The Education of an Evil Genius

 

by

 

Gerhard Lauck


 

First published as e-book on February 1, 2014 by RJG Enterprises Inc., PO Box 6424, Lincoln NE 68506 USA. Our web-sites include www.third-reich-books.com for our publishing division and www.zensurfrei.com for our web-hosting division.

 

 

ISBN 978-1-63173-772-5

Copyright 2014 Gerhard Lauck


 

Table of Contents

 

Introduction   

 

Chapter One: My Youth

    Conception or Construction?

    My Bedtime Stories

    Catching Critters

    I Was a Child Militarist

    Pre-Teen and Teen

    What Planet Am I On?

    My Father and Mentor "FW"   

    Cars

    I Was a Teenage Supervisor…NOT a Werewolf

    I Start to Write

 

Chapter Two: Political Activist

    First Evening in the Fatherland

    A New Concept

    Birth of the NSDAP/AO

    Friends & Co-Workers

    Great Men & Women

        Colonel Hans-Ulrich Rudel

        Helmut Sündermann

        Michel

        Karl-Ferdinand Schwarz

        Armin

        Otto Riehs

        Gretchen

        Michael Kühnen

        “Comrade X”

    American Allies

 

Chapter Three: Clandestine Activities

    Postwar Europe

    My First Deportation

    My Life in the Underground

    Cells & Networks

    Comedy of Errors

    My First Imprisonment

    Against All Odds

    Officer Training

        Stop! Listen! Learn!

        Up a Notch

        Whoppers

    The Opponent

        Infiltration of the Police

        Police Mentality

        Police Informants

Chapter Four: "Expert"

    An Assassination Attempt

    My Testimony in a Terrorist Trial

    The Mass Media

    Law Man & Outlaw

    Immunity from Arrest

    The FBI and the Sexual Perversions of J. Edgar Hoover

    A New Approach in the 1980's

 

Chapter Five: I Become an Executive

    The Interview

    Training

    General Marketing versus Direct Marketing

    Writing Copy

    Demographics

    The “Pass Through” Blunder

    Computerization

    Sales Projections

    Executioner at Long Last

    Missed it by THAT Much!

    Promotion to Vice President

    Recession!

    Waiting for the Verdict

    Life Cycle of a Division

    Manufacturer’s Mindset

    Counter-Intelligence

    We Start to Import

    Trade Shows

    Money Management & Banking

    Fantasy versus Lottery

    Bank Selection

    Inheritance

    Give Credit Where Credit is Due

    The CEO’s Strange Dilemma

    Reputation & Clout

    My Departure

 

Chapter Six: The Fall of The Iron Curtain

    Euphoria and Disillusionment

    The New Face of Tyranny

    Surge and Repression in Germany

    Our U.S. Base Expands

    Two Official Languages

    Our Publishing Empire

    Back in Europe

    I Become an East Block Film Star

    I Visit Croatia

 

Chapter Seven: My Kidnapping

    U.S. Government Collaboration

    U.S. Phoned Tapped by a Foreign Government

    Operation Atlantic 1992-1995

    Operation Fire Drill

    Imprisonment in Denmark

Roskilde 1995

Copenhagen 1995

    My Danish Supreme Court Extradition Trial

    Imprisonment in Germany

        Hotel #1A – The Dungeon

        Hotel #1B - The Transit Hotel

        Hotel #2 – Maximum Security

        Hotel #3 - The Luxury Hotel

        Hotel #4 – My Home Away from Home

    You will not leave Germany alive!

    Aftermath: Criminalized and Prosecuted in the USA

    A Threat to Us All

 

Chapter Eight: The New Millennium

    60,000,000 Web-Site Hits

    The Old Guard Stands Ready

 

Addendum

    NSDAP/AO Chronology

    Print Media Interviews

    Additional Source Material

        Books

        Television Interviews        

        Photographs   


 

Introduction

 

   The Reader’s Digest once called me an evil genius!

   When I first read this article, I roared with laughter. I found it hilarious. But what really cracked me up was this: The author seemed absolutely serious!

   Oddly enough, another magazine, Der Spiegel, quoted my town’s mayor as saying I was a model citizen!

   What was the truth: evil genius or model citizen?

   The answer to this question depends on whom you ask. Like everybody else, I have friends and enemies. Unlike most people, my enemies sometimes try to kill me! 

   An assassination attempt against me once nearly succeeded…On another occasion, when I testified at a terrorist trial, police increased security due to concern over a possible assassination attempt.

   I was the director of a private organization based in the United States. We provided substantial support to non-violent underground dissidents in Europe both during and after the Cold War.

   The significance of my work finds recognition in many government documents, including letters signed by European counterparts to three U.S. Presidential Cabinet members, the Oval Office and the Directors of both the FBI and CIA.

   My activity has received extensive media coverage.

   This includes television interviews on CBS Sixty Minutes, ABC-Frontline, O Globo (Brazil), KRO (The Netherlands), Hungarian state television and Spiegel TV (Germany). Many more programs reported on my work without an interview.

   I am featured prominently in the Swedish television documentary Wahrheit macht frei! This film has been broadcast in a dozen countries.

   Print media coverage includes a lengthy interview in the U.K. edition of Reader’s Digest (entitled Evil Genius of Germany’s Neo-Nazis) and front page articles in the Los Angeles Times, Hamburger Morgenpost, The Omaha World-Herald and The Lincoln Journal-Star.

   Additional articles about my activities have appeared in the following newspapers: The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning Star, The Buffalo News, The Spotlight, The Times(U.K.), Spectrum (U.K.), The News Herald, Independent (U.K.), Morgenposten Fyens Stiftstidende (Denmark), Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung, Der Spiegel, Die Welt am Sonntag, Berliner Morgenpost, Süddeutsche Zeitung, die tageszeitung, Der Tagesspiegel, Berliner Zeitung and Offenbach Post.

   I am mentioned by name in seventeen books in half a dozen languages. Some of them devote an entire chapter or more to my work.

   My business career started later.

   When I got the highest test score in company history, the self-made millionaire CEO was so impressed that he hired me on the spot. He trained me personally. I became his Vice President of Marketing. This training and experience are the foundation of my business knowledge.

   I was also an entrepreneur. My numerous ventures included: publishing hundreds of books in several languages, import/export, an e-commerce web-site (listed #1 on Google) and web-hosting. One of the nation’s top three Internet servers once reported I was one of its top ten web-site resellers.

   This memoir describes my careers as political activist and businessman. 

   Each career taught me something new. I brought this knowledge with me to the next career. This experience in diverse fields has been the source of both education and entertainment. I learned, but I also laughed.

   Beyond that, I have a civic duty. When I was in elementary school, we still swore allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and the republic for which it stands. Every day.

   Today the so-called “war on terror” is being used as a pretext to undermine the U.S. Constitution. Some of my own experiences before 9/11 reveal dangerous precedents even back then.

   We must work together to meet this common threat. Regardless of any political differences. This is one of the reasons I have not written this book as an ideological diatribe. 

 

Gerhard Lauck

January 30, 2014


 

Chapter One

My Youth

 

I can tell you’re the son of an engineer!

 

A friend upon inspection of a stable

 I had built for him out of scrap lumber

 

Conception or Construction?

 

It was a romantic moonlit night. We had given our bedroom to your grandpa and grandma, who had come to visit us. The contraceptives were in there and we didn’t want to bother them. We didn’t really want any more kids. But we figured “just once” wouldn’t hurt. Boy, were we wrong!

 

My Mother

 

You weren’t BORN! You were BUILT in a laboratory. I took the body of a monster, the feet of a Norwegian skier with the skies still on and the head of a Nazi war criminal and sewed them all together.

 

My Father

 

I don’t know which version is true. I was too young to remember.

 

 

My Childhood

 

   My earliest memories are of my first home.

   This country estate included a two story stone house with French windows. It had been custom built by an engineer for his own family. The acreage had hundreds of pine trees, an apple orchard, a seventy-foot tall flagpole and a ten thousand gallon concrete pond. The pond was in the middle of a courtyard surrounded by trees, bushes and flowers. (The previous owner had kept a five-foot alligator in that pond. We settled for a thousand goldfish.)

   The first big accomplishment I can remember is crawling out of my baby crib, going to the bathroom and using the toilet. All by myself! I was quite impressed with myself.

   I did not start to talk until I was four years old. I didn’t need to talk. All I had to do was point and my older siblings would fetch whatever I wanted.

   My mother was worried about this. She asked the doctor. His reply: Don’t worry! Once he starts talking, you’ll never shut him up! – He sure was right!

   To this very day, I sometimes have to explain to people that I’m actually quite taciturn. I have to force myself to talk in order to overcome my inherent shyness. Hence my apparent talkativeness…This explanation almost always draws a smile. I don’t understand this. It’s a serious problem!

   My parents told me that when I did finally begin to talk, I spoke in complete sentences. Two of my earliest contributions to mankind’s treasure of great oratory include:

   I’m going to cut off your head and give you a black eye!

   The dual Old World and New World influences are obvious here.

   And

   I hate you!

   My father disapproved of this strong language and prompted spanked me. I wisely rephrased my response: I do not like you!

 

 

My Bedtime Stories

 

   Back in the Great Depression, my folks didn’t have any money. When I was twelve, they told me I had to stop drinking milk. I had to drink coffee instead. Milk was too expensive. We needed to save it for my younger brothers.

   But I had a lot of fun growing up. I did a lot of hunting and fishing. My allowance was paid in ammunition. Hardly a day went by when the game I shot or the fish I caught didn’t wind up on the table, leastwise as a side dish, if not the main course.

 

My Father

 

   My bedtime stories consisted largely of my father’s accounts of his boyhood adventures. These stories did much more than entertain a little boy. They instilled a sense of family.

   His stories often included other relatives, some of whom I had never met in person. My extended family included kinsmen and ancestors both living and deceased. This was true for both sides of my immediate family, which was close-knit and shared the same ethnicity.

   Here are some of them.

 

I had two sailboats. One had an oversized sail. It was very fast. But if I tried to turn it, it’d tip over and throw me in the water. So I’d sail across the lake, jump out, turn it around and sail back…The other sailboat could turn on a dime. When I’d play “catch” with faster boats, they could never catch me. I would turn at the last second and escape.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

One time I spotted a snake in the swamp. I saw it was poisonous, so I killed it. Later I felt bad. It wasn’t a threat to anybody out there in that swamp. It had a right to live, too.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

One time I was hunting with a friend and a new kid. The new kid taunted me: I bet you can’t hit that tomato can over there. I fired. The can didn’t move. Ha! You missed!, he jeered. You’d better take a closer look at that can,my friend advised. He did. I had hit the can so square that it hadn’t moved when the bullet struck it.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

One crow was smart. It always stayed just out of the range of my .22. One day I brought a .25 and nailed him. By the way, crows can count up to three. If two hunters go behind a blind and two leave, the crow knows there’s still one there. But if four go in and three come out, the crow gets confused.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Your grandpa was an expert on knots. During the depression he’d get paid $10/hour tying complicated knots up on a stage catwalk in complete darkness.

 

My father also knew a lot of knots. I still remember how to tie the Figure Eight Slip Knot used to tie down the canoe to the top of our car…Furthermore, I can even tie my own shoe laces! Let me tell you, back when I was a little kid, it wasn’t easy to learn how to do that. Something about a rabbit jumping over a log and going down a hole.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

   When I was a kid, a movie theater ticket cost a nickel. I remember another kid and me went to the see “The Phantom of the Opera”. When the monster came on the screen, everybody in the theater gasped in horror. Except me. I wasn’t afraid. The monster reminded me of my great uncle George.

   He was a blacksmith and ugly as hell, but he was a nice guy. His hands were so callused he could pick up hot metal that would burn your hands or mine and not get burned.

   He used to get drunk every Friday night. One Friday night he got drunk as usual and stepped off the curb in front of a car. He was killed instantly. But it was a good way to go.

 

Of course, I take after the other side of the family when it comes to looks…My father aka “FW” wasn’t always diplomatic when it came to describing personal appearance. When he saw his first newborn, he commented that it looked like a “skinned squirrel”. Mom was not amused.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Your great aunt Liza was a spinster. She carried a derringer just in case anybody tried to get fresh with her. But she was so ugly she really didn’t need it. Anyway, she was a shrewd investor. Even though she only worked as a secretary, she managed to accumulate a fortune of many thousands of dollars over her lifetime.  

 

I remember that derringer as well as a six-barrel “pepper-box” and other guns. One mid-19th century French-made revolver didn’t even have a firing pin. The firing pin was built into the bullets! We only had a few of those bullets left. Later we learned the bullets were worth even more than the gun…I later learned her money put my father and his brothers through college. This inheritance lasted grandpa half a century! He spent the last of it only one year before his own death.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

   My dad, your grandpa, had a farmer dredge up some land in the middle of a swamp. Then he built the cottage on it. We always spent the whole summer there. The main advantage aside from hunting and fishing was that he could have loud parties there during the 1920’s without bothering any neighbors. Sometimes the adults would wake up us kids instead of the other way around!

   When we’d come downstairs in the morning, we’d see charcoal drawings on the walls that hadn’t been washed off yet.

   Some famous vaudeville and early film stars came to these parties. One time a tough old lady who was a friend of grandma’s looked over an actor famous for playing tough guy roles in the movies and challenged him: “You don’t look so tough to me! I bet I can make you say ‘uncle’: Then she pinned him on the floor. She wouldn’t let him up until he said ‘uncle’”.

