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

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Dinner and a movie in Berlin

Tonight I had dinner with Ada and her parents, David and Ruth Blum, at the Hotel  Excelsior. As I have mentioned before, we prefer the Excelsior because no Nazis visit the Hotel. I had the pleasure of informing our small dinner party that I have been invited by the Duke of Berkshire to visit England and give a presentation on the Japan and China situation to some colonels at the Royal Military Academy. The Duke has been a good friend over the years and has invited me to his lovely estate in Bracknell several times. I of course would love to take Ada with me, but it is not proper.

Rudi Hess has somehow gotten wind of my planned travels and wants to meet me prior to my departure to discuss relations with England. The Earl of Berkshire is not a member of the government, but has several connections. I imagine Hess wants to pass on some documents explaining the current Nazi philosophy on foreign relations. My father tells me that the object of a Nazi foreign policy will be to have Britain treat Germany as a nation of equal status once again. Germany will in turn recognize Britain’s rule of the seas if the English will in turn recognize Germany in its traditional place as the land bastion against the Asiatic hordes from the East. Perhaps Hess will throw in a request for Germany to reacquire her lost possessions in Africa and the South Pacific. We’ll see what that meeting with Hess brings.

Meanwhile, Menzies contacted me yesterday and told me that while in England I will be receiving some sort of wireless device to communicate directly with my British friends. He told me to bring a small, empty suitcase to hold the equipment on the return trip. This sounds a bit over the top to me, and quite dangerous. It seems that the British assume I will be asked to take part in a government position of importance in the near future. I admit I would like to influence German policy, but only under the right conditions. My association with Hess could get me in the door at the right time. My primary concern is whether I would want my family and friends to stay in Germany if the Nazis take over the government, which seems likely at this point. Do I leave the country as many are talking about doing, or do I stay and try to change and influence events. This is the biggest decision of my life.

Well, so much for deep thinking and a heavy heart.  Ada and I excused ourselves after dinner and attended the the new film”The blue Light” by Leni Riefenstahl. She is the actress in the film and directed it as well. It was quite nice with lots of Alpine scenes, reminding me of the mountains near my parent’s home in Bavaria. The story is based on a traditional German folk tale. These kind of ethnic German stories seem to be very popular with the populace at this time.

There was a disruption early in the night when various thick necks in the audience made catcalls and hoots and whistles when Jewish characters appeared in the film, I recall that the character names provoking the jeers were Mayer, Balázs, and Sokal. Undoubtedly these are Jewish surnames. It is such an annoyance to be subjected to blatant racism in a public setting. Ada and I looked at each other, held each other a bit tighter and didn’t let it disturb the rest of our night together. After the film, I walked Ada to her parent’s apartment a little bit after 10 pm. I returned to my studio to start packing for my trip to Bracknell, Berkshire.

June 18, 2011   No Comments

Prussian Diet riot

Description: Berlin, Abgeordnetenhaus around 1...

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Now the Nazis and the Reds have really made a muck of things. They have utterly destroyed the venerable Prussian Diet, Preußischer Landtag, during a riot amongst themselves. Who knew that free speech could cause such havoc. Apparently, a Red speaker claimed that there were murderers amongst the Nazi Prussian delegation (undoubtedly there are) and before he could get the accusatory words out of his mouth, the Nazis seized upon him and his brothers. I am certainly no Red fan, but on this day I wish the Reds could have given the Nazis a thrashing. It was not to be the case.  The Nazis outnumbered the Reds two to one and all hell broke loose. The Reds were forced from the Diet, but not without a fight that completely ruined the interior of the famous old building. This is unprecedented in German history. I hope to God it is not a sign of things to come.  All of Europe must be alarmed, as I am. Ada tells me that her uncle Karl Goetsch, an onlooker, received a cut above his right eye. Apparently, Uncle Karl was struck by a crazed Nazi who conveniently had brass knuckles on his person. Imagine such a thing. Delegates going into the Prussian Parliament so armed. Outrageous! Who is to save us from these humiliations? Adolph the Great must be proud of his boys, but old man Hindenburg needs to step forward if only he can be rousted from his Junker estate and his stupor.

