American accent, making friends easily, partying in semi-influential, soon influential circles, getting into local politics, becoming member of one of the major political parties. But, now living at the end of the world, why does she want old stamps from the archives of the German Foreign Office?

The Author

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Contact

Peter de Chamier has a doc­­to­r­ate in hi­st­ory and works for an inter­­nat­io­nal scien­tific and hum­ani­tarian non-govern­­men­tal or­gani­z­ation.

The author has written and edited a number of non-fiction books that were trans­lated into seven lan­gua­ges. He has con­tribut­ed numerous news­­paper arti­c­les for the cul­­ture and arts sec­­tions of se­ve­­ral lead­­ing news­p­apers, and has a re­gu­lar column in a scien­­ti­fic news ma­ga­­zine.

de Chamier's novels are written in the form of the poli­­tical thril­ler, moral­­ly neu­tral — still moral, vi­gi­­lant, full of sus­­pense, ton­gue in cheek, and on solid fact­­ual and hist­o­rical found­a­tions. They are written in English.