 

   It was a lot bigger than a “cottage”! Many years later, the whole former swamp area became a gated community with restricted access!

   I remember some of the names, but decline to reveal them and possibly embarrass anybody…Besides, I also have both famous and infamous kinsmen. Once the General Manager set down a newspaper on my desk in front of me. I took a quick glance at it. A name very similar to mine was underlined in red ink. I casually muttered: Who knows, maybe it’s one of my crazy relatives! and went back to what I was doing. The subject never came up again.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Three generations of our family were shot, in three different wars, on or over the same fairly small patch of land.

 

   The wars were the Franco-German War of 1870/1871, World War One and World War Two. The patch of land was Alsace-Lorraine. As a young man, I joked that if I ever had to go to war, I’d better fight somewhere else…My mother’s side has a somewhat similar story about two kinsman who supposedly killed each other in battle without knowing they were distantly related.

   Of course, any story passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth must be taken with a grain of salt. But I have been able to verify some. 

   Either way, they’re still an important part of our cultural heritage. For example, the Easter Bunny is a nice story, even if it is obviously fiction. Unlike, say, Santa Claus, whom we’ve all seen with our own eyes many times.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Your uncle saw a lot of action in World War Two. He was a top turret gunner in a B-52 bomber. When he came home after the war, grandpa noticed a hole in his sheepskin leather jacket. He chewed his son out! Why did he get a hole in such a nice jacket! The army was nice enough to give it to him. This tirade went on for a while. Finally, your uncle says: Gee, dad, I’m sorry. But I couldn’t help it. That’s where I got shot!

 

   He was offered a purple heart, but he turned it down. He said other guys were hurt a lot worse and deserved it more than he did.

   FW still wore that jacket when we’d go hunting back when I was still an adolescent. Later he “outgrew” it and had the sleeves cut off!

  

*   *   *   *   *

 

My mother’s side of the family also had its share of stories.

 

Your great-grandfather had come to America first before bringing over your great-grandmother. He took her to a special shop to taste a brand-new food sensation.

 

He told her: Blow on it, it’s hot!

 

She did.

 

Everybody in the shop laughed. Then she tasted it, smiled and slapped him.

 

It was ice cream.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Grandma called out to grandpa, who was sitting on the front porch, to come in for supper. But he didn’t come. So she sent me out to fetch him. I saw him sitting there watching three pretty young girls walking by. I told grandma. She came out and pulled him by the ear back into the house…I guess you’re never too old to look.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

When your father showed his expensive brand-new pipe to one of my uncles, he misunderstood, thought it was a gift and thanked him profusely. Your father didn’t have the heart to say anything. Years later, after he had died, the family, who knew what had happened, returned the pipe. They said he had only smoked it on Sundays.

 

   Half the population of a small town in Wisconsin is related to my mother. My great-grandfather had six sons. I saw an old photo of them and can confirm that I look just like my mother’s father, Otto, who was born in the Old Country and named after Otto Bismarck.

   My family is German on both sides. Lauck and Hein on my father’s side. Preuss and Pahl on my mother’s side. The Lauck family goes back to Hessian officers, brothers who served in the American Revolutionary War. The name “Lauck” itself goes back to Old High German, which died out around 1050 A.D..

   Many years later, my mother told me two distant relatives of mine had died in 9/11. I hadn’t met them, but she did.

   I’ve seen photographs of two other doubles for me. Furthermore, still another double had stayed in a barracks with me. He was even my height! Sometimes other guests got the two of us mixed up. I played with the idea of hiring him as a decoy.

 

 

Catching Critters

 

   My favorite pastimes included catching tadpoles, frogs and turtles, climbing trees and exploring the adjacent fields and forests. Animals were – and still are (!) – my great love.

   On weekends my father and I would go catch turtles at “the grade”. Or he’d take a nap in the car while I caught frogs by myself.

   One summer just the two of us drove hundreds of miles on The Great Snake Hunting Expedition. Although disappointed about not getting any rattlers, I was pleased with the haul: a neat hog-nosed snake, a pair of blue racers and dozens of grass snakes.

   When my mother found one of those snakes, a tiny baby grass snake, in her bed, they were exiled to outdoors. Fortunately, she figured out my father was the culprit. His fiendish grim and my look of horror upon hearing of her discovery made the solution of the “how-did-it-get-there” mystery all too obvious. Besides, what boy in his right mind would risk the loss of a perfectly good snake through such a stupid stunt!

   When we finally removed the oil tank for an old furnace from the basement (where it had sat under the old coal shoot), I cut it in half lengthwise with a chisel and sledgehammer. This was time-consuming and noisy (!), but I round up with a good-sized turtle tank.

   As a boy and even as a teenager, I loved to pour over field guides on animals. I could even identify many subspecies.

   Not surprisingly, our family had a wide variety of pets over the years. They included frogs, toads, tadpoles, fish, salamanders, newts, birds, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, chickens, cats and dogs.

   I would need to sacrifice more trees in order to list all the species, subspecies and breeds.

   Our garages have been home to wildcats, foxes and owls in addition to more cats than some towns around here have people.

   Suffice it to say I’ve always loved animals.

 

 

I Was a Child Militarist

 

   I liked to draw pictures of battles between tanks and airplanes. Instinctively, I choose national insignia that would not pose a “conflict of interest”. I didn’t want to offend any kinsmen. Even if they had fought on the “wrong side”.

   My battles with little plastic toy soldiers lasted hours. Sometime I drafted animals, in which case the animals were always the protagonists and the human soldiers were the antagonists.

   I built a formidable fort complete with underground tunnel. The tunnel was a big help getting dirty. After all, every little boy worth his salt knows you can’t have fun if you don’t get good and dirty.

   Combat training included use of handmade wooden swords and shields. I would routinely take on three kids at the same time and win.

   I also became a budding militarist!

   A children’s book about famous battles in world history made a strong impression on me. Military history became one of my big interests aside from animals.

   My father bought a kid-size version of an U.S. Army uniform for me. I had my parents inscribe my name and “rank” of “Captain”. When it wore out, I got a replacement. By that time, I was already a “General”. Naturally, I liked to wear it whenever I “played army”.

   “The enemy” had nicknamed me “General Doolittle”. Apparently, they didn’t know their history and simply found the name amusing. 

   These armies did not consist of “friends” simply dividing up into “teams” in order to “play a game”. We viewed ourselves as “soldiers” who were “fighting a war” against the “enemy” over disputed territory.

   Our combat consisted of bombarding the opposing army with dirt clods. This limited warfare resulted in a little pain, but no serious injury.

   Throwing rocks, on the other hand, was frowned on. Akin to a violation of the Geneva Convention.

   We never had any intention or desire to inflict serious injury on the “enemy”! These “armies” were neither “gangs” nor “teams”. They were something in-between.

   I sense much more than a mere game in these children’s armies, namely sociological, perhaps even anthropological ramifications.

   As a veteran of many battles, I had developed some degree of skill in dodging these projectiles. Unfortunately, I was a poor marksman.

   The battle usually ended in a glorious victory. I would charge straight at the enemy, enduring the pain of being struck by a full volley. They would flee in terror.

 

One campaign in particular provides a good example of our mentality.

 

   One day we discovered a strange wooden raft floating in a small pond in the “no man’s land” that often served as our battlefield. Obviously, an enemy incursion! We piled rocks on it in order to sink it. Then we broke bottles on the rocks so that the broken glass would make it harder for the enemy to salvage his vessel.

   Days later, we discovered an enemy patrol attempting to salvage it. We charged and they took flight. Except for one poor devil. He had climbed a tree overhanging the pond. Now he was holding onto a branch with one hand while sword fighting one of my men with the other. I was impressed by that enemy soldier’s bravery.

   What should we do? The situation looked dangerous. Nobody wanted anybody on either side to get seriously hurt. But calling a truce, even in the middle of a heated battle, was unprecedented.

   I ordered my men to pull back. The enemy commander understood what I was doing and why, so he did not attempt to take advantage of our chivalry. Instead, he shouted over to his cut off soldier to make a dash through the gap that I had intentionally allowed to form. He understood and did so.

   After some time had passed, I happened to encounter that brave former foe under peaceful circumstances. We became friends.

   The first time he took me over to his house to play, he stopped in front of the entrance, turned to me and said: “Don’t tell my mom you’re a Protestant. She says all Protestants are pigs and won’t let me play with you.” Several years later, I learned his mother’s own religious group, Catholic, was considered a “minority” on the national level. In that area, it wasn’t.

   My father took his sons camping, fishing and canoeing. When we were old enough, he also taught us how to handle firearms and took us hunting.

   When he first started to show us boys how to use a gun, my mother was very concerned. Her father told her: Don’t worry! He’ll teach them the right way!

   My training went like this.

   The first year hunting, I carried a shotgun without a bolt. Just to learn how to be safe when crossing fences and such.

   The second year, I got the bolt. But no shell! Each time I wanted to shot, I had to ask my father for a shell.

   The third year, I had both bolt and shells.

   Of course, both my shotgun and rifle were single-shot weapons. They cost $20 and $30 respectively. New, not used.

   We later swapped guns. When he had the stock lengthened, he failed to allow for the winter clothing. He also preferred the lighter weight of my single-shot. I liked the fact the double-barrel had less recoil.

   Many years later, a friend, an ex-policeman, asked to see my new revolver. I fetched the revolver from its drawer, opened the cylinder, removed the bullets, put the bullets back in the drawer, turned the revolver so it wasn’t pointing at anybody and then, holding it flat on my palm with the cylinder still open, offered it to him. – This impressed him.

   Here is a cautionary tale: Despite all his safety measures, my father darn near blew his head off once when his shotgun discharged and shot a hole through the roof of the car! He pointed this fact out to me as a reminder how dangerous guns are. And how important it is to always be extra, extra, extra careful!

   The “men folk” repeatedly traveled all the way to Canada for three week canoe trips. We were so far out that there were no roads or other signs of civilization. We had to paddle the canoe across a lake, “portage” across a dirt path to the next lake and repeat the procedure.

   The following stories all come from these Canadian canoe trips.

   On one trip before I started coming along, one of my brothers got a toe infliction. The crew, which included other adult family friends, didn’t have time to get him back to civilization. So they got him drunk with whiskey, sterilized a bayonet in the fire, had three full grown men sit on his chest…and then my father cut off part of his toe with that bayonet.

   My father was the official medic. He said his own father always followed the same two steps when treating a minor injury. First, he asked what happened. Second, he put chewing tobacco on the wound. Gee, with training like that, I’m surprised he didn’t become a famous surgeon instead of an engineer!

   They swear he nonetheless managed to somehow lift his body up six inches from the ground. And that people twenty miles away across the lake later claimed they could hear his scream.

   I’m glad I wasn’t on this particular trip. I was deemed still too young to come along on the first couple trips.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

   We had discovered an abandoned ranger’s log cabin complete with cast-iron wood burning stove and an outhouse. This became our base camp.

   My father had made a deal with his sons: I’ll buy anything you want to eat, but YOU have to CARRY it! – We broke our backs, but we ate like kings.

   On portage, my brother was carrying a canoe and carrying a backpack to boot. He felt he was a pretty tough guy.

   Then he heard footsteps approaching rapidly from the rear.

   What he saw next amazed and impressed him.

   Somebody shot past him. Running. Carrying a canoe and two backpacks: one on the chest and one on the back…

   It was a woman!

   Talking with her at the end of the portage, he learned she was a professional dancer.

   I had a similar experience years later. I was a young man doing heavy labor. My predecessor had been 65 years old.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

   Stop complaining about the darn mosquitoes! I don’t feel any biting me. You’re just making it up, because you don’t want to carry the canoe anymore!

   That’s what my father, annoyed, barked at one of my brothers.

   But when it was his turn to carry the canoe, he learned the truth.

   The mosquitoes had swarmed under the canoe. They mercilessly attacked the poor devil carrying it. He had his hands full and was unable to slap them.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

   While still a boy, I considered writing a diary. But I decided against it. I figured the most interesting things in my life had already happened.

   This doesn’t mean I didn’t think about the future. I made a deal with my father. When I was old enough, we would move to the Canadian wilderness and become trappers. Being an engineer, he would tell me how to build our log cabin. I would pay him in whiskey and cigars.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

   One day the government made use of eminent domain to buy some of our land cheap for an expressway. When the bulldozers started to ravage our orchard, I grabbed my bow and arrow and ran for the door. I had every intention to defend my home! My parents stopped me. They had to lock me in my room.

   Eventually, we had an expressway running through our backyard. Things weren’t the same after that. I didn’t think of it at the time, but I’m sure this greatly reduced our home’s resale value.

   Then my father changed careers and we moved away.

 

 

Pre-Teen and Teen

 

   I grew up (the rest of the way) in the west. This is where I’ve spent half my life. 

   I could pet a horse on the neighbor’s ranch simply by walking to the edge of my yard and reaching over the fence. Like all aspiring young cowboys, I spent a lot of time outdoors. But I also liked to read books.

   My family was large. But the combined number of degrees held by its members was even larger. While still in elementary school, my father started to teach me a few very basic math concepts.

   My father often got his children mixed up. He called them by the wrong name. This always annoyed my mother. However, he claimed it was all her fault. After all, she had insisted on giving them names. He had wanted to just assign them numbers. Like the famous detective Charlie Chan.

