Bergen Belsen 1929
A thin carpet of snow lay lightly sprinkled over the land . In some houses in the village of Bergen the lights had been put on but it was still early in the day .
The parents of the children from the village school had been watching the Christmas play that had been performed by the upper sixth . Now they where listening to the choir that was singing a few hymns to end the day .
As the boy sopranos filled the air, one or two mothers sniffed a little and a few handkerchiefs appeared as the song went on .
Freude Schoner Götter funken
Tochter aus Elysium
wir betreten fuertrunken
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum !
The boy that sang the solo was tall , slender , blond and blue-eyed .
His classic features caused him to be nick-named "Pretty-Pauli" among the village tough-kids with whom he was not allowed to play .
Seid umschlungen , Millionen !
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt !
Alle Menschen werden Bruder .
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt !
Later that evening Paulis parents were looking at the letter from the director of
the Wiener Sänger Knaben .
"Oh Paul , wouldnt it be nice if he became a famous singer. . . ?" Martha whispered .
"Nonsense !" Dr. Räder said curtly. "The boy is going to be a Doctor, like I am and like his grandfather !"
Unfortunately Doctor Räders family was killed in a car accident and the tender boy was orphaned at the age of twelve .
In the village of BELSEN at that time Werner looked tenderly at the baby boy he was
holding in his arms .
Little did he know that within 15 years his worst enemy would regard Axel in a similar way . . .
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT . . .
At three-fifty on Tuesday morning, June 6th 1944, a lone Luftwaffe captain was scanning the horizon from the top of a pill-box on the shore of Normandy.
Oberstleutnant Werner von Brecht had just returned from Ankara and was now officially on sick-leave since May 25th.
He had been ordered to return to Berlin by Generalfeldmarschall Rommel personally but as it happened, his Messerschmitt ME-109E became unserviceable on that particular day and a spare magneto was not available.
Von Brecht had insisted upon returning in his own airplane and was granted permission to wait until the spare part arrived from Cologne. The CO of the airbase twenty miles from the coast, had been impressed by his war record and the heavily decorated veteran was treated with respect which slowly diminished when word got out he spent all his days at the beach, watching the sea.
"A harmless loony," the beach battery Commander had said, after verifying a few details, including his recent medical status.
"Just don't let him get near the guns."
Von Brecht had been screening the empty horizon since three-fifty, but it was at precisely four-thirty three, the moment of terrestrial morning twilight on June 6th in Normandy, that von Brecht first became aware of a minor change in his visual field. With slowly increasing disbelief Oberstleutnant von Brecht observed how the flat horizon transformed into a Galaxy of growing mushrooms, fully extending from north to south.
"Four thousand ships . . . ," von Brecht whispered quietly to himself. "They have them . . . The greatest amphibious force ever seen. Exactly as the Ankara-agent had said."
Oberstleutnant von Brecht took a flimsy drawing for his chest pocket and looked at the allied invasion plan. Two weeks ago he had shown a similar but more perfect drawing to Generalfeldmarschall Rommel, principal chief of operations Atlantic Wall. The 5th, 6th or the 7th, von Brecht had said. He had then been given the choice between sick-leave or a court martial for spreading false rumours.
When von Brecht learned Rommel had left for Berlin on the 4th of June to celebrate his wife's birthday on the 6th, he had made his decision.
He would wait at the beach.
If the ships came as predicted, the war was lost and he would fly straight to Berlin to help organise a putsch, the only way to prevent Germany's total destruction, and the death of millions including his young sons, Günther, Axel and Martha his wife.
After a final, convincing glance at the slowly growing mushrooms, smoke from four thousand ships, von Brecht decided it would take at least half an hour before pandemonium would break loose. Time enough to get his 109E airborne for his sick-leave in Berlin.
Quietly he descended from the pill-box's roof, waking a young private in his morning slumber.
"Some coffee, Oberstleutnant?" the boy asked lazily, smiling at the man they called 'Don Quichotte'.
Von Brecht looked sadly at the boy that had to die that day. He knew with certainty there was nothing he could do to save this one.
The boy watched von Brecht taking off the Knight's cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the highest award for bravery in the field.
Sleepily it occurred to him the ribbon slipped over his sixteen year old head.
Then he stood there all alone...
Dead boy in picture.
"It was not necessary," Axel said. "You could have brought him in and we would have questioned him, Now we'll have to report to the police." This was that Tuesday afternoon.
"You are getting too soft-hearted," the younger boy said. "He was in the cellar and he didn't know the password."
"Still it was stupid to kill him. His father may be an officer. Then we are in trouble."
The dead boy on the floor looked about ten years old but the whiteness of his face might have enhanced its youthfulness. The puddle of scarlet blood contrasted strongly with the pallor of death.
"You shot him in the heart," Axel continued. "That was not necessary."
Not far away a little later...
Casually the young American turned over.
Now that he was laying next to her on his back, Heiderund could see the shadow against the wall.
She looked down on him, then closed her eyes.
"It´s to big" . . . she pleaded desperately in her barely seventeen year old virginal voice.
"I can´t possibly absorb that".
"Of course you can" . . . the young American mercenary whispered softly in
"What do you think it´s made for..."