This book puts you in Nazis Germany in a profound way

I thought I knew a lot about World War II and the horrible mistreatment of Jewish people in Nazis Germany, but Richard Herman’s novel, Behind The Cellar Door, put me right there, in a profound way.

Published by Maine Authors Publishing, this book is really much more than a novel. It astonishes me that anyone could write a first novel that is so compelling and insightful, but that is just what Richard Herman has done.

This is also a timely book, because there is a lot of insight into democracy and the loss of civil liberties.

The story begins when a Berlin university student’s Jewish friend disappears. She, ironically, falls in love with a Nazis SS officer. And as the Nazis take control of Germany, her family is targeted by the secret police. Not long after that, she joins the Resistance.

The story is told from the girl’s point of view, as she endures the terror of Nazi oppression and later, the brutality of Russian soldiers.

Herman had a family medical practice in Maine, and now lives in Maine and Florida with his wife. On the back of the book, I read that Herman’s passion now is writing. It will certainly be a challenge to write a novel as good as his first.

I promise you, you will never think of WW II in the same way after you read this historical novel.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.