As a former TV-director and producer of current affairs programs, Karl is today an accomplished author of historical non-fiction. He is an acknowledged and appreciated member of both the Dutch Association of Journalists and the British Historical Writer's Association.
The Secret of the Sacred Panel
"The Secret of the Sacred Panel" is a historical true-crime about the occult motives behind history's most bizarre art theft.
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April 1934. Two panels, John the Baptist and the Just Judges, part of the world’s greatest altarpiece “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” are stolen from the Ghent cathedral in Belgium. Painted in the 15th century by Van Eyck the art work literally is priceless. The police has no clue who is behind the audacious theft. When all hope of recovery seems lost the detectives are contacted by an extortionist who returns the panel of John the Baptist and demands a ransom for the other, more important, Just Judges. A long and at times outlandish cat and mouse game ensues during which the detectives overplay their hand. The blackmailer disappears.
In "The Secret of the Sacred Panel", Dutch investigative journalist Karl Hammer reports the amazing story told to him by Tom R., an art historian who was enlisted to spy for the CIA and MI5 during WWII in order to trace the whereabouts of the vast horde of art stolen by the Nazis. While in Munich in 1945 Tom discovers that the Nazi's had spent three years and a fortune on tracing the Van Eyck missing art work. Apparently they had been following the events surrounding the theft long before they invaded Belgium. Tom's superiors immediately put him on the case to find out of the Nazi's had successfully traced the art work. This is the start of one of most curious, if not outright weird investigations the art world has ever seen. A theft that is perhaps not a theft. Of an art work that is more than an art work. And nobody seems to be who they pretend to be. Not even Tom’s superiors.
"The Secret of the Sacred Panel" takes its readers into a quite unexpected territory of international intelligence work and shows how religion and politics were entangled, while occult mysticism was rampant among leaders in both East and West. The book describes an amazing and personal story of deceit and betrayal, all of this verified and supported by meticulous research into religion, mysticism, and history.
"... a book of curious power that provokes raging thoughts even in the mind of one who knows these subjects inside out (or so she thought)."
bestseller author Lynn Picknett
This book has been published in six countries. Contact us for more information about available rights.
Hunt for the Nazi Gold
As reported by Der Spiegel, Yahoo News, ABC News, the Daily Mail and others.
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"Hunt for the Nazi Gold" is the true story of a secret code hidden inside the musical score of the "March Impromptu".
Berlin 1945. Shortly before the downfall of the Third Reich Hitler’s personal diamonds, together with a stash of gold, are hidden in a secret location in Bavaria. The purpose is to finance a Nazi terror movement called “Werwolfen” to be able to operate after the war is lost. The diamonds have been named “The tears of the wolf”, after Hitler’s nickname Wolf. The exact location of the treasure is known only to Hitler’s secretary Martin Bormann and SS-officer Herman Fegelein, but neither survived the war and the terror group Werwolfen was quickly dismantled by the Allied Forces. Reichsschatzmeister (National Treasurer) Franz Xaver Schwarz, who was believed to have information on the subject, died during interrogation in Camp Regensburg without giving up any of the secrets.
During the research for his book “The secret of the sacred panel” Dutch investigative journalist Karl Hammer came across information that could lead to the hiding place of Hitler’s diamonds and gold. It was hidden as small coded symbols within a musical score which was in the possession of a former Nazi clergyman. This army pastor was supposed to bring it from the bunkers in Berlin to Bavaria, but he never did. His motivations as well as his personal life in the world of Nazi ideology are wonderfully and objectively described. But it is, of course, the deciphering of the coded document that takes center stage. Although Karl cracked most of the code, he has not been able to retrieve the lost diamonds and this is why he presents all his findings to a world-wide audience to help him unock the secrets. Karl has also appeared in various interviews and documentaries such as "Expedition Unknown - Deciphering the last Nazi Code". If anything, this book is an enduring and captivating treasure hunt.
“It is very probable that these hidden Nazi treasures are still awaiting discovery”
Gerard Aalders, Dutch Institute of War Documentation
NOTE: It has come to our attention that in the English edition of this book, the translation of the Dutch preface is missing. We are working to correct this as soon as possible. For those who have the edition without that preface, we post it here.
The Seat of Francis (English rights available - for Dutch edition click here)
The book that shook the Vatican. Watch the trailer on Youtube: http://youtu.be/IMLLCwZgh64
There have been many biographies on Francis of Assisi but none as controversial as this historical true-crime about the theft of his relics. Saint Francis was more famous in his lifetime than people such as Albert Einstein or Nelson Mandela in more recent times. His wild adolescent years, filled with sex, booze and violence, make for wonderful and exciting reading. However, his story becomes even more intriguing when he turns his back on that dissolute life and, gripped by intense religious visions, chooses a life of poverty and care for his fellow beings. In a mediaeval world filled with horrific wars, deadly diseases and clerical corruption, Francis develops into the symbol of peace and all good in mankind, respected by kings, emperors, popes and even sultans. No wonder that already during his lifetime he was regarded as a saint.But only few people know that following his death in 1226 a secret battle commenced to possess his corpse.
Today, according to official records, the remains of Saint Francis are safely in the basilica of Assisi where they are at the center of a multi-million tourist and pilgrim industry. Dutch investigative journalist Karl Hammer, however, has discovered that although there are bones in the tomb, they are not those of Saint Francis. His real body was stolen and replaced with that of a nameless corpse, possibly a leprous woman.
After three years of intense investigation, aided by experts from around the world, Karl Hammer has now fully reconstructed the events surrounding the relic's robbery. This book presents a compelling true story of the political and religious intrigue behind the scenes. It will forever change the way our world views the history of Saint Francis and the basilica, which to this day is Vatican soil.
If the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, the Vatican's inventory of forbidden books, had not been formally abolished in the 1960's this book would certainly have topped its list.