Historical fiction: The tragic life of Albrecht von Haar in journal format
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Category — Hess

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.

May 18, 2012   No Comments

Off to England

I thought I could escape Berlin for England without a visit from Hess, but I was wrong.   The morning of my trip had started nicely with a most welcomed visit by Ada. She stopped by to wish me well and to give me a few letters.  She has relatives in London and wanted me to pass the letters to them. She is convinced international letters are read by our government. My typical reply is that gentlemen do not read others’ letters, but I assured her that I would deliver the letters posthaste.  She then gave me a kiss and was off to visit her parents for the long weekend.

Lehrtner Banhof

I had just called a taxi for the train station when Hess rang in at my side door. He barely said hello before  shoving a large package into my hands.  He seemed flushed and agitated. “Please deliver this to the Earl, ” he said. “He’ll know what to do with it. And, by the way, hide it well in your things, I don’t want anyone seeing you carrying it.” I thought this was an odd statement and Hess must have noticed my quizzical look.  He told me the Weimar government should not know of it.

Well, I was turning into quite the courier! Hess fled the studio muttering something about running late for a meeting with Hitler. He hurried down to his chauffeured Mercedes and sped off. I must say I was taken aback, but glad that he had not stayed for an extended visit.   It was time for me to be off. I did not want to be late for my train, known as the “The Flying Hamburger,” which would deposit me in Hamburg in about two hours.

The taxi arrived and I was finally on my way to the central train station. Next stops Hamburg, Southampton, London and Bracknell.

July 24, 2011   No Comments

A family secret exposed

How the following information escaped my attention I find astounding. I was aware that Rudolph Hess and my father have had a decade-long relationship as student and professor from the old Munich days, but I did not realize that after the failed Munich putsch Hess found refuge in our home at 30 Arcis Strasse! I was away at the time as a student, which explains my lack of first-hand knowledge of this event. The same is true for my brother Hans.

According to my brother, my mother told him recently of this fantastic story. It came about in a discussion about the current rise of the Nazi elite and how Hess has direct contact with Hitler and other National Socialist leaders. My mother feels decidedly apprehensive about my father’s relationship with Hess and the resulting indirect connection with the Nazis. Being half-Jewish she is wary of Nazi proclamations against the Jews and has expressed this concern to my father, who has, in turn, talked with Hess.

Apparently, Hess stayed at our home in Munich for more than a week after the failed November 1923 putsch. With the help of my father, Hess escaped the authorities and made it across the border to Austria. For an unknown reason, shortly thereafter Hess came back to Germany to face trial and jail. Perhaps he was driven by a desire to face consequences side by side with his idol, Hitler. This was unlike other leaders of the time, like Goering, who lived away from Germany for several years after the Munich debacle. One must say that despite certain deficiencies, Hess is indeed a man loyal to his cause and his leader. Our family relationship with Hess may one day be valuable, in spite of our concerns.

April 3, 2011   No Comments

German and Japanese parallels once again, plus a non-secret?

I am writing another article about the Japanese situation for the Periodical of the Society for Geography. The Japanese seem to have taken my father’s geopolitical teachings to heart with their Shanghai and Manchurian adventures. The Japanese military hierarchy has displayed disdain for civilian rule – similar to the disdain the German Army has for the Wiemar republic, I might add – and is in the process of single handedly taking control of Manchuria from right under the noses of the Chinese and the Soviets (and apparently Japan’s civilian government). There is talk in Tokyo of a coup d’etat.

