Normally Schellenberg was wary of letting Himmler veer off on a different topic, but this was a good sign. It meant the Reichsfuhrer was solidly thinking about running things after Hitler was gotten rid of.
"Reichsfuhrer,” he began solemnly, “I would say the best thing to do would be bow.
Why? Because it shows your gallantry and your readiness to approach Eisenhower as a supplicant. Offering to shake hands right off could create
the impression of being too forward. But when you bow, he will feel
compelled to put his hand on your shoulder and be gracious.”
Himmler was suddenly a whirl of activity, speaking quickly as he paced back
and forth. “You’re right, you’re absolutely right. That’s
what I’ll do. I’ll come up to him and I’ll bow.
"Now I just need to see about getting the Fuhrer’s permission,” Himmler added almost
as an afterthought.
Schellenberg stood dumbfounded.
...Getting the Fuhrer’s permission?
Could he possibly have heard it wrong? The understanding was supposed
to be that if Hitler didn’t agree to step down, he should be shot.
... Permission? He stared up at Himmler, who stared back, his watery
eyes imperceptible as ever behind the pebble lenses of his glasses.
There is also the matter of my uniform. Should I wear the green one or the
black. I think black would be ideal,” he ventured.
Schellenberg tried to keep from exploding. “Reichsfuhrer, you need to tell me,
are we still on the same page on this?”
Himmler dabbed at his mouth with his forefinger. “Whatever do you mean?”
he asked, absently.
"None of this can happen until you confront the Fuhrer and make him step
aside. We’ve already discussed this.”
"Now are you going to do it or not?”
A bigger twitch this time.
"Count Bernadotte is going out on a limb telling Eisenhower you are ready to
take over the government. That was the whole point of my flying up to
Stockholm. That was what we agreed on, wasn’t it?”
Himmler’s stomach jerked.
"They both expect immediate action from us, Reichsfuhrer. And I’d say
they are also definitely starting to lose their patience.”
Another twitch. Himmler’s mouth gaped.
Schellenberg pushed it further. “Reichsfuhrer, the situation is critical. The
Russians are going to chew us up and spit us out. They’re going to
rape and kill everyone they find. Is this what you want to happen?”
Himmler was all frantic motion now, waving his arms like he was battling an
onslaught of flies. “General Schellenberg, you know it’s not as
simple as that. You really must understand my situation here. I owe
everything to the Fuhrer. Everything! And while yes, I might agree in
principle, I just can’t come to him and say ‘Get out of the way,
it’s now my turn... It’s just not, it’s just not, it’s
unthinkable...I’ve sworn an oath of allegiance, a sacred oath, and
I, for one, take that sort of thing very seriously...”
"Reichsfuhrer...,” interjected Schellenberg. But Himmler waved him to silence.
"You must understand the karmic implications of what you are suggesting.
It would be much better for everyone if the Fuhrer elected to step
down, that would minimize the celestial trauma. I think we should
give it a few more days and see if something might alter the forces
in our favor. Karmically speaking, it would be the thing to shoot
for. And my astrologer assures me there are some major events on the
horizon, so who knows?”
Schellenberg cursed himself. The whole trip had been a waste. All of his efforts
over the last two years had been a waste.
"We need to be patient, Schellenberg, and not rush anything. It’s the
cosmic thing to do.” Beads of sweat were forming on Himmler’s
forehead and his left eyebrow was fluttering.
Schellenberg began shouting. “Reichsfuhrer, do you understand the situation
we’re in as a nation? We are facing racial extermination. And
unless you move immediately, now, today, we will all be destroyed.
You must find the strength inside yourself to do what must be done.”
"But you don’t understand,” shot back Himmler in a high- pitched
voice. “I owe him everything. I swore an oath to him.” Suddenly
Himmler clutched at his stomach and began shrieking in pain. “It’s
starting again, Schellenberg! The pain, it’s tearing me up!” he
screamed. “Aaahhhh, I can’t take this! It’s killing me, it’s
killing me. Call Kersten. Get him in here at once.”
"Reichsfuhrer,” said Schellenberg calmly. “Kersten is still in Stockholm.”
"Aaaaaaaahhhhhh!” Himmler shrieked as he thrashed about on the couch. “Do something,
Schellenberg! Do something! I can’t take it.”
Schellenberg went to the door. In the outer office, Himmler’s adjutants, aides
and secretaries all waited in hushed terror. “Shouldn’t we send
for Kersten?” suggested one of the women.
"Kersten isn’t coming back,” said Schellenberg. “Is there anyone else we
Everyone looked at each other helplessly. There wasn’t a doctor Himmler
would let touch him. There was only Kersten. Nobody could take the
pain away like Kersten. Nobody could listen to him and give him
advice like Kersten. In the next room Himmler screamed like he was
"There has to be somebody,” repeated Schellenberg.
One of the adjutants shifted nervously. “Ummm, there’s Sub-lieutenant
Loerber from the Astrology Branch. He’s supposed to be pretty
Himmler shrieked louder.
Then get this Loerber up here on the double!” ordered Schellenberg.
(Excerpt from Germania, Simon & Schuster, 2008, now also available on Kindle here).