Codename Barber

Foto: Jerry Simon




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Codename Barber

Semmy Stahlhammer, English pocket edition

The Nazi threat emerges from Germany 1933 and shatters the small town life in Krasnik south of Lublin in eastern Poland. The teenager Mischa Stahlhammer manages to escape from a German work camp and joins Polish partisans. He survives by becoming a specialist in arming and disarming mines, the most dangerous of all missions. After the war he ends up in Sweden, meets Sonja, who also lost her family and youth in German concentration camps. Their son Semmy, born in Eskilstuna, tells the story of what a boy, his family and friends had to live through in Poland before, during and after the Second World War, and how love gives him back the will to live – and the strength to create a new life in a foreign land.

Semmy Stahlhammer was First Concertmaster at the Stockholm Royal Opera and Ballet for 25 years, and Artistic Director of Chamber Music at Stockholm Grand Hotel, and of the music festival in San Giovanni in Tuscany, Italy. He is now leader of Stahlhammer Klezmer Classic.  In his violin ateljé in Stockholm he restores/repairs string instruments.

Codename Barber is translated into Swedish, Russian, Hebrew and Mandarin  Chinese (and simplified).

ISBN: 978-91-633-6549-2, ISBN: 9100113239

ISBN-13: 9789100113230

Genre: Memoirs and biographies

Publishing Date: 2010-0-15


Semmy Stahlhammer, Norr Mälarstrand 24, 112 20 Stockholm, Sweden


Tel: Mobile:+ 46 70 747 4811 or + 46 8 653 4441 

Home page:


Codename Barber my father's story         ISBN: 9100113239  ISBN-13: 9789100113230

Semmy Stahlhammer     Albert Bonniers Förlag    Genre: Memoirs och biographies 

To buy books now, pay with Paypal to account:

Price for English pocket, including shipping registered mail:

One book 20 USD, two books 30 USD, three books 40 USD, etc

For contact, questions and larger orders write to:


Semmy has captured his father’s life fate with a dry realism that haunts the reader and leaves her without repose or peace. Thure Stenström, Svenska Dagbladet

A testimony of love – to life itself – artless and highly dramatic. Per Svensson, kulturchef Expressen, Judisk Krönika

Something of the best I have read in the partisan-genre. –Painfully truthful and passionate- Salomon Schulman, Obs! Kulturkvarten, Sveriges Radio P1

-a captivating and poignant book. Peter Handberg, Dagens Nyheter

-this is an indispensable form of history writing. -these events belong to humanity's collected, common experiences. Håkan Möller, Hufvudstadsbladet, Finland

-it is scary to read about the situation Mischa was in during the war years. -a unique document from the 20th century, a story of survival… Daniela Floman, Göteborgsposten

This fascinating biography becomes the more worth reading since the son, Semmy Stahlhammer, has edited and condensed his fathers aural account in such a skillful, well balanced and eloquent manner. Tore Winqvist. Uppsala Nya Tidning

The story is straightforward with a fascinating richness in detail. Out of the actual rendering, the feelings shine through without abundant gestures, just through well chosen words. A detailed historical account with a convincing realism. Ivan Österblad, Länstidningen Södertälje

Straightforward, almost artless, he lets the father speak. This simplicity in the description makes you captivated by the contents, a fate of the times. Codename Barber is a naked document of a life destiny characterized by war, horror and persecution. Inger Dahlman, Sundsvalls Tidning

When the war was over he had experiences what nobody should have to bear and carry with them through life. Bengt Faleij, Västervikstidningen

A strong story that becomes especially interesting through Mischa’s fantastic memory for details. One cannot comprehend that he survived. Lars Landström, Härnösands Allehanda

Mischa remembers how he felt safer in a German work camp than among the Polish peasants and partisans. Patrik Uhlman, Eskilstunakuriren

It was a life under constant death threat, not only from the German Nazis, but also from Poles, even among the Communist partisans. Ernst Klein, Östgöta-Correspondenten

The story of a man, who not only survives the Nazis, but also the strong antisemitism in Poland. AS, Byggnadsarbetaren

A straightforward story worth reading. Ulrika Knutson, Veckans Affärer

- a straightforward and frank story that moves you. It testifies of a brutality that is hard to understand, but it is also a testimony about a brave person who against all odds survived. Kjell-Ove Cederqvist, Dagbladet, Sundsvall

- a staggering description of the horror and hardships of war, with deep inhuman humiliation. Håkan Philipsson, Bibliotekstjänst

Semmy lets the father tell his story in first person, filled with the coincidences of the adventure–novel, illuminated with the genuineness in the experiences. The language has an impressive flow and keeps the right tone-balance throughout, captivates and holds the reader with a feeling of self-evident ease. Anna Rikner, Biblioteket i focus

”Codename Barber” is a captivating story and a unique document of a human fate. Sören Sommelius, Helsingborgs Dagblad

Mischa Stahlhammer stood in front of his own grave seconds before his execution. Fate wanted otherwise. Kristina Ekero Eriksson (Svensson), Pennan & Svärdet