As central Europe crumbles during the Thirty Years War, Joseph Hanauer and a group of other Jewish refugees struggle to make their way from the Rhineland to Poland. Their plans change with rumors of troop movements and then an even more astounding rumor, that the actual pit of Hell has opened in the hills of the Thuringerwald. In this story, part of Eric Flint's Ring of Fire alternate history series, Joseph Hanauer and his friends find themselves thrust into the 20th century, or at least into one down-on-its-luck corner of 20th century West Virginia. How do they react to these strange circumstances? How do modern Americans look from their perspective? Most important, what should they do? Continue their attempt to escape into Poland, or plunge into the sweeping political and social transformations that are beginning to emerge in central Europe?