A New Life


Clause Brenner had been ordered by members of the Bund in Argentina to arrange a marriage for Hans Van Furstenburge.  The most influential German in all Argentina had conveyed the importance of the matter to him.  This man’s real name was never used.  As the most powerful German in Argentina his word was never challenged, only followed.  Tall and gaunt with thinning black hair and piercing blue eyes, this man was the Bund.  Clause had been approached as before.  The urgency of the matter demanded a meeting.  Three Bund officials met him at a safe house, opened a sealed envelope and divulged its contents.  The Bund never made requests it only issued commands.  There would be no questions only compliance.  

Over the past few days, Clause and Rolf had grown accustomed to one another.  Indeed, they looked forward to the hours they spent together.  Theirs was an easy relationship, comfortable and almost brotherly.  The men laughed easily in the company of the other.  Clause and Rolf had spent the afternoon discussing Germany and its history, one of his favorite subjects.  The two men had a great deal in common.  Both were of Low German birth and understood and accepted their stations in the Old World.  They were comfortable with German social order.  Feeling that Rolf was a man of character and honor, Clause decided to do all he could to help his new found friend.  But he wasn’t above using this man's presence in his home to persuade Hans to do his bidding.  

It was late evening and Clause and Hans were enjoying a brandy in the study.  Clause waited for an advantageous moment to discuss the matter of marriage with Hans.  But first Clause would use the occasion to discuss with Hans his new houseguest, Rolf Gruber.  He had accepted Rolf's presence in his home largely because he felt the man had some merit.  Waiting until his young friend had drank two brandies and was comfortable Clause asked Hans what his intentions were regarding their houseguest, Rolf.  Appreciative that Clause had opened up his home to his friend Hans was cautious.  Pressing Hans, he asked how long Rolf would be staying. Knowing how to bait Hans with these questions, Herr Brenner felt that placing him in a defensive position would best serve his purposes.  Hans felt uncomfortable by this line of questioning.  The young man had not yet thought through how he would broach the subject with his host.  Clause continued pushing the issue of the length of Rolf’s stay.  Having no ready reply Von Furstenburge stood up attempting to gain some time before responding.  Walking over to the fireplace he collected his thoughts.  He began by thanking Clause for having raised the question and assuring Brenner that he had hoped they would have had the discussion earlier.  Hans then told Clause that he would have done so earlier if Clause hadn’t been busy.  He was careful to position himself for advantage.  Clause listened closely and then suggested that this was a good time to discuss the matter, assuring Hans that he was no longer busy.  

Hans began by explaining how he’d met Rolf while in the military.  He then spoke of the man's courage and love for the Fatherland.  Explaining to Clause that Rolf had left Germany without proper papers, he conveniently left out any comments regarding why he left.  As he briefly described Rolf’s maritime experience of the past several years, Hans played for time.  

By now Clause knew he had the young man right where he wanted him.  He could see that Hans cared deeply for this man.  Herr Brenner interjected that Rolf’s love of the Fatherland was a fine thing.  Stating that he was positive Rolf was a loyal German who served his country bravely, Clause smiled.  But he asked again, “When is Rolf returning to the sea?”  Clause was delighted when he saw the uncomfortable look on the young man’s face.  Hans was now at a loss for words.  Clause asked another question.  “Will he be taking a ship out of Argentina or some other means of transportation?”  Now in a delicate position, Hans had promised his friend a job and a place to live.  Not liking the position in which he found himself, Hans thanked his patron and his wife for having shown him great kindness.  Hans was greatly indebted to them.  At that moment he found himself in a very difficult situation.  Hans confessed to Clause that he had overstepped his bounds in this matter of his friend Rolf.  Herr Brenner feigned confusion.  

When Hans admitted that he had acted rashly Clause agreed.  He interjected that he could see by the bruises on Hans’ face and hands that he indeed had overstepped something.  Herr Brenner now had complete control.  Once again thrown off-balance, Hans was only able to agree.  He then admitted that he’d offered the Sergeant a place to stay and a job in a non-existent company, one that he said he was forming.  Hans assured Clause that he had done so out of concern for the Sergeant's condition.  He then apologized for having imposed upon the Brenner’s hospitality.  Remaining silent for a short while Clause pretended to be insulted.  Finally he responded to Hans.  Clause chastised him for not having come to him before offering such a proposal to Rolf.  He reminded Hans, in no uncertain terms, that no one had the right to offer the hospitality of his home other than himself.  At that moment Herr Brenner knew that he had the young man. Clause was firm with the young man.  He admonished Hans that he had taken the action out of loyalty for an old friend in need and now he had little choice but to honor it.  Ending the discussion by offering his approval of Hans’ motivation the matter appeared to be settled.  With a final stinging insult he told Hans that he must allow Rolf to stay with the family, if only to protect Hans’ honor.  

Pouring another brandy Hans was greatly relieved.  The Sergeant could now stay on at the Villa and begin a new life.  Herr Brenner had shown him another kindness.  

Clause asked Hans to join him on the sofa.  Telling Hans that he would like to discuss another matter of great importance.  Clause walked across the room to the table and poured himself another brandy from the crystal decanter.  “As you know every man reaches that time in life when he must think ahead to his future.  A man is given only so many years to spend self-indulgently, in some cases even irresponsibly.  But there comes a time when each man must plan for his future.  He must plan for the later years of his life.”  Clause’s words were sincere.  “You, my son, have served your country well and defended her with the best years of your life.  It’s now time to think of your future and your duty to marry and produce a new German generation.”  Clause had delivered the words as a loving father talking to his son.  Hans was not ready for such a discussion.  He’d always believed that he would remain a soldier and serve the Führer never giving thought to a family or for that matter, a future.  When Germany fell he had ceased to think of the future.  

