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Books Wednesday, 28 December 2011 13:39
Blind Vision Blind Vision Vivian Jeanette Kaplan

In modern day Mexico City, a young graduate student of anthropology, Stefan Marquez Calle, hears a surprising confession from his dying aunt. He discovers that his Catholic family has hidden Jewish roots; that they are descended from a long line of secretive people in Spain called Anousim, meaning those who had been converted to Christianity against their wills. They lived overtly as Christians, while maintaining vestiges of Judaism, in fear, for centuries. Stefan, who is about to be married, sets out to discover his true identity. As his aunt had intimated before her death, there exists an ancient journal that he must find, and it is there, through the writing of his ancestor, that he becomes entangled in a distant past, and is thrown backwards in time into the world of the Spanish Inquisition.

The diary is written in the hand of Alfonso Calle, who lived in fifteenth century Seville. His family members are Conversos who keep their forbidden Jewish religion in tact and practice in hiding, despite the threat of torture, incarceration and death. A horrifying culmination occurs when Alfonso’s father is arrested and burned at the stake in a lavish Auto-de-Fe, the public execution conducted as a festival celebration under the auspices of the Dominican Order of the Roman Catholic Church. The driving force of the oppressive regime is established and ruled by the Chief Grand Inquisitor, Tomas de Torquemada, who reports directly to the joint forces of papal and royal authorities and uses every means of treachery to achieve the combined goal of a pure Catholic Spain.

In a trip to Lisbon, Alfonso meets the famous explorer of the day, Christopher Columbus, known as Cristobal Colon, who has a concealed identity, and whose convoluted signature is finally decoded and reveals that he too is a Crypto-Jew. Alfonso is sent to work as a courier at the opulent Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella after his father’s death. He becomes a spy and works underground for the protection of Spanish Jewry who have not converted, and for the safety of those who are Conversos, but are regularly accused of heresy, tortured and put to death. The reign of terror continues as the Inquisition grows more powerful and Torquemada plots the death and elimination of all Jews. As Expulsion looms, Cristobol Colon comes to the Court of Spain and works feverishly to acquire ships of exploration to the New World.

The Grand Inquisitor resurrects the old myth of blood libel, falsely accusing the Jews of Christian infanticide. Unrestrained hysteria and mob violence erupt in the country. Alfonso witnesses the massacre of his family. Profoundly affected, he leaves Spain in a mass exodus with hundreds of thousands of Jews, Crypto-Jews and Conversos who are herded out of the land of their birth, forced by royal decree to leave all valuables behind, and are attacked and even murdered en route by thieves for anything they might have taken with them. Captain Colon arranges to set sail on the precise day that the Jews must leave and takes as many exiles as he is able. Alfonso boards one of the caravels to escape.

For Stefan, the story is life-altering despite his initial rejection of his ties to the distant past. He and the spirit of Alfonso connect throughout the story, in dreams and illusions. Stefan uncovers the existence of people in Mexico, and throughout the world, who are still living as secret Jews, who pray in hiding and keep traditions of their maligned faith alive. Finally, in the twenty-first century, they are able to communicate online undetected and in anonymity. Based on true facts, this story has far-reaching implications to the many thousands whose heritage is traced to Judaic roots, but who have not yet come out.

Additional Info

  • Author: Vivian Jeanette Kaplan
  • ISBN-10: 0-9837318-2-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-9837318-2-5
  • Publisher: Hannover House (February 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
Last modified on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:10

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About Hannover House

Hannover House is a full service media company, specializing in the production and distribution of feature films for theatres, home video and the Video-On-Demand formats for the North American retail marketplace. Formed in 1993, Hannover House concentrated it’s activities exclusively in the literary, book-publishing industries until 2003 when the company entered into the DVD marketplace.

Now, with over 200 titles in its growing film library -- over half of which are in active distribution -- Hannover House has quickly ascended to a dominant role as a leading, independent distributor in the U.S. market. The company is particularly noted for its successes in placing DVD titles within mass merchandisers and key chain stores. Retailers carrying Hannover House products include thousands of independently owned and operated retail video stores and book stores, and most mass merchants and major retailers. In addition to this "core" distribution activity, Hannover House is launching two, major new ventures in 2014.  "VODwiz" is a new video-on-demand portal for independent films, structured similarly to Netflix and Amazon's streaming services;  "Medallion International Pictures" is the company's international sales and financing operation, designed to provide Hannover House with up to five, high-profile theatrical features each year.

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Hannover's early successes in book publishing were sparked by critical acclaim and commercial success with "Sacred Prey" and "Quietus" from novelist / screenwriter Vivian Schilling.  The Company achieved its first # 1 Best-Seller on (and it's highest position on the New York Times Best-Sellers list) with the 2003 release of  Blood, Money and Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K. by Barr McClellan.  The addition of DVD products in 2003 marked a turning point for the Company, as a steady slate of releases achieved top-selling status for Walmart and other major retailers, both as new releases as well as within the popular Budget Bins.

Top selling DVD titles include (listed alphabetically):  Classic Comedies Pack, Classic TV Pack, Come Away Home, Fun Park, Future Shock, Grand Champion, Martial Arts Action Pack, Samurai Action Pack, Twelve and Zombie Warz. At present, Hannover House is releasing about 24 titles each year to the DVD / Blu-Ray and V.O.D. markets in North America, with three-to-five titles also enjoying some degree of theatrical release.  The new productions being funded through Medallion International Pictures are expected to have broad, nationwide theatrical release support.