Chapter Two Thousand Three Hundred Sixty-Three
23rd March 1975
The headquarters of the BII was silent as Sven Werth left to brief the President of the Federal Police Central Office with his deputy Markus Wolf in tow. The longer he worked with Markus, the more he missed Gunther. For years, Gunther had been an affable counterpart to Sven himself. It wasn’t an accident that Sven was occasionally called “The Impaler” behind his back and that the people he interviewed personally during investigations found him off-putting. Markus though had spent years working undercover inside some of the most violent gangs in Germany and it was whispered that he was called “The man without a face” by those members whose organizations he had infiltrated, those that survived the experience anyway.
It seemed that the BII was getting called to the carpet because the recent riots that had completely engulfed Warsaw and had caused chaos in several cities with a substantial Polish minorities. They were supposed to provide actionable intelligence on domestic threats. What they had not seen coming was how Manfred von Richthofen would run his mouth about how Silesia belonged to his family, now and forever. For those agitating for Greater Poland, that was like fingernails on the chalkboard. They viewed the area once controlled by Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as belonging to them, the Germans, Ukrainians, Ruthenians, and who knew who else were just interlopers in the way of them getting what they saw as theirs back. The minor detail that they had lost a large degree of their independence and a considerable amount of territory in pursuit of that mad dream seemed to have taught them very little.
“Do I need to remind you that we are to tell the President no more than he needs to know?” Sven asked as the boarded the elevator that would take them up to the fourteenth floor.
“What that the Poles looted and burnt down their own city to make a point?” Wolf asked, “Or what impact this could have on the upcoming elections?”
Sven felt his stomach sour at the thought of that. The Social Democratic Party had been delaying holding elections in the hope that events would change the status quo. That had indeed happened, just not in the way which they might have liked. Sven was very aware of who some of the likely coalition partners in the next Government were going to be having investigated them with good cause in the past. The idea of them being in positions of influence when in Sven’s opinion they belonged in either prison or an insane asylum was a bit galling.
“I understand that Heinz Kissinger was seen going up there ahead of us” Wolf said, “God only knows what sort of nonsense he is filling the President’s ears with.”
Sven was annoyed by that piece of information. Kissinger was well known to be a Foreign Policy expert, him trying to burnish his domestic credentials was something of a worrying sign when the presence of his Aide, Friedhelm Busse was factored in. Busse had written several articles in the sort of newspapers that were not considered respectable, the sort where he had suggested that a large fraction of the population of the German Empire had no place in it, oddly that would include the likes of Heinz Kissinger. The logical direction of that sort of thinking was ultimately eliminationist. He had no idea that the BII knew all of this, that he was very much the wolf in sheep’s clothing and was only in the center-right National Liberals to mask his true nature. Busse was a bigot and a brute underneath who would have remained a member of the far-right Nationalist Parties that truly aligned with his thinking if that had been a means to achieve power rather than obscurity.
As Sven and Wolf left the elevator, they saw Kissinger and Busse walking the other way. Sven was inadvertently connected politically with Katherine von Mischner. She had never forgotten her working-class origin and that was reflected in those she supported for office. That put Sven on the opposite side of the aisle from Heinz Kissinger. Of course, Sven knew in his bones that sooner or later the BII would be investigating a politically and/or ethnically sensitive case involving an assault and/or murder that Busse had committed. It seemed wise to avoid eye contact and avoid a conversation that everyone would swiftly come to regret.
“I hate politicians” Wolf muttered as they made their way through the offices occupied by the President’s Staff. These were the people whose efforts to turn the blizzard of paperwork that came in from all of the Levels and Divisions of the Federal Police into something coherent. “No matter how things have gone tits up, they will always try to find an angle to swing it to their advantage.”
“I would be careful” Sven said, “The day will come when you need to mind the politics of a given situation and that attitude will just make things more complicated for everyone.”
“Is that all?” Wolf asked.
“That and I will totally kick your butt if you mess up an investigation like that” Sven hat replied.
Sven suspected that Wolf would have done better in the days when the Emperor was an Autocrat. Niceties such as due process and rule-of-law not really part of the conversation. The thing that didn’t really enter Wolf’s thinking was that at the end of the process they needed to make legal cases that were airtight. Cutting corners was putting a “Kick me!” sigh on your back knowing full well that the Judges were more than happy to give that kicking to you.