Hans,” Herr Brenner continued, “I’ve decided that it’s time for you to marry.”  Clause said the words with certainty.  “You’ve decided?”  Hans shouted angrily. “Yes.  I along with others.”  Clause shouted back with frustration in his voice.  Knowing what Clause meant, Hans understood it was the others, the Bund that had decided.  His patron was only the messenger. Understanding that once the Bund made a decision it was irrevocable both men fell silent.  Neither wanted to proceed any further, but both knew they must.  The room was quiet.  The only sound that could be heard was the chiming of the antique grandfather clock. Clause was the first one to break the silence, cautioning Hans that the Bund felt very strongly about this matter.  Turning to Hans, Clause warned him that should he resist, it would be bad for all concerned, including he and Helga.  These were not idle words.  Hans understood the Bund would accept nothing less than absolute compliance.  Clause now spoke in a calm, but stern voice.  He pleaded with the young man to listen to him.  Once again, duty to the Fatherland was the order of the day.  After all these years, nothing had changed. Even here in Argentina, the German Nazi Party had its tentacles everywhere.  There was no escape, only total compliance.  

Herr Brenner did his best to persuade, explaining to Hans that he should view this marriage much as he did his decision to help the Sergeant.  Hans had rendered assistance to an old comrade out of responsibility and respect for their past friendship.  He reminded Hans that he could have walked away, but instead chose to do the honorable thing.  Clause was quick to remind Hans that he owed much to the Nazi Party; it was they who arranged his escape from Germany.  The Party came to Clause and proposed his stay there at the Villa.

Warning Hans to accept his duty in the matter and do what was expected of him, Clause had spoken with compassion and logic.  Then, understanding how the young man felt, Clause poured them both another brandy.  Clause wanted no more arguments.  He prayed silently that Hans would accept the marriage.  Hans, your bride to be has been chosen.  She is from an excellent Argentine family, one with great wealth and position.  She is of sufficient social standing as to be of great value to your future.”  The words were said proudly, as a father would.

“I’ll do what is expected of me,” Hans responded mechanically, “but I must know more about my future bride.  If I am expected to marry someone I don't love, I’d hope that I would at least like her.  Is she attractive, intelligent? Is the girl a bore?  Must I accept any cow offered to me?” Hans shouted defiantly.  “No, no,” Clause interrupted as any caring father would.  “I’ve personally made this selection. Your future bride is both beautiful and intelligent.  She’s also not a bore.  Quite to the contrary, she’s vivacious and full of life.  You’ll be well served by this marriage my young friend.”  Clause said knowingly.  

“Who is she?”  Hans asked cautiously.  “The daughter of Don Castillo. Clause responded proudly.  “An Argentine, why not a German?” Hans demanded, slightly disturbed.  “After all, don't you feel that my new bride should be one of our own?”  The words were meant to cut.  Slightly annoyed by the younger man's comments, Herr Brenner had never anticipated such a reaction from Hans.  But he should’ve known that this would be the response of this new generation of Germans.  After all he’d heard from them about Aryan supremacy.  He hadn’t believed they could possibly mean all the things they had said.  He wondered how anyone could actually believe themselves so far above another Caucasian group or, view others as cattle or less.  Attempting to restrain himself, Clause was now angry.  Asking Hans what was meant by his last comment, Clause wanted to be clear on his understanding.  “What I mean, Herr Brenner is that I should wed someone racially pure.”  Knowing how close Clause was to the girl, Hans’ arrogant comment was meant to wound.  Slighted and now angry, Clause could barely contain himself.  This wasn’t some abstract or intellectual discussion.  The young man was insulting his precious Anna.  The thought of his surrogate daughter being spoken of in this fashion caused his blood to boil.  Once again Clause restrained himself.  

It would serve neither man well for him to respond angrily.  Now wanting to torture Clause, Hans viewed him as a part of the Bund’s encroachment upon his life.  “This matter of a mate is of great importance to me.  I feel that whoever this woman is, we must ensure that her background meets with proper standards for racial purity.”  His comments were detached, almost scholarly.  With mock apprehension, Hans then outlined his concerns as they related to those of Spanish stock.  Herr Brenner, are you aware that the Negroids occupied Spain for almost eight hundred years?”  Not waiting for an answer, he launched into a diatribe against Moorish cultural influence and racial inter-breeding.  Stating unequivocally that this had left the Spanish people tainted.  Hans commented that the only exceptions were those Spaniards in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula.  Before he could finish, Clause cut him off.  

Hans,” Clause interrupted, "you have insulted me and my friends of many years.  These so-called half-breeds, as you put it, have been part of my life for the past twenty years.  When I came to Argentina, without as much as a penny in my pocket, I moved around from job to job.  After almost seven years, I was a poor man with nothing to show for my work.  This good man helped me, giving me work and paying me well. They took me into their home and treated me as family, never once asking about my racial background.  Nor did they ask about my social standing back in Germany.”  Stopping, Clause needed to regain his composure. “When I was too ill to work they gave me money and saw to the needs of my wife Helga.  They provided a doctor to nurse me back to health at their own expense.  And you have the audacity to stand here in my home and call these fine people Negroids.”  Clause was now beside himself with anger.  

Helga, hearing the commotion downstairs, hurried down to the study.  Clause,” she called out, “what is the meaning of this?”  Both men were silent and appeared to be angry with one another, neither wanted to respond to her.  “Well, what is the matter?”  She demanded a second time.  Clause was first to speak.  “We’re having a disagreement about marriage and the best choices a man could make.”  Clause had stumbled over his words.  Hans is this true?”  She scolded.  “Yes, Frau Brenner.”  He said respectfully.  “Well, may I please request that there be no more loud voices coming from this study.  Voices, which I might add could raise the dead.”  She demanded in her most admonishing voice.  Both men were embarrassed as they shook their heads affirmatively.  “Then it’s settled.  You may now shake hands and join me for a night cap.” She had offered her last words with the kind smile of a mother making peace between her errant children.  

