Historical fiction: The tragic life of Albrecht von Haar in journal format
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A scare before leaving Bracknell

The last morning with the Duke of Bracknell gave me a bit of a scare. The Duke informed me that one of his servants had accidentally seen me looking inside my small suitcase prior to breakfast and had noticed that it looked from a distance like a radio transmitter set. The Duke asked me if it was so. Well, at that point I had to own up to it, didn’t I? He seemed relieved when I told him the story of my working with, well, you know who – and that I was bringing the radio set back to Berlin for use by a British agent.  The Duke admitted that the particular servant who spied me had lost two boys in the Great War and had little feeling, other than distaste, for the likes of me in the household, honestly, and was concerned that I was a spy reporting back to Berlin ! I assured the Duke it was the other way around, old boy, and that I had trouble operating a toaster much less a radio transceiver.

I then gave the Duke Hess’s package.  I was relieved to be rid of it.  “Oh yes, our old friend Hess,” said the Duke with a frown, “A bit of an odd duck, isn’t he?” I shook my head in agreement, but said nothing more. The Duke indicated that he’d take the package to the proper authorities at Whitehall in a few days. It was undoubtedly another manifesto claiming that England and Germany should bond together against the Red Horde from the East, meaning Russia, of course. “The man is simply over the top when it comes to Stalin. It can wait for a few days”

The Stormy Abyss - Whitehall 1932

Whitehall 1932

“Paul” arrived shortly thereafter and I was soon on my way back to Berlin. As I left the estate, I tried to pick out the servant who had fingered me. It seemed they were all giving me the evil eye.

I was nervous about the radio transmitter, but was pleased to hear from Paul during the pleasant drive back to London that I would not have to bring the suitcase containing the radio transmitter through German customs. One never knew when customs would be tightened. I would be leaving the small suitcase on the ship when it docked in Hamburg. I was to leave it in my state room, in the closet. What a relief. I’m not cut out for these spy activities. I could get myself and my friends and family into very, very serious trouble. I’m an academic.  I love my country. But I feel strongly that I’m doing the right thing by helping the British understand what’s happening inside Germany. Or as best as I can understand it myself.

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