Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Next Fuehrer Has to Be Someone Ike Will Like

It's April, 1945. The Red Army has Berlin surrounded. Hitler is deep inside his bunker and isn't coming out, except, maybe, feet-first. But even as Nazi Germany is being ripped apart and swallowed up by the Allies, Hitler’s henchmen are busily jockeying with each other over who will be the next Fuehrer. The problem is, it can’t be just anybody. They know it has to be someone Eisenhower won’t just respect, it has to be someone he’!

The next Fuehrer has to be likeable so Eisenhower will make him his partner, not only in the soon-to-commence war against Russia, but also afterwards to rule Europe together. Himmler, Goering, Speer; each believes he’s the man for the job. But then, just before he blows his brains out, Hitler gives the job to someone nobody expects, who then promptly surrenders.

Suddenly the war is over. Suddenly everything is different, but not in ways anyone expected. Fact it, even though the defeat is total and the surrender humiliating and unconditional, once it's been signed, nobody, not even the victorious Allies, have any idea what to do next. For nearly three weeks, in a little town on the Danish border, the new Nazi government is allowed to exist. Ministers are appointed, meetings are held, reports and edicts are issued. And for a while, at least, the surviving Nazis are free to imagine any rosy, surreal future they wish. Welcome to the Flensburg Reich of Hitler’s successor, Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz!

And into this unhinged world sail four brothers, Manni, Franzi, Ziggy and Sebastian, the once-famous Flying Magical Loerber Brothers and the toast of Prewar Berlin. This time, though, they’re not out to entertain. They’re Jews, they’re spies, they’re assassins and they’re out for revenge. Check out "Germania," by Brendan McNally (first published by Simon & Schuster in 2008, now available on Kindle here)

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