Japan learned a vital lesson in 1905 when it beat the Russians in fairly short order. Leading Japanese militarists of the time knew that Japan could not economically support a long war, thus they made bold strokes to end the 1905 conflict as quickly as possible. Geopolitics dictated this lightning-like denouement because the Japanese war planners and logisticians knew then and know now that total war means the entire nation and economy must back national war efforts. Japan’s problem is that it still does not have enough strategic materials (oil, iron and food) to wage total war with Russia, Britain or the United States. And it has not had this capability for decades. Where to get the strategic materials to conduct total war? Manchuria, of course. These are the same geopolitical land-grabbing tactics my father instilled into Rudolph Hess at the University of Munich in the 1920’s and Hess passed onto Hitler. I am convinced Hitler and his leadership have their eyes firmly pointed eastward to the vast, fertile lands of Poland, Russia, and Ukraine, not to mention the oilfields of Romania. Oil, food, minerals and other strategic materials are within Germany’s grasp. It is only natural that Germany, viewed as a living organism, should expand eastward. The defining question is what will happen to the millions of people already living in the east? Removal, slavery, extermination?  We have clues in Hitler’s writings and statements  and things do not bode well for ‘inferior’ races in the East. The Japanese, in turn, see the Koreans and Chinese as inferior races as well. The parallels between the actions and the planning of Germany and Japan are striking.

I have uncovered an important fact. A source this week informed me that the German government started rebuilding its military forces in secret back in 1928, permission for funding being given by a secret vote of the military council. This thrust for rearmament was in response to the Soviet’s first five year plan, which German intelligence believes has a huge budget for armaments, several billion marks. Hitler isn’t in power and yet our nation is already in a secret arms race with the great powers. Astounding! The right wing of our country is pushing the nation towards war. I should let my friends in Britain know that the present government, through internal pressures, has once again begun to build armaments, perhaps even an air force, which is banned entirely. Am I a traitor to reveal this information? I think not, for how is it possible that Britain and France aren’t already aware of this development and why do they not publicly react?

November 14, 2010   No Comments

Hess visits, says Hitler undeterred

Monday, April 11, 1932. Hess visited my office today. He insisted that we discuss politics in my personal quarters, not in my office. We walked up two flights of stairs to my private apartment. I offered Hess a drink, but as usual, he declined.

We are acquaintances through my father and I am appreciative of his candor with me, however, I find that the man is not very bright. His closeness to Hitler is useful so I suffer his company. Today he had some disturbing news about Hitler. Positive for him, unsettling for me. Since Hess is such a fanatic for the NSDAP and Hitler himself, I must hold my tongue in order to continue obtaining information from him. He is one of my open sources. He seems to think he can either win me over to the Nazi cause or that I can at least avoid bashing the Nazis in my official journal writings. He frequently asks about my father, so I see on his part a growing sense of personal importance in national politics that he wishes me to pass on to my father the general without doing so directly himself. I promised Hess I would tell my father of his visit.

Today he reinforced my perception that Hitler is a devious fellow and that, unfortunately, the Nazi kingpin is not disappearing from the national stage anytime soon. Hitler’s plan is as follows: Hindenburg is a very old man and he won’t last out his current term. This gives the Nazis an opening within the next few years, if not months or weeks. There are state elections coming up and Hitler will throw his considerable political weight and money behind Nazi candidates. Thus the Nazis will increase their share of seats in the Reichstag. These events, combined with meddling by Hitler and his cronies, particularly Goering, will present an inevitable opportunity to take over the government.

Hitler has just lost two national elections in one month and the man and his inner circle are giddy with anticipation! The gall of it stuns me. We shall see what the coming months bring. Hitler, Hess, Goering, Goebbels, and Himmler are like vultures waiting for Hindenburg to pass into the next world. Of course, if confronted, they would consider themselves Valkyries – swooping to take Hindenburg to his rightful place in Valhalla and when their task is complete they would then take over Germany to save us all. Deutschland Uber Alles!

Hess was smiling and in good spirits when he left my apartment. He insisted as always that we share horoscopes before departing. His eyes lit up when he had a favorable reading. I, on the other hand, had an appropriately dark reading and took the rest of the day off, canceling my office appointments, drinking a bottle of schnapps and sleeping off a sense of agitation and depression. A brief call from Ada did not alleviate my feeling of foreboding. She was concerned about me. I told her I was not good company and that I’d see her tomorrow for dinner.

I noticed today that Hess now has a personal driver. An armed stormtrooper, of course.

August 2, 2010   No Comments