   Furthermore, boys were often named after uncles in my family. When my grandpa was buried, my father nudged his brother and pointed to a nearby, but very old, tombstone. It was inscribed with the same names as the three brothers! His name was at the top. From then on, he would tell them: Remember, I’m the top man on the tombstone!

   But don’t get the wrong impression! My family was very “folksy”. If you’d met my father, you’d have sooner reckoned him to be a rancher than a college professor. He got along just as well the custodian as with the other professors. Possibly better! 

   Many years later, FW purchased a rifle from this custodian. He had made the rifle himself and even given it a name: "Old Meat On The Table”. My father went to a shooting range to test its accuracy. He fired three rounds at a target just over 100 yards away. They were grouped so close together that you could cover all three bullet holes at the same time with a quarter! – Naturally, he waited ten minutes between rounds in order to give the barrel time to cool.

   I learned chess while still a boy. I wouldn’t even try to checkmate the opponent until I had done two things. First, taken every single one of his pieces. Second, used my remaining pawns to get back my queen and both castles. Obviously, this overkill was simultaneously thorough and inefficient.

   One of my brothers stunned everyone by defeating a very skilled chess player within five minutes. He used his favorite lightning fast queen attack. His opponent was too busy implementing a complicated plan to notice.

   In junior high school I played a lot of chess. Almost always with college students and professors. Generally, I won two out of three games. I beat my father the last three games we played. Then I lost interest in chess. It was too static. Really good players had to memorize old moves from chess books. That wasn’t for me.

   My father had the last laugh. He brought in a literal chess genius to whip me good. At the time, I was also sick as a dog with a liver infection. For months, I lived on tea, toast without butter and eggs. It took me months to fully recover. So much for a fair fight!

   Afterward, he explained to me there are three levels of chess player.

   The first level player, like him, has no strategy.

   The second level player, like me, has one strategy.

   The third level player, namely the chess genius, has multiple strategies. He reevaluates the whole situation after every singe move. Then he selects the best strategy. (If a level two player tries to do this, the usual result is chaos.)

   For a while, the family still played cards. But the locals didn’t know the Old World games we knew so we had nobody else with whom to play.

   My father enrolled all of us in a dance class. We learned the foxtrot and waltz. This wasn’t useful for us young folk. (We had already learned square dancing back in elementary school.)

   Adolescence was probably no harder and no easier for me than for anybody else. But it was different. There was no “teenage rebellion”. My family and ethnic bonds made me immune from “peer pressure”. I was an outsider. My standards were simply different.

   My father once commented to me: Neither your grandpa nor I had a very high opinion of our own [respective] generation. You’re the same way. – This was neither contempt nor arrogance…Years later, I heard an exiled Russian aristocrat say much the same thing.

   Instead of saying: If the other kids jumped off a cliff, would you do the same thing!, my parents would  say: A good German does not jump off a cliff! – This was very effective!

   I had already learned not to show weakness or pain. This only encouraged tormentors. While still in high school, I took this a step further. I conducted two experiments in psychology.

   In the first experiment, I keep an opponent on the edge between punching me and backing off. I maintained this balance by alternating between provocative and reconciliatory remarks.

   In the second experiment, I pretended I thought mockery was actually just friendly teasing. At first, this confused the opponent. Then it aggravated him as he tried to explain his actual negative intent. Finally, he realized I was toying with him. Instead of him getting my goat, I was getting his. This made him angry. I had bounced the attack back on the attacker without employing either force or negative language. This pleased me for practical, ethical and even aesthetic reasons.

   I liked my high school journalism class. First, the teacher was pretty. Second, I liked to write.

   Once I asked a student teacher to a dance. This wasn’t a kinky sex thing. I simply related more to people her age (and older) than to my own age group. Besides, she was beautiful and her legs looked great in a mini-skirt.

   Years later I met a young woman who had done something similar. Except in her case it was a kinky sex thing. I guess this just goes to show that girls mature faster than boys. And are more skillful at getting what they want.

   I discovered a professional survey designed to gauge political and social views. The whole class took it and I spent a heck of a lot of time on tabulation and analysis.

   The interesting part of this survey was that it was not one dimensional, i.e. a line. It was two dimensional, i.e. a plane. There was a “x” axis and a “y” axis! The coordinates of traditional ideologies were displayed. Conservatives and Communists were far apart on the “x” axis, but close together on the “y” axis. Liberals and Fascists were far apart on the “y” axis, but close together on the “x” axis.

   This illustrates the sometimes curious similarities between otherwise radically different ideologies. (My own coordinates were far away from anybody else.) 

   Beyond this, I later observed in a college ethics class that two people can provide the same answer for two totally different reasons. Lumping them together in the same category would be extremely inaccurate.

   Here is an example.

 

   My college ethics professor related his own ethnical dilemma to the class.

 

   In the last days of World War Two, I was a gangly young lieutenant. My helmet was too big for my head. I was given the assignment to take a jeep over to the German lines and negotiate their surrender. I took a few men with me.

   When my jeep reached the German lines with a white flag of truce, SS men gave me a smart salute. A little ways down the road, we encountered trucks driven by German soldiers. There were what looked like concentration camp prisoners in the back of the trucks.

   Just after we were out of sight, we heard machine gun fire. We figured it was probably the Germans killing the prisoners. We debated whether or not we should turn around and try to help them.

   I decided not to. I figured the few of us in the jeep probably couldn’t save them anyway. But if our mission to arrange the surrender wasn’t carried out, fighting might resume and a lot more people would get killed.

   Did I do the right thing?

 

   When I encountered him in the hallway after class, I comforted him: I think you did the right thing. It would have been a shame, if more SS men got hurt!

   A puzzled look appeared on his face for a moment. Then he smiled. Perhaps it dawned on him just who had said this to him.

 

   High school bored me. I always tried to finish my homework in study hall. That way, I had more time to read college level books in the evening. Mostly philosophy, history and some politics. The honor roll was self-evident.

   Thanks to summer school courses, I was able to skip my senior year.

   I finished a one semester course in three days, took the test on the fourth day and got an “A”.

   While still in high school, I audited a college course on how to play the stock market. I did it, too. The first year, I paid attention and made money. The second year, I just listened to my stockbroker and lost it. At least I got to impress the co-eds.

   I spent one summer with my father, when he worked with NASA on the space shuttle. We stayed in an apartment complex right next to the university. I liked to hang out around the swimming pool. I would play chess and watch the pretty young bikini-clad co-eds. Sometimes they would play chess with me. But they would “cheat”. Namely bend over the chessboard to try to distract me with their cleavage. This was half successful. Yes, I looked. No, I didn’t let them win.

   Nomination to one of the U.S. Military Academies was a feather in my cap. But, frankly, I suspect it was owed largely to family connections and the unpopularity of the Vietnam War. My parents were on a first name basis with congressmen, senators and governors, who occasionally stopped by our house.

   When I entered his office, the military doctor about to give me an examination in connection with my nomination to a U.S. Military Academy took one look at me and said: You’re from a military family, aren’t you? – I didn’t quite know how to respond. On the one hand, yes there have been a lot of soldiers in my family. On the other hand, most of them were a few generations back…Furthermore, my family is very “democratic” in the sense that we often have kinsmen fighting on both sides in a war!

   Although I had various interests, nothing appealed to me as a career. I attended the state university for two years in order to be viewed as “educated” by European standards. But instead of pursuing a degree, I only took the courses I liked or considered useful. And that didn’t include business.

   I had enough credits in my foreign language major for a Bachelor’s Degree, but would have needed to take two more years of “nothing courses” to get one. I saw no point in it. The courses I liked included philosophy and creative writing.

   Of course, the best part about college was making out with my girlfriend.

   Back in those days, it was actually possible, and not uncommon, for a student to work his or her way through college without a loan or a grant! This is what I did.

   I feel sorry for today’s students!

 

 

What Planet Am I On?

 

   When the world started to go insane in the 1960’s, I asked myself one simple question: What planet am I on???

   Many people, including friends and family, did the same thing back in those days.

   I didn’t trust the mainstream parties or conventional approaches. In search of answers, I started to read a wide variety of literature. Some, I hated. Some, I loved. While still in junior high school, I found the answers I wanted. Within the next few years, I even converted some kinsmen. I hesitate to call it a “new faith”, because we had believed in the same basic ideas for years without even knowing it. Leastwise not by name. It was neither a “religion” nor an “ideology” in the conventional sense. It was a “worldview”.

   This “conversion” or “enlightenment” process has already been described by other people. Both leaders and rank-and-file. I won’t bother doing so again. Basically, I am an administrator, organizer, analyst and strategist. Not an author, theoretician or ideologist.

   Nonetheless, I remember a discussion with George and Mark about the relative merits of “ healthy instinct” versus “good reasoning”, when it comes to choosing one’s basic political philosophy. My conclusion: Both are good. But a combination of both is best.

   Mark helped to choose our newspaper’s name, NS Kampfruf. He was proud of the fact that he had spent a few weeks in the same prison as Hitler! He had been arrested for putting up NSDAP/AO stickers.

 

 

My Father & Mentor “FW”

 

   In the 1940’s, my father graduated from college with an engineering degree. He was soon hired by a large manufacturing company. Eventually he earned an additional degree.

   During the war he worked very long hours. Mom said she hardly ever got to see him. But I think she may have exaggerated a little. After all, she had babies during the war...Then again, my father joked that grandpa had once asked grandma why the babies stopped after he bought a refrigerator and got rid of the icebox.

    In the 1950’s, the company promoted him to head of long range research. I remember visiting his plant as a child. My first impression was this: Boy, daddy has a BEAUTIFUL SECRETARY. I wonder if MOMMY knows about this!

   He showed me one of the new products that he had helped to develop. That product is still in wide use today. Whenever I happen to see one, I think of my father.

   My father proved himself so valuable to the company that it decided to invest in advancing his skills. It hired some of the nation’s top mathematicians to tutor him one-on-one. His knowledge eventually rose to the equivalent of a PhD in Mathematics, even though he did not have an official degree in mathematics. 

   Years later, a high school math teacher told us to ask our parents how much math they knew. Rightly or wrongly, I perceived this as a dig. So I asked my father to be thorough. He listed over twenty different kinds of math he had studied. The math teacher had never even heard of some of them!

   In the 1960’s, FW decided to go into teaching. He said he was alarmed by the declining quality of the nation’s engineering students. So he became a professor of engineering at a state university.

   Of course, this meant a big cut in salary. But he didn’t seem to mind.

   When we moved to our new home on the very edge of the “city”, I was shocked and disappointed. Our new home was very modest compared to our old country estate. But I didn’t say anything. 

   FW created and taught a very special course. It was designed to give his students some practical experience in industrial engineering.

   Visiting small manufacturing firms in the area, he made them an offer they could hardly refuse. “Let my students TRY to solve your engineering problems. If they fail, I’ll come out at the end of the semester and solve them FOR FREE.”

   And that was exactly what he did!

   The result was a lot of happy businessmen. Some sent letters of praise to the university. In addition, even years later, he received letters from former students expressing their gratitude. One of them wrote that he had learned more in this one course than in all of the other courses put together.

   This also gave him an insight into the general nature of these firms.

   Typically, these companies start out with just two guys. One is good at technology. The other is good at business. As their company grows, it eventually reaches a point where they need outside help.

   Back then, my father provided the engineering help. Many years later, I provided the business help.

   He also made another observation:

   Engineers and businessmen have trouble communicating with each other. They talk different languages. Also, the best engineering students are not good at writing or public speaking.

   Years later I noticed computer technicians and businessmen often have the same problem.

   Therefore, he urged his students to join a group called Toastmasters, which promoted skill in public speaking. He joined it himself.

   FW had a reputation for being very tough, but also very fair.

   For example: His students were instructed to identify their papers only by social security number. Not name. He didn’t want to know their identity during grading. Only later, went posting those grades, did he learn that. This was his way to prevent any, even unintentional or subconscious, bias.

   His students had a saying about his weekly ten question quizzes:

   If you’re a good student, you can answer the first three questions. If you’re a genius, you can figure out the next three. But only God and Professor FW know the answers to the last four!

   When he told me one of those “last four”, I soon figured out the answer. Unlike my father, I have no attitude for mechanics and technology. But I did inherit his analytical mind and knack for problem solving. Despite our different fields, we thought a lot alike. FW often commented that we applied the same principles to different fields. We just called them by different names.

   His best students loved him and his worst students hated him.

   One of his students was literally a genius when it came to engineering. My father tutored him one-on-one. For free. Smiling, he told me: It was a joy to teach him. His mind absorbed knowledge like a sponge. He learned more in one week than the average student does in six months.

   FW later left teaching and started his own engineering consulting firm. I got an impressive title in the corporation, but I was really just a figurehead.

   In the next few years, FW became licensed as an engineer in more and more states. When he took the New York State engineering test, they demanded to see his birth certificate to prove he was a U.S. citizen. His score was so high that they could not believe he had received his education in the USA!

 

 

Cars

 

   My father always had at least five cars. He’d buy big old Buicks, fix ‘em up and drive them until something major went bad. Like an engine or transmission. Then he’d cannibalize them for parts. He was so thorough that the junkyard dealers sometimes wanted him to pay them to tow them away. Not the other way around.

   One time he got $95 from an insurance company, because the other fellow had dented his fender. The car had only cost $100!

   Being the youngest and least skilled, I got the boring jobs. Like rotating tires or tapping spark plugs. Or just sitting there bored to death handing him tools. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I never developed an interest in mechanics.