May 4, 2011   No Comments

Is this the beginning of the end of democracy in Germany?

Catholic politician Franz von Papen called for...

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The old man has sacked Chancellor Bruening and appointed Franz von Papen. What he hell is going on? Von Papen is a lightweight, a Roman Catholic, and a Monarchist. He does not believe in a democratic Germany. He is a puppet. I am convinced Bruening was fired because of his plans to dismantle some of the large Junker estates in Prussia which are owned by Hindenburg’s neighbors, friends, and cronies. Now they have made  Germany the laughing stock of Europe.  The French are alarmed and the British perplexed. We’ll wait and see how Hitler plays on this near collapse of the Wiemar republic. I am no fan of the democratic experiment in Germany, but we are now entering very dangerous and unknown territory.

April 20, 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

Hindenburgh cheered in Paris!

Who would have thought that the French would be seen and heard cheering for der alt Feldmarschall in the streets of Paris!

 

It isn’t so much that they like old man Hindenburg who was once within a few kilometers of taking Paris during the Great War – it is more that Herr Hitler lost the recent election that stirs the Frankish heart. The French are so afraid of Hitler that they are cheering the democratic election of the old man. I am no French lover, but they got it right this time.

Hitler continues to work hard to elect Nazis to the Reichstag  in coming local elections. He is again using air travel to speak all over the country. It really is quite amazing. The man certainly has an excess of zeal.  I wish he would just go away. Or perhaps someone should put him away.

By the way, I spent a few dozen marks and bought a Luger for self-protection. It’s quite an old piece, but the fellow on the street swore to me the weapon works like it did fifteen years ago in France during the war. I don’t know much about the old thing.  He told me I’d  have to dig up ammunition from someone else.  I shan’t tell Ada about it, but I feel better already knowing that I have some personal protection. Now, where do I hide it? I’ll find a spot in the apartment.

 

March 22, 2011   No Comments

Lindbergh baby

Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Lindbergh leaving chur...

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Very sorry to hear that Charles Lindbergh’s baby has not been found yet. Lindbergh has quite a following in Germany.

March 5, 2011   No Comments

Storm Troopers banned!

Good news today, 1932 April 13th. Bruening’s government has banned Hitler’s Brown Shirts! The SA offices are being raided, gun hoards confiscated and the doors padlocked. I am unsure why Hitler did not resist this move, but sources tell me the Nazis are biding their time because Hitler has decided this is not the moment to foment all out war against the government. The idea for the Nazis is to lay low for some months and see what develops on the political front.  Hitler is determined to become leader, but not via another Munich-like putsch. The right is screaming bloody murder. The sadist Roehm wants to resist but Hitler days no. Nazi propaganda leader Goebbels is said to be in a deep depression. I believe this current  political chess match hinges on Hitler’s belief that old man Hindenburg will not live much longer or will become incapacitated. Hitler may be right. I still don’t see how Hitler fits into the picture other than being an election loser. In any case, we’ll see if the ban on the Brown Shirts has any effect upon the fighting in the streets. I do know this household is very happy. Ada and I celebrated tonight at the Excelsior with some fine cherry schnaps.

March 4, 2011   No Comments

Death threat

I received a death threat his week. It is my first. I am treating it seriously as some of my academic colleagues have also received such threats. I contacted the Berlin police and have recorded a complaint.

The threat was hand-written and placed in a simple envelope with a swastika stamped on it. Strangely, there was also a soiled boot heel mark on the back of the envelope used clumsily as a seal. Not very subtle, all in all.  The police were somewhat sympathetic, but warned me that the threat could have been made to appear to come from the Nazis when it fact it may have come from some other quarter. The writer, or writers, warned me to stop publishing comparisons of German economic and military moves to that of Japan… particularly Japan’s Manchurian invasion and Chinese machinations. The note also referred to my Jewish heritage  and that I should leave Germany for my ‘health.’

