Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

It would be very appropriate if Emil was the last veteran of WW I to die as he did more by accident to change the course of history then anyone who tried to do so as part of a plan.

I can't wait for Marie to show off her linguistic skills in front of a bunch of university bigwigs and other important people because while there is a part of Kat's personality that is not mentioned, Marie does have the same "Show Off" gene as Kat has.

Wish list for fun sakes during a concert tour in Germany, Bob Dylan reunites with Kiki and Vicky on stage to recreate the song they preformed together in a New York City hotel suite that became famous because of the documentary that Zella did.
Emil Holz is not immortal, however, as I have hinted he will be among the last of the veterans of WW1 to survive. To put that in context, the last German soldier who fought in WW1 in OTL was Erich Kastner who lived until 2008. The last known veteran of WW1 was Frank Buckles who died in 2011.
Longest living OTL WW1 veteran was Emiliano Mercado del Toro (1891 - 2007). Veteran born around 1900 and living the same 115 years, can also see the centenary of the beginning of the war.

Dont forget red baron is still kicking around.
The Kurfurst is at his estate looking at how Ilse is running the estate, his new Akita breeding program, finding new life with his grandchildren both biological and other especially Mathilda, and most of all planning his funeral which is going to be one of the greatest spectaculars of the Twentieth Century, in fact his biggest regret is that he is not going to be alive for it.
Idea for a documentary by Zella: Snoopy and the Red Baron a look at how a comic strip dog is making a cultural icon for new generations youngsters around the world for the Greatest Flying Ace of all time,
Part 135, Chapter 2312
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Twelve

10th August 1974

Prague, Bohemia

Paul knew that his presence here alone might cause him problems down the line. It was like his friend and occasional musical collaborator, Steven said when he told him about this invitation when he had mentioned this invitation, how music transcended politics. Steven had said that music was politics, in reply. Of course, with Steven it was all about absolutes. The existential crisis that had led Paul on this journey first to Vienna and then on to Prague was outside of Steven’s experience. That crisis had resulted in a song off of one of his most successful albums during that part of his life. Finding himself making a living playing music and recording had seemed unreal. Like if any second Paul and Art were going to have someone break the fourth wall, end the production, and then tell them to go back to their previous lives. Paul had told Art that they would just need to fake it until that happened.

In the meantime, consumed with that idea Paul had gotten caught up in who he was and who he might have been. Looking in the mirror he imagined himself as a tailor working in an old-world city in the Nineteenth Century for some reason. It had been a muse that had probably been fueled by the hashish he was smoking at the time. It took an odd turn when his father heard the song and told him that his grandfather, who had the same name as him, had been a tailor in Vienna. It was something that Paul had put at the back of his mind and had not thought much more about, and life happened. A decade ended, the volatile creative partnership he’d had with Art had ended, and as the new decade entered its midpoint Paul had found himself at loose ends. It seemed like a good time to explore that buried truth about himself.

Vienna was odd, the city itself was like a time capsule with everyone focused on the days when the city had been the Seat of Empire along with being a center of culture and learning. To Paul it felt like being in the apartment of an elderly woman who had been an Actress in her youth and on every surface was a reminder of what had once been. The shop where his grandfather had once worked was in the exact same spot. Most of the people working there had turned out to be distant cousins of his. The feeling of that place being utterly familiar and totally alien was one of the strangest that Paul had ever encountered.

The invitation from Michael of Bohemia had arrived at his hotel the same day. It seemed that the King of the neighboring country had heard about him traveling to Europe. The Austrians regarded the Germans as uncouth and uncultured. It was something that went double for the Bohemians whether or not they were German or Czech hardly mattered. Still, Paul had heard that an invitation from Michael was highly coveted, he just needed to remember that participating in whatever madness the King was up to was strictly optional. Something that was apparently easy to forget when people got caught up in it.

“The Musician Paul Simon of New York” Was announced as Paul entered the Court of the Bohemian King.

“You could have just said my name” Paul told the Footman who had announced him. The Footman gave him a smirk as if to say, “What would be the fun of that?” Before disappearing.

The scene that greeted Paul was like something from the Renaissance. The man who he assumed was Michael was dressed like a Teutonic Knight in a white surcoat and chainmail. He was holding a heroic pose with a sword in his hand as an artist was drawing in sketch pad. By his feet were a pair of big shaggy dogs and a little boy playing with a wooden horse. When he saw Paul, Michael dropped his pose.

“Wonderful to meet you” Michael said as he strode up and shook Paul’s hand in a crushing grip.

“I wish I could say the same” Paul said, “But to my ancestors that get up was the stuff of nightmares.”

