Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Diary of a Serial Killer - Chapter 3 - by Nova

Police battalions were given a number that corresponded to the army administration area where the men had been drawn from. For instance, most Hamburg based police battalions were numbered in the one hundred range as they were drawn from area ten. The three hundred series of battalions, as I found out later, were formed with service in Russia in mind. Here the rigorous conditions would demand younger men. I served with Police Battalion 301.

My comrades, besides being of the same age, were all from the Bochum area. Some had obviously known each other since childhood while there was a few like me who knew no one. Did I feel alone? No. After innumerable games of Skat, the hours spent lying to each other about our sexual prowess combined with the previous months of training together left me feeling comfortable with them. Or at least as comfortable as I ever felt with people.

Anytime a group of men are required to spend time together they always sort themselves based on the role they will play in the group. It was true when I first observed it in the schoolyard, and still true much later when I was a member of the Rotary Club in Los Angeles. You will always have your leader, his sidekick, the big dumb one, the loner, and the true believer. The rest were interchangeable bullet stoppers, or as I would find later in the Rotary Club, salesman.

Our squad NCO was Sergeant Alois Hess. He was an active duty police NCO with ten years in. Like the rest of us he had missed the big one. That would be the “War To End All Wars,” which during our training I often found myself regretting. If he had gone we wouldn’t have had to put up with his hardcore training methods. Yes, we were told “Sweat Saves Blood” repeatedly but I didn’t think they meant for us to sweat blood. No, he would have been in pieces, quietly decomposing under the soil in a field in France, or hobbling around missing a body part or two. Instead we had him killing us with his gung-ho lets do it again for the Fuhrer and Fatherland men! Not that I disagreed with the philosophy, but the actual reality when applied to me made my life miserable.

I was never a poster boy soldier but Hess was. He was 6'2", 190 lbs. of muscle with a square chin, blue eyes, and blond wavy hair. The perfect poster boy until he smiled and you got a look at those teeth. I never asked, but I am sure that’s what kept him out of the Waffen SS. They were very picky about things like that then. The I SS Regiment, The Fuhrers personal bodyguards, would not take anyone who had even one cavity. He did manage to join the general SS, and he proudly wore the runes below his sports medal on his tunic.

The man loved his hair. He wore it a little longer than most, and kept it swept back and oiled with rosewater hair tonic. He cut quite the imposing figure when he was fully kitted up, and god forbid he got in your face and screamed. That breath of his was truly amazing.

He had his sidekick, all Sergeants have sidekicks. I always believed they were manufactured at a special sidekick school, probably in Hamburg. Ours was Lothar Weiss, a nice enough guy most of the time who couldn’t figure out if he was our mother or a junior demon from hell. Excitable fellow that Lothar. He didn’t care at all for loud noises which was going to prove to be a bit of a thorn in his side later. He was short, stocky, and had a pockmarked face.


  1. Nova,

    I've been lurking about, as usual. The subject matter is tough to read, not because of literary faults, but because we don't want to acknowledge that it could be us, and that it could happen now.

    Replace Jews for Mexicans. Replace Poland for Arizona. Replace whoever is Governor of Arizona for some charismatic sociopath.

    It could be us. It could happen today. Or, at least, just a few years from now.

    Confronting the darkest side of humanity-- the evil that we're capable of doing-- is easier when it's set in a semi-realistic future. It's much harder to deal with when it's an absolute fact of history. It's much easier for us readers not to think about it.

    At least that's my response. My daughter and I talked about the holocaust tonight. She doesn't understand, since she's 10 yrs. old (even though she's very bright). I tried to explain how people will ignore, or deny, the evil acts of men as long as they're not affected by it. Especially if they get some benefit from it. It's a hard concept to explain to a child.

  2. Oops,

    I just spotted my first logical fallacy. I should have said, "Replace Poland with Mexico." It's not as if we're going to invade Arizona...

    There's probably more mistakes, but it's time for bed.

  3. Hey D^2,

    Yep. Same old shit with a new name.

    In Germany kids have to be educated in the Holocaust and have to visit a Concentration Camp.

    Milkweed is a great kids book about it.

    This was the first instance of an industrial society deciding to kill people for ideological reasons. You had the prototypical police state, national ID's, partisan warfare, etc...

    Thanks for sticking around..

  4. "This (Germany killing undesirable people internally and in conquered lands) was the first instance of an industrial society deciding to kill people for ideological reasons." -Nova

    Not quite. The Germans are quick learners though and managed to do it more efficiently than any except Stalin/Lenin (who didn't ship and centralize the mass killing of uncooperative/undesirables and didn't worry about collateral damage, just fence/occupy the region and starve while shipping out the harvest for ForEx) who did it successfully at least twice in 1920/21 and 1932/33. More selective ideological killing took place internally by Special Police squads as enemies were "discovered" and lists were made. If this meets the definition of "genocide" or not is up to later scholars and courts, but it worked well to consolidate power. The 1935-1945 story of Germany (as told to American public school children) over-demonizes them and encourages us to believe that it is unlikely to happen anywhere or ever again (because the rest of the world doesn't have the combination of technical/organizational competence combined with pure evil, and the US system is good and true). This is incorrect thinking: we are more capable than ever before as a species of focusing on and destroying identified individuals and groups. I think that any Government that is self-perpetuating (lifetime appointments/almost-guaranteed re-election, impossible to fire functionaries, big money required for advancement or access, monopolistic privilege, a law apart, etc.) and becomes a society apart from the supporting people is dangerous if they feel any threat/resistance from the people.

    I like the series. It reminds me of a paperback I read once about the education of an SS man.


  5. pdxr13,

    Yep. The Soviets and the engineered famine. Plus their camp system, especially after the war, was huge. The main difference, to me, is they didn't try to eradicate entire peoples.

  6. If you mean by "peoples" an ethnic division of people, sure.

    There are other things that people can be filtered by that are more important. One of the most dangerous traits that a dictatorial system that wants to last forever might want to remove from the population at large is the spark of resistance that future-thinking people might get when considering the fate of themselves and their families being occupied and starving.

    The Soviets were killing off groups of people by social class rather than by skin tone or religion. They were expert at identifying short-term enemies for liquidation, and occasionally "rehabilitating" survivors to the status of "good hard working patriotic supporters of the Republic" when enough blood had spilled. If the Nazi's had lasted more than 13 years, I bet that they would have done similar things, as collectivist will do.

    Where eugenicists in Connecticut and Germany might have tried to breed an improved race (sterilizing "criminally defective" types, promoting the breeding of identified individuals), the Soviets just killed off/camped undesirables as they were identified and not required.

    Both methods will have some result after about 5 generations. Not the results predicted or desired, but some result. Doubt results like Star Trek Khan-people "supermen" are possible with things that are still human.


  7. pdxr13,

    The Germans went into Poland with Plan Tannenburg. They wanted to kill the intelligentsia, priests, Jews, and anyone who could provide leadership. The goal was to have just enough Poles to do labor with no more education than to count to 100.

    Plan Ost was the killing of around 30 million people in the east; especially Slavs.

    These areas would be resettled by Police and SS in garrisons. The Waffen-SS itself was originally never meant to be any bigger than a handful of regiments