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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1687353
Rated: 13+ · Novel · Action/Adventure · #1687353
Action Adventure similar to National Treasure/Indiana Jones and the DaVinci Code.
Chapter 82

May 22, 2012 – Arianni Base – Near Eclipse Island – Australia




“Our target date is January 18, 1941,” Monday stated. “We’ve decided that the best place and time to land is early in the morning outside of Munich. Dachau is only about ten miles northwest of Munich and we should be able to make preparations in two days to infiltrate Himmler’s staff and locate Mueller.”

“I still don’t think it’s a good idea to take Ensign Murphy and the three SEAL Team members.” Henri was adamant. “We’re already taking a risk having your Team members along. Me, you, Daria and Dom speak German without an accent. Your Team members do not even speak or understand the language.”

“One small slip and we’ll be inmates at Dachau,” Daria agreed. “Your men are highly trained commandos and experts in what they do, but none of them have training on how to be a spy."

“What do you think, Murphy?” Monday glanced at the SEAL officer.

“Colonel Schwerin and Frauline Wolff have a valid argument. I once saw an old time movie where a spy was caught because he ate American style in Europe. Perhaps it would be better if me and my men joined General Dorbec’s Team.”

“As for the rest of my Team, we must have some muscle other than myself.” Monday stated. “No disrespect to anyone, but the action may get up close and personal. I know my Team members have what it takes to silence another human being, with a knife, a garrote or by hand.”

No one disputed his argument. “Ensign Murphy, you may report to General Dorbec with your men.”

As soon as they left, Henri went over the information they had gathered for the fifth time.

“To keep it simple, we have decided the best thing to do is be and act as natural as possible. Since I am well acquainted with Nazi history and units of the Eastern Front, I will pose as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Wehrmacht on holiday in Munich. Daria will pose as a nurse, her usual profession, and Monday, you have chosen to be a history professor and member of the Ahnenerbe. The Bavarian National Museum and the adjoining Bavarian State Archaeological Collection on Prinzregentenstrasse are among Europe's major art and cultural history museums, and many historians and archeologist spend time visiting this museum. Therefore, your presence will not be out of place.”

“I have decided to pose as an Italian officer assigned as liaison to the Ahnenerbe,” Dom stated. “My German, as you say, is good, but I do speak it with an Italian accent.”

“Your team will be Wehrmacht soldiers,” Henri continued. “They will have documentation transferring them to guard duty at Dachau. Under no circumstances are they to open their mouths. We all know what happened to Chester’s Team in ancient Rome. Alex Bernhard Piorkowski was the Commandant at Dachau in 1941 and 1942, but during the winter of 1941 and 1942, he was away from the camp for extended periods due to illness. Their orders are to report to him and no one else.”

“Reichfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler and other SS officers were at Dachau on January 20, 1941,” Dom stated. There was an SS photo taken of them viewing a large scale model of the camp and Mueller was in that photograph. We will need to find him, isolate him, and terminate him.”

For the next several hours they went over the details of their operation. It was a sensitive mission to a period and place in history that was full of paranoia. They also knew that the Nazi Gestapo was very good at sniffing out and uncovering spies and saboteurs, even among the ranks of the exalted SS.

The time ship dropped them off at 4:00 AM near a small town named Vaterstetten, several miles on the eastern side of Munich. The weather was bitterly cold and a slight drizzle was steadily coming down. They were within two hundred yards of a major road and in a small clearing behind a farm field. Since there were only eight of them, they decided to use the ruse of their truck breaking down if they were caught in the open, which would give them an excuse for being on the road so early in the morning.

Fortunately, they met no one on the way into town and made it to the train station shortly after five AM. The sleepy station manager did not question their presence, as he was accustomed to seeing people at all hours due to the war. Henri purchased tickets for them to Munich and within twenty minutes they were snuggled in warm seats listening to the rhythmic clickety-clack of the train wheels.

It did not take long to reach the train station in downtown Munich near the Marienplatz. Henri and Daria quickly found a nice but out of the way hotel on Maximilianstrasse and paid for three rooms for three nights. The hotel clerk casually glanced at Henri’s military identity papers and asked no further questions. He did not even ask for Daria’s papers since she spoke with an Austro-Bavarian dialect spoken in and around Munich, where it is known as osterreichisch-boarisch.

“First thing we need to do is check the local newspapers and see if they have news of Himmler or Dachau.” Monday threw his small bag down next to a soft chair. ”There was a lot of activity in Munich during January, 1941, and scores of political figures in and out of the town practically the entire month.”

“First thing we do is eat.” Daria corrected him. “The Arianni food is good but I have missed good German cooking.”

Monday nodded his head. He knew Daria’s appetite was amazing. What he could not figure out was how she stayed so slim and trim. He could visualize her in her fifties as a short fat dumpling, his dumpling of course.

“Breakfast it is then.”

“There’s a small café just around the corner,” Henri suggested. “I noticed it was open and serving customers.”

The café had plenty of empty tables and the few diners were almost all military. Monday noticed a lone civilian setting on a barstool in the corner drinking coffee. The man was wearing a dark trench coat and could easily pass for a spy in any number of old movies. His entire demeanor suggested Gestapo and his eyes were fastened on the enlisted Team members.

