The life story of a glamorous thief
They call him »Diamond Eddie«, because jewelery and fur coats are his métier. With delicate hands, he cracks any lock, with his extraordinary intuition for the desires and aspirations of people, he‘ll sell them anything. Dressed in the finest suits, a charming and intelligent man, Edward Kray is popular at the gambling tables and bars of the city. He travels all across Europe, to France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Greece, he never makes plans, he doesn‘t put any money aside. For him, there is no tomorrow.
But his dreams are dark, the sinister images of the past constantly towering over him. Memories of his childhood in Zamosc, a small town in the southeast of Poland, where he was born in 1924. Memories of that first air raid that killed his family. With no one left to protect him, the sensitive boy is abducted to Nazi Germany and is forced to work in the armament industry. For the whole six years, that the war lasts, he is subjected to the terror and cruelty of the National Socialist regime, has to work day and night, frequently experiencing physical and emotional breakdown. In the labour camps, he seeks solace in the memory of his mothers voice, in chess games with other inmates of the camp and in fleeting friendships that are torn apart by the war again and again.
Miraculously, he survives and in 1945, after he is freed by the allies, he begins a new life in Düsseldorf. In the destroyed city he meets Marianne, an energetic and eager young woman. Together they grasp all opportunities that post-war Germany has to offer. Between economic promise, chaos, and political reform, he becomes a successful dealer of stolen goods and a thief ...
By the story of Diamanten Eddie Sabine Kray erects a lasting memorial in the honor of his grandfather. The rampant life of the jewelry thief during the time of the economic miracle, intertwines with the anguish and despair of the years of forced labour. It uncovers, layer after layer, the character of a man who stays in the country of his tormentors only to escape them over and over again.
Sabine Kray was born in Göttingen in 1984. After finishing her masters degree in American Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin, she decided to find out the truth about her grandfather, instead of pursuing a PhD. After several months of research in administration offices, archives and in conversations with contemporary witnesses, the untold story of an extraordinary man unfolded, while at the same time bringing to light the tragic fate of forced laborers during the Second World War. Sabine Kray lives in Berlin, where she works as an author and translator. In addition to this she is a volunteer mentor for young girls with an immigrant background. »Diamanten Eddie« is her debut.