Uber Alles

A Novel of Love, Loyalty, and Political Intrigue in World War II

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
420 Pages
Reviewed on 12/07/2016
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Author Biography

From his early years, Robert Arthur Neff has thrived on international involvement. Military service, business responsibilities, and personal travels have familiarized him with the locations and events entwined in his historical novel, Über Alles, a story he describes as “either a history lesson wrapped in a love story, or the reverse of that.”

Mr. Neff studied engineering, political science, and law at Cornell University, then he “entered the real world” as a JAG officer in the US Air Force. He was assigned to the 63rd Troop Carrier Wing of MATS, which aggregated squadrons deployed to overseas locations ranging from North Africa to Europe to Canada’s DEW Line to New Zealand and Antarctica. These became a new kind of classroom for the itinerant lawyer.

After his military service, Mr. Neff knew that he wanted a business career that would continue expanding his knowledge of many cultures and countries. He had the good fortune to find just such a job with the Rockefeller Brothers’ International Basic Economy Corporation, headquartered at “30 Rock.” Initially his assignments were focused upon Western Europe and The Middle East, but later they shifted to the management of various South American businesses, and that continent became Mr. Neff’s home for several years.
Prominent international businessmen were demanding more efficient, affordable air cargo services to accommodate the exploding growth of high-value international commerce. A leader in the movement was Mr. Laurance Rockefeller, whose participation in the airline industry collaterally yielded a welcome opportunity for Mr. Neff. He became an officer and director of Seaboard World Airlines, a major all-cargo airline which was pioneering international carriage innovations and also performing world-wide contract carriage for the US Department of Defense. Seaboard and the Flying Tiger Line later merged, and their combined activity eventually became an integral part of the contemporary Federal Express Corporation, from which Mr. Neff is a retiree.

Mr. Neff now resides with his wife, Julie, in Pinehurst, NC, and on Beaver Island, MI. They continue to visit other parts of the world frequently, and Mr. Neff has formalized his lifelong interest in writing, drawing extensively upon themes suggested by his work and travels. Favored leisure activities include playing jazz standards on his oversized grand piano, watching and playing tennis, and enjoying the uncomplicated attractions of Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast, where he does much of his serious writing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Uber Alles: A Novel of Love, Loyalty, and Political Intrigue in World War II is written by Robert Arthur Neff. Dieter has lost both of his parents and, until it was ordered to be closed, he stayed as a ward of the music school he was born in. Sofie is the daughter of a Wehrmacht general, highly indulged by her father, and a music graduate student from the finest university in Berlin. She loves the music that has been banned almost all over Germany, but she and her friends frequent the pub where Dieter plays piano. The pair form a most unlikely alliance and circumstance dictates that they must flee. On the run from the Gestapo in the Czech Republic, Sofie gets away and heads to France. Dieter manages to elude capture several times, but his luck is about to run out. Will their relationship survive? Will they ever meet again or has the war torn them apart?

Uber Alles: A Novel of Love, Loyalty, and Political Intrigue in World War II by Robert Arthur Neff is a fictional story, but it is based on real happenings at the time. This is a very deep story, steeped in cultural reference, and is descriptive of the way things were at that time. Although Mr. Neff doesn’t go into great descriptive detail about the persecution of the Jews, he does go into enough to make it real in the mind of the reader. There are plenty of references to the suffering of the people, the sickness and starvation, not to mention the horrific elimination of anyone who didn’t meet the exacting standards of the Third Reich. The character development was excellent with Mr. Neff making them as real as possible, characters that readers can identify with. The story is written in such a way that I felt like I was living it, living the horror, the poverty, and the love, living their lives as they ran for their lives. This is a history lesson and it is one that should be introduced into schools as a way of teaching them what history lessons don’t seem to cover these days – the reality of war. This is a truly great read and I highly recommend it for anybody who wants a story with real depth and feeling to it.