“I regret that was the practice, not necessarily the ideal” Michael replied, not in the least put out by what Paul had said. “I have been trying to revive the latter.”

Paul had certainly read about this. Bored rich men playing at being Medieval Knights when the truth was that it was a mixture of a club where they could get drunk with friends and a charitable foundation. The trouble for someone like Paul who was aware of the dark history behind it, it was just as much about violent crusades in Northern Europe, what would eventually be called pogroms aimed at anyone deemed “Pagan” or non-Christian and it didn’t take too many guesses as to who would be at the top of the list, as it ever was about pageantry.

“I might be worth the effort” Paul said, “Just there are those of us who remember that the past is hardly sunshine and lollypops.”

“Yes, you are Jewish, so this was quite thoughtless of me” Michael said as he scooped the little boy up. “This is my son Philipp, Birdie asked me to keep him and the dogs with me this week. They’ve been driving her nuts. Now I’ll have you know that we take religion very seriously here in Bohemia, the 30 Years war started right here and the last thing we need is a repeat of that bloody mess. Separation of Church and State and all of that.”

“That is good to hear” Paul said.

“That also reminds me that I need to remember to ask Birdie what we are supposed to be this week” Michael said, “Catholic I think, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.”

“Wait, what?” Paul asked, wondering exactly he had just heard Michael say.
Both Prague and Vienna without the OTL destruction from WW II and afterwards should retain their “Old World Charm” intact ITTL, this will make both cities very attractive to film studios for period films.
While King Michael may seem to be somewhat mad there is a method behind it as he is attracting all sorts of artists from around the world and Paul Simon may be inspired to record an album there.
Michael as king is having much more fun being the Monarch of small Middle European country compared to his older brother Friedrich who as the Monarch of a great power has every word that he says in public and a lot in private vetted by the government to make sure that he doesn’t go off script from policy.
Both Prague and Vienna without the OTL destruction from WW II and afterwards should retain their “Old World Charm” intact ITTL, this will make both cities very attractive to film studios for period films.
While King Michael may seem to be somewhat mad there is a method behind it as he is attracting all sorts of artists from around the world and Paul Simon may be inspired to record an album there.
Michael as king is having much more fun being the Monarch of small Middle European country compared to his older brother Friedrich who as the Monarch of a great power has every word that he says in public and a lot in private vetted by the government to make sure that he doesn’t go off script from policy.
WWII destruction in Vienna was limited OTL. Not so sure about Prague, but Vienna at least profited from not being in bomber range for the longest time, and then not ending up to site of a 'heroic last stand'.

What ironically might have preserved more TTL would be less incentive for 'investment' and 'renewal' compared to German cities - coupled with less urban redevelopment by the Soviet Air Force TTL. And then a desire to 'not be like the Germans'.

Also notable: small Jewish business owners still around in the 70s unlike OTL.
Another thing about Vienna that I mentioned in the first timeline is that ITTL Vienna doesn't become the headquarters of a bunch of alphabet soup International organizations and is viewed as a backwater diplomatic station.
In the first timeline Kat and Doug goes to see "The Third Man" which in ITTL is set in Kiev instead of IOTL Vienna.


Longest living OTL WW1 veteran was Emiliano Mercado del Toro (1891 - 2007). Veteran born around 1900 and living the same 115 years, can also see the centenary of the beginning of the war.
Jiroemon Kimura (1897-2013) possibly the last ww1 veteran since he served as soldier during ww1. If someone to be born in 1902 and live to the age of Kimura they may able to see centenary end of the great war.
Emil Holz was born in 1900 and joined the German Army before his sixteenth birthday so not only could he be the last veteran of WW I but also he will be the last Great Commander from WW II.
I could see if he is still alive and in relative good health, there will be a huge fuss made about celebrating his centennial birthday.
Part 135, Chapter 2313
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Thirteen

12th August 1974

Breslau, Silesia

It was Ina’s idea that Christian should come to the family holiday at her grandfather’s estate. The trouble was that all of them were accomplished people and who was he to be courting the granddaughter of the Kurfürst? It was bad enough that he had spent the last several months at the Heuberg Training Area. While his education was considered adequate for turning bolts on an assembly line or being a soldier. He had progressed past that with a number of awards, a couple meritorious promotions, and an appointment to the prestigious Imperial First Foot Guard Regiment. If Christian wanted to continue his career, then the expectations he was expected to meet had gone up and those far higher up the food chain were demanding more, far more. At issue was that he had been awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and the Knight’s Cross, House Order of Richthofen for valor displayed in Argentina. Apparently, having an Enlisted Man with those awards went against the grain and it was up to him to do something about it, or else…

Christian had worried that his background with be painfully obvious when he arrived in Stetten, the small Market Town that was just outside the Heuberg reservation. He had been both right and wrong on that count. Most of his Class was composed of recent University Graduates who were roughly the same age as he was, Christian was one of the few who had been a real Soldier. That meant that on the first morning as their Instructors were chewing them out over the multitude of things that they inevitably had messed up out of ignorance, Christian had already had things squared away. That had resulted in a great deal of resentment.

