The idea for the de Gressier Saga came after the author, C.S. Bunker, had travelled to Moldova to carry out a feasibility study to privatise the Moldovan wine industry.
Moldova then produced more wine than France and Italy put together. The Berlin Wall had come down, and the country was coming out from underneath the yoke of communism.
Poverty, gangsterism and corruption were rife.
Later the same year, he was in France on holiday visiting the vineyards of Bordeaux when, by chance, he learned how the Nazis and their sympathisers within the French police force, had dealt with those that opposed them during the Occupation.
This led him to think about the harm caused by corruption, its different forms and the similarities between Bordeaux in 1942 and Moldova in 1992.
It was when C.S. Bunker heard the song Hero, composed by his son James, telling of an airman going to war who wanted to be a hero for his girlfriend, that he found the mechanism to connect France and Moldova in the same story.
In the mid to late 1990s, C. S. Bunker was working as a corporate financier in South Africa, again a wine-producing country.
Apartheid had just ended with Nelson Mandela becoming president in the country’s first multiracial general election.
The country had set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and hearings had started to record, and in some cases grant amnesty to the perpetrators of, crimes relating to human rights violations during the apartheid era.
This helped create the third strand of the de Gressier saga, which has corruption as a thread, deftly woven throughout this family saga.
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