Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread II

So in the end those guys who tried to kill a president to get the right Vice President move up will get the government they wanted. They must be laughing like crazy whereever they are knowing that their families will profit heavily.

If one looks at the Ginicoefficient of the USA in 1930 historically and sees that without the 40s to 50s changes IOTL the concentration of wealth must be even higher. Add to that a party going for lean state meaning an even higher concentration than the US economy is truly screwed midterm.
 
Part 103, Chapter 1663
Chapter One Thousand Six Hundred Sixty-Three



4th November 1964

Mitte, Berlin

When Louis Ferdinand had a number of things weighing on his mind when he called President-Elect Rockefeller in concert with Chancellor Adenauer to congratulate him from the office of his temporary Winter Residence. Katherine had agreed to lease him the unoccupied top floor of a residential building that she owned but that was a temporary measure. The location of the Hohenzollern Palace had always been considered problematic because of the blocks of apartment buildings on the adjacent streets and rail lines that passed through just meters away. It had also grown too expensive to maintain on top of the other properties that the House of Hohenzollern owned. The idea of leasing the building to the Government so that it could be converted into the museum.

The question of exactly what to replace it with was an open question. Louis understood his role, and that by his own design it was largely ceremonial, the trouble was where did he conduct the ceremonies in question. He didn’t like the remaining in Potsdam year-round, it felt like it was too far outside the center of things. He remembered what it had been like during the war, when the Winter Residence had been damaged. He had needed to have an office in one of the many government buildings around. Another option that had been floated was the Charlottenburg Palace, but that building was badly in need of renovation and damage left over from the Second World War remained an issue. Finally, the idea of building something entirely new had been floated. That certainly was enticing. Just who exactly was going to pay for it? Not for the first time, Louis found himself wishing that he was the sort of tyrant that he his detractors occasionally liked to depict him as. If for no other reason than to order the men who had squandered the vast sums of money in his family’s coffers to be shot.

Finally, there was the even more difficult problem that Louis found himself dealing with. He had received a phone call from Doctor Holz in Jena saying that Kristina was doing well in her studies, but he had cause for concern because she was showing signs of severe depression. Perhaps it was because of the head injury she had sustained, or it could have exasperated an existing problem. Apparently when she had agreed to seek help for other issues that she had, Holz had taken a look through her medical history and he said that he had discovered a lot of interesting things that had direct bearing on how they would proceed in the future. Doctor Holz said he looked forward to meeting with him and Kristina to discuss his conclusions.

It was a rather brash thing to have said and it was a reminder of just who Doctor Peter Holz was, the younger brother of a man who had also had little regard for societal niceties. He was also retired Medical Service and esteemed in his field, he little to fear from Louis or Kristine if he treated the same as any other patient and her father. Louis also understood that to ignore a man like Doctor Holz was foolhardy if what he had to say held value, especially if related to Kristina’s wellbeing.



Wilhelm Station

It hadn’t been an eternity. It had only seemed that way.

Louis Junior woke up one morning and everyone was excited because the supply mission was inbound. They had survived the polar winter. Not that it had been easy. All the ideas for entertainment had been exhausted. Board games, cards, jigsaw puzzles and anything else that they could think of to keep them occupied. The silences had grown longer and longer until Louis realized that everyone who he shared the hut with were actively avoiding each other during their off hours.

By the time spring rolled around, Louis had been sitting quietly on his bunk imagining the trees that grew in the in the wilder portions of his family’s estate in Potsdam. The vivid shades of green were something that he realized that he would miss until he came to this place. The only colors were the white of the ice and the brown rocks that made up the island that Wilhelm Station sat on.

The radio room sent progress updates to everyone hourly and finally, the SMS Sirius and SMS Albatros finally appeared on the horizon. When the ships made it to the ice pier that had been built up over the winter and started unloading, it was like every Christmas that Louis had ever enjoyed back home. Stacks of letters and packages from friends and family. Apparently, they had been piling up in Rio Gallegos. It was a bit amusing to see exactly what they thought would be practical in Antarctica. There were also fresh fruit and vegetables for the first time in months. All anyone could talk about was the sort of feast that they would enjoy once the bulk of the supplies were unloaded.

It was then that Louis was informed that a meeting was going to take place where the expedition’s goals were going to be laid out in the station’s auditorium, which was normally the enlisted men’s mess hall. After spending the winter only able to shuffle papers and make plans. Louis realized that he had a very busy season ahead of him. A very welcome change.
 