   One time the neighbor’s goat came over to help. But it had an ulterior motive. The goat liked tobacco. It tried to steal the tobacco pouch out of my father’s pocket, while he was working under the car.

   Once we came home and saw a long wooden pole next to the back door. My sister explained she needed it to fend off the goat. When she went out to bring in the laundry from the line, it tried to butt her!

   One time I got down on all fours and butted heads with this goat. Then I looked up. The goat and I stared at each other for a moment. Then the goat turned and ran off. To this day, I don’t know whether it was my hard head or my face that made it do that.

   I didn’t have my own car in my teenage years. I didn’t need one.

   Most of the cars I’ve owed in my life were built in the 1970’s. The cheapest one cost $500. The most expensive one was $1,500. The “worst” car I ever bought cost $700 and only lasted me three years. It had belonged to a high school student. His parents had bought him a new car as a graduation gift. My two favorites were both a 1975 Buick Electra Limited. One cost $895 and lasted ten years. A friend commented: This isn’t an automobile. It’s an aircraft carrier!

   My most amusing car purchase went like this. My father-in-law and I went together while my wife stayed at home. We negotiated the purchase with the private owner in three languages. When we got back home, my wife’s only question was: What color is the car? Neither of us remembered the color of the car we had purchased only an hour earlier! This made her nervous. But when she saw the car, she was quite pleased.

   A work colleague had a similar experience with his wife. When he asked her what kind of car she wanted, she said: blue!

   Over the next several years, she had about ten minor accidents with that 1975 Buick Regal. Two on one and the same day! The second time, she locked bumpers with a police car in front of the police station. I was so furious I refused to go help her. Her father did instead.

 

 

 

 

I Was a Teenage Supervisor…NOT a Werewolf

 

   I worked in a factory each summer to earn money for tuition and books. While still a teenager, I was promoted to a low-level supervisory position and had a crew of seven under me. I was the youngest of the lot.

   How did I get that promotion?

   Here’s the story.

   The factory had just launched a new product. Initially, production was scattered across different departments. Each of those departments tended to view the new product as a diversion from their real work. The portion assigned to them was shunted off to the side.

   This was my third stint at the factory. When I reported to my old supervisor, he led me to another part of the plant. It was so far away from his department that we couldn’t even see it! I joined two workers already there assembling components.

   It was nothing personal. Nonetheless, I had been exiled. Assigned to work on that darn new product. Out of eyeshot.

   He rarely checked on us. Or was around, when we needed help… Not even when we pleaded for more parts, because we had run out and work had come to a standstill!

   One day a young engineer, new to factory procedures, kindly offered to help us out. He walked over to the warehouse and brought over some parts. Without telling anybody or doing the paperwork.

   So we turned to him in the future as well. Somebody in the front office eventually found out what he was doing. He got balled out.

   One manager from the front office in particular would walk by and ask me a question. I answered as best I could. This happened a few times.

   Only a few weeks after I started, he walked up to me and said that I had been promoted. You’re the only person who knows anything about what’s going on around here!

   This took me by surprise. Naturally, I was pleased.

   Soon the production for that product was consolidated in one area. A higher-level supervisor was appointed over the roughly thirty people. In military terms, he was the equivalent of a lieutenant commanding a platoon and I was a sergeant leading a squad.

   But there was still one tiny little problem.

   The products didn’t work! The reject rate was around 50%!

   Nobody could figure out why. In desperation, the same front office manager asked me what I thought.

   I made an observation and offered a theory. He had somebody fetch the necessary equipment to check it out. (I didn’t know how to use it, but he did.) The mystery was solved. The reject rate dropped radically. Obviously, we had fixed at least part of the problem.

   But the reject rate was still too high. The manager and I discussed this problem for a few minutes. Then I came up with another theory. He thought it made sense and we should check it out.

   He brought over some even more sophisticated equipment – this time we had to bring in a college trained technician who knew how to use it – and tested my theory. My suspicion was confirmed!

   Technicians and even full-fledged engineers had sweated blood over this problem for weeks. Then I found the solution in a matter of minutes.

   At the time, I chalked this up to a combination of common sense and good luck. It didn’t dawn on me at the time that there might be anything more to it.

   From then on, that technician and his equipment were an integral part of the production line. He always checked the “problem child” component for that invisible defect before assembly. The defect rate dropped to an acceptable minimum.

   Question: How could a nineteen year old kid - with NO technical training - solve a TECHNICAL problem that nobody else could figure out?

   Answer: Observation, analysis and plain old-fashioned common sense!

   This factory had been founded by a man who was a genius inventor. He had started the business in his parent’s garage while still in high school!

   His genius for invention is matched only by the stupidity of his relatives in the front office, another worker commented.

   Unfortunately, when he expanded the plant for the manufacture of a new product, he overextended himself. When that product was suddenly rendered obsolete by another advance in technology, the company went bankrupt. The factory closed. The employees were dismissed. The locals cursed him. And he moved out of the state. 

   By then, I had already moved on to other pursuits.

 

 

I Start to Write

 

   While still a teenager, my first articles (aside from a poem in a high school publication) started appearing in the publications of non-profit organizations.

   At first, I simply subscribed to several periodicals in both the USA and Europe. These included The Voice of the Federation, Der Deutsch-Amerikaner, Nation Europa, Mut Magazine, Deutsche Nachrichten, Deutsche Wochenzeitung, Deutsche National- und Soldatenzeitung and more.

   But I soon began to submit letters to the editor and later articles, too.

   One essay I submitted to a writing contest for young authors made the semi-finals. It was published along with all the other semi-finalists in the sponsoring magazine, Nation Europa.

   This magazine was very “highbrow”. It published articles by many prominent people. Apparently, I had gained some attention in the right circles, because I received letters – and even invitations to visit - from some of them. Some of them came from retired senior government officials, scholars and highly distinguished military officers.

   While still in my teens, I was invited to address an international conference in Europe and did so, namely the first Nationaleuropäischer Jugendkongress. I had a great time and met many fascinating people.


 

Chapter Two

Political Activist

 

My First Evening in the Fatherland

 

   It was my very first day in the Old Country. I was with one of my very first contacts in the underground resistance movement. His name was Walter. We were taking a stroll through a field. It was a star-lit night. I dropped to my knees, bent down, picked up a handful of dirt and gently kissed the soil of the ancestral motherland.

 

Later he spoke these words:

 

We come from nothing

And we are nothing.

But we are there!

 

   Walter was a seasoned freedom fighter. He had been arrested more than once by the Communists. Nonetheless, he refused to throw in the towel.

   He was not a well-educated man. He was also not a wealthy one. His toilet was an outhouse. The kitchen stove provided the only heating. I remember sitting there with his family and petting his daughter’s black cat named “Me Lady”. It reminded me of my father’s story about his childhood in a house with the same heating system.

   On the bright side, one of his friends, who was also an old SA man, had a vineyard! The wine we bought there came in a bottle with no label, but it tasted good and was cheap. I would often bring a few bottles with me, when I visited Hans up north in Schleswig-Holstein. (I called this payment for his wife doing my laundry!) I would buy “Korn” (clear whiskey) or rum there and bring it back for Walter.

   Furthermore, all his plates and silverware were Third Reich originals complete with eagle and swastika. This made the food taste extra good! Their monetary value would be substantial for a collector today.

   I remember the others in our little circle, the too. Manfred, Horst, Willi, Katja and Albert back in the states. They all played a significant role in the development of the NSDAP/AO concept. I still have the beautiful full color of picture of the Führer given me by Katja’s friend, an SS widow.

   Horst introduced me to a sympathetic police chief.

   Willi inadvertently paid me a compliment, when I ticked him off once and he called me a “Saupreuß”. My mother’s maiden name was Preuss. I am indeed Prussian.

   A hospital clerk once asked Albert why he lied about being a veteran. The VA had no record of him. Actually, he hadn’t lied. He was indeed a veteran: Not U.S., rather Waffen-SS.

 

 

A New Concept

 

   Traveling through the Old Country, I often saw resistance slogans in the form of graffiti. But it was impossible to gauge the movement’s strength. Also, it was impossible for sympathizers to establish contact and join the resistance. The risk of arrest was very high.

   I developed a new concept. More importantly, I put it into actual practice. At this time, I was still a teenager.

   On overseas organizations based in a free country would supply the underground resistance with professionally produced printed matter. It would have a uniform contact address in the free country. Inquirers would receive free sample literature and their own unique “ID number” (“Kenn-Nummer”) for use in future correspondence instead of their real name and address. This protected their identity in the event of a later interception of the mail.

   The inquirer turned activist recruited his own cell members. Or remained a “lone wolf”. He received regular small shipments from us. These were simply mailed from multiple locations and well camouflaged. Each shipment contained a “receipt form”, which the recipient filled out and returned to us. If we didn’t get those forms, we presumed something had gone wrong and ceased shipments.

   Larger “cell networks” required much larger quantities. They were supplied by a different method. Large-scale “smuggling” operations were organized. These were extremely successful. Overall losses in men and materials remained extremely low throughout the decades.

 

 

Birth of the NSDAP/AO

 

   When I returned to the USA, I founded a new organization based on this new concept. It is known as the NSDAP/AO.

   We immediately printed 1,000 swastika stickers and air mailed them to the Old Country. They arrived just in time. One appeared on prime time television stuck onto an election poster for Willi Brandt.

   Many Americans don’t realize this, but even dictatorships often hold “elections”, sometimes even with multiple “parties”. But it’s still a sham. And a clumsy sham at that. Unlike, say, in countries like the United Statestoday. 

   The printer was an old Rockwell activist, George Adam Link. He commented he wished it had been 10,000 stickers. I was shocked. How could we ever pay for so many? However, a year later, our average press run was 100,000 at a crack! By that time, the third issue of our periodical, the NS Kampfruf, in the mother tongue had expanded to a newsprint tabloid format. We also owned two printing presses for smaller jobs.

   This expansion was owed in large part to the assistance of allied American organizations!

   I soon learned there are two types of non-profits. The first type views other non-profits as allies in a shared cause. These allies help each other. The second type views other non-profits as competitors for the same donors. They actively try to sabotage each other. Unfortunately, the second type is often more successful at fund-raising. That’s all they do. The first type concentrates on concrete work for the cause.

   Two years later, we founded an English-language newsletter for our American sympathizers. This was eventually also expanded into a newsprint tabloid newspaper. Both newspapers appeared in that format for over a quarter of a century. (Then we shifted to newsletter format before going to online only. Hardcopy was limited to our book production, which was greatly expanded.)

   At first, I worked a fulltime outside job. I donated both my wages and my free time to my “baby”. Later I only had to work part-time. Finally, I could get by on my sideline income and otherwise work fulltime for my “baby”.

   One day a volunteer in another non-profit, Don up in Canada, made a suggestion: You should sell things! We do that and make a lot more money that way than through subscriptions!

   We tried it. It worked. Everybody was happy. At any rate, this was the beginning of my life-long association with mail order.

   This volunteer work honed my organizational and people skills.

   Working with volunteers is sometimes pretty challenging in both the positive and negative sense. The relationship is unique. An employer can fire an employee. A military officer can arrest or even execute a subordinate.

 

 

Friends & Co-Workers

 

   My own startup non-profit organization served a very small and specialized niche that had been long vacant. Word spread quickly. Excellent co-workers soon reported for duty as it were. They were impressed with my central concept and my efforts to progress from theory to reality. These dedicated, hardcore loyalists were often the age of my parents and even my grandparents. There was no “generation gap” here! We quickly became good friends.

   These unsung heroes of civic-mindedness included:

   A 1920’s journalist. Hans had fled his home when the communists invaded near the end of World War Two.  

   Another refugee from the same general region. Erich had fought in the German army in World War One. Then he emigrated to America and became a U.S. citizen. Knowing he had been a German-American Bund member, the draft board asked if he would fight against Hitler. His reply: If Hitler invades the United States, I will naturally defend the country. Along with other likeminded people, he spent the whole war digging holes at a camp stateside. They sang German war songs while doing this. At the end of the war, he received an honorable discharge. 

   My secretary and right hand gal, however, is definitely at the very top of the list. Gretchen became one of my earliest and most valuable co-workers. I spoke to her on the phone daily for decades.

   Here is her story.

   Her old Bund family had lived in America for well over a century, but it still spoke the mother tongue at home and preserved its sacred ethnic heritage. She was the only family member still alive.

   When World War Two broke out, the mother turned to her own son and said: If you come home wearing a shit brown American uniform, I’ll shoot you dead!

   When this son later told the judge that he refused to participate in Roosevelt’s criminal war of aggression against the German people, the judge turned white and ran out of the room without saying a word. He spent the war years in prison as a conscientious objector.

   After Germany’s capitulation, she sat down on a railway track. While waiting for death, she got to thinking. Maybe she would be able to do something worthwhile one day, if she stayed alive. She most certainly did!

   Just like me, she had done volunteer work in other organizations. She had found this work meaningful, but not completely fulfilling. That changed when she found our startup.

   Several years had passed before I heard her speak English for the first time. She said Fill ‘er up! to a gas station attendant, when she stopped for gas on our trip back from the airport.

   This frail looking but tough as nails old farm gal lived in a pioneer era home with the original fireplace, in-door hand pump for water and outhouse. At night, she’d remind visitors to watch out for Copperheads on the way to the outhouse.

   She didn’t mind the big Black Snake living between the walls. It ate rodents. Mice had destroyed two of her cars by climbing into the engine while it was still warm during winter.