As the three sat uncomfortably nursing their drinks, Helga asked why they had been discussing marriage.  Clause was the first to reply.  “My dear, our young friend has decided to marry.”  Clause said the words without passion.  “What?” Helga asked in a surprised tone.  “Yes, our Hans has decided to ask Doña Castillo to become his wife.”  Clause was enjoying this goading of Hans.  “Is that not true, Hans?”  Clause smiled as he directed the question to Hans.  “Yes, that is true.”  Hans replied somewhat hesitantly.  Helga rose from her chair, her eyes tearing.  Clause, why wasn’t I told of this sooner?”  She demanded.  “My dear Helga, I only just heard of the boy's intentions this very hour.”  He said, lying to her.  She walked over to where Hans was seated and placed her arms around his shoulders.  Hans,” she said, “I am so happy for you.  I know that Don Castillo will accept your offer.  Although, Anna has many potential suitors, none are as handsome as you.” Herr Brenner and I will speak of your intentions to the Don.  That is, if you don't object?”  She asked shyly. “No, no, I would consider it an honor if you would intercede on my behalf.”  Hans responded warmly.  “Then it is done.  Herr Brenner and I will call upon the Don tomorrow to make your intentions known.”  She said, smiling broadly.  

“It’s late.”  She said, standing up from her chair.  “It’s time that I go upstairs and leave you gentlemen to finish your brandy.”  Walking over to Hans, she kissed him tenderly on the cheek.  As she turned to walk away, she stopped.  Hans,” she called out, “I’m very happy that you’ve chosen our little Anna.  We’ve practically raised her and know that she is a very fine young lady.  She has all the qualities a gentleman could ask for in a wife.  And she will be very fortunate to have such a fine, handsome young man for her husband.  You will treat her well, won't you Hans?”  She pleaded in a gentle motherly voice.  “Yes, of course.” He responded, touched by Frau Brenner’s concern and knowing she meant all that she’d said.  

After she had departed the room both men felt foolish for having said the things they had.  Few words were exchanged, only a very quick good night.  Hans was aware that he had hurt Clause.  On one level, it was quite unintentional.  He had only expressed what all good Germans knew.  A part of him felt badly, for he had grown to respect Herr Brenner.  The more controlled and educated side of him knew that he must find out all there was to know about his future bride.  Clause, on the other hand, was deeply hurt by this talk of Negroid blood.  His precious Anna was like his own daughter.  Unable to bare thinking of her being hurt, he would find a way to make this point perfectly clear to his young Nazi friend.  

It was early the next morning when Hans left the Villa.  He hadn't bothered to wake anyone to tell them where he was going.  This was deliberate on his part.  After last night’s angry exchange with Herr Brenner, he felt the less that Clause knew about his activities of the day, the better.  Thinking about his future bride, Hans hadn’t slept well.  He had decided to visit the local German Club in order to seek out information about the Castillo family.  

As he lay awake the night before, Hans remembered a certain Frau Miller he had met upon his arrival in the district.  Seeking her out, today, he would ask for her very efficient assistance.  He recalled that she was the club secretary, but Frau Miller also had another very important expertise.  An anthropologist by education, she served the Reich as an expert on Aryan Purity.  In this capacity, Frau Miller’s knowledge of European history and culture served her well.  

Arriving early at the German Club, the boy at the desk was still reading his morning newspaper when Hans entered the lobby. “Is Frau Miller here?”  He asked forcefully.  The startled young man responded by saying the staff didn't arrive for another half-hour.  Thanking the boy, Hans walked into the reading room.  The Club was much like the Englishmen’s private club.  The chief difference was that the German Club allowed members of both sexes.  The Germans considered themselves more enlightened in these matters than their English cousins.  The two story wooden structure had been built some seventy-five years earlier by a prominent English family which had long since returned to England.  The Club building was a large white rambling affair.  The front of the structure boasted a long ornate veranda that opened onto an expansive grassy area.  A sizable portion of the original grassy area had been converted for the parking of autos.  

The Club’s cavernous tall ceiling room interiors were beautifully appointed.  The highly polished hardwood floors were immaculately kept and covered with large Oriental rugs.  Each room was fitted with several powerful ceiling fans which helped to circulate the hot summer air.  The downstairs area housed the tea room, smoking rooms, reading rooms, and a great dining room.  The kitchen and pantry areas were located at the back of the building, ensuring the noise and commotion of the kitchen staff was kept to a minimum.  Also, on the first floor was a large hall that was able to seat over two hundred guests.  It was used for entertainment and Bund gatherings.  The upstairs portion of the building housed an assortment of meeting rooms and staff offices.  This section of the Club was closely guarded and off-limits to most members.  The Party claimed this as its domain.  

When Frau Miller entered the dark wood paneled reading room, Hans was browsing through a magazine. “Herr Von Furstenburge, it’s good to see you again.”  She offered efficiently.  Standing up respectfully from his chair, Hans clicked his heels and bowed slightly to her.  Reaching out his hand to shake hers, he said formally.  “Good morning, Frau Miller.”  As Party Secretary, she seldom had personal calls.  The job left little room for social niceties. “To what do we owe this honor, Herr Von Furstenburge?”  She inquired suspiciously.  Frau Miller’s business-like manner left her delivery with all the charm of a King Cobra.  Some saw her as curt and cold.  Hans viewed her as deadly efficient.  Waiting to get to the business at hand, Hans invited her to join him for morning coffee on the veranda.  Accepting without response, she followed Hans outside.  Once seated, a polite and rather nervous young man served them coffee and left quickly.  The boy knew better than to remain close by when Party business was being discussed.  Knowing too much could prove deadly.  

