Horst Engel is the hero in The Melody of the Soul. He is the Nazi officer billeted in the flat below the Jewish heroine. As the story moves along, you’ll find that Horst has a tortured past. Much like David’s harp playing calmed King Saul in the Bible, Anna’s music soothes Horst.
Horst’s father was a committed, high ranking Nazi who longed to see his son succeed in the party. He pushed Horst to work harder and take a more hands on position in the military. Horst, however, has different plans for his life. He is an architect and is thrilled with his new assignment as Minister of Architectural Preservation in Prague. While this position is one that I created myself, it does make sense in the story. Prague boasted many fine examples of architecture. Because the German army entered the city without a battle, no bombs destroyed the beautiful buildings. The Germans were interested in the city’s architecture and didn’t want to see it destroyed. It’s conceivable that they would have marked the buildings they wanted to save in case it became necessary for them to bomb the city.
While he does not play an instrument like Anna does, he does appreciate good music. When he was a child, his mother took him with her to symphony concerts. At first, he didn’t care for them, but as he grew, he learned to appreciate the music. He is very familiar with the selections Anna plays. It is the music that draws them together despite their different backgrounds.
He is also artistically gifted. In the story, you’ll see him sketching different buildings around Prague. He also keeps a sketchbook nearby and draws in that from time to time.
He’s a gifted man, protective of those he loves, and wanting to do what is right to make up for the crimes of his past. Though he and his father have a tumultuous relationship, he and his mother are very close.
When you read The Melody of the Soul, you’ll fall in love with this Nazi officer who turns out to have a sensitive side.
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