Christian Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Excerpts

Son Writes Memoir of Mother's Gulag Survival - Part II

  • Randall Murphree AgapePress
  • 2006 1 Aug
Son Writes Memoir of Mother's Gulag Survival - Part II

In "Dancing Under the Red Star," Karl Tobien writes a gripping account of Margaret Werner (his mother) and her three decades in Russia. Ford Motor Company sent the family there to help establish a Ford plant in 1932. Both Margaret and her father wound up in prison.

The book is to be released June 20, and plans are under way for a screen version. Tobien, his wife Tina and their four children live in Cincinnati, Ohio. Randall Murphree interviewed the author for AgapePress.

AgapePress:  What was Ford Motor Company's role in your mother's story?

Karl Tobien:  I receive your [American Family Association] e-mails and AFA Journal regularly, and I know that you've got some issues there with the Ford Motor Co. I can tell you, they're not going to be real thrilled with this book coming out either. Because there are going to be a few, maybe only subtle, but very truthful disclosures made in my book that might call some of Ford's early Soviet business activities into question.

You know, the book doesn't go overboard trying to slam the Ford Motor Company, but they turned a blind eye to what was happening to their American workers in Russia during this time. And what they're doing today with their activism and backing of the homosexual agenda is just totally appalling to me.

AP:  Tell us about the film possibilities for "Dancing Under the Red Star."

KT:  We're about to get a motion picture launched also. I'm working with a wonderful film producer named Paul Pompian. You may be familiar with Paul. He's got a very notable feature film and TV production resume, with some good inspirational, value-based films like "Joshua", "Gideon" and "Swimming Upstream," and many others. He's got very impressive credentials, and I'm excited about Paul producing this film.

He's very intrigued about the Ford factor being a real hook in the story, as well as the story of a woman's hope and survival and her undying will to live during this time. Virtually no Americans are aware that these circumstances even existed and that Ford Motor Company's involvement over there was what it was.

A lot of people don't know that Henry Ford was basically working both sides of the fence in the years leading up to and during World War II. He was actually in cahoots with both Hitler and Stalin. At the same time, we're supposed to be allies with Russia during World War II, and a lot of that stuff was covered up by Wall Street. A lot of that stuff was covered up by our own politicians.

AP:  What is the projected timetable for a film?

KT:  Boy, I sure wish I could answer that one!  Hollywood is a very strange place, subject to many elements. Our story is anointed by grace and the divine favor of God.  I know that financing is the first consideration for a major feature project like this one. But I am confident that our film will soon get set up for production/distribution with a major studio, perhaps within the next few months.

AP:  You intimated in the book that both your mother and your father led lives worthy of further exploration. Can you tell us if there are more Tobien titles in the works?

KT:  I'd like to believe there are. I do have a few ideas I think I'd like to explore, which include perhaps tying up a few more loose ends pertaining to both my mother's and father's lives.  Hopefully, that would be worthy material for another book. I would probably include much of my own bio as well. That story might be equally inspirational, but on a whole different, more contemporary level. I am very interested to see just what type of impact this book will have, and to find out what God's got in store for me in the future.

Click here to read Part I of this interview.

© 2006 AgapePress.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.