SAFARI FRA HELVEDE – SAFARI FROM HELL
By Tom Buk-Swienty
SAFARI FROM HELL is yet another captivating book from bestselling author Tom Buk-Swienty. Here, he tells the story of nearly 30 German Danes who, during World War I, were sent on a secret and perilous mission to the colony of German East Africa. In front of them lay 25,000 nautical miles, the North Atlantic, the South Atlantic, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Indian Ocean—and against them, the Royal Navy.
THE BOOK IS about the men’s dramatic and hazardous sea journey and later on-foot journey through the African wilderness. Even though everything they went through seems almost too incredible to be true, these are real events. They are described through the eyewitness accounts and memories of the participants and are based on contemporary and unique documents from archives in Germany, England, and Denmark.
AT ONE END of the spectrum, there are world-historical figures like Winston S. Churchill, then the British First Lord of the Admiralty, and the legendary German general Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, known and infamous as “Africa’s Lion.” At the other end, there is a group of humble southern Danes under German command whose efforts would have a decisive impact on the course of the war in this distant corner of the world.
A RECURRING NARRATOR is the warm and unassuming fireman Nis Kock from Kegnæs on Als. Thanks to his unusually vivid testimony about the strange and dangerous events he and his comrades were embroiled in for a total of five years, the reader gets up close to this unique and almost forgotten piece of world history.
ABOUT THE BOOK
First published by Politiken, Denmark 2022
“A captivating narrative… a fabulous tale that captivates and entices the reader.”
– Weekendavisen, Bo Bjørnvig, Denmark
“The most significant recent contribution in Danish to the history of World War I… it covers important themes that go far beyond traditional military history and can therefore be read by anyone interested in Europe’s involvement in Africa in the 20th century.”
– Politiken, Ulla Tofte, Denmark
“Buk-Swienty recently characterized his fantastic story as “Das Boot meets Indiana Jones – with a South Jutlandic accent.” That’s spot on, and with that appraisal, I highly recommend following in the wake of the good ship Kronborg.”
– Historie-online.dk, Bjarne S. Bendtsen, Denmark
“A true goldmine for the historically dedicated reader… A fantastic story.”
– Kristeligt Dagblad, Liselotte Wiemar, Denmark