Germany, September, 1937. Bill Roth, Reuters' US correspondent based in Germany hears a rumour that handicapped children destined for euthanasia under Nazi ideology, are being rescued by an underground group of German and Austrian students. He investigates and meets Marietta von Burgheim, a woman of beauty and morality and an heiress to great wealth.
Turning her back on the duties of her noble birth and ignoring her father's wrath, Marietta is determined to outwit and eventually overthrow the Nazis. Bill and Marietta fall headlong in love, but their passion is overshadowed by the horror of the war and their family responsibilities.
Hugo von Hesse, Marietta's step-brother, disinherited because of his scandalous behaviour, makes a meteoric rise through the ranks to become a powerful SS officer. Embracing the new regime with fervour and reaching the pinnacle of power in the New Order, Hugo uses his position to destroy the von Burgheims, revenge himself on Marietta and take over the family fortune.
Bill remains in Germany and helps Marietta whenever he can, which draws him into the dangerous family feud. Marietta is caught smuggling Jewish victims out of Germany and sent to a concentration camp. Her family and Bill are informed of her death and shortly afterwards Bill is thrown out of Germany.
Bill travels to Britain and joins the army but his unique knowledge leads to his transfer to Czech intelligence.
Bill parachutes into Czechoslovakia as an agent, where, it is rumoured, the occupying power has established a rocket base and are creating a nuclear warhead.
As the Nazis tighten their grip on Europe, the struggle between Marietta, Bill and Hugo becomes a microcosm of the war itself ... violent, bloody and treacherous.
“The Second World War is the setting for this week’s best saga. Madge
Swindells’ Edelweiss is Schindler territory for it portrays a group of
Germans and Austrians bent on removing the dictator and aiding the escape
of Jewish and political refugees.” — Today
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