Rolf Nagel

A Dog’s Eye - The Story of a German Family

(German title: Das Hundeauge)
ca. 296 pages
Rolf Nagel

Rolf Nagel

Rolf Nagel, born in 1929, was an actor at the renowned Thalia Theater in Hamburg, played 150 roles in various TV series and was the director of the Drama Department at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg for 29 years. A Dog’s Eye is his first publication.

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We should have known...

An examination of personal and familial guilt and the intention of taking responsibility for one’s own actions


Inflation destroyed my family’s savings … – many stories in Germany begin like this. So does that of young Rolf Nagel, who is born into a completely ordinary family in Hamburg in 1929.

When the Nazis take power, his childhood changes. His father joins the NSDAP. The boy experiences prisoners being murdered, as the family’s fl at is in close proximity to a satellite camp of Neuengamme concentration camp. Fifteen-year-old Rolf is recruited and joins the »Werwolf« group. Ostensibly a secret group of partisans created by Heinrich Himmler, in reality they were nothing but cannon fodder.

Shortly thereafter the war finally ends. Rolf Nagel becomes an actor at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, is on camera with actors of international fame. But the events of the past weigh heavily on him, just as the gaze of a black dog’s eye, an image that haunts him.