   Her home was so isolated that the cats living in the barn became inbred and sterile. When even the young adult cats started to disappear one by one, she figured it was probably the work of a big owl. This house sat in the middle of the woods at the end of a long dirt road. Sometimes a tree would fall down and block the road. She would clear it away with an axe.

   She always bought a car that sat high off the ground so that it would be less likely to get stuck in the ruts in the dirt road.

   Her philosophy of life was simple: Let your heart tell you WHAT to fight for and your brain tell you HOW to fight for it!

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

   A volunteer who is both reliable and proficient is worth gold! One colleague put it this way: Those who CAN do something, don’t WANT to. And those who WANT to do something, CAN’T do it.

   In order to make full use of volunteers, it is often necessary to bend over backwards to accommodate both their strengths and their weaknesses. For example, Gretchen flatly refused to touch a computer. She used an ancient manual typewriter.

   This can result in some rather bizarre methodology, work flow and organizational structure. At any rate, my organizational skills began to evolve.

      I was in daily telephone contact with co-workers scattered across America and Europe. But it was not unusual to go for years without seeing each other face to face. Naturally, we greatly looked forward to such meetings! I remember one incident in particular. It was my first trip to Sweden. When a beautiful young woman opened the door, I figured it was probably my colleague’s daughter. I crossed my fingers. But no such luck. She was his girlfriend! Unlike most of my co-workers back then, he was my own age.

   By the time I was in my twenties, I was already a fairly competent administrator, leastwise by the standards of small non-profit organizations. Some had a tiny full-time staff and others had only volunteer staff. I worked with both kinds.

 

 

Great Men & Women

 

Over the years, I have met many great men and women. Some famous. Some not famous. Here are just some of them.

 

 

Colonel Hans-Ulrich Rudel

 

   Hans-Ulrich Rudel was the most highly decorated soldier in the Wehrmacht. Adolf Hitler created a special medal just for him! He flew 2,500 combat missions and personally destroyed 500-600 tanks and even sank a battleship and a cruiser!

   It was an honor to be invited to his home in Kufstein!

   Naturally, his medals were proudly displayed in a case on the wall. I looked at them while his young son sat on my shoulder. This young Tarzan fan managed to swipe my pen and hide it in his hamster cage. His beautiful young mother found it and returned it to me with a smile.

   While Rudel and I took a stroll along a mountain path, he asked if I was afraid of heights. I didn’t know what he was getting at until I took a closer look through the bushes. We were only a few feet from a cliff! 

   Back at his home, he, his wife, mother-in-law and I had tea together.

   Rudel commented that sometimes he wished he had slanted eyes, because the Japanese treat their veterans better than the Germans.

   He also lamented that if Germany would have been more ruthless, it would have won the war. (This theme later came up again in my amusing interview with Chris Wallace.)

   Later his wife drove me to the train station.

   When Rudel died several years later, the German government forbade its military people from participating in his funeral. Three brave Luftwaffe pilots defied the order. They flew over his grave and tipped their wings. This resulted in their dismissal.

   This disrespect for a war hero, solely on political grounds, is typical for the occupation regime. Traitors have no sense of honor.

 

  

Helmut Sündermann

 

   Helmut Sündermann had been the Deputy Press Chief in the Third Reich. He had invited me to visit him, but died a few days before I got there. I am listing him here anyway. I was still a teenager when all this happened. I don’t know whether he saw potential in me or was simply trying to inspire a well-meaning youngster. (The same goes for other Third Reich notables who wrote me.) Either way, he did inspire me. This contributed to my resolve. I owe him this mention!

 

 

Michel

 

   Michel had been a volunteer in the French Waffen-SS. When I met him face-to-face for the first time, he grabbed my shoulders and kissed me on both cheeks. A bit embarrassed, I smiled and remarked: It’s a good thing I know you’re French. Otherwise I’d slug you for that!

   As a young man, he was torn. On the one hand, he wanted to help the Germans fight against communism. On the other hand, he did not want to betray his country.

   The Waffen-SS recruiter assured him he would only fight against the Soviets. Not his countrymen. He would not be asked to betray any friends or kinsmen in the French Resistance. (The French Resistance, itself largely Communist, was less chivalrous. Over 200,000 French “collaborators” were murdered after the war!)

   He joined the French Waffen-SS. His firsthand account of the Battle for Berlin appeared in one of our early newspaper editions.

   After the war, he joined the French Foreign Legion. His photographs included one of his pretty first wife standing next to a jeep in the desert holding a submachine gun.

   When de Gaulle sold out French Algeria, he joined the OAS. Later he wound up in exile in Munich with his second wife, a young German woman. This is where I met him.

   After his cat stole a pair of socks out of my suitcase, I was assigned the code name “sock salesman”. He also drew a cryptic set of symbols on a piece of paper and handed it to me without explanation. He didn’t clarify whether this was a personal code or related to something more significant…

   During one visit, the phone rang. He picked it up and had a brief conversation. Afterward, he turned to me and said: That was police headquarters. The police are on their way. We have time to finish our wine, but then we must go.

   We left his place, walked down the block to an inn, ordered wine and continued our conversation as if nothing had happened.

   This inn was owned by an Italian Fascist married to a German woman. So we were among friends.

   There was an amusing incident here. My French friend had been drinking even more than I. He was becoming a bit “vocal”. A young German sitting next to us innocently joined in our conversation. He was shocked by some of the Frenchman’s statements.

   Every time I could finally halfway convince him that we were not as monstrous as the media portrays us, the Frenchman would blurt out something like: They should all be killed!

   Then I would have to start all over again!

 

 

Karl-Ferdinand Schwarz

 

   Karl was an old SA man. We hit it off right away. Difference in age and background meant nothing. It was as if we’d known each other all our life.

   When the Communists killed his friend, he acted alone without authorization from the SA leadership. As an old sapper, he knew how to handle explosions. The end result was one slightly damaged Communist headquarters building.

   Another time, his mother hid his pistol in the fruit bowl. The police searched the apartment without success.

   I met others like Karl. I mention him both on his own merit and as a representative for them all.

 

 

Friedhelm Busse

 

   Friedhelm was also a veteran of the European crusade against communism. When he died, he wanted to be buried with the flag under which he had served his country.

   Unfortunately, this was outlawed in this “free democracy”.

   A young comrade discretely slipped a folded flag into the grave. The Political Police spotted him. This resulted in the grave being dug up and the young comrade being arrested!

   Honorable men respect a fallen foe! A dishonorable pseudo-democracy defiles their grave!

   Einst kommt der Tag der Rache!

 

 

 Armin

 

   Armin fought in the Wehrmacht as well as the Werewolf resistance after the official capitulation. He participated in the Braunschweig revolt. His unconventional fundraising landed him in prison and cost him his first family.

   He was definitely hardcore!

   He was one of our first underground leaders. During the next few years, he was extremely successful. At one point, an official government short-wave radio broadcast sounded so desperate that some listeners thought the resistance movement was on the verge of seizing a major city!

   His next imprisonment cost him his second family.

 

 

Otto Riehs

 

   Otto was one of the few enlisted men awarded the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross. Manning an anti-tank gun alone and wounded, he single-handedly repelled an attack by 17 Russian tanks! (He gave me a copy of the Der Landser, which described this action.)

   After the war he was active in the resistance movement. He drove a taxi and had a pet boa constrictor.

 

 

Gretchen

 

   Gretchen was an old Bund gal, who became my long-suffering secrecy. She is described elsewhere in this book.

 

 

Michael Kühnen

 

   Michael Kühnen started out in the underground in the 1977’s under Armin. He later became the most prominent figure in the “legal arm” of the movement. We worked together closely. At one point, I even offered to print a “legal” periodical for his legal arm, but he figured the regime would just ban it under whatever pretext anyway.

   After his first four year imprisonment, he returned to the fight. After his second four year imprisonment, he did the same thing. This type of dedication compels respect!

   After a decade of activism, he died young. He had spent half of his adult life in prison for non-violent political activity. In a so-called “free democracy”. The regime calls this oppression “protecting democracy”. With a straight face!

   Honest people, regardless of persuasion (!), call it something else.

 

 

“Comrade X”

 

   “Comrade X” is in a very difficult situation. Hence I cannot mention him by name. Suffice it to say that he more than deserves mention!

 

 

American Allies

 

   Some like-minded non-profit organizations helped us a lot.

   One in particular stood out, especially during our startup phase. It never posed any conditions or insisted on any return favor. I had discovered this group in the phone book while killing time in an airport. When I visited and observed its work firsthand, I was very impressed by what I saw. But its publication and “public image” outside of its own neighborhood needed a lot of tender loving care.

   Visits to their headquarters were always interesting. One night a Molotov cocktail flew through the window and exploded in the room next to where I was sleeping. I was so tired I let something else put it out. However, this routine incident was not even mentioned the next evening at the weekly meeting. When I asked why, the speaker said: I forgot.

   I visited this neighborhood many times in the 1970’s. In fact, I later lived there myself for several years. I saw the tremendous local support for this openly National Socialist organization with my own eyes.

   Two key factors contributed to their success. First, the right environment. This was a solidly White working class ethnic neighborhood threatened by “integration” and the crime wave it inevitably brings. Second, the local White Power activists engaged in a systematic and long-term campaign. This was not the isolated, hit-and-run publicity stunt strategy, which Rockwell called  phase one”.

   The effectiveness of this initially strictly local organization was dramatically demonstrated by the following fact: When Chicago Mayor Daley Senior, the Democratic party’s “king-maker”, went on public television and promised to close down its headquarters, his own democratic party precinct captains told him this would cost him too many votes on the Chicago southwest side. Daley backed down!

   I rank this achievement right up there with David Duke’s campaigns for state legislature and governor. Duke won the first and narrowly missed the second, but did win the MAJORITY of the WHITE vote in the state!

   When the city blocked their highly effective neighborhood rallies, they threatened to march in a heavily Jewish neighborhood. There was extensive media coverage. We stressed in every interview that this was merely a tactic to pressure the city to return our right to hold rallies in White neighborhoods. But the press almost always ignored this. Instead it was portrayed as a primitive provocation.

   Thanks to the ACLU, the city backed down. There were two big victory rallies. I participated in both as an uniformed storm trooper.

   The first rally was downtown. Both the police presence and the mostly hostile crowd were huge.

   The second rally was in our own neighborhood. The police estimated the crowd at 5,000. This crowd was entire pro-party! Hundreds wore White Power t-shirts complete with swastika.

   The numerous journalists looked absolutely terrified! At one point, the crowd started to turn on the “anti-White news media”. One of our men had to intervene and save them.

   These events convinced me that the swastika was indeed a viable option, if people associate it with the ONLY movement willing to defend them. Back then, it was: Swastika = White Power. Keep your neighborhood White and safe! 

   Today, the question is: Do you want your children to live in a third world hellhole? If not, you must confront the racial question. And FIGHT BACK!

   This local outfit had helped me a lot. Now I wanted to help it.

   It was clear to all the independent local groups that a new national organization was needed. But having once been burned, each was leery of subordinating itself to a new national “dictator”.

   I analyzed the situation, wrote up a thorough analysis and proposed a plan to achieve this consolidation. This plan was adopted. It succeeded. The crowning achievement took place smack in the middle of the timeframe I had forecast.

   Furthermore, I became the head of its Publishing and Administration Division. It was a clear win-win for everyone concerned. Increased efficiency meant less work and more revenue at the same time. In effect, I became the third in command in this now national organization. I remained the head of the NSDAP/AO as well.

   Furthermore, this expanded the market for our “toy business”.

   I used this term half-jokingly for products intended for fund-raising as opposed to possessing inherent value. The fancy term is “merchandizing”.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

I made several trips to Europe during the 1970’s. For work and pleasure. Naturally, I did a lot of what is today called “networking”. Before too long, I was even involved in “clandestine” activities.


 

Chapter Three

Clandestine Activities

 

If we had fifty men like Gerhard Lauck, we would seize power!

 

 “Comrade X”

 

Postwar Europe

 

   At the end of World War Two, Europe was essentially divided into the American dominated West and the Russian dominated East.

   Europeans were not happy about this “occupation”.

   Many of them considered the Americans simply the lesser of two evils. Unlike most Americans, they didn’t always view the USA and the USSR as “good guy” and “bad guy” locked in mortal combat over the issue of freedom versus tyranny.

   Instead, they were seen as two empires engaged in a turf war. This rivalry could indeed escalate into a full-scale war. But both empires seemed to prefer skirmishes in the form of small “brush wars” on the fringes.

   Obviously, the “golden cage” in the West was more comfortable that the harsh “gulag” in the East. Nonetheless, some people expressed concern that, in the long-run, Western decadence could prove even more harmful thanEastern oppression.

   When the West failed to support the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, even the staunchest anti-Communists became quite disillusioned with the U.S. government in particular.

   Private organizations were formed in the West for the purpose of proving support to underground resistance movements in occupied nations. They did not receive any government aid or support.

   I played a major role in this work!

   Some western governments tolerated these organizations. Others actively combated them! Some took a stance somewhere in-between both extremes. We’ll call them “safe countries”, “hostile countries” and “neutral countries”.

   Naturally, these private organizations bent over backwards to encourage toleration as opposed to persecution! This meant strict legality whenever and wherever possible. Even where dissent was outlawed, resistance had to be strictly non-violent!

   The support provided by these private organizations took on different forms. My operation specialized in the supply of dissident literature.