As the two sat drinking their coffee, Hans explained his pending marriage and his concerns regarding the Castillo family pedigree.  Frau Miller was quick to understand his dilemma.  After all this wasn’t the first time she’d been approached for assistance on such matters.  These marriages to Spaniards were becoming an all too familiar occurrence for her liking.  She would have preferred that Germans remain pure.  However, there was a shortage of pure blood, and Germans would have to make the best of it.  For her part, Frau Miller was dedicated to ensuring that no Jews or other undesirables be allowed to marry into a good German family.  Passion for German racial purity became her religion.  Her god was Adolf Hitler and Frau Miller’s patron saint was Herr Himmler, the SS chief.  To her credit, she’d been an outstanding student at university in Berlin.  During the years of the Reich, Frau Miller was assigned to the Justice Ministry's special section for racial purity, conducting racial purity background searches.  These studies had legal implications of cases brought before the court.  During this time, she handled hundreds of racial cases involving the legal disposition of genetic impurity.  

Frau Miller,” Hans began, “how long would it take you to conduct a thorough study of the Castillo family history?”  Pondering the question, she thought for a very long time before responding.  As Hans watched her, he was taken by her appearance.  Quite beautiful, she appeared to be in her early thirties.  But like so many professional women, she made an obvious attempt to appear scholarly.  It was her practice to wear drab gray and brown suits with plain white blouses buttoned at the top.  There she sat, every inch the bureaucrat.  Black shoes, black leather watch band, and black purse, Frau Miller was the very image of efficiency.  Fine blonde hair pulled back close to her head, Frau Miller fashioned the strands into a tight bun at the back of her head.  Wearing small, black, horn-rimmed glasses obscured her lovely blue eyes.  Using little or no makeup made her appear matronly.  The look was decidedly masculine.  More machine-like than human, her appearance excluded the possibility of relationships with males.  

Finally, she began her long, detailed commentary regarding the importance of a complete family history, one which involved the development of a complete family tree.  The lecture lasted twenty minutes.  It was her practice in these cases to go back at least ten generations.  Outlining the most efficient methodology for the study of the Castillo family background, it also included a complete evaluation of the family history back to the middle ages.  The family history would include such criteria as land grants, property holdings, and migration patterns reaching back to the pre-Moorish conquest of Spain.  This was important due to its confirming the family’s relationship to the Germanic tribes that invaded the Roman provinces around the Fourth Century A.D.  Linkage to German tribes was proof of racial purity.  Speaking for over an hour, she was finally interrupted by Hans.  Frau Miller, how long would such a study take?”  He asked cautiously, not wanting to offend her.  “A minimum of nine months.”  She responded curtly.  “Very well,” Hans replied coldly, “please proceed with your study.”  Taking the tone of a German officer with her, he was simply issuing an order.  “As to the matter of my fee, it will be ten thousand Pesos.”  Her voice was firm, offering no room for negotiation.  “Very well, you will receive payment in full, upon completion.”  Wanting to put this transaction behind him, Hans responded without emotion.  Rising from the table, they shook hands.  As they began to leave, Frau Miller turned toward him and stared straight into his eyes.  “Colonel Von Furstenburge, you can rest assured that there will be no stone left unturned in my investigation.  I will ensure that your future bride's family is pure.  If not,” she hesitated, searching for diplomatic language, “I will, of course, have to provide my findings to the proper authorities.  The final decision will be theirs.”  Both knew to whom Frau Miller referred and exactly what she meant.  After all, it was her duty.  Someone had to control cross breeding.  The Aryan genetic pool in Argentina had to be kept as pristine as possible.  There could be no undesirables allowed to taint the new German race.  

The next few days were spent by Hans Von Furstenburge learning all he could about the cost of land and buildings.  If he was to marry, he needed to become a responsible husband.  Deciding that the import/export business had some merit, he had only to learn what his new country needed and pursue it.  Hans spent many hours at the German Club talking to older and more experienced businessmen.  He found that many were involved in agriculture.  A few were active in the manufacturing of machine products and even less in import and export.  Sure that Argentina had a great need for industrialization, Hans felt this would help her modernize and join the world of the future.  

Clause contacted the Don by telephone the next morning.  The Don was happy to hear from Herr Brenner of Hans' feeling about the marriage.  Neither man was aware of the study that Hans had initiated.  Arrangements were made to formally introduce the two young people that weekend.  It was decided that their introduction would take place during a dinner party at the estancia of the Don.  

It was a warm summer night when the Brenner’s and Hans arrived at the estancia of Don Alejandro Castillo.  The household had been preparing the entire day for the dinner party.  The large dining room had been readied and all of the antique furnishings polished.  The three hundred-year-old antique silverware and extravagant china had been cleaned and polished for just this occasion.  Dozens of fresh red and yellow roses were placed in the large brass urn at the entry to the foyer. The household staff was preparing an excellent fare of filet mignon and wild rice.  The piece de resistance would be magnificent custard with wine sauce.  The cellars were searched for the finest Rosé Wine and champagne.  All had been made ready far in advance of the arrival of the guests.  José, the valet, would wear a tuxedo for the occasion and all of the servers would wear white waistcoats.  A trio of musicians had been hired for the evening.  They would play the romantic Argentine ballads of the Gaucho.  

When the Brenners and Hans arrived at the estancia, they were greeted by the Don, himself.  Standing at the top of the steps in the front of the estancia, with arms wide open to greet Herr Brenner with an abrasso, the Don waited as they reached the top landing.  Moving forward, the Don gave Uncle a great hug.  “Uncle,” he said with genuine fondness, “it has been too long.”  He then bowed slightly and took Frau Brenner's extended hand into his own, kissing it as he smiled broadly.  “You look wonderful my dear.”  He offered playfully.  Hans moved forward and offered his hand.  “So this is the fine young man you have told me so much about.”  The Don offered, patting Hans on the forearm.  Ushering the three into the large foyer, he shouted commandingly.  José!  Take the coats of our guests.”  