A Rockefeller Administration should in this timeline be mostly focused on Latin America and Asia in its foreign policy based on the IOTL record Nelson Rockefeller had in WW II when he was in the State Department for Latin American Affairs and the work of the Rockefeller Foundation which did a lot of projects in Asia at this time IOTL.
IOTL his chief foreign policy advisor was one Henry Kissinger...
Vice President -elect Hatfield is a bit ethically challenged but mostly low grade stuff it seems.

The Kaiser should just sell the Hohenzollern Palace to the State at market rates, turn over the Charlottenburg Palace to a preservation society for One DM and pledge to help fund raising for it.
The Stockholm Palace is used as a museum and State Dinners and receptions are still held there, so the Hohenzollern Palace still could be used for State functions.
Is there any more land available in the Templehof neighborhood?
If so a five to ten acre parcel would be perfect for a modern royal residence with the necessary office space, living quarters, unofficial entertaining area, and most importantly some sense of privacy for the Imperial Family.

There should be at this time the first VCRs available for professional use and it would be a good thing to have at the Antarctica station, and on a long stay there there should be an opportunity for at least a two week leave in either Chile or Argentina.
 
The Kaiser should just sell the Hohenzollern Palace to the State at market rates, turn over the Charlottenburg Palace to a preservation society for One DM and pledge to help fund raising for it.
The Stockholm Palace is used as a museum and State Dinners and receptions are still held there, so the Hohenzollern Palace still could be used for State functions.
Is there any more land available in the Templehof neighborhood?
If so a five to ten acre parcel would be perfect for a modern royal residence with the necessary office space, living quarters, unofficial entertaining area, and most importantly some sense of privacy for the Imperial Family.

Lets see. The only actual example I can think of for the Kaiser in this ATL universe is Versailles.
 
The financial trouble plotline is getting implausible. Are we to assume that the funds are gone entirely as well as their immense art treasury? That all of their investments generate no income anymore? That the Hohenzollern do not receive any royal stipend from the state or have somehow not received restitution or a bail out for some kind of debts? This is starting to sound like a Littlefinger situation in which the budget has stopped making any sense.

Also, building a new residence to house state functions and Hohenzollern offices so that they can lease out their immensely prestigious primary residence for a pittance (museums cannot afford to pay that much...) does not appear financially or politically sound at all. If the Kaiser in an attack of temporary insanity decided to abandon the Stadtschloss he'd probably be pressured by his government to can the idea and instead consider selling off literally everything else first.
 
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Leasing the Hohenzollern Palace to the government for use as a museum, while retaining use for formal State functions similar to Sweden's Stockholm Palace, makes a lot of sense. The Charlottenburg Palace has its issues and turning it over to an historical preservation society for restoration also makes sense. That still leaves the need for a suitable replacement for a combined living/working palace for the modern emperor.

A new-build offers the opportunity to showcase the engineering and architectural capabilities of the modern German Empire, with a competition to select a practical, modern, yet livable design, future-proofed and incorporating security features sadly lacking in the older palaces. But then, there are the costs involved, although there are all of those recently seized estates available for a quick sale to pay for it.

Alternatively, do any of the seized estates of Franz (formerly von) Papen & co. include a Berlin residence that may be suitable as an Imperial residence?
Because moving into Franz Papen's old Berlin residence would be a great way to rub his nose in it.
 
A new-build offers the opportunity to showcase the engineering and architectural capabilities of the modern German Empire, with a competition to select a practical, modern, yet livable design, future-proofed and incorporating security features sadly lacking in the older palaces. But then, there are the costs involved, although there are all of those recently seized estates available for a quick sale to pay for it.
A new-build would also be absolute hell for the German Intelligence Community to deal with.

Every intelligence agency in the world, be they friend, foe or other would be trying to build listening devices into the very foundations of the structure. And even if the German Community worked 24/7 for as many years (and it will take years) as it takes to finish construction of this place, they will never get them all.

A renovation build would allow a tighter control over the process and allow for more of the listening devices to be discovered due to the limitations of installing them in a renovation job.
 
Leasing the Hohenzollern Palace to the government for use as a museum, while retaining use for formal State functions similar to Sweden's Stockholm Palace, makes a lot of sense. The Charlottenburg Palace has its issues and turning it over to an historical preservation society for restoration also makes sense. That still leaves the need for a suitable replacement for a combined living/working palace for the modern emperor.
You do not need a replacement unless you abandon the old offices for no good reason, at which point the entire alleged rationale of the move (to save on costs) becomes highly dubious. Dropping your existing infrastructure and setting it up somewhere else is NEVER a cheap affair.