As they took their seats, the four of them at one table and the four Team members at another, Monday nodded at Henri. Henri glanced towards the man sitting at the corner bar then at the other customers. They were all officers, some of considerably high rank.

Henri put two and two together and rolled his eyes. He stood and went over to the table where the Team members were just settling down.

“Our first mistake,” he whispered, bending low so no one could hear him or read his lips. “How can you order if none of you speak German? We should have split the tables evenly. Also, I think this café is a hangout for officers only and you enlisted swine are in the wrong place. Leave now.”

Speaking German, Henri winked at them and said in a loud voice, “This is no place for enlisted personnel. I suggest you find other dining facilities.”

They stood, came to attention, then quickly left the restaurant. Henri, mumbling something about the audacity of enlisted swine, returned to his table with a wide grin on his face. The diners bowed their heads in appreciation of his action.

“A close call,” Monday stated, as Henri resumed his place at the table.

“We’ve forgotten that back in this era, enlisted and officer personnel did not mix, even when they were off duty. Especially in the German Army.”

As soon as the waiter arrived, Daria ordered Weisswürste with süsser Senf, (white sausages with sweet mustard), a traditional breakfast food, and a bowl of Leberknödel Soup. Leberknödel is a bread dumpling seasoned with liver and onions. For dessert she ordered a Dampfnudeln, or yeast dumpling served with custard. Monday and the others ordered the same but for dessert chose Millirahmstrudel, a cream cheese strudel.

Obviously satisfied, the man in the trench coat stood, said something humorous to the waiter, and quietly left the café. Several officers, finished with their meal, left right behind him. They left a newspaper on their table so Dom reached over and snagged it.

The headlines read, “SS ALMEDA STAR The 14,935 ton Blue Star Line passenger liner (Captain H.C. Howard) was sunk by the U-96 (Kptlt. Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock) yesterday while en route from Liverpool to the River Platte. The attack occurred about 250 miles west of the Island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. There were no survivors. A total of 166 crew and 194 passengers lost their lives.”

Buried on the inside of the newspaper was an article about the Dachau Concentration Camp.

“Says here that Dr. Sigmund Rascher, a member of the Luftwaffe and Ahnenerbe, is seeking permission from Reichsfuhrer Himmler to do work at the Dachau Camp. Although no mention is made of what type of work, his wife Nini has been using her influence with the Reichsfuhrer to obtain the request.” Dom handed the paper to Henri.

“Dr. Rascher's wife, Karoline "Nini" Diehl, was a Munich concert singer, who was a good friend of Heinrich Himmler and possibly his mistress before she married Rascher,” Henri stated. “Dr. Rascher was enrolled in Ahnenerbe, given the honorary rank of SS-Untersturmführer, Second Lieutenant, and assisted with funds for private cancer research. Rascher became involved with high altitude research in which animals were being used as experimental subjects. He wrote to Himmler and asked if he could be provided with "two or three professional criminals" to be used as subjects and Himmler agreed. The experiments were conducted at the Dachau concentration camp where there were German prisoners who were in the category of "professional criminal.”

“It also states at the bottom of the article that, “Nini and Dr. Rascher will be staying in Munich for a few days to outline the plans proposed to the Reichfuhrer. They are assisted by….” Henri passed the paper to Daria, pointing at a photograph. The photograph at the bottom of the article showed Dr. Raucher, his wife Nini, and several SS Officers.

“Mueller!” Daria spat. “That’s him standing next to Nini, the one in the SS uniform.”

Monday glanced at the paper she was holding. “SS Obersturmbannführer,” he remarked. “Lieutenant Colonel. Looks like Mueller is moving up fast in the SS.”

“They are scheduled to be at the Deutsches Museum tomorrow,” Henri added. “Perhaps Mueller will be with them.”

“At least we know he’s in Munich,” Dom stated. “If he’s engaged with Raucher then he may be here for a while. It took Raucher several months to get permission from Himmler.’

They finished their meal in silence, watching as several more officers entered and ordered breakfast. Monday could not get over the feeling of being lost. His mind refused to associate what he was witnessing with the past. To him, the Nazis, World War II, and everything associated with it, should be in black and white. He knew it was silly, but now, he was witnessing history in full color. The menus had color, the café, and the officer’s uniforms, even the vehicles parked outside and driving back and forth in front of the café. It all seemed unnatural.

“What about food for the Team?” Daria asked, bringing him out of his reverie.

“I noticed a hoibs Hendl stand across the street and a little ways down.” Monday wiped his lips. “We’ll pick up some chicken and soft pretzels for them to eat in their room. It will be much safer.”

“The less contact they have with the locals the better,” Henri agreed. “I think they should remain in their room while we check out the museum. Once we have determined a course of action we can brief them.”

“Karte bitte.” Dom raised his hand to signal the waiter.

He was correct, Monday thought. His German did have a heavy Italian accent.

As soon as the waiter brought their ticket, Monday heard the front door to the café open again, quickly followed by a cold rush of air. He turned to see the man in the trench coat brushing rain from his hat. He had a large friend with him, dressed in a similar manner. They approached the table where they were sitting and halted, looking down at Henri.

The man pulled a wallet from his breast pocket and flipped it open. The identity card indicated that he was indeed an agent for the Gestapo.

Everyone froze in place.

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