In this novel by the author of Hitler’s Priest, follow along as a diverse and wide-ranging cast of characters journey through the events of World War II and the Holocaust.

Broad in scope and thematic undertakings, settings range from the eternal city of Rome to a prison cell in London, from Denmark to the Russian front. Go inside the secret conversations of the Nazi inner circle, as Hitler and Goebbels enact their plans for European domination and the extermination of people of the Jewish faith.

Follow decision-makers within the Vatican who must choose what course of action the Catholic Church will take as the Nazi cloud descends over Europe. Will they become involved in the politics of the day, going against the tradition of the church, or will they remain neutral and silent, not speaking out against horrific atrocities?

Dr. Miriam Cohen attempts to set herself apart from the psychological leaders of her time, and then must attempt to sustain the meaning in her life as she finds herself in Auschwitz, separated from her loved ones.  Ambassador Karl Hunsecker must deal with his guilt as he tries to serve the country he loves while not abandoning his ethics, and his wife Solange makes a choice of conscience that will have a momentous impact on herself and her family.  Meet many others from all walks of life who offer unique insight on what it must have been like for people from all perspectives to live through the second World War.

An exploration of the role of the church, the depths of human depravity, and the inner strength needed to sustain individuals in times of deep crises, this novel ultimately asks: What would you have chosen? The Cross or the Swastika?

The Cross or the Swastika is a stunning book that shines a bright light on the depravity of evil leaders and the silence of ordinary citizens. Tagliareni pulls no punches in exposing the moral nihilism of the Vatican and the political leaders of too many nations. And he helps us understand why some citizens rise to moral heights as they respond with strength and courage. His historical fiction style engages us immediately and holds our attention throughout. A must read for anyone who cares about making our world a better place.”

Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff, Past president, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Vice President for Special Projects
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Emanu-El, Westfield, NJ

“The Cross or the Swastika is no casual read, but a complex historical review set during the Second World War. It considers how and why humans accept inhuman behaviors, it explores world leaders and their choices and perceptions, and it considers secret conversations, church involvements, political and social subterfuge, and plots and politics involved in the role of the church in these matters. It uses the novel format to explore this history and these influences, and as such presents an unusually complex blend of history, spiritual and social reflection than most novels provide.”

Midwest Book Review