Historical fiction: The tragic life of Albrecht von Haar in journal format
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A drive to Bracknell

Before leaving London, I made good on Ada’s request to drop off her letters. The address of her aunt and uncle was not far from Hyde Park, to the north a bit, near Regent’s Park, and Paul readily agreed to help me run the errand. We pulled up to a weathered white townhouse near the Baker Street Underground Station. It so happened that Ada’s relatives were not home, so I popped the letters into the mail slot and we were off to Bracknell. We passed one of my favorite scenes – a distant look at Windsor Castle across beautiful green fields. It is a beautiful sight, indeed.

Windsor Castle at sunset as viewed from the Lo...

Windsor Castle

The remaining drive to the Earl’s estate in Bracknell is less than 10 miles from Windsor. Paul took this opportunity to ask me if I had any more knowledge about IBM’s involvement with Deutsche Hollerith Maschinan Gesellschaft. I stated that I would continue to be on the lookout, but that I only had  limited information at this time. He also asked about the militarized cipher machine. I told him that I had heard that the German Navy had been using a version of the cipher machine for several years. Messages were encoded and then sent by Morse code ship to ship. Apparently the Navy now has an electric version of the cipher machine and it will soon be adopted by the Army. I had also heard that the Polish government was working to break the resulting codes, so far with no success. Paul gave no indication if this information was new to him.

We soon arrived at the Earl of Berkshire’s estate, where we were greeted warmly by my friends, the Earl and Lady Berkshire and their staff. Paul unloaded my luggage, said he’d pick me up in three days, wished me well with my academic presentation and drove off into the dusk.

December 4, 2011   No Comments

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

Catholic politician Franz von Papen called for...

Image via Wikipedia

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

Dark days aren’t without humor

Adolph Hitler has ordered his followers in Hamburg to support 2,500 striking tavern owners who have stopped serving beer.  Recent price cuts have been ordered by the local government in an attempt to curtail inflation. One can only imagine the moral rectitude it must take for National Socialists to go without beer.  We shall see if any of the Nazi’s can abstain for more than a fortnight.

April 23, 2010   No Comments

First drop for British Intelligence

I made my first drop off of information to Mr. Menzies and his friends.

I was rather nervous as I roamed about in the Tiergarten at dusk with my small package.

The chestnut tree was exactly where Menzies had said it would be, just off the bridle path in the Rosengarten near the marble statue of the Empress Auguste Viktoria. I carefully set the parcel down behind the tree between two great folds of bark and quickly walked away.

Then, about 100 meters away, I marked the back of a specific bench with a bit of chalk.

A brief descritpion of my information: The Nazis are using a special device to encode their communications amongst their leadership. The device looks like a large, over-sized typewritter. It is manufactured here in Berlin by a company named Cipher Machines located at 2 Steglitserstrasse. Rumor has it that the Nazi’s are using a commercial version of the cipher machine, but that the military is working on an electrified version. If the Nazis take control of the government, they will have access to the more sophisticated version. Where militarized version is manufactured, I do not know.

November 25, 2009   No Comments