   This work involved countries and legal systems, which – by American standards, at least - have no respect for freedom of speech. Where, say, a casual comment to a friend, overheard by the stranger standing next to you in the subway or sitting next to you in a restaurant, can put you in jail. Dissidents sometimes spent months, even years in prison for totally non-violent thought crimes.  

 

 

My First Deportation

 

   I was making even better progress on this trip than on the previous one. Everything was going smoothly. I traveled extensively throughout the whole country and made many excellent contacts.

   After delivering a short address, I had to fly to another province far away. There wasn’t enough time to take the train, because I was scheduled to be the main speaker the very next day.

   My friend and I both noticed the same pretty girl. He suggested I make a move. I reminded him I was leaving the next day. So he should. Many years later, we had a chance encounter in another country. It turned out he had married her! The lucky dog!

   The organizer was so pleased that he invited me to deliver the same speech in still another city a few weeks later. The audience there was even more receptive. After the meeting had officially ended, Wolf-Dieter Eckart and his friends insisted on having their photograph taken with me.

   I left that province the same time day.

   The next day I was visiting a friend in another province. The phone rang. After a brief conversation, he turned to me and said: That was my son. There’s something in the newspaper about an American who gave a speech yesterday in Hamburg and was deported. Could this have anything to do with YOU?

   Both of us were confused. Obviously, I hadn’t been deported. I was sitting right there! The whole thing seemed odd.

   I decided to take the train back to Hamburg. Before boarding the train, I purchased the local newspaper. Paging through it, I soon found an article with my photograph. The caption said: Gerhard Lauck: Disappeared without a trace. The article itself claimed I had been deported.

   Returning to the city in question, I asked a friend: Was there anything in the paper here?

   Hans laughed and said: You made HEADLINES in the HAMBURGER MORGENPOST!

   He showed me the article. Sure enough, there I was! But I was still confused about the claim I had been deported. I met with a lawyer. (As a young man, he had been a defense attorney at the so-called NurembergTribunal…By the way, he also had a kinsman who, being the black sheep of the family, had fled to America.)

   He told me “deportation” referred to a “deportation order”. Not the physical deportation itself. I had to figure there was an arrest warrant out on me. I would be taken into custody and then put on a plane out of the country.

   Evading arrest wouldn’t have been too difficult. But it was time for me to return to America anyway.

  I decided to “go out with a bang”.

   The first thing I did was put the remaining to time to good use. I organized a successful importation.

   Afterward, I attended a NPD (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands) gathering in a small town. A stranger walked up to me and asked if I was Gerhard Lauck. I casually replied: I heard he’s already been deported.A friend sitting across from me nearly laughed aloud. Then he stepped outside to smoke a cigarette. While he was standing in front of the door smoking, another friend (who had named his son Adolf) arrived.

   Their conversation went like this:

   The police stopped by my place. They were looking for Gerhard. I told them I didn’t know where he is. Do you happen to know?

  Yes, he’s inside!

   He thought it was a joke. Until he came inside and saw me.

 The second thing I did was issue a public statement that I would give another speech entitled: Why I do not recognize my deportation order! Complete with time and location. Then I made a recording of my speech and did the unexpected: I actually showed up to make the speech!

   Nobody expected me to do that. Not even the police. They only had two men there. My entourage outnumbered them. Furthermore, my smallest “bodyguard” was bigger than either of them. My biggest bodyguard dwarfed them. His grin alone sufficed to betray what he was thinking: Can I kill ‘em now, boss?

   One policeman nervously asked me to please accompany him to the policeman station. I kindly complied.

   Up arrival, I explained: I already have a plane ticket. However, I have checked all possible travel connections, both air and land. The ONLY WAY I can catch my flight is if I take the train leaving this city in forty-five minutes.

   The flight was from an airport in Luxemburg. I had indeed explored all options with a travel agent.

   He went to ask his superior. Five minutes later, he returned. A police car took me to the train station. I boarded the train. One policeman got on the train with me. I expected him to accompany me all the way to the airport. But he got off the train at the last stop within city limits. I was alone and free!

   I considered remaining in the country, but decided against it.

   A few months later, back in the states, I received an amusing newspaper article from that country. A journalist had somehow discovered nobody had escorted me all the way to the airport. Nobody ever confirmed I had everactually left the country. He speculated that I might still be there operating in the underground! I had a good laugh. After all, he was almost right.

   This publication was the organ of the West Berlin chapter of the East German Communist party, the Socialist Unity Party.

 

 

My Life in the Underground

 

   Naturally, the vast majority of dissidents live and work in their own country. Their advantage is that they know it inside and out. Their disadvantage is that the political police often know, or at least surmise, who they are.

   I fall into a different category, because I am based in the West. My visits are relatively short: days, weeks or months at a stretch. Unless I’m imprisoned, in which case it is years.

 

In the early years, my first encounter with an underground cell generally went like this.

 

   There is a knock on the door late in the evening or even in the middle of the night. A sleepy-eyed man opens the door to see who it is. I am standing there. A surprised look: I didn’t know you were coming! Come in! Come in!

   Are you hungry? Come on in to the kitchen. I’ll get you something to eat.

   If there is time, we spend hours, even the whole night, chatting and getting to know each other.

   We must familiarize ourselves with each other. This includes knowledge of the home situation, employment and usual daily routine.

   We must form a personal bond beyond the abstract one that already exists. Of course, this makes later news of their fate more personal. These are people I know, not statistics.  

   In the very early days, this often involved alcohol. Some dissidents wouldn’t trust you if you did NOT get drunk with them and reveal your “true nature”. Others wouldn’t trust you if you DID get drunk. Either because you couldn’t hold your liquor or because you were obviously an disciplined drunkard! Go figure!

   We must develop our own “communication system”. Establish how and when we will contact each other in the future, when phone taps and even direct surveillance will make things complicated.

   My stupid jokes often came in quite useful here.

   Each cell must have its own simple code for at least a few basic concepts. Each code is different. And I must memorize every single one! In addition to dozens of names, addresses and phone numbers. Despite exhaustion and stress. Sometimes I go for days without sleep, always moving, always trying to stay one step ahead of the political police.

   We must determine a course of action and the next step for both us.

   I must assess the new co-worker. His capabilities and limitations. Above all, the security risks. And I must take prudent, sometimes very subtle, additional security measures.

   This might very well be our one and only opportunity for this kind of a meeting!

   Our next contact might be indirect. Perhaps a brief and carefully formulated message. Perhaps weeks later. I must be confident that the recipient will understand this message and take the appropriate action. Even if it sounds trivial or downright silly…Yes, even if it means missing a bowling match or a birthday party.

   Family members are often present at the start of the encounter. A look of fear on the wife’s face is not uncommon. She knows the possible consequences her husband’s underground activity could have for her whole family. I am the embodiment of that fear. I am not merely the mailman who delivers the draft notice. I am also the draft board itself.

   Later this becomes much easier. First, everybody knows my reputation. I do not have to prove myself to them. Second, I am usually dealing with first-string, or at least experienced and reliable second string, people. Many of us know each other. We’ve worked together in the past.

   Naturally, this concentration of several well-known activists attracts the attention of the political police. If they guess a “Western agent” is in the area, this curiosity escalates to a feeding frenzy.

   Occasionally, my arrival would be viewed as a good time to throw a party! That’s all I needed. Even more people knowing of my presence. And reveling and drinking. 

   Naturally, I always urged drivers to observe the speed limit. I didn’t want a routine traffic stop to result in my identification and arrest. Unfortunately, these instructions were not always followed. Once when we were pulled over, I was pleasantly surprised not to be arrested on the spot. But I had to figure my presence in the area had become known.

   Another time, my driver insisted on showing me some interesting sites. Knowing there was a significant chance they would be under surveillance, I turned down the offer. But he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. At one point, I considered jumping out of the moving vehicle. But that would be conspicuous in addition to dangerous. Luckily, everything turned out well.

   Learning of this later, another colleague lamented: If the police had known you were in the area, that would have been the FIRST PLACE they would have looked!

   On the bright side, I did compliment Wilfried-Arnulf on his art books. And his unusual house pets.

   Once our guide was driving in the vehicle ahead of us. We didn’t know the way so we had to follow him. Of course, he was going over the speed limit. My driver and I were both rather unhappy about this. Christian Worch commented: Some times I think I should have all of our people shot for incompetence. Then I will have to have myself shot for having shot all of our people.

   Many of these activists were experienced. However, they were accustomed to a lower intensity of police activity. Different rules and procedures applied when the police knew I was in the area. Akin to the difference between a pillow fight and a knife fight.

   My quarters varied from freezing cold dungeon to cozy apartment. One time I had enjoyed the platonic company of a beautiful woman. I looked forward to returning the next evening. But the local security chief insisted I not spend two nights in the same place. He was right, of course. Nonetheless, this was one time I wished security would have been more lax! I spent the second night in a cold water flat. At least it had a toilet.

   If we couldn’t hide indications, we could at least obscure them with false tracks elsewhere. This was done with system and with success. If three alarm bells went off in one area, then ten would go off in others. Over a period of time, pursuers became exhausted. Energetic action deteriorated to just going-through-the-motions.

   I sometimes used a disguise. This could be as simple as a hat. However, I always wore clothes with multiple pockets. I had to reckon with the very real possibility that I might have to drop everything and bolt. I needed to keep documents and money on my person.

   Once I was awakened in the middle of the night. I heard the shout of “Police!” and pounding on the door. Fortunately, it was the room next to mine. I figured the police had simply gotten the wrong room by mistake. They would be at my door in a minute or two. I scrambled to get on some clothes and my shoes before making a dash out the window.

   But I got lucky! They really were after the guy in the next room!

   Another time, I heard somebody shout my name in the Frankfurt train station. I pretended I hadn’t heard it and continued walking toward the exit. But the man caught up with me. Fortunately, he was a sympathizer!

   I had a beard for several months. Generally, the males would be fooled, but the females would still recognize me. Perhaps women are simply more alert. Then again, maybe it was my unmistakable sex appeal.

   At any rate, my own clandestine activity had both advantages and disadvantages.

   The advantages included international travel and interaction with interesting people. For example, I met several very beautiful young ladies! Offhand, three come to mind: the “Polish Princess”, the “Baltic Baroness” and the “Mafia Princess”.

   The disadvantages included deportations. My personal record was two in one month - on the direct orders of the counterpart to the head of the U.S. Department of the Interior!

   One of the perks of my extra-curricular activities is that I have a standing invitation to stay FOR FREE at any one of a number of state-run lodgings.

   These top-notch, solidly constructed establishments are so popular that they require high walls, barbed-wire and armed guards to keep out the teaming masses trying to get in! Even the individual rooms, usually private rooms complete with plumbing, have bars on the windows to keep out the riffraff.

   Room service delivers the professionally prepared food to your room. It does not even expect a gratuity! Gym, barbershop, medical station, laundry, library and even store make it unnecessary to leave the establishment even when on an extended visit.

   The other guests provide a fascinating assortment of diverse conversation partners. Interesting stories and useful information are plentiful here.

   Are you jealous? Don’t be! You, too, may qualify for a FREE stay. Simply research the most effective slogan and shout it on any busy public square.

   There is a popular joke. In an emergency, don’t shout for the police. Shout a resistance slogan instead. The police will come much faster!

 

 

Cells & Networks

 

   We strictly upheld the cell system for security reasons.

   However, a lonely cell leader, Armin, found a way around this. He participated in a torch march organized by the youth branch of the NPD. There were about 150 participants. He shouted: AO to the rear! (NSDAP/AO, or simply AO, are the abbreviations for our organization’s very long German name.)

   He found our people constituted a full third of the whole demonstration! Contacts were made. Very successful large-scale campaigns resulted.

   Multiple teams saturated even downtown streets in major cities with hundreds of our posters in a single night. Lookouts with walkie-talkies were posted at the ends of a street. Two teams worked both sides of the street. There was always a huge uproar the next morning.

   Sometimes an arrest was made. The regime proclaimed victory. But then the spectacle repeated itself a few weeks later.

   This continued for quite some time. But eventually things ended as they had to end.

   Nonetheless, the long-term result was the existence of both small cells in the traditional sense and larger “cell networks”. The former had a defensive advantage and latter had an offensive advantage.

 

 

Comedy of Errors

 

   I was the project leader.

   The task was to move supplies through multiple neutral countries to the final destination in a hostile country.

   Several teams were actively involved. Generally, team A spoke language A, team B spoke language B and team C spoke language C.

   If I was lucky, teams in direct contact with each other soon discovered a common language understood by at least one member of each team.

   If I was not lucky, I was forced to serve as liaison and interpreter.

   This was one of the times when I was not lucky.

   We can safely say in this case: What we have here is a failure to communicate.

   Team A asks a question.

   I translate.

   Team B answers the question.

   I translate.

   Team A rejects the answer.

   I translate.

   Team B insists the answer is correct.

   I translate.

   Team A says the answer is obviously wrong for such and such a reason.

   I translate. But I also ask why the answer is correct.

   Team B explains the answer is obviously correct for such and such a reason.

   Stop!

   I immediately grasp the problem: mentality! I have more than enough experience under my belt to understand both mentalities and grasp exactly what is happening here. – So I explain everything to both teams. Both listen to my explanation and nod in agreement. Yes, now everything is clear.

   What happens next?

   We go back to the very first step!!!

   Why?

   It simply will not sink into the head of Team A!