Seizing another existing building is the only thing that would in any way pay lip service to the cost saving idea, but at that point the question arises - what advantage could any of these hypothetical properties offer over the Stadtschloss? They were not built to accomodate modern needs and security considerations either, let alone official state functions.
 
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You do not need a replacement unless you abandon the old offices for no good reason, at which point the entire alleged rationale of the move (to save on costs) becomes highly dubious. Dropping your existing infrastructure and setting it up somewhere else is NEVER a cheap affair.
Seizing another existing building is the only thing that would in any way pay lip service to the cost saving idea, but at that point the question arises - what advantage could any of these hypothetical properties offer over the Stadtschloss? They were not built to accomodate modern needs and security considerations either, let alone official state functions.
You may need a replacement if the costs of maintaining a building or work environment outweigh the costs of keeping & renovating it. If the place leaks like a sieve, has heating costs that rival a small city & is not suitable for upgrades to both security & technology; then a replacement is desirable.

A new build may be the cheaper option or an existing building that could be repurposed/renovated could be cheaper. New builds have the advantage of being able to select a more suitable site and to purpose build from the ground up. As for existing buildings that may be suitable as a replacement; the size & location may be more advantageous, the operating & maintenance costs may be considerably lower, refurbishment may be cheaper than either keeping the existing building or a new-build, and both the government & the public may not be as concerned over those costs. And that those costs may be political as well as financial must also be factored in.

Even if the Imperial Family pays for any particular option out of their own resources, there will be an outcry from those who cannot grasp that concept. Far too many people cannot separate the Royals from the government and assume that THEIR taxes will be paying for whatever option is decided upon. Then there will be the reaction if they try to sell any of their art assets to pay for it, because there will be many, especially among the press, who see those as belonging to the State so how dare they sell the cultural history of the empire. Many of them will be the same people who object over taxes. Contradictory, I know, but that's how people think. For example, see the response of the British public regarding Windsor Castle catching fire OTL. It went something like this:

'What a tragedy! Our taxes better not pay to fix that! No, you CAN'T sell any of OUR national treasures to pay for it either! Oh, your going to open Buckingham Palace for public tours to pay for it? Oh, OK. When and where do we pay?'
 
OK, that scene in the desert is foreshadowing some dust up involving the Americans. Don't know how or what other parties are involved, but something is brewing.

Will we get to see the Tigress paying a visit to Lothar in his private little corner of hell?
 
Will we get to see the Tigress paying a visit to Lothar in his private little corner of hell?
Nah, that'd be what he would want. Better to let him dwell forever in his dark hole for all time.

Have to ask though, considering the location of where he is going, we know that the Death Penalty is outlawed in Germany, but what about on the other side of the border in Bohemia?
 
Part 103, Chapter 1664
Chapter One Thousand Six Hundred Sixty-Four



22nd November 1964

Krakow, Poland

“Olaf Bauer” The Policeman said with an accent that suggested that he was from the northern part of Poland, looking at Olli’s papers and back at him. The look on his face suggested that he was smelling something unpleasant as he spoke. Handing the papers back, he waved Olli’s lorry through.

As Olli drove through the checkpoint, he was glad that Conrad had listened for once. He had remained quiet and let Olli do the talking. The checkpoint hadn’t been there the last time he had been in Krakow a year earlier. Back then the streets had been bustling and new construction had been happening throughout the city. Now it looked like a ghost town with the only people visible being Polish State Police. How had this happened so quickly? And why had Olli not been aware of it?

Reaching their destination, a warehouse that housed a wholesaler of agricultural chemicals. Olli did his best to work with the land to keep it productive, but pesticides and fertilizers were needed at times if he was being a realist. He shut down the engine of the lorry, opened the door and stepped out. There were a couple men standing outside the door smoking and talking in low voices. Something about the way they carried themselves suggested that they were former soldiers. It was the very thing that had attracted Olli to working with them in the first place. Now he got the feeling that it might not have been the best call. He should have realized that a place like this would likely be a hotbed of separatist activity. And farm chemicals. It didn’t take much imagination to see where that might lead. There might as well sign over the door in red blinking letters spelling out the word TROUBLE.

“I’m expected” Olli said.

One of the men nodded and opened the door.

Walking through the warehouse, Olli made his way back to the office.

“Major Bauer” Ablen said in greeting when he walked in. “Looking prosperous I see.”

