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

First Time since War that Communists and Socialists Protest Together in Berlin

In a surprise move, the Reds and Socialists are protesting together today in the Lustgarten. What brought them together is Von Papen’s command to close the Vowaerts newspaper for five days.  His edict was upheld by the Supreme Court. The court’s ruling confirmed Von Papen’s claim that he had been slandered by a cartoon depicting him paying for new Nazi uniforms out of government funds. I have a grave concern with the government closing an opposition newspaper, even for a week. It may have a chilling effect on editors and reporters. I cannot imagine such a thing happening in London, Paris, or Washington. But in Berlin, we live in difficult times.

Chancellor von Papen making an address to Amer...

Chancellor von Papen making an address to American radio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May 31, 2015   No Comments

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...

Image via Wikipedia

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

Hitler is not yet master

Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in ...
Image via Wikipedia

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

Joyous day! Hitler loses to Hindenburg

Ada and I are celebrating this evening with dinner at the Hotel  Excelsior after we learned that Hitler lost the runoff election to old man Hindenburg. Hitler’s additional 2 million votes were not enough to overtake the old general.

There is no word yet how Hitler is taking the defeat, but his communications man, Joseph Goebbels, is said to be stricken with depression. London’s Daily Telegraph predicts the end of Hitler. Let’s hope they are correct.

The fate of the militant arm of the Nazis in the hands of the Weimar government. There are rumors that the stormtroopers will be banned throughout Germany.

Ada and I chose the Excelsior for dinner specifically because Hitler has banned his party from using the hotel. It is not widely known that Nazi officials were turned down by the Excelsior when they asked to use it as  Hitler’s Berlin headquarters. Hitler and his followers operate from the Kaiserhof instead and do not trade at the Excelsior. We should have an excellent evening together at the Askanischen Platz.

July 18, 2010   No Comments

Rumors fly on eve of chaotic run off election

The campaign is only a week long and so everything is compressed, including rumors. Via airplane, Hitler and his flying circus are visiting many cities each day addressing tens of thousands of admiring crowds. Hindenburg holes up at his estate.

Getting back to rumors, the biggest rumor of all is that we haven’t seen old man Hindenburg because he is dying. My sources tell me this has no truth in it. Also, rumors are spreading that his son Oskar has become a socialist and will vote for Hitler. Other rumors fly that Hindenburg’s two middle-aged daughters have become leaders of a Socialist student party.

On the other side of the fence, Hitler supposedly has become a vegetarian because he has stomach cancer. He claims he won’t live long and must win the presidency quickly to implement his plans for the German people.

SA Storm Trooper leader Ernst Roehm is back in the news. The Munich Post has published an unflattering story about the man’s homosexual proclivities. A close source tells me Hitler is enraged, but not at the newspaper. He is furious at the SA leader for once again attracting negative attention, especially during this extremely short campaign season. Hitler dispatched his lawyer, Hans Frank, to talk directly to Roehm to find out the details. Frank was stunned when tough man Roehm admitted to being ‘bisexual.’  Hitler still stands by his old SA friend but has made it clear that in no circumstance must children be involved. If children are involved Hitler told Frank that Roehm ‘Must go!’

An aside: my travels took me to the outskirts of Berlin today and I saw vagabonds at every street corner. Unlike Berlin central where the police keep them out of sight, the periphery of Berlin is rife with the unemployed and the vagrant. This worries me. These could be Hitler voters.

The undercurrent of civil war continues to bubble on the streets as well. I came across a beggar who was recently blinded in one eye. He told me he was a communist who had a violent tussle with Nazis who used brass knuckles with spikes. I fear that Hitler will do well tomorrow. But I hope that Hindenburg will keep the fascists from coming to power. Germans prefer order to chaos and I believe Hitler represents the worst political party ever to emerge in German history.

I’ve told Ada to confine her travels  to central Berlin and that I shall accompany her if she needs to go elsewhere in the capital.

June 27, 2010   No Comments

Hindenburg defeats Hitler, but no clear majority. A run-off election next month.

Old man Hindenburg missed winning the presidency by a mere .4 of a percent. He polled 18,651,497 votes to Hitler’s 11,339,446 votes. The nationalists and the Communists split the remaining votes.

So, because of a shortage of fewer than 200,000 votes for the old man,  we’ll suffer through a run-off election next month.

I am happy to report that high-level Hilterites are despondent, propagandist Herr Goebbels particularly, but that Hitler himself is said to be ready to go at it again next month with renewed vigor. The more he can poll in the elections, the more his Nazis can be represented in the Reichstag.

A source tells me of an alarming development the night before the election. Apparently, Ernst Rhoem’s SA stormtroopers, 400,000 strong, cordoned off much of Berlin in case Hitler won the vote,  apparently with the intent to take over the entire government in a coup. The Wiemar government is investigating. If true, this could result in serious repercussions for the Nazis. It rings of the unsuccessful Munich putsch, which is not a favorable impression for Herr Hitler and his minions and once again reeks of treason.

I also understand that Hitler is furious at Chancellor Bruening for setting aside all government radio programming during the election for use only for Hindenburg electioneering. It amazes me that Hindenburg gave only one speech during the entire election and it was a recording played on the radio the night before the vote. It shows the old man is still beloved by many of the electorate, even in his dotage – or that the masses are frightened by the far left and far right fighting it out in the streets and whether the marauders can actually govern if elected.

We’ll watch carefully to see how Hitler and his gang handle the next election round. I am assured the communists will run again, but the nationalists may throw in with Herr Hitler.

