The Eagle of Hans Langsdorff

eagle

© EPA – Graf Spee Eagle

He watched as divers brought up the figurehead of his beloved Graf Spee from the muddy depths where it had lain for nearly seventy years. If he could have wept, bitter tears would have streamed down his face, but this was denied him as well as peace he had sought long ago. Instead, damnation has been his constant companion, and though he could take no breath, what was once his heart was crushed at this bitter reminder.

They covered the swastika displayed beneath the eagle’s nine-foot wingspan out of consideration of those still sensitive to Hitler’s bloody legacy. So be it. The Nazi dream was just as dead as Hitler, and just as dead as Captain Hans Langsdorff who committed suicide two days after scuttling the German battleship rather than have it fall into enemy hands. How fleeting and meaningless history has rendered his ship and his wandering spirit.

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to use a Google maps image/location as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 149.

Today, the Pegman takes us to Montevideo, Uruguay. As usual, I looked up the location and under 20th century, I found this:

During World War II, a famous incident involving the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee took place in Punta del Este, 200 kilometers (120 mi) from Montevideo. After the Battle of the River Plate with the Royal Navy and Royal New Zealand Navy on 13 December 1939, the Graf Spee retreated to Montevideo’s port, which was considered neutral at the time. To avoid risking the crew in what he thought would be a losing battle, Captain Hans Langsdorff scuttled the ship on 17 December. Langsdorff committed suicide two days later. The eagle figurehead of the Graf Spee was salvaged on 10 February 2006; to protect the feelings of those still sensitive to Nazi Germany, the swastika on the figurehead was covered as it was pulled from the water.

I found the story verifying this at BBC News and the rest, as they say, is history.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

Oh, the location seemed familiar, and earlier this year, I wrote a tale for the same location.

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Who is a Nazi and Why Should I Care?

hitler and staff

Adolf Hitler and his staff salute during the opening ceremonies of the XIth Olympic Games on Aug. 1, 1936, in Berlin, Germany. Getty Images

Nazi:
noun
1. historical
a member of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
adjective
1. of or concerning the Nazis or Nazism.

That’s the dictionary definition of “Nazi.” Of course, there’s a lot more to it, and to get the details, please visit the Wikipedia pages for Nazism and The Nazi Party.

Why am I bringing this up?

I read a blog post recently where apparently, speculative fiction author N.K. Jenisin called science fiction author Jon Del Arroz a Nazi on twitter. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of a conservative being equated to a Nazi, but does this really mean Mr. Del Arroz belongs to the Nazi Party?

Not that I can tell. According to blog posts such as this one and his authoring articles like this one at the online magazine The Federalist, he is certainly a political conservative, but again, does that make him (or any other conservative) an actual Nazi?

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Restoring a Lost Eden (Expanded)

eden

Early photo of the Eden Hotel, Argentina, circa 1912.

It was dark but they still had to be careful. Ever since the anti-Fascists took over the country, Germans were being rounded up, incarcerated, and brutally interrogated for information related to the Nazis.

The woman looked to be thirty to thirty-five years old and about six months pregnant which was obvious even through the overcoat she was wearing. She and a man stood by the car watching the Hotel Eden in the distance. Once it had been a sanctuary for high-ranking party members and their friends. Albert Einstein had once stayed there as did many other notables, dignitaries, and celebrities.

But those days were over.

“It’s so sad, Juan. The end of a glorious era.”

“Indeed, Senora. But those days are not gone forever. Your husband’s legacy will live on in a future generation.”

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The Collector

singing

© The Storyteller’s Abode

Sidney Feldman finally acquired the crown jewel of his collection, an original Joyce, circa 1897, simply titled, “Woman Singing.” It had been taken from its Jewish owner by the Nazis in 1939.

Feldman found it at an estate sale and knew immediately what he had. True, he could have returned it to the owner’s heir. He was even acquainted with the family.

But he was a collector, and the painting was priceless.

He heard the music the second night the painting was mounted in his private exhibition room. He staggered there and sat on the floor. The melody was mesmerizing. Feldman was there for days listening to her exquisite voice, his piano playing, watching the girl endlessly turning pages of music for her Father.

He died of thirst a week later. The maid eventually discovered the body. The authorities investigated and found dozens of items in the Feldman collection that rightfully belonged to others.

“Woman Singing” was returned to the great-granddaughter of the man who died in Berchenwald. She donated it to Yad Vashem in Israel.

This was written for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of March 28, 2017. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. My story word count is exactly 174.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.