Being greeted by his final rank still rankled Olli. He had only been a Major in the final hours before his retirement became official. It was a practice that was done to increase the pension of retiring soldiers and he had seen the advantage of that. His final act in the Heer had been to accept the Commissioned rank of Hauptmann which was equivalent to his rank as a Warrant Officer, and then he had been immediately promoted to Major. It was a bit of bureaucratic slight of hand that Olli was a bit uneasy about. He kept expecting to get a letter from Wunsdorf explaining that they had made a mistake…

“I had a good year” Olli replied, “Which is more than I can say about here.”

Ablen grimaced at that mention. “There were demonstrations here a few months ago that got out of hand, there was rioting” He said, “The Government in Warsaw decided that the police already in this town were not up to the task and sent in these other people. You’ve seen what happened next.”

Those idiots, Olli thought to himself. He had thought for some time that the Government in Warsaw was playing into the hands of the most militant of the Galician separatists. Here in Krakow it was obvious that the situation was already spiraling out of control. It wasn’t just the ones in Warsaw though, there was plenty of idiocy going around here. If this all went very wrong, it would be their families that got hurt and everything that had been built over the prior decades would be at risk. It would also justify the next round of actions by the Government in Warsaw. He needed to call Kurt and he hoped that his friend knew someone who had the authority to end this madness before it got worse.



Tempelhof, Berlin

Zella had been working in Features, but only as Bart’s assistant. The sort of thing that left her feeling invisible when she was in the offices of the BT. Mostly, she did research. Making sure that Bart got the names right in a story about recent events in the Dutch East Indies for example. Shooting and editing video was what she had been doing with her spare time. It was something that was much more enjoyable.

The latest documentary that Zella was working on was about the rivalry between BMW Motorrad and the Honda Racing Division. Over the past two years the two corporations had thrown money at motorcycle racing. The result was that the engines had grown more powerful and the bikes ever faster. Beyond the footage on the track, which Zella had gotten plenty of, there were the aspects of technology that was being developed as the competing teams searched for an edge over the others. Technology that was turning up in the Automotive Divisions and being licensed to other companies.

Beyond sales of motorcycles being up for the first time in years, BMW was also reporting that the mid-level sedans that were their bread and butter were enjoying robust sales internationally. It should have no surprise that Honda had said the exact same thing when Zella had interviewed the Head of their European Division. BMW had been happy to underwrite Zella’s documentary and suddenly the people at ARD were more than happy to speak with her. If she was being cynical, Zella might assume that they liked the sponsorship more than her.
 
I'd like to be happy about this, but it means more BMW cars on the roads, and the people who drive those are assholes of the (second) lowest level who deserve nothing less than the four horsemen.
 
I'd like to be happy about this, but it means more BMW cars on the roads, and the people who drive those are assholes of the (second) lowest level who deserve nothing less than the four horsemen.
The difference between a BWM sedan and a porcupine is that with the porcupine the pricks are on the outside.
 
Not liking „Bring Mich Werkstatt“ „need a garage“ cars myself there is a whole world of difference between how they and their drivers are viewed in a country that has not been able to build a decent car in decades (the Mustang being the sole and lonely exception) and a country that at that time had Opel as a luxury car, Mercedes and Porsche. OTL now BMW only have a slight status symbol award with them.
 
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I predict “Troubles” for Poland with direct rule from Berlin.
Is there anyone following this timeline who has some experience with Northern Ireland?
 
I predict “Troubles” for Poland with direct rule from Berlin.
Is there anyone following this timeline who has some experience with Northern Ireland?
Only in so much as it's two ethnic groups bickering, but that's it.

I'm sure Shorts will be along in a moment to correct me, but this isn't giving me NI vibes at all. More "Los Angeles 1992" than "Derry 1972".

I'm also fairly sure that Berlin wouldn't send in the most trigger happy part of their armed forces over the issue either...
 
Only in so much as it's two ethnic groups bickering, but that's it.

I'm sure Shorts will be along in a moment to correct me, but this isn't giving me NI vibes at all. More "Los Angeles 1992" than "Derry 1972".

I'm also fairly sure that Berlin wouldn't send in the most trigger happy part of their armed forces over the issue either...
That depends whether the situation means sending a force of military police, pioneers and medics or small teams of very disciplined but ferocious big cats.

The one would be trying to smother a fire by having many strong persons shovel wet sand on it and handing out sweetened tea afterwards.

The other would be trying to cut the fuse before the whole thing goes up I'm the first place. Which could go well, but cutting fuses inside a powder mill can have problems of its own...
 
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