The academic end of things had been slightly better. There the Instructors had mostly been interested in checking boxes and any actual knowledge that Christian had was a box they could check. Did he speak any languages other than German? Yes, he had gotten to the point where he was nearly fluent in Spanish after how long he had spent in Argentina, he had also picked up a great deal of Polish and English when… They didn’t care about the particulars. Technology was easy, he knew radios and other things like the Sperber scopes, anyone who worked with those for more than a few days had to become an expert or else they would be driven insane. Small arms? Was that a joke? Christian was a Maestro with an AG45, ask the Chilean Army about that. Other areas like mathematics and literature were not so easily addressed. Then there were the things that he was expected to know or learn in a hurry if he knew what was good for him. Seriously, why did they stress having him know how to ride a horse? What century was this again?

There had also been the pass/fail nature of the courses. Failure wasn’t just a failing grade. It meant reassignment and possible discharge. Because his presence there had been his choice, he worked damn hard to stay in the program. Many of those who had come from the University who had never failed at anything in their lives had learned a bitter lesson by failing to take it seriously and gotten themselves a term of service among the Soldaten as a result. If they made it through the program as an Aspirant, they still needed to prove themselves as a Squad Leader. Having the wrong attitude there could get you killed in a thousand unpleasant ways. So, having them being just a regular soldier was probably the best way to teach them an important lesson.

To Christian’s amazement, he made it through the program and was waiting for pending reassignment when Ina had called and invited him to visit her during the Summer Holiday. He wanted to go back to the Panzer Corps, but no one knew what the labyrinthine bureaucracy would decide to do. He could just as easily be assigned to be a Supply Officer in a Bavarian Landwehr Division defending the Swiss Frontier from possible attack. At the moment though, stepping out of the train station with the prospect of finding himself facing Ina’s family in the coming hours, counting rations in Bavaria didn’t seem so bad.

He spotted the beat-up old VW Bergwind that Ina drove pulling into the loading zone and Ina stepping out. Despite it showing every centimeter of the thousands of kilometers on mostly rural Silesian roads, Ina loved the thing. Manny had once told Christian that their father had offered to buy her a brand-new Iltis, but she was having none of that. She liked the old car. When asked, pointed out that the diesel engine and four-wheel-drive transmission in the Iltis was based on the one developed for the Bergwind a few years earlier. Why would she want the inferior copy? Christian had been unable to tell if that was a joke or not, but either way Ina apparently intended to drive the Bergwind until it died.

“You decided to come after all” Ina said with a smile as Christian threw his bag into the back of the Bergwind.

“I wouldn’t want to be late for my execution” Christian replied as he sat down in the passenger seat.

“Don’t give me that” Ina said as she put the car into gear and pulled into traffic. “Mathilda wanted to come but it would have been too crowded in here.”

One of the other advantages of the Bergwind was that it gave Ina the perfect excuse to only have one passenger. Leaving a nosy teenager behind wasn’t exactly a hardship for either of them.

“Now, you know that Opa and Poppa are going to have questions” Ina said, “There is also my mother, so I hope you are ready to give them the answers that we discussed.”

“Why not just give them straight answers like we did with my parents?” Christian asked.

“It isn’t that simple Chris” Ina said, “Remember what I told you about how my mother had to do to get Opa to consent to her marriage to my father?”

“You really think it would come to that?” Christian asked, “Getting the Emperor involved?”

“What do you think?” Ina asked in reply.
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I forget who Christian's parents are, but IIRC, doesn't one of them have a direct line to the current Emperor? Or at least to Royalty?
I forget who Christian's parents are, but IIRC, doesn't one of them have a direct line to the current Emperor? Or at least to Royalty?
No connections like that.

Christian is the nephew of Karl Weise, an original member of the Abwehr Hunter/Killer teams as a Demolitions Expert who died after coming a hairsbreadth from stopping the destruction of Reichstag ITTL. Was posthumously decorated for bravery several years later.
Part 135, Chapter 2314
Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Fourteen

16th August 1974

Charlottenburg, Berlin

“Yes, I’m happy for you Aurora” Zella said into the phone, the expression on her face didn’t reflect what she was saying or the tone of her voice. When Yuri had answered the phone Aurora had asked for Zella, her voice bubbly with happiness.