By taking the threat seriously, I think I’ve done the prudent thing. I’ve taken out a 25,000 mark life insurance policy that is payable to my brother Hans. I had dinner with him last night  and  explained the whole situation. I asked that he take care of Ada  if something should happen to me. He was quite upset, but I insisted that he give  15,000 marks to Ada and the rest to himself. My father in Bavaria is fairly well off with his pension and his book revenues, so I’m not so much worried about him and my mother. Ada and Hans, on the other hand, could use some help if I disappear from the scene, so to speak.  I am not going to tell Ada of this affair as she would only become overwrought and would insist that I curtail certain aspects of my publication. That I will not do.

Hans asked me if I had any personal protection, such as a gun or even a knife. I do not, but I replied that I will give it serious thought.

January 23, 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

Hitler is not yet master

Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in ...
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Good news. Albert Einstein is steaming home from Los Angles to Hamburg on the USS San Francisco. This gives me some strength that I am indeed not the only man in Germany that thinks Hitler and his brownshirts are an abhorrent aberration. Perhaps with such a world-famous personality as Einstein and other non-political leaders influencing the masses, Germany can yet find its way out of this fascist mess. I am by no means comparing myself to the great scientist, but I do take solace that he too has hope for the salvation of  the Fatherland. I was bitterly afraid that he was going to stay in the West. I could not blame him or any other right minded man for wanting to protect himself and especially his family from what may occur here in the homeland. Particularly to Jews like myself. My father (non-Jew) and mother (half-Jew) are adamant that they will stay in Bavaria despite anything that may happen in Berlin. We have discussed leaving Germany for England if Hitler ever came to power, but my parents are staunch nationalists and insist they will never leave their country. My younger brother Hans feels the same way. Ada and myself, however, could pack up in a day for England and its green hills and fervent democracy. We would, of course, support those who stayed behind until the fascist storm passed, as surely it must dissipate, either collapsing from within or forcibly falling from international pressure. My long-term concern, however, is the tyrant Mussolini has held onto power for a decade now and is still the master of Italy. He is someone Hitler obviously wants to emulate. May the sun never rise on such a day. I am afraid that with my family’s stubborn assertions that they would stay in Bavaria despite politics in Berlin, my heart would burst if I did not stay, too. Of course, my mind, mouth and pen would rebel under the yoke of a fascist regime. Of this dissidence too, I must be careful, as my actions could have dire consequences for my loved ones and circle of friends. I  must continue to fight the good fight by keeping my head down but my aim straight. Mr. Einstein, we await your arrival with open arms. We need you and a million more like you.

Bad news. Herr Hitler has not faded from the scene, not by any means! If anything, he is driven like a demon. He is flying up and down and across Germany like a madman, like a crazy Flying Dutchman, drumming up tens of thousands of supporters for Nazi representatives in the coming local elections throughout Germany. This is the first time in history that a politician has used air flight to such advantage. Hitler is also a master of radio and recording speeches for replaying in rural areas. My feeling is that Goebbles has much to do with this propaganda push.  My sources tell me that the Nazis will either gain a outright majority in the local Diets or will be able to band together with splinter parties to gain complete control. Oh, what a heartbreaking thought. When will we be rid of this madman and his band of hell-raisers? Riots continue in the streets. Particularly nasty are the Communist-Fascist brawlings. I continue to insist that Ada not travel alone in Berlin. I or a friend must be with her at all times. It is best for all of us to stay inside after dusk. Dozens of Berliners are dying every week on both sides of the political spectrum. Civil war reigns in Berlin as the world watches yet seems not to care. Heaven help us.

September 9, 2010   No Comments