   For them, it is simply inconceivable that the correct answer is indeed correct. Imagine, if you will, that someone were to tell you that 1+1 = 2 is NOT a universal truth. “Maybe 1+1 = 2 in the USA, but 1+1 = 3 in Europeand 1+1 = 4 in Asia.” - Obviously wrong, you say! But are you absolutely, positively sure of that?

   Actually, 1+1 = 2 is NOT always right! What if the numbering system is not based on ten! In a numbering system based on 2, for example, 1+1 = 10!

   Here’s another example: “Yes = yes and no = no.” But does it? I later found that in Asia “yes” does not always mean “yes” in the Western sense. It can have three different meanings: First, yes in the sense of simply beingpolite. Second, yes in the sense of “yes I understand what you mean.” Third, “yes” in the sense of “yes I agree with you!”

   But our tale of woe continues.

   En route through multiple neutral countries, I spot a suspicious pair of men. Later I notice someone taking a long-distance photograph of us while kneeling next to our car in the parking lot.

   The moment of truth comes, when we finally get to the crucial border to the hostile country. We get through!

   However, there is still a chance we were allowed through in order to identify our co-workers.

   The shipment is taken to an alternate storage area. I take a small portion of it with me.

   Financial limitations later compel to me take greater risks than usual. I am arrested with my portion of the shipment. It is large enough to cause quite a stir, but not enough to hurt us much.

   I see the above-mentioned suspicious pair at the police station. One of them tells me that following us had been “child’s play”. I fear for the worse.

   But we’re lucky. I am the only one arrested.

   Sure, the police search the homes and offices of the others, but they find nothing. My people aren’t even taken into custody!

   Maybe the surveillance team lost us. Maybe they simply got lazy and figured they would seize the supplies and make the arrests during later raids…In effect, their mistakes balanced out our mistakes!

   The end result is one man, namely me, spending a few months in prison and the loss of an acceptable portion of the supplies. The bulk of the supplies escape seizure and are put to excellent use. We win this round. [SeeHotel One, Hotel Two and Judicial Game Show #1.]

   Even the brief prison time is worthwhile. It is educational. Much later, we are suspicious of any long-term hardcore activist leader who doesn’t have some prison time under his belt.

   I remember one case in particular (Ewald), where this turned out to be true.

   But I am still lucky. In the early days, we still are not taken that seriously. Prison sentences are generally in the months. Later, when we will be taken seriously, they will become years. The future dominant figure in the “legal arm of the movement”, Michael Kühnen, spent half of his adult life in prison solely for thought crimes!

   A comrade by the name of Kurt put it this way: A man without prison is like a man without scars! 

 

 

My First Imprisonment

 

   The first state-run luxury hotel was strict, but sympathetic. I was allowed to hang a small resistance banner from South America on my wall and to keep resistance literature in my room. Hotel staff would often come by for a friendly chat.

   I remember the very first time a bellboy escorted me to my new home away from home. He gave me a puzzled look and commented: You don’t belong here?  

   When I started to explain, he interrupted: Yes, I remember reading about you in the newspaper! The whole staff treated me as an honored guest. Obviously, I had many fans here.

   One night I was standing on my table next to the window. I wanted to see the stars. An attendant entered my room and asked what I was doing. I told him. While he inspected the window, I walked over to the door. Being fun-loving, I contemplated stepping out into the hall, closing the door and locking him in my room! Just as a joke. But I decided against it. It’s not a good idea to tick off the hired help.

   One time a visitor handed me a slip of paper on the sly. I hadn’t expected this and dropped it on the floor. This was awkward. What should we do? Fortunately, the hotel staff member supervising the visit did the unexpected. Instead of seizing it and chastising us, he simply picked it up and handed it to me!

   I put my vacation to good use. I wrote a booklet describing the basic concepts behind the NSDAP/AO. It was entitled Die NSDAP/AO: Strategie, Propaganda und Organisation. (The NSDAP/AO: Strategy, Propaganda and Organization. An English edition was never published. However, we later published both English and German editions of another booklet entitled An Introduction to the NSDAP/AO: The Fights Goes On!)

   The second hotel was different. Everything was confiscated. But I got it back when I checked out.

   Ironically, although the management was clearly not sympathetic, the guest rules were generally much less strict than in the first hotel.

   For example, it had a kind of “lobby”. Basically a community room with a television. We guests would hang out there a couple hours each day, watch television, play cards or just chat.

   The first time I was there, one of the staff members came in and handed me a stack of letters.

   Confused, one of the other guests asked: Why did you give him ALL the mail?

   The reply: I didn’t, that’s all HIS!”

   At first, I kept to myself.

   Then one day, one of the fellows playing cards at another table looked over at me and casually asked: Murder?

   I smiled, shook my head and said No!

   Another time, there was a prison movie on television. One of guests commented this didn’t seem appropriate under the circumstances. The others agreed. Somebody changed the channel.

 

 

Against All Odds

 

   Several months after my release, I coordinate a similar project. This time, the opponent is ready for us. But we are also well prepared. 

   I meet the team leader, Uwe, in a neutral country, namely Denmark, near the border to the hostile target country, namely Germany. He informs me there is massive surveillance in place.

   I get into his car and we start driving toward the border crossing anyway. Only a few yards before we reach the gate, he turns around and races away from the crossing. Looking around, we see half a dozen unmarked cars dart out from the other side of the border.

   These cars follow us as we drive along a road running parallel to the border. Then we stop, get out and walk into the woods in the direction of the border. The key exchange of information takes place in these woods only yards from the border. As we’re finishing, we see flashlights flickering in the dusk, approaching us from the road, presumably the German police. We return to our car, leave and later split up.

   When I then proceed alone to another neutral country, namely the United Kingdom, I am stopped at the border. The police inform me that the counterpart to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, namely the Home Secretary, has personally ordered me stopped. I agree to leave voluntarily and at my own expense, but ask permission to make a phone call. It is granted.

   In the presence of the police, I call Michael, the leader of an allied group in this country, explain the situation and ask him to meet me at my planned departure point. I offer to take him with me to my next destination at my expense. He agrees.

   After my telephone conversation, the police official is called into the next room. Upon his return, he informs me that I will not be allowed to make any more phone calls.

   When I explain the magnitude of surveillance to Michael, I can tell he doesn’t believe me. He tactfully explains to me that this is his country, he has many years of experience here and he therefore knows what the police do and don’t do here!

   I fully understand this. But I must convince him that this situation is totally different from anything he has ever experienced in the past. So I point out three people and ask him to remember their faces, because he will be seeing them again. He is skeptical, but agrees.

   I have had this experience several times over the years, especially with both political activists and lawyers. Governments apply different rules to us! 

   During the next week or so, the two of us identify beyond any reasonable doubt over twenty surveillance agents and half a dozen vehicles.

   We even make a game of it.

   We pretend we don’t spot them watching us with binoculars through the window of a restaurant across the street. Then we stroll into that inn, I make a suspicious phone call and we rush off into a dark alley. We see they are following us and manage to lose them. Then we find a nice dry spot and watch them running around for hours in the rain trying to find us.

   Sometimes we take a different approach. When I see an all too familiar face on a railway platform, I walk up and down the crowd and scrutinize each individual as if I’m looking for somebody. Most people probably think I’m a policeman. But the surveillance agent gets nervous.

   We do this in small town after small town along the border for a week or so. We see the same faces and vehicles again and again. 

    At the end of his part in this, Michael looks at me and exclaims: When I get home and tell my people what I’ve seen with my own eyes, they won’t believe me!

   My own work is far from over.

   After wearing down the surveillance teams, I retreat from the border region. They figure I’m withdrawing and are all too happy to finally get some much earned rest! Their guard is down. That’s when I make my move!

   I manage to sneak into still another neutral country, namely Belgium, undetected. From there, I make another attempt to enter the United Kingdom. But I fail. I’m kicked out again, the second time within one month. I am forced to return to Belgium.

   The police there obviously know I’m coming. So I expect to be arrested upon arrival.

   The conversation then goes something like this:

   Policeman: Come with us.

   Me: Am I under arrest?

   Policeman: No, I just want to know what you’re doing here.

   Me: I hear there are some beautiful churches here. I have come to see them.

   Policeman: We know who you are.

   Me: Okay. I am simply waiting for a courier to arrive with information and funds. I do not plan any activity in your country at all. Unless you insist, in which case I can make one phone call and carloads of activists will rush right over here.

   Policeman: No, don’t do that! Look, I’m under orders to report your movements daily to the national capital.

   Me: Do you know a cheap place to stay? I’m low on funds.

   Policeman: Actually, there’s a hotel near here. The owner thinks like you do. I’ve always wanted to meet him, but never had an excuse. I tell you what, I’ll take you there, introduce you and explain the situation. I think he’ll put you up for free until your friend arrives with the money.

   Me: Sounds good to me!

   We do this. It is mutually beneficial. I have a nice place to stay and he can keep tabs on me. He visits me every day. We drink Trappist beer together. I give him an update and we have a nice chat. He reports to the capital. One day he invites me to accompany him on a drive through the country and I do so. He stops at every church along the way so I can take a look at it. 

   This policeman makes it clear that he doesn’t care about us. But he detests our opponent! He does NOT want to do our opponent the FAVOR of interfering with us!

   Finally, the day comes when I can report that I have booked a seat on a flight leaving the next day from the neighboring country’s airport, namely Luxemburg.

   Then he surprises me: I have a suggestion. Let me drive you there! That way, I can report to my superiors that I personally put you on the plane. And you save travel fare.

   I gladly agree.

   That evening I spend the last of my money on a fancy meal. I sure hope he’ll keep his promise.

   He does keep it. I return to the USA with 20 cents in my pocket. I use it to call a friend to pick me up. I stay with him until I receive more money for the last leg of my trip home.

   Despite the opponent’s intense efforts, we complete the project with NO losses at all in men or material.

 

 

Officer Training

 

   The training of promising young officers later became one of my most important and rewarding tasks. These “youngsters” already had a lot of experience. They had proven themselves. Now we were taking their training up a notch.

   One day they will have to be better than we are now! - Because the enemy will also get better over time.

   This training often took place during an actual underground mission. “Under live fire” as it were.

   Here are some of my teaching techniques:

 

Stop! Listen! Learn!

 

   Amidst the hectic activity and rushed conversations, I suddenly stop. I turn to the trainee, look him in the eye and say: “Stop! Note This! Remember this! I will explain later! Reference XYZ.” Then I do or say somethingapparently trivial, perhaps even downright silly!

   I do this several times over the next days or even weeks.

   By this point, I have already started to connect at least some of the dots for him. He is starting to see a pattern. There is a method to my madness. And this madness is all part of a larger plan.

 

   Remember when I did [whatever] and gave it the reference name XYZ. This is WHY I did it. I had foreseen this possibility, even though it seemed very remote back then, and deliberately taken this specific action as a precautionary measure. It was NOT just a coincidence or accident.

 

   This kind of demonstration proved to be a very effective training technique!

   It was infinitely superior to the “trick question”, where the student has to guess which answer the “teacher wants”.

   Obviously, I could not have known the future! This was not a “rigged” match. The fact that I had made such a big deal about the specific action in question already at the time – namely before I could have possibly foreseen that this or that would happen - proved that I wasn’t simply making it all up after the fact just to “look smart”.

   This really drove the point home. Dramatically proved the importance of the point. And made it very easy to remember it.

 

 

Up a Notch

 

   I would also constantly point out variables and assess - and later re-assess - their magnitude.

   I would say something like this:

 

   Let us think about the possible ramifications of this new piece of information…Potential risk factor A is now greater. Earlier it was the size of a pea. Now it is the size of a marble. It will not become dangerous until it reaches the size of a basketball. It is not dangerous yet, but it is growing. We must watch it.

 

   Later I might say the same, but replace pea with marble… and marble with golf ball. Then add: “It has just gone up one notch”.

   Or, if it was now the size of a baseball, that it had gone up three notches.

 

 

Whoppers

 

   I often use examples involving huge exaggerations. The reasons include:

   First, this makes the point very clear.

   Second, this dramatizes the importance of the point.

   Third, this makes it obvious that the example is NOT to be taken literally.

  

   Note: This can even have legal ramifications. For example, if I’m quoted out of context in a courtroom.

   This is more important than the average person may realize. I know this from my own experience.

   District attorney: Your honor, the defendant is such a bloodthirsty monster that he even threatened to have his enemies BOILED IN OIL!

   Defense Attorney: I object! This is taken out of context. The very next sentence was “And stranded on a desert island with their mother-in-law for six months!”

 

   Fourth, this humor helps to lighten things up and lower the stress level.

   Fifth, it is simply part of my style. My “subset of insanity” as it were.

 

   The example is followed by an indication of the scale of magnitude of the exaggeration. There are three levels:

 

Level One

I say: Naturally, this is an exaggeration!

(Yes, this is obviously impossible!)

 

Level Two

I say: I am exaggerating SOME, but NOT AS MUCH as you probably think!

(A remote possibility exists.)

 

Level Three

I say: I am exaggerating a LITTLE, but NOT NEARLY AS MUCH as you probably think!

(This is a definite possibility.)

 

   These three levels sometimes correspond to the 5%, 50%, 95% used in  game theory”. This is very useful in strategic planning, where there are many unknown variables at play.

   Even a seemingly minor detail can tip the scales. This can result in a sudden and radical change of course.

 

 

The Opponent

 

Infiltration of the Police

 

   Repressive regimes have a disadvantage. They do not know what people really think, because people are afraid to openly say it. This is also true for government officials. Even for policemen.