June 7, 2010   No Comments

Hitler’s fate up to Germans now

Adolf Hitler portrait, bust, 3/4 facing right.

Image via Wikipedia

My sources tell me that Hitler has decided to dive head first into the presidential race against Paul von Hindenburg. Herr Hitler is putting his political career on the line and perhaps his head on the chopping block. The coming weeks may very well determine his personal political fate as well as that of National Socialism. He is going all in.My instincts tell me that Hitler will be around for quite a while, regardless of the outcome, unless he is assassinated.

Once again I bring the point that in order for Hitler to run in the presidential election, he must become a German citizen. I await some news on this topic shortly. All eyes are on Brunswick as its elected Nazi leadership has the ability to appoint Hitler to a local government post, thus automatically making him a German citizen, rather than the stateless person he is at this hour. It is a rather remarkable phenomenon that most people don’t know Hitler has neither German nor Austrian citizenship.

So, why have I fixated on Herr Hitler and his Nazi followers? To our great national misfortune, I believe National Socialism will emerge victorious from this messy soup of political parties we have today in Germany. Too many people are terrified of the communists and their Soviet puppet masters. That party will go nowhere but down and out. They are checkmated on all sides. Besides, the Soviets are ruthlessly managing their economy, experiencing terrible, devastating famines. The Red Menace is too ingrained in the minds of a majority of working class and aristocratic Germans for those groups to ever turn in the leftist direction.

The Catholic Center party and the so-called conservatives are losing ground and I don’t believe Hindenburg can get a clear majority in the looming presidential campaign. Compared to Hitler’s vigor, the old man appears drained and feeble and will  only appeal to a portion of the electorate desiring a return to the old ways.

In contrast, the energetic Hitler, with populist promises and spectacular parades, is reaching across many political lines to appeal to an electorate hungry for Germany’s return to its rightful place on the world stage. His speeches are imbued with uniting Germany, not tearing it apart, which is a clever tactic. He appeals to the volk and rails against popularized common ‘enemies’ – communists, liberals, parliamentarians, The Wiemar Republicans, foreign capitalists, the strictures of the Versailles treaty and all its signers, and finally, but not least, weak-kneed diplomatic back-stabbers responsible for losing the Great war, which many Germans believe we never lost. My father boasts to this day that his artillery battalion was never defeated on the field of battle by the Russians, French, British or Americans.

My favorable political prediction for the eventual success of the Nazis does concern me enormously, of course, because underlying Hitler’s campaign to legally take control of Germany (vs. his putsch attempt in Munich 10 years ago) is an undercurrent of totalitarianism, ultra-nationalism, and antisemitism. No one disputes Hitler is envious of Mussolini’s fascist success. Hitler, like Mussolini, is a rabid bully.

Herr Hitler has toned down his antisemitism as the main thrust in his speeches, but one only has to read passages from Mien Kampf to see that in back rooms he uses parasitic analogies to condemn all ‘foreigners’ in Germany, particularly Jews. I counter than German Jews are not foreigners. My family has been in this country for over 100 years. Nazi philosophy ignores the ‘Germanness,’ loyalty, and integration Jews have enjoyed in Germany, including the fact that Jews fought in the Great War in the same proportion as any other German group. Nazism is a vile philosophy cloaked in a thin veneer of respectability – the underpinnings of which are so heinous that Hitler and his staff must keep its xenophobic origins under wraps during the coming campaign. But the truth of it all will all surface one day. I hope to help make that happen.

On a related note, Ada and I went to see Franz Schrecker’s opera “Der Schmied von Gent” last night. Showing the racist face of Nazism, Brownshirts were outside the opera theater harassing patrons. You see, Schrecker is Jewish. Ada didn’t want to go into the theater when she saw the commotion, but I insisted and we continued on our way. I gripped Ada’s hand tightly and pushed through the throng. The hatred on the faces of the fascist hate mongers took my breath away. I pulled Ada close and we made it safely inside the theater.  These staged Nazi protests are not going to prevent me from supporting artists in Berlin, regardless of race, and I will not be bullied. I will stand my ground.

May 23, 2010   No Comments

The Prisoner Beetle dream

I have been having a recurring dream. I am locked in a dank prison cell somewhere in Berlin. I know I am in Berlin because I recognize the church steeple rising above the prison wall in the distance.

A large beetle tries unsuccessfully to right itself on the concrete windowsill of the cold, stone-floored room. Its legs gyrate in slow but methodical motion as it attempts to grasp something, anything, to pull itself upright.

I immediately recognize that the plight of the unfortunate insect is remarkably similar to my own. I am unable to get my bearings in this topsy-turvy world. Gently, I push the struggling beetle through the iron bars of the window and watch longingly as it tumbles over the sill, downward to freedom and perhaps even flight. If only my own deliverance could be so easily obtained.

April 27, 2010   No Comments

No Revolution Today

I knew that Hitler was in Berlin today to give one of his wild speeches. I was taking a break and having a  smoke on Albrechtstrasse about 3 pm when five lorries of heavily armed policemen flew by in the direction of Hitler’s sermon. With sirens wailing, it was quite a sight in the generally quiet streets. A woman nearby exclaimed, “The revolution has begun!” and fell into a dead faint!

But no civil war today.

Instead, I did hear from my brother Hans this evening that Hitler and his crew quietly climbed aboard a train back to Munich, but not before declaring that the government must resign immediately,  “for the country to move forward.” Bruening will not resign. We shall see what the next election will hold for us all. God help us.

April 23, 2010   No Comments