Frau Brenner was always honored to be invited to the home of Don Castillo.  As she stood in the foyer, her mind returned to that day, many years ago, when as poor immigrants, she and Clause were first invited to the home of their patron.  She never forgot the Don’s kindness and genuine affection for her husband and herself.  Frau Brenner remembered how she had taken on the challenge of redecorating the estancia after the Don's wife died.  It had been a difficult period for him.  He fell into a state of deep depression that had lasted some three years.  Clause and Helga had taken it upon themselves to give the Don a reason for living.  Helga not only personally supervised the redecorating, but also the daily care of baby Anna.  Clause had ensured the Don's involvement by insisting that he approve even the smallest details of construction.  In this way, Don Alejandro had little time to grieve.  

“Come let us sit in the parlor and sip some Sherry.”  The Don commanded as he walked ahead of them.  The three followed the Don into the parlor.  Clause was ready for a fine glass of sherry.  “Please sit, sit, my friends.”  He invited, in a warm and cheerful tone of voice.  As they seated themselves, the Don explained that the yellow colored sherry that they were about to drink had come from the Andalusia region of Spain.  It was a fine sweet Sherry from the vineyards of the noble Dolmec family.  As they drank, he waited for a critique.  All agreed that the Don was correct, it was excellent.  As the Don and the Brenners talked about the old days and how they’d become friends, Hans couldn't help, but notice how comfortable the occasion was.  It was clear to him that this was a family affair, quite unlike the dinners he was accustomed to.  There was little of the formality that was exercised at the German gatherings he attended.  Finding himself enjoying the bantering of the two men, he sat quietly watching as the three laughed at the silliest of matters.  Hans wondered to himself if his older years would be spent in this way, surrounded by the closeness of friends.  

The evening moved quickly.  Hans finally gained enough courage to enter into the conversation.  His questions about the past were welcomed warmly by all.  The three were more than happy to offer their recollections of an Argentina that had long since vanished.  As the four argued about commerce and the politics of the country, the conversation became more heated.  It was clear that the old friends did not share the same political views.  Periodically, Frau Brenner would intercede on the Don's behalf, taking his side on one issue or another.  These disagreements were taken light heartedly and always ended in laughter.  Yet there was no escaping the liberal views of the Don.  He appeared to welcome ideas which most of the members of his social class found threatening.  The Don was a hopeless idealist.  The beliefs of Don Alejandro Castillo were well known to the Argentine people.  Choosing to editorialize his left leaning beliefs in his many newspapers, the Don’s positions on education for the under classes, free medical care for the poor, and the most damning of all, the attacks on the Military Junta were a constant theme.  These were dangerous positions to claim as your own, no matter how wealthy you were.  The Don was treading on very dangerous ground.  As the economic conditions in Argentina continued to worsen, so did the violence.  The poor and out of work factory workers became allies.  In many cities, riots had taken place.  And here the Communists had found fertile soil.  The students and the professors were slowly organizing others into a potent force in opposition to the Junta.  With such a formidable force growing, the Junta began to take notice.  Men such as the Don, who at first had only been a mild irritation, had now begun to worry the Generals.  The Don's editorials, which had once been viewed by the ruling elite as a nuisance, now had become a personal affront.  The slow undoing of the Don had begun.  

In the midst of another lighthearted debate, a voice came from the foyer.  Papa. The sweet voice of a young woman called out.  Hans turned toward the foyer to catch a glimpse of this young girl.  As she entered the parlor they all stood to greet her.  Anna stood in the doorway. Hans was instantly taken by her radiant and stunning beauty.  As she smiled, Hans was reminded of a fairy tale princess.  Even her father had forgotten just how beautiful his daughter had become.  How different she now looked standing there in the entryway.  Her beauty was usually camouflaged by her normal attire of black riding dresses and boots.  Blonde hair piled high on her head; Anna was crowned with a small but elegant diamond tiara.  She wore a full-length, white, satin evening gown.  The plunging neckline revealed her voluptuousness.  Anna Castillo’s long neck was adorned with a diamond necklace which had been her mother’s.  Frau Brenner was the first to break the silence of the moment.  Walking over to Anna, she hugged her tightly, whispering something in her ear.  Calling to her across the room, Anna’s father demanded gently that she join their guests.  An exuberant Uncle swept the Don aside and was soon holding the girl above his head.  Anna, my little girl, when did you become such a beautiful young woman?”  He asked in a loud booming voice.  They both began to laugh.  As he placed her gently back on the earth, her eyes met Hans’.  Both were startled by what they felt.  Suddenly, they were the only two people in the room.  

Walking over to her, Hans stood as tall and erect as possible.  Bowing slightly, he clicked his heels and reached out his hand to Anna.  He took her gloved hand in his and kissed it lightly.  “A pleasure Señorita Castillo.”  He offered in a deep, low voice.  Blushing, Anna had never experienced such a chivalrous gesture.  Stepping back from Anna, Hans allowed Don Castillo to walked around him and join his daughter.  The Don took her arm in his and they walked into the parlor.  When all were seated both Hans and Anna were conspicuously quiet.  The others quickly became engrossed in a conversation over some past experience of little importance.  Anna and Hans offered little to the conversation; instead they admired one another from afar.  

