The Fuhrer's Flight

The Fuhrer’s Flight

When all six of Adolf Shickelgruber’s look –alikes were gathered together in the
leader’s armor-plated train in the early April of 1945, they knew that this could not
be a good thing, and the nervous tension was almost palpable as they ate wiener-
schnitzels, sour kraut, rye bread, and drank Bavarian beer—all unimaginable
luxuries in time of war.
The meal almost over, the steely-eyed Fuhrer with his sternly set jaw walked in
accompanied by major Muller, a high ranking officer in the secret state police.
“Hello boys,” the Fuhrer said, “You have served the fatherland well, and I have
once again come to you to ask for your loyal service. We’re going to Berlin to
defend the Reichstag against the Red bastards, and I will need every one of you
to help me raise the morale of the troops and the people’s divisions.”
The duplicates, listening with a degree of relief, jumped up, raised their right
arms, and yelled, “Hail victory” almost in unison. Only Otto, the septuagenarian
thespian afflicted by Parkinson’s disease, stayed seated and chewed the remnants
of his wiener schnitzel.
“Otto, come with me,” the great leader said, grabbed the old man by his collar,
raised him to his feet, and led him out of the dining car, the latter’s head sinking
into his shoulders as if he expected to be flogged.
***
In his train car, still accompanied by major Muller, after giving Otto a shot of
expensive cognac, the great leader palavered as follows:
“Otto, one more performance is needed from you. Your role will be to inspire
all the defendants of the city—you will be center stage.”
“What will I have to do?” Otto asked.
“You will be in charge of the bunker under the Reich Chancellery; there will
be a wedding ceremony where you will be a stand-in groom, and on my birthday,
a few days from now, you will have to shake the hands of our brave boys.”
“How many?” Otto asked; he remembered the customary Fuhrer’s birthdays with
thousands on parade.
“Not many; we can’t weaken our defensive lines.”
“And this marriage, who’s the girl?”
“Why, Eva of course, and you have to convince her that you’re me.”
“I’ll try,” Otto said, “she’s a sweet girl,” and he vaguely remembered meeting her a
year before, when he thought as he looked at her fresh face that he wished he had a
daughter like that.
“Then all is settled,” Major Muller said. “It is time sir,” he said to the Fuhrer. As
they were walking out of the compartment, Muller said to Otto, “My assistant will
bring you your wardrobe in a few minutes; I already advised him about your
medical needs.”
Otto waived and leaned back on the clean pillow-case.
The train came to a stop. Major Muller and the Fuhrer walked across the tracks
and boarded a train heading in the opposite direction, North, where the U-boat was
already waiting for an officer whose destination was Buenos Aires, Argentina.
On this second train bound for the sea, the Fuhrer undertook the unpleasant task
of shaving his own moustache, and only heard the voices of his five duplicates
protesting as they were being loaded onto a truck that rolled off into the darkness
of the countryside.
The Fuhrer was not apprised of the operational details, but the execution of these
five traitors to the fatherland was swift, and right after the machine gun volley, the
burial detail swiftly covered with earth a trench dug-out just after sun-down,
four hours before the train’s arrival. The sky was overcast; in the pitch black of the
countryside, the firing squad could not see the faces of the men they just shot.
The sun had not yet begun to rise when silence reigned again over the freshly
packed soil.
In the meantime, on Fuhrer’s north-bound train, the plastic surgeon almost lost
his power of speech when he recognized his patient.
“I’m not worthy to touch the leader’s face,” he pleaded to Muller hoping for a
release from this assignment.
“Your wife Helga is a lovely woman,” Muller said to the surgeon,” I would regret
seeing her and your two beautiful daughters among the casualties of war.”
The surgeon, while fully understanding that he was doomed, performed this last
operation of his life as ordered. then he signed a suicide note and drank a cyanide-
laced glass of Riesling.
With a face of a dead panzer corps officer who was a man
without a family to miss him, the newly refurbished Fuhrer, bandages still covering
his head and a large portion of his new face, boarded a U-boat wearing a uniform of
a captain. He did not speak lest his voice were to be recognized, and he feigned shell-
shock as best he could. No one bothered him in these crowded, musty, and stinky
conditions where the men with money-belts kept to themselves while getting ready
for a voyage of a few weeks. The Fuhrer carried a small pouch filled with diamonds
of the purest water, just in case Bormann (whom he mostly trusted) were to slip
away with the billions transferred through Switzerland under the auspices of the
Vatican and now waiting in Buenos Aires.
“Sir, I will join you in Buenos Aires in a few weeks,” Muller said, “I think it was a
good decision not to take Eva,” he added while glancing around the empty dock just
to make sure that no one was within earshot.
“I wish I could’ve,” the Fuhrer said, “but how could I—can you imagine her keeping
a secret—she’s pretty, but oh so daft.”
***
A few years later, the Fuhrer turned a man of leisure and a painter of landscapes
and domestic animals, had a chance to watch a war-era news-reel—on the screen,
Otto was shaking hands with the Hitler youth defendants of Berlin. There he was
a kindly, grandfatherly septuagenarian with a pronounced stoop, his left hand
shaking violently behind his back—an unmistakable sign of Parkinson’s disease.
The great leader thought—he doesn’t look anything like me; Charlie Chaplin
looked more like me than Otto did—I can’t believe everyone thought that was me.”
and he laughed silently in the darkness of the movie theater.
As to the footage of Germany in ruins, he felt fine about that—“They will rebuild,”
he said to himself, “but they will never forget me; I built the Autobahn for them.”
The great Fuhrer had a supernatural survival instinct—having survived more than
100 battles in World War I as either one of a handful or the only survivor of his
decimated regiment, having survived the 40 assassination attempts during his reign
as Germany’s Chancellor, he knew that he would live forever, if not physically then
in some other form—perhaps as a mythological boogie man of the Americans—
thanks to whom Germany was saved from the Russian barbarians. Fuhrer’s only
regret was that the Americans found and confiscated his secret treasury worth
billions—wealth looted from all over Europe.
“Oh well,” he thought, the Americans could always find a way to make money—to
snatch my treasury from Russian-controlled territory, in the fog of war. The
Americans—God bless them.” and again he chuckled to himself in the dark theater.

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