Publishers: Hoffmann und Campe Verlag


Hoffmann und Campe Verlag
February 2022 / 288pp

The English language translation rights to the book have sold.

This page will be updated once an English language translation is published.

Sample Translation here
by Provided by Publisher


This outstanding work of narrative non-fiction tells the thrilling story of Manfred Gans, focusing on his travels across Europe in May 1945 on a quest to find his parents in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. 

Recapture addresses some of the same wartime experiences as those explored in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 blockbuster, Inglourious Basterds, that have an enduring appeal for English-speaking audiences. This immensely enjoyable book is written in an accessible style and covers universal human themes such as love, friendship, and how external events shape people’s lives. 

The book describes Manfred Gans’ life as a Jewish teenager in 1930s Germany and his departure for the UK in 1938. From 1938 onwards the book is based upon the letters Gans exchanged with his teenage sweetheart, Anita. The letters were made available to the author by the couple’s children and are used to reconstruct the dramatic turns of Gans’ life. The text includes photos and extracts from the letters, interspersed with biographical narrative. 

Gans is interred as an enemy alien before enlisting in the extraordinary ‘3 Troop’ – a British Army unit largely made up of German and Austrian Jews. Gans’ mission to find his parents in Theresienstadt takes place in after the liberation of large parts of Europe in May 1945 and is at the heart of the book – a desperate journey that is both incredibly dramatic and highly relatable. This is followed by an account of Gans’ struggles to gain UK citizenship and finally by the story of Anita’s travel from the USA to the UK to join him several years after the war ended. 

Recapture is an accessible book with broad appeal to readers with an interest in the history of the Second World War. Daniel Huhn’s masterful reconstruction of Manfred Gans’ unforgettable journey across continental Europe in search of his parents is narrative non-fiction at its finest.

Rights sold: Netherlands: Balans  

Publishers website

What was it like to be a Jewish German soldier enrolled in the British army during WW2? Join Manfred Gans on his journey, from his arrival in the UK as a teenager in 1938, his internment as an ‘enemy alien’, and his later work in 3 Troop. What became of his parents who were sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp? Or his teenage sweetheart who made it over to New York? Read on to uncover a fascinating account of how war, love, and family influence our lives on multiple levels. 

Andrew Hodges, Reader

press quotes

Daniel Huhn skillfully combines his historical account with first-hand impressions from the Gans family’s letters and records.

Wolfgang Schneider - Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Thanks to its reportage-style closeness to real life and its many details, this book is especially (but not only) suitable for younger readers. […] Great cinema.

Wolfgang Schneider - Der Tagesspiegel

Daniel Huhn tells [the story] on the basis of his diaries and letters in a lively and impressive way.

Kim Kindermann - Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Love and suffering, courage and despair, war and peace. […] All this concentrated in one story. The story of Manfred Gans, […] who escaped the Holocaust.

Peter Berger - Borkener Zeitung

This book is an unprecedented account of Germany immediately after its capitulation, a long-suppressed life story and an unexpected love story.

Münsterland Magazin

about the author

© Daniel Huhn

Daniel Huhn, born in 1985, studied history and politics. He is the author of numerous films and radio features dealing primarily with historical topics, including the documentary Back to Borken and an Audible Original podcast about Manfred Gans’ journey. In 2016, he embarked on the route Manfred Gans had taken more than 70 years earlier with the descendants of the Gans family.

rights information

Tanja Howarth

+44 20 7240 5553

translation assistance

The English language translation rights to the book have sold.

This page will be updated once an English language translation is published.

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