   The police have a tough job! They risk their lives to protect honest citizens from criminals.

   Imagine how a policeman feels, when he is pulled off a criminal case just to raid or arrest non-violent dissidents?

   Imagine how he feels, when he sees a hardened criminal released on a technically…and then sees a non-violent dissident convicted only because the judge stretched – or even ignored (!) – the law?

   Or a “thought crime” is punished more severely than a violent crime?

   Or a criminal gets out of prison early on parole, whereas a dissent almost always has to serve his full sentence?

   Ideology aside, this is one reason why many policemen at least turn a blind eye. 

   It is always hard to keep a secret. Especially if many people know it. But it is even harder in this environment.

   As a result, large-scale operations against us inevitably fail. It only takes one person to tip us off. This is easy to do without risk.

   The biggest mass raids I recall took place while I was in Europe. The media hailed the raids as a huge victory for the police. I later gained access to the actual government files. The amount of material actually seized was tiny compared to our annual production.

   Furthermore, even the few people actually convicted only got fines. NO jail time at all!

   I commented at the time:

 

   I would be happy to send a portion of each production run directly to the political police headquarters. This would save taxpayer money. I would even let the police “intercept” a LARGER portion of our shipments than they do now. In exchange, I simply ask that they make a big fuss about their great victory after each delivery. The resultant publicity is worth a lot more than the cost of the material sacrificed.

 

   Something akin to this is already a common practice with large-scale drug dealers, I’ve been told.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

   While visiting a friend in a medium sized city, there was a knock on the door. A friend of his came in and took a seat across from me.

   First, my friend introduced the other man to me. He was the local chief of police. Then he introduced me.

   This police chief instantly knew who I was. He jumped up from his chair so fast that it actually startled me. Then he shook my hand heartily and exclaimed: It’s an honor to meet you!

 

 

Police Mentality

 

   A friend of mine, Wally, had defected from the Eastern Block, where he had been an officer in the police. His father was a general in the police. He related his father’s story to me like this.

   Between the World Wars, his father was a policeman in a democratic regime.

   When the Germans occupied his country, they asked him two questions:

   First, do you want to remain a policeman?

   His answer was yes.

   Second, will you obey orders?

   Again, his answer was yes.

   He remained a policeman during the German occupation.

   When the Russians came, they asked him the same two questions. And he gave the same two answers.

   He remained a policeman. Eventually, he rose to the rank of a general in the police!

   I do not recall whether or not he was in the “criminal police” or the “political police”. This may sound odd, but I don’t think it makes much difference.

   Another friend of mine complained that he encountered the same political police agents in three subsequent regimes. Despite the fact that all three regimes were of a totally different, and reciprocally hostile, ideological stripe! (The Weimar Republic, the Third Reich and the so-called Federal Republic of Germany.)

   Again, this may sound strange, especially to Americans. But it is worth keeping in mind.

   The same policemen who once defended the U.S. Constitution might one day obey orders from a government that “defends democracy” by throwing critics and dissidents in prison!

   This has already happened in both Eastern and Western Europe. It could happen in America, too.

 

*   *     *   *

 

   On the lighter side, I once witnessed the following scene. This same Eastern European and another man, a Central European, both of whom had noticeable accents, were sitting at a table in a restaurant. They were discussing weapons. An American sitting at the same table was embarrassed by this. He wondered what the people at the surrounding tables were thinking.

   But he did get his revenge. The Europeans had asked about the vintage of the wines before making their selection. When the waitress turned to him, he said he wanted milk. But he did have one question: Miss, can you please tell me the vintage of the milk?

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

   This American also had a half-amusing, half-grisly experience during a Thanksgiving Day feast.

   A former auxiliary policeman in Eastern Europe described some of the things he had witnessed first hand. This included human bones littering a railway. The result of cannibalism.

   The American lost his appetite.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

   Many older Eastern Europeans would simply not discuss anything sensitive in a room with a telephone. Even if it was on the receiver. Their American-born teenagers laughed at this. Years later, the same children, now middle-aged, learned it is indeed possible to listen in even if the phone is on the receiver!

 

 

“Limited Political Warfare”

 

   First: We appealed to the government.

 

   All we demand is freedom. Freedom of speech. Freedom of assemble. Freedom to form our own parties and participate in the democratic process. If people want to vote for us, then they should be able to do so. If they do not want to vote for us, they don’t have to.

   You say you outlaw us, because we are a “threat to democracy”. YOU are the threat to democracy!!!

   If we try to work legally within the framework of your ambiguous “laws”, you simply ban our organizations anyway. If we work in the underground, we’re already “illegal” from the start. We face stiffer penalties, but we are harder to find.

   Even if forced underground, we limit ourselves to non-violent resistance. We have no desire to hurt anybody. We want to convince people, not kill them. We also do not want to give you the “terrorism” excuse. But you label us as “terrorists” anyway, even when your own police confirm this is not true!

   We are determined to remain non-violent. But it is obvious that, as oppression increases, more individuals will act on their own out of sheer desperation. – YOU are the cause, not us! We actually discourage terrorism, both because we offer a non-violent alternative and because we use our influence to urge restraint!

   If we gain freedom, we will gladly abide by the “rules of democracy”.

   If we gain power through a non-violent revolution, we will offer our former opponents generous immunity.

   If one day your oppression triggers an armed uprising, then all bets are off! Nobody has any control then!

   We are willing to die for our cause. Are you?

   How many of YOUR employees are willing to die for your regime?

   How many of YOUR so-called “leaders”?

 

We knew the government would not give us freedom without a struggle. We were simply doing everything within our power to keep it a non-violent conflict.

 

 

Second: We informed government officials as individuals.

 

   There are three kinds of government officials:

   First, those who are, let us say, less than enthusiastic and thorough. Obviously, these reasonable officials have nothing to fear from us.

   Second, those who are conscientious, but not excessive. These by-the-book officials also have nothing to fear from us.

   Third, those who are downright excessive. These zealots will not be forgotten. They will stand trial. Unless we grant a blanket amnesty, presumably in exchange for some concession by the government.

 

   Generally, an official has a certain degree of leeway. We must strive to assess this accurately and act accordingly. If we ask too much, he is unable to comply and forced into a deadlock. We must always strive to loosen, not tighten, the bonds between the individual official and the government.

   I have on occasion had a candid, heart-to-heart talk with a government official one-on-one.

   Many times, we managed to find a reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to an issue.

   Other times his face turned white…

   These occasions were rare. The risk of a backfire and potentially serious escalation were usually too great. Positive reinforcement is generally best. Even negative reinforcement is more safely achieved through humor.

 

 

Police Informants

 

   When I gained access to extensive government files on police informants, I was amazed at how pitiful they were in both number and quality.

   One fellow claimed he was my close personal friend. His description of my physical appearance was WAY off! Nonetheless, he managed to collect his informant salary for over a year. He even got the government to pay for multiple trips to foreign countries!

   Occasionally, an informant’s identity is revealed through a simple bureaucratic blunder. This is understandable. The paperwork is sometimes so massive that one almost needs to be locked in a cell for at least a few weeks to read it all!

   Fortunately, I have enjoyed such an opportunity! I had plenty of time to thoroughly study extensive files on a big case that was very close to my heart. The information alone would have been well worth, say, a year of my life. Not to mention the sheer joy and the laughs!


 

Chapter Four

“Expert”

 

Over the years I became a recognized authority as it were in my field of expertise. Governments, semi-governmental organizations and private enterprises sought me out. On several occasions, they flew me toEurope at their expense. This usually meant they wanted me either as a witness or for an interview.

 

   Aside from expenses, I was happy to assist them pro bona.

   Commercial entities, on the other hand, sometimes paid me handsomely for my services! I would donate my fee to a non-profit organization.

   It was not uncommon for a foreign government to acknowledge the significance of my work in both official publications and internal documents.

   My personal archives contain several letters signed by top-level government officials, including the counterparts to three U.S. presidential cabinet members, the Oval Office and the directors of both the FBI and CIA!

   I was once informed that I was the “main topic of conversation” in a meeting between European government officials and FBI Director Freeh went he landed in Germany. Apparently, he was totally surprised. He had never heard of me. This was not surprising, since most of my work was in Europe.

   My interlocking experience in multiple fields and multiple countries, combined with my analytical mind, often enabled me to see things that other people, even experts in those same fields, failed to see!

   One amazed expert told me: When you first told me, I didn’t believe you. But you were right! How did you know???

   I was not surprised by these words. I had heard them many times in the past.

   At any rate, my work as an “expert” has provided me with many fond memories.

   Another time a retired political police (Verfassungsschutz) agent testifying in a German court spoke of my work with such great respect that I was moved. Coming from an opponent, this obviously meant more than if it had come from a fan. This recognition was even mentioned in the press.

 

 

An Assassination Attempt

 

   My work was sometimes dangerous!

   A parcel bomb once actually reached my room. I was already holding it in my hands. Then I sensed something was odd and called the police. A bomb expert reported that, if it had exploded, it definitely would have killed me!

   This was not the only bomb attack I experienced, but it was the one that came closest to ending my life.

   Nonetheless, I like to view an assassination attempt as a compliment of the most sincere kind.

 

 

My Testimony in a Terrorist Trial

 

My testimony at one terrorist trial in particular was quite memorable. Here is the story of my 1979 trip to Bückeburg.

 

   When my plane arrived at an international airport, I was stormed by a mob of reporters. I had been instructed in advance not to say anything to the press. I clenched my teeth and did not utter one single word. Not even my customary “No Comment!”

   The press continued to hound me in the waiting room. I told myself I would soon escape them, when I boarded the connecting flight.

   But I was wrong! Half a dozen of them got on the plane with me!

   When this plane landed at the next airport, it started to taxi down the runway. But then it stopped before reaching the gate. Everybody, me included, wondered what was up. Then it came to me: Does this have anything to do with me?

   I could hear the door open. A stewardess came and told me to follow her. I was sent down the ramp into a waiting vehicle. This vehicle drove me to a restricted area.

   Upon my arrival, I was approached by three men in street cloths. They identified themselves as policemen.

   One informed me: We are taking heightened security precautions, because there is concern over a possible assassination attempt against you!

   The four of us then drove to a waiting military helicopter and took off. Flying over the city, I could make out some women sunbathing on a roof. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see if they were topless, because we were too high. At least I got a free ride on a helicopter.

   We landed on a country road out in the middle of nowhere. Four cars were waiting for us. One was for the four of us and the other three were additional security. Then we drove to a pleasant out-of-the way hotel. These three policemen stayed with me 24/7.

   Our supper meal, wine and conversation were very enjoyable. One policeman told a joke that seemed a bit odd given his profession.

   There are four things a good German must do in his life: Write a book, build a house, father a child and get arrested at least once.

   The next morning, we drove to a maximum security prison. For security reasons, the trial of a group of terrorists was being held here. I was about to testify at that trial.

   The events in the courtroom were memorable, yes, even dramatic.

   This was billed as the largest neo-Nazi terrorist trial in postwar German history.

   All my friends loved the graphics. The opposing team hated them. Instead of just chalking it up to difference tastes, they insisted on making a big deal out of it. Gee, some people!

   A television tower had accidentally fallen down during the broadcast of an especially repulsive program. Our news coverage of this event included an artist’s highly stylized depiction of this calamity. It was published shortly before I received my invitation to appear on this game show.

   The difference between the words “or” and “through” was absolutely crucial in this case. Namely, Freedom or Revolution! as opposed to Freedom through Revolution! The “prosecutor” was so upset that he threatened to ignore my immunity and have me arrested right there in the courtroom. He sounded serious.

   This time, I was only a guest star with a brief but important supporting role. In other words, I was a “defense witness”, not a “defendant”. Nonetheless, the regime had to officially grant me temporary immunity from arrest before I agreed to participate in this particular show.

   First, the “defense attorney” delivered a speech explaining why my immunity should NOT be violated.

   Then the chief “defendant”, Michael Kühnen, gave his speech along the same lines.

   This famous dissident and close comrade of mine was on trial with several other people. The court admitted he did NOT participate in their “crimes”. However, he was convicted and sentenced to four years prison anyway! Why? He was deemed the “intellectual instigator”, because he shared their ideological beliefs. This sufficed to make him criminally liable.

   While they did this, I mentally prepared my own, necessarily very brief, speech. Namely what I would defiantly shout right after my arrest was ordered.

   But then the “prosecutor” backed down.

   I must congratulate him on his acting ability! He really had us going for a while there.

   At any rate, the rest of the day was anti-climatic.

   After my court appearance, three friends were allowed to visit me in my hotel room.

   Of course, we presumed the room was bugged. We communicated by writing on slips of paper and then burning them in the ashtray. While this was going on, we badmouthed the political police something terrible. Nothing personal. Just for the sake of the bugs. (When they left, the police looked bewildered and disappointed!)

   One of my visitors was my “Ersatz-Mutti” or “substitute mom”, Ursula. She and her husband Kurt played a leading role in the nationalist prisoner aid organization. The third visitor was a young French activist who had helped Kühnen during his exile in France. (Several years later, this Frenchman was attacked and horribly maimed.)

   On my return trip, I stopped off in Chicago, where I had a fateful encounter.

 

 

The Mass Media

 

   I quickly learned the media’s reputation for incompetence and bias was well earned.

   At first, I always tried to provide a reasonable and accurate presentation of my views. But this was always ignored.

   Finally, I decided to always throw in at least one outlandish and bloodthirsty quote. Akin to the token sex scene in a movie that isn