She found Hans extremely handsome with a commanding presence about him.  Anna watched him making mental notes to herself.  Memorizing every contour of his face and color of his hair and eyes, she couldn't help but take notice of his well-built frame and his manner of dress.  The white dinner jacket and black bow tie flattered Hans’ golden tanned skin.  He was obviously a man who took pride in himself and his appearance.  She noticed no jewelry other than a strange watch, of a type she had never seen before.  There were a thousand questions Anna wanted to ask about him.  Where he was from?  Why had he come to Argentina?  What he did for a living?  But she knew to ask would be considered impolite.  In the end, she would do what all ladies of her class did, ask another woman, Helga.  Anna,” her father interrupted, “why are you so quiet?  Normally we can't get a word in edgewise during these dinners.  Are you ill, my dear?”  He asked playfully.  Anna blushed and her beauty again struck Hans.  “No, father.”  She replied respectfully. “Well then, at least tell us about your favorite subject, your beautiful horses.”  The Don pressed her to engage in conversation with a smile.  

As Anna began discussing the joy of riding, Hans noticed how animated she was.  He watched her move from one technical point on equestrian riding to another.  She was much like a little girl, very uninhibited.  Hans caught himself getting lost in her child-like stories.  As she spoke, Anna’s face lit up the room.  She was alive and vibrant.  At that moment, Hans Von Furstenburge fell in love.  Anna touched him deep down inside his soul.  Lost in this beautiful young woman, he’d finally found his future.  It was to be in the arms of this young Spanish woman.  There was something warm and wonderful about her innocence.  Having lost his years ago, Hans clung to it.  Untouched by the ugliness of the world she was still fresh and new.  

Anna was about to tell one more story when the Don interrupted.  Hans, you’ve been most quiet this evening.  Perhaps you would like to tell us something about yourself?”  The Don asked, genuinely interested.  “Yes, Herr Von Furstenburge, please tell us about yourself.”  Anna asked playfully.  He was surprised by the question.  He hadn't thought about how he would present himself.  “I'm afraid my life has been quite dull, actually.”  He said with humility.  “There isn't much to tell.  I was a soldier and led what is commonly known as a soldier’s life.” He thought that he had answered the question diplomatically.  “Oh, and what is that?”  Anna asked, wanting to know more.  “It’s quite a boring life.” Hans responded honestly.  “If I were to try to describe my training that would only cause all of you to fall asleep.  To discuss the war would be impolite to some.  So let me say only that I spent many years learning a trade which is of very little value in this beautiful country.”  Hans was quite happy with his witty reply.  “Are you sure that you weren’t in the diplomatic corps?”  Don Alejandro quipped.  Everyone laughed at the joke.  Even Hans found the remark humorous.  

Before Hans could begin again, José was at the doorway.  “Dinner is served.”  He reported in his very best formal manner.  Asking all to join him in the dining room, the Don took Anna's arm in his.  Walking into the dining room, each found their place cards.  After they were seated, José asked the Don if drinks should be served.  The Don requested José to bring the champagne.  When the champagne arrived the Don proposed a toast.  “To our very good friends and to our new young friend.  May your lives be full of joy and happiness.” The Don had meant every word of the toast.  

The dinner party was lively and the conversation light and happy.  The Brenners were very much a part of the entertainment.  Clause’s continual teasing of Helga brought much enjoyment to the other guests.  As Hans watched the couple, he felt the warmth and genuine love they shared.  The Don was the perfect host, knowing exactly when to ask the right questions and tease his guests.  The dinner went quickly.  After coffee was served all agreed that the chef had done a superb job on the filet mignon.  

It was the Don who suggested that Anna show Hans around the estancia.  “Yes,” Herr Brenner agreed, “the night is young and the moon is full.  It’s a perfect night for a moonlight walk.  Don't you think Hans?”  The Don asked playfully.  “Yes, Don Alejandro.”  Hans responded respectfully.  The two young people eagerly left the dining room looking forward to some time alone.  Both felt a bit uncomfortable as they walked out into the moonlit night.  Hans offered his arm to Anna and she quickly accepted.  Once outside the summer night was beautiful.  The sky was black with a wonderful backdrop of twinkling stars.  The moon was bright, making the stroll that much more romantic.  Anna looked beautifully pale in the moonlight.  She felt protected by this tall muscular man.  His strong arm made her feel warm inside, protecting her against a bit of a chill in the air.  As they walked through the rose garden the wind blew softly, rustling the delicate petals.  

They had been quiet for a long time.  Walking along the path toward the stables, Anna explained how Uncle had changed the estancia after her mother suddenly died of leukemia.  Anna was just a baby when the extensive renovation took place.  Losing the love of his life had changed the Don.  He was no longer the happy lively man he had once been.  For a while, the Don became a recluse.  It was Uncle who slowly brought him out of his protective shell by arranging many construction projects on the estancia.  There was the building of the water fountains, the reflection pool, and the high walls.  Insisting that the walls must be erected to secure the family's protection, Uncle began the courtyard construction and that of the stables.  Later, they planted trees on the estate grounds.  Having no choice, Don Alejandro became involved in the ongoing panic of construction about the estancia.  At first, the Don resisted the changes.  But after a while, he accepted Uncle's prodding.  Soon, the Don was active in all areas of planning and construction, bringing him out of his depression.  Clause spent several years working closely with the Don.  Uncle expanded the orchards, vineyards, and fields.  Roads were built throughout the estancia to accommodate both ranching and farming needs.  Storage buildings were constructed and cisterns erected.  So effective were Uncle's ideas that the estancia became largely self-sufficient and very profitable.  Soon, neighboring estancia owners were visiting the Don to learn how to improve their own lands.  

