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The Tragedy of the Real Life Kimya
More Art, Risen Update, and Additional Deals
Fallen is available for $2.99 on Kindle, free on Kindle Unlimited, and $19.95 on paperback!
Kimya’s True Tale of Life, War, and What Comes Next
Warning Moderate Spoilers for Fallen. Scroll Down to “More Art” to skip the spoilers.
The first time I went TDY (temporary duty) to Germany was a fantastic experience of good food, tramping and rambling through the countryside and towns, stumbling on historic sites, and relaxing in parks. Another thing that made it a great time was working with a civilian right before his retirement named Al. Al lived in Germany repeatedly, including in his 20s when he was stationed there in a tank unit.
For the first part of my time there, Al took me to the best restaurants where he knew the owners, the top-tier museums, and hidden spots that few non-locals would know about.
During one of our last dinners, our conversation came to the subject of World War II and its effects on the region. Though Al was born after the war, he was in West Germany at a unique time. Several of the German units he served alongside had former Wehrmacht (Nazi German) senior officers and enlisted in them. Al recalled a mini-scandal when some of the older Germans soldiers began singing “the old songs” at a joint dinner one night.
Then, Al shared the story of a German, who I will call Hans. Hans was one of the first German military members Al and the others in his unit met. The German in his upper 40s occupied a lower rank but worked well as an unofficial liaison due to his near-perfect English and friendly manner. Whenever Al and his friends needed something, Hans was eager to locate and supply whatever was required. In the chow hall, Hans was always happy to share his table. If the soldiers became bored with the food options, Hans was eager to invite soldiers to his home where his aging parents lived or bring homemade meals for them. As Al summed it up, Hans was the first and best friend of anyone on their first deployment.
However, some things struck Al and others as odd about Hans. The German was never seen in the German-run run chow halls, which most Americans thought served better food. Also, no one had ever seen him socializing with the Bundeswehr soldiers, nor did he join anyone in going to restaurants in town.
Things climaxed when two soldiers told Al they had seen another German shove Hans into a wall and then kick him. Al and a friend asked Hans if he needed any help getting payback. Hans pleaded with them not to tell anyone nor retaliate. When Al and the other American refused, Al told me that Hans was practically crying in his pleas to ignore the situation. Al pressed for an explanation, and that’s when Hans shared his past.
In 1944, Hans was a 17-year-old living in the Frontier March of Posen-West Prussia. According to Hans, while he was eager to defend the border against invading Soviets, his parents did not want him to be used in the meat grinder that was the ever-encroaching Eastern Front. Instead, the family allegedly used connections to get him into a unit that was fighting the Allies on the Western Front. The unit was part of the Waffen SS.
The other American tried to get Hans to describe details of his time in the SS and what exactly he was a part of, but Hans refused to open up. He would deny committing any crimes and finish his statements with saying he was not proud of his time in the SS.
The rest of the war happened, with Hans’ unit surrendering in 1945. According to Hans, he was held, proved he wasn’t a devout Nazi, and settled in western Germany with his refugee family. He further claimed he was recruited into the new German army in the 1950s because of family connections.
Hans stated most Germans regarded him as a SS member and Nazi, thus the one they could all blame for the country’s suffering. Meanwhile, ex-Wehrmacht soldiers claimed to be mere members of the “clean Wehrmacht.” When Al asked if Hans wanted to relocate or even move to the United States, Hans shrugged and replied that he had nowhere else to go and wanted to be close to his aging parents.
For the rest of Al’s tour, there were repeated incidents of other Germans harassing and abusing Hans. It all became too much for Al and the other American. Al enquired to a senior German officer about Hans, but the officer refused to discuss the matter. The other American friend of Al asked a Germans soldier about Hans. The German told the friend that Hans was a “goosestepping SS” and left it at that. All throughout, Hans remained eager to befriend any and all Americans, keeping up a smiling face while doing his best to limit encounters with other Germans whenever possible. Al said he and the other American remained friends with Hans, but neither could come to terms with his SS membership.
At the end of the story, Al stated he redeployed back home and never heard what happened to Hans. However, Al said he still thinks about Hans a lot, unsure if he was a good guy who had a run of bad luck or a former diehard trying to lie low while restarting his life. Al felt bad for never being able to resolve his feelings for Hans. “He was a nice guy; I sure hope always was.”
Al mused about what level of responsibility Hans had for his service’s crimes compared to the ex-Wehrmacht, other Germans, and Germany in general. He also pondered what redemption would be possible for a knowing or naive SS member.
On the last day, Al took me to Panzer Kaserne base, where he showed me a memorial plaque put up by the Americans during the Cold War. The plaque honored the Wehrmacht tank unit that occupied the base during World War II. Al remarked how the plaque makes him think about the complexity of history and individuals. He told me it makes him think about Hans “and the countless other Hanses” out there.
American made plaque dedicated to the memory of the Wehrmacht tank unit that once was based at Panzer Kaserne.
Hans’ story struck me and has stuck with me for years. How does one relate to the crimes of their service and country? Where is the line of individual responsibility? How does one balance forgiveness and punishment? How do people move on? With my deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, I think about everyone who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The vast majority of us never committed any crimes, let alone killed anyone, and we had no control over policy. Yet we all feel something of responsibility, and there are those who blame us personally for the crises in those lands.
When coming up with Fallen, I felt I could explore Hans’ story as a side plot. Thus Kimya was created. She first appears as Brendan’s friend and newly assigned bodyguard. She is eager to treat him to new experiences in food and taking him to a shooting range: a perfect date for military. Yet, Brendan’s other friends take an immediate hostile posture toward her. Berina and Esfirs openly berate Kimya, shattering the Sabia’s facade of unity. Berina also interferes in Kimya’s duties while others under Kimya’s command act dismissively towards her. As the story progresses, it is learned she was involved in a mission where she kills her husband. Yet despite Brendan now knowing this, no one wants to explain to him the context. There is a deep shame beyond the mere spouse killing.
Kimya’s story will be fully revealed in Risen.
ThyGeekdomCome’s commissioned take on Esfirs.
I’m writing the second draft’s climax. A couple revisions are needed in the third draft, but this story will be a tight telling of events. While Fallen takes place in about a year, Risen focuses on a two-month time period.
Other Independent Book Promotions
This newsletter, I have a free book offer and a book sample promotion for you.
First, ever been interested in a story but unsure about reading it? Check out the Clean-ish Scifi, Action, Adventure, & Fantasy Sample Reads selection, which offers readers magnets of book samples as well as prequels.
Then, this week I am offering you a free review copy of The Alex9 Saga #1: Keeper of the Sword.
It’s the 22nd century and the Corporate Wars rage through our Solar System. Alex 9, an elite commando on a crucial mission, finds herself in Deep Space. Something went wrong with her ship, and she ended up on a planet much like Earth – a world at war where Humanity is still in the Middle Ages. Armies of knights, bowmen, and spearmen clash as empires fight to the death and alliances are stretched to the limit. But is Alex there by accident?
As Prince Dael of Brodom and his Thirty Giants ride to help the Sultanate of Tamurya against the seemingly invincible Great Army of the Tshiu Empire, they witness the supernatural fall of a rock from the sky into a still lake. Astonished, they watch as a beautiful woman comes out of the waters. They don’t know it yet, but this woman will change their lives forever.
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If that interests you, give it a read and an honest review!
Until Next Time
Thank you for reading this newsletter update. Next time, I will start a series of objective looks at what various religions think about the possibility of alien life and UFOs. As always, feel free to leave a comment with any questions, reviews, thoughts, whatever about Fallen, Risen, or whatever else I have discussed; I promise to reply!