A section from
ĎA Jedi shall not know hatred, nor fearÖ nor love.í from Star Wars Episode II
SIX GRAVES TO MUNICH - MARIO PUZO
ĎIt was bad for him to get excited, the doctors had said, and a woman with an ugly face would not excite him. With that silver plate in his skull Rogan was forbidden to drink hard liquor, make love excessively, or even become angry. They had not said anything to him about committing murderí
Michael Rogan is hunting Nazis; Gestapo officers actually including a Hungarian and an Italian. These seven men are responsible for the death of Roganís wife and unborn child; and Roganís severe torture and humiliation for sport in the last days of WW2.
While a leader of the underground French resistance in WW2 Rogan made a fatal error which resulted in the capture of his entire team and his wife. Under interrogation his team members sang and gave up Rogan as the leader. As a prize catch Rogan was made to give up all the Allied codes he knew as his anti-interrogation strategies failed in the face of his wifeís screams from the next room. All the while he was subjected to indecencies and psychological torture, and his humiliation was complete when after being promised his family and freedom he is dressed for release only to be told that his wife is dead. Then was shot in the head and left for dead.
Rogan survived but these events left him deeply scarred, and his superb memory which served him too well before the incident now becomes a liability as he re-lives the nightmare too often.
His captors escape justice and over the next decade become respectable or powerful. One is a powerful mafia boss, another is a chief judge and two are soviet agents in deep cover. Adding twists in the story are CIA agents and plots, corrupt Hungarian police and the young and nubile wife of a Mafioso.
But Rogan too escapes his own personal demons, drawing himself away from despair and ruin, and finally with the help of an old friend begins to scrape together his life. Years later he returns to Germany as a millionaire knowing fully well that he is as ready for retribution as he ever will be. His information dossiers are meticulously built up and his hunting methods have a maturity to them; the fruits of a lesson learned at too high a cost.
Starting from the first page the book details his assassinations from the second Nazi, shortly after which he meets another deeply disturbed person Ė Rosalie. The two become attached to each other and she accompanies Rogan from then on. Along the way the story regularly jumps into the Roganís and Rosalieís past describing the tragic events that came to dominate their lives.
The pace of the book is fast and the story doesnít stop for anyone while Rogan shoots poisons and bombs his targets. While on the mission Rogan keeps questioning his motives, his philosophies on vengeance and his hope for peace afterwards. He goes out of his way to make sure that there is no collateral damage but doesnít spare his victims the pleasure of dying without knowing who is killing them.
Great pulp action!
The Gestapo Officers
He suffered a thousand separate nightmares. And it always began with the seven-man interrogation team waiting for him in the high-domed room of the Munich Palace of Justice - waiting patiently and with good humour, for the sport that would give them pleasure.
Karl Pfann: Former Nazi and Roganís most brutal torturer, he finds respectability afterword as an import-export businessman based in Hamburg.
Albert Moltke: Former Nazi who psyched Rogan by fueling fears about his pregnant wifeís condition, Moltke becomes a politician in Austria.
Eric & Hans Freisling: Former Nazis and brothers, one of whom helped Rogan dress while the other put a bullet in his skull. Both run a garage and operate as covert Soviet agents in West Berlin.
Genco Bari: Italian officer, now a powerful member of the Mafia living in Sicily, Genco knows the answer to Roganís most disturbing question.
Wenta Pajerski: Hungarian officer, now the Red Party chief in Budapest.
Klaus Von Osteen: The commanding Nazi officer, now a chief judge in the Munich courts.
Rogan shook his head and fumbled with his wallet. He spread a sheaf of bills on the bed and said, ďI am buying you for the night. Pull down your shade. Then just let me sleep.Ē
Rosalie becomes Michaelís companion after she falls in love with him once their financial transactions are concluded. She suffered from schizophrenia after losing her family in the war and being repeatedly raped by soldiers, and escaped the mental asylum where she was being treated. Michael found her in Hamburgís red-light district.
The end of WW2 allowed the Allied forces to see the full extent of carnage in Europe. The Naziís greed and dogmatic belief in racism had affected more than a generation of people, most notably the Jewish people who were direct targets of Hitlerís doctrine.
In the aftermath of the war there were angry governments and aindividuals looking for Naziís and officers of the SS, who had fled Europe once defeat was upon them. They took with them whatever wealth they could; illegally amassed money, bullion and art simply disappeared from Nazi warehouses. Much of this wealth could not be easily transported or hidden and had to be abandoned en route. But a great deal of the ill-gotten Nazi wealth made it back into the world economy and into legitimate enterprise through secret and anonymous banking channels.
Just like this wealth made it back into society, so did some former Nazi and SS officers. They made their place in society with their monetary influence and took great pains to hide their origins. Many of them were close to their host governments, and were protected from discovery.
However WW2 was terribly traumatic, specially for those who survived the Holocaust, and who had lost their families to it. Bringing the perpetrators of the Holocaust to justice became the life-mission for many Jews.
Simon Wiesenthalís name has become synonymous with Nazi-Hunting. He survived many years in concentration camps and was reunited with his wife after years of separation, but lost the rest of his family. Wiesenthal dedicated the rest of his life to one end - to hunt down as many Naziís as possible.
One of the most audacious kidnappings of a Nazi in hiding was that of Adolf Eichmann. The recently established Israeli secret service - the Mossad, tracked him down in Argentina, positively identified the man, kidnapped and kept him in custody in a hostile foreign country for days and finally smuggled the drugged former Nazi on a commercial flight back to Israel to stand trial in a court of law.
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Simon Wiesenthal identifying a Nazi war criminal
Adolf Eichmannís Argentinean passport. (Image: Wikipedia)