The gauchos were encouraged to learn various masonry trades.  It was Uncle who did the teaching, and what a taskmaster he was.  By the fifth year of his employment, the estancia supported over one hundred gauchos and other workers.  Where the Don had once dedicated his life to his beloved wife, he now gave his every waking moment to his new mistress, his estancia, Casa Castillo.  It was also in this fifth year that the Don made a gift of one thousand hectares of land to Uncle.  Recounting to Hans how her father had waited until the Brenner's anniversary party to make the announcement, Anna believed it was one of her father's finest moments.  The Don invited guests from all over the district to celebrate the pressing of the grapes in his new winery.  Using the occasion to honor the Brenners on their anniversary, the Don brought the party to a quiet hush.  While making the announcement of the gift, Anna remembered how Uncle and Auntie were completely taken by surprise.  Uncle was holding Helga in his arms when the Don opened the envelope with the recorded deed.  Reading the document aloud to thunderous applause, never had the district seen such a magnanimous gesture.  Anna remembered tears filling Uncle's eyes.  

Hans now understood why Herr Brenner loved this family.  This was the bonding between two men that lasts a lifetime.  Clearly this was an act of honor.  Few men of the Don's class would have been so generous.  To give the land freely to Clause, with its symbols of power and position, recognized his deeds and abilities.  It was rare in this world to give of one's self to another.  It was even more rare to bestow upon someone a new station in life; a station that guaranteed the respect and admiration of others.  

Arriving at the stables, Anna asked Hans if he would like to see her most prized possession, her beloved black stallion, Hercules.  He smiled and agreed as they walked into the dark stables.  Placing his hands on her hips, he turned her toward him.  Pulling her close to him, their mouths met in a deep, passionate kiss.  Holding each other there in the darkness for what seemed like an eternity, they were alone in a world of their own.  Hans could feel her entire being.  He was lost in the very feel of her.  For the first time in his life, he gave himself up to another human being.  With no walls between them, he shuddered at the feelings he was experiencing.  He ran his fingers through her hair and then gripped the golden strands tightly and forced his mouth down hard onto hers.  His lips were everywhere at once, kissing her neck and face.  His hungry mouth found her’s again and again.  Both were greedy for each other.  Anna ached inside with a lust that she had never felt before.  Anna felt as if she were on fire with desire.  She wanted this man to dominate her.  Anna gave way to his strong, muscled arms, leaning into his chest.  Straining to bring her closer to him, suddenly, Hans lifted her body off of the ground and into his arms.  Anna felt as if she could not get close enough to him.  She wanted all of him.  Kissing him even harder, Anna wanted to bring him closer to her.  Lost in the moment she bit his lip hard.  Anna could taste the salty blood in her mouth.  He was breathing heavily and she wanted to hear him moan for her.  She wanted to make him want her the way she longed for him.  

Suddenly, there were voices calling to them from outside the stables.  Hans quickly put her down.  Anna unruffled her gown and lightly smoothed her hair back.  Quickly walking to the light switch, she turned on the stable light.  An embarrassed Hans began wiping his face with a handkerchief.  Anna took it from him and wiped the last of the red lipstick from his face.  Just as she was about to finish, the Don and Uncle entered the stables.  Both men looked at one another and laughed.  Soon all four were laughing.  “Was there a problem with the light switch my dear?” The Don asked jokingly.  “Yes father.” Anna responded, appearing somewhat embarrassed.  Hans was now blushing and looking uncomfortable.  “From the looks of you two, it must have been quite warm in here.”  Uncle commented with mock sincerity.  “Perhaps we should return to the main house before the problem with the heat becomes troublesome.”  The Don offered, as he and Uncle walked out of the stables laughing.  

Soon after returning to the main house, the Brenners and Hans left for the evening.  It had been a successful dinner party.  Believing this marriage to be a suitable one for his daughter, Don Castillo was impressed with the young German.  Hans had won him over and Anna was in love.  

The next several days raced by.  Finally, Hans came calling.  That day, Anna and Hans went riding together.  They rode for hours enjoying each other’s company.  Both laughed easily when together.  The two were a good match.  Comfortable with Hans, Anna found him charming, as well as handsome.  For his part, Hans was quite smitten with the golden haired beauty.  

Over the next several months, Hans became a frequent visitor to the estancia.  The Don and he played chess regularly.  An excellent player, Hans easily defeated his future father-in-law.  Their many hours together brought them closer.  On occasion, he accompanied the Don on his rounds of the estate.  Hans learned a great deal about the estate.  He was taken by its size and beauty.  During one of the trips around the estancia, Don Alejandro made a point of telling Hans that one day it would all be his.  The young German’s future was assured.  

Whenever possible, Hans spent time with Anna.  He looked forward to their days riding together.  Hans was happy for the first time in his life.  Enjoying the sharing and bantering, Hans was in love.  This beautiful young woman brought him simple joy.  The war and its demons were now behind him; Hans Von Furstenburge was finally at peace with himself.  In love and growing into his new life, several months had passed since Hans last spoke to Frau Miller.  By now, he was very much in love with Anna and looking forward to her becoming his wife.  He wanted to spend the rest of his life with this wonderful young woman.  Hans enjoyed each day spent in her company.  In time, he forgot all about his earlier misgivings about Anna’s lineage. Unfortunately, reality came calling.  It was late in the afternoon when he received a telephone call from Frau Miller requesting a meeting to discuss her research.  The small voice inside told him to end the research and pay Frau Miller’s fee.  Knowing the dye had been cast; Hans would have to hear her report.  He knew that it would go to others.  The situation was out of his hands.  With the day of reckoning at hand, Hans agreed to meet her the following morning to discuss the matter.  

It was a bright sunny Argentine morning as Hans made his way to the German Club.  As he drove along the deserted road, Hans felt as if he had betrayed the woman he loved.  Before falling in love with her, his rationale was obvious.  But now that he had come to know her as a person, it wasn’t as easy.  He’d also come to like her father a great deal.  During the time they’d spent together, a bond of friendship and respect had developed.  If Anna should ever find out he had her family investigated, she might never want to see him again, and this troubled him.  When he arrived at the German Club there were very few autos parked outside.  As Hans exited the auto, he felt anxious.  Hans Von Furstenburge wanted this woman in his life and the Bund could be damned.  He no longer cared what her heritage was.  Collecting himself before entering the Club, he walked up the stairs and passed the desk clerk.  There in the entryway stood Frau Miller.  In her usual manner, she stood waiting impatiently.  Efficient, her hair pulled back and spectacles resting on the bridge of her nose, Frau Miller was every bit the bureaucrat.  The freshly pressed gray suit she wore was a testament to her professionalism.  With her blouse buttoned to the top, and her square toed, highly polished black shoes, Frau Miller was ready for her meeting with Hans.  