This was after Zella had returned early from the Summer Holiday on the Baltic Sea, which she had gone on with her family. All she would say to Yuri was that she wished that her mother would mind her own business without elaborating. Yuri knew about the often-contentious relationship Zella had with her mother, something along the lines of only those who know you best can drive you completely insane without even trying.

“I see… Please don’t do that, I know you mean well but…” Zella said, “As I said, I’m happy for you, I mean that…”

There was a long pause as Zella listened. Then Zella said, “Good night, Aurora.”

Zella gently hung up the phone when the expression on her face suggested that she wanted to slam the handset through the table which it sat on. She had been working hard to control the volcanic temper that everyone knew she had. After that accident a year earlier which no one had believed was actually an accident, she had finally admitted that she needed to make a few changes.

“Aurora is going to have a baby and she is at the point where she is trying to convince herself she made the right choice by convincing others that they should do the same things” Zella said, “I just hope that this doesn’t end like it did the last time. Aurora nearly went insane after that.”

Yuri remembered that Zella’s friend Aurora was in the hospital and home sick for an extended period of time the prior winter. Just no one had mentioned exactly what had been going on.

“What happened?” Yuri asked, “I don’t mean to nose in on your business or your friend’s, but that would be useful.”

“Aurora and Moishe have been trying for a long time” Zella replied, “Aurora suffered a miscarriage last winter and that wasn’t the first time. Each time it gets worse, and everyone is worried about her.”

“I see” Yuri said.

“I don’t think you can” Zella said, “You have this life growing inside of you, unique and special, even if it is something you didn’t want. Then it is gone. Any woman who tells you that is not a devastating experience is a liar.”

Yuri stared at Zella, unsure what to say in reply to that.

“The worst part is that you are also relieved that it is over” Zella said, “At least I was.”

“You went through that?” Yuri asked.

“Unless you were completely daft, you knew I wasn’t a virgin when you met me” Zella replied, “Life happened, and do you see a child anywhere?”

Yuri remembered when he first met Zella. How forward she could be. That night in the hotel room in Warsaw when she had simply not cared that he was there when she got dressed to cover a major story. Zella didn’t say anything else as she pulled out a record from the cabinet that she kept them in. It was in a plain white jacket with the word Autobahn handwritten on it, meaning that it was an advance copy of something that she had acquired from somewhere. When Zella dropped the needle on the record, the room was filled with the sound of a car starting of all things followed by the strangest music that Yuri had ever heard. He couldn’t tell what sort of instruments were being played. Zella was sitting on her couch, Yuri could tell that she was trying to check out, completely lose herself in music.

Meuse Heights, near Verdun, France

Sjostedt was feeling rather foolish as he walked through what had been a battlefield when he had been a young man. The blasted landscape was gone, replaced by a forest. It was shocking that so many years had passed. He had been advised to keep on the paved trails because there was still unexploded ordnance and God only knew what else around, even if there weren’t the entire area was regarded as a vast gravesite by the respective Governments of the two nations that had fought this battle. That was hardly a surprise.

He’d had months to try to puzzle out what Coyote had been talking about. The place where it had all begun? And this unfinished business. Sjostedt didn’t have the first clue where to start or what he should be doing. The whole thing about Coyote was too insane, and he had said as much to Emil’s brother Peter who was a retired Psychiatrist when he had come to check on him at Emil’s request. Peter had listened to Sjostedt’s story and said that Coyote was a manifestation of his own subconscious. What unfinished business did Sjostedt still think that he had out there in the world? The alternative was the supernatural, that Sjostedt really had been visited by the Diné Trickster spirit.

Which of those two was more likely?

The Mesa desert where he had been born had felt wrong and he had spent months pondering those questions as he had recovered from the heart attack and the surgical intervention that had saved his life. It had occurred to him that he had come of age in the brutal war that he had fought in. Perhaps Verdun was the answer. Walking through a forest in France on a warm summer afternoon, Sjostedt felt no closer to the answers he was seeking.
So Kraftwerk have still released an album called Autobahn in this timeline. Does this mean that Space and Gary Numan will be around in a few years? Also the punk scene was just about starting up in London about now, what's happening with Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood, John Lydon et al?
My personal view: punk will rise from gutter blues if it hasn't already.
Rather than it being a London or New York-centric movement, it will be more multi-polar. Although more amusingly, if the Sex pistols keep Glen Matlock and can keep Lyndon's ego in check then they might see more success. But if so, they won't be the Sex Pistols we know.

I think the Ramones will continue OTL and would love to see them play the V8 Club.
The description would likely be:
"There were no speeches, no attempt to engage the crowd, just a brief shout of "1 2 3 4" before the next tsunami of noise washed through the club".
I could see Zella loving that.

The German punk scene is one I'm looking forward to hearing more about.