After a stiff, uncomfortable greeting they walked outside and sat at a small table under the portico.  Breaking the ice, Hans spoke of the pleasant weather.  Commenting on Germany’s weather at this time of the year, Frau Miller said little else.  Before beginning the ordeal, the young waiter arrived to take their order.  After ordering coffee, Frau Miller immediately pulled a large manila envelope from her valise.  She opened the envelope and removed two written reports.  Frau Miller handed Hans one of the reports and kept the other.  Before beginning her long dissertation, she searched through a pile of papers.  “The family is quite wealthy.”  She said, giving him an accusing look.  Hans was made uncomfortable by her steely stare.  “Yes, yes.”  Hans said curtly, annoyed by her inference.  Frau Miller began with an explanation of the Castillo family's financial holdings and social standing.  “What does this have to do with the family's racial purity?”  Hans asked defensively.  Frau Miller was now obviously insulted by his arrogance.  After all, she took great pride in her ability to ferret out every last detail of a person’s racial purity.  After a long silence, Frau Miller collected her thoughts and began again.  “It would appear that the family lineage extends directly back to the Visigoth period in the 470's.”  She went on to explain that these were a West German people who invaded Spain in the fourth century A.D., while it was a declining province of the crumbling Roman Empire.  Frau Miller commented that the historical facts surrounding these peoples were sketchy from the invasion period to the time of the Moorish conquest of 710 A.D.  “What our research does tell us is that the first notable Visigoth King, Recceswinth, issued a most sophisticated code of laws in 654 A.D.  These laws were the first of their kind in Spain after the departure of the Roman legions.  Clearly, these were a sophisticated people with a lengthy tradition rooted in the Hispano-Roman culture.  The laws clearly suggest a superior Germanic influence.”  She offered arrogantly.  She continued to drone on about various kings and wars that Hans had no interest in.  He grew frustrated, and waited anxiously for Frau Miller to come to the point about Anna’s lineage.  If he hadn’t been so hopelessly in love with the girl, he might have been more interested in the history lesson that Frau Miller was providing him with, but love is impatient.  

Finally he heard something that caught his ear.  “The great Germanic Christian power that was to arise and save Spain was Castile.  Originally set up as a county by the Kings of Asturias, Castile was to rid Spain of the Moors.  This is the house from which Don Alejandro Castillo derives his surname.  Our research shows that the original progenitor of his line is none other than, Count Rodrigo, the very one commissioned to establish the County of Castile.  He died there in 873 A.D.  To conclude, the Castillo name can be traced back to racially acceptable Germanic roots, and the Spanish kingdoms in the Asturias are considered untainted by Negroid blood.  On this point, it is important to remember that in the eighth and ninth centuries, the Negroids were stopped in three geographically zones of Spain, the western, central, and eastern.  What this means to you, Herr Von Furstenburge, is your future bride to be is not tainted by Negroid blood.  In fact, she is of Germanic origins.  The families of Navarre and Castile secured the lineage.  It would appear that the family remained in the northern part of Spain, in the vicinity of Pamplona, well out of Moorish reach.”  Hans was relieved.  

“We’ve also traced the family estates well into the fourteen hundreds.  The family then joined the Conquistadors who left Spain for the New World during the colonial period of the 1520's.  Our research has found the name Castillo to be prominent in the archives of the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America.  These Castillos are a part of the Argentine Estanciero Class.  This class comprises over two hundred or so families, ultimately forming an oligarchy.  With a well defined autocratic tradition these Estanciero have achieved social primacy through holding the wealth of Argentina for generations.  Herr Von Furstenburge, so far I have provided you with conclusive evidence regarding the Castillo family’s racial purity, geographic acceptability, social status, and wealth.  To this point, we haven’t discussed physical and medical racial attributes. The final part of my research dealt with those attributes.  Doña Castillo’s fair hair and eyes bone structure and skull shape fall well within Germanic norms.  Let me show you this photograph of Señorita Castillo.” Frau Miller offered smugly.  Producing a second envelope, she removed a photograph of Anna.  “How did you get this photograph?”  Hans demanded angrily.  Frau Miller smiled slyly, explaining how she’d met Anna, quite by accident, in the country while bird watching.  “She’s quite friendly, you know.”  Frau Miller said arrogantly.  “Your dear Anna was even kind enough to pose for these photographs.”  Frau Miller said, as she laughed to herself.  “Well then,” she continued, “please note the skull shape.  It is definitely, dolichocephalic or long-headed.  This proves scientifically that your bride is of Germanic stock.  If her head was brachycephalic or round-headed, she would be of Celtic or Gallo-Roman origin.  In our studies, we find anthropological evidence most helpful in determining racial purity.”  Frau Miller offered smugly.  My work is done, Herr Von Furstenburge.”  Frau Miller offered coldly, as she stood up quickly and began gathering together her documents.  “I shall leave you now.  I wish you and your future German bride a wonderful life.”  Frau Miller said curtly.  This woman was as cold as she was efficient.  

Yes, he was proud of his Aryan blood and proud of the accomplishments of his race.  But he was unnerved by the tone of Frau Miller’s report.  He thought back to all of the racial cleansing that Germany had ordered in Europe during the war and began to question the sanity of it all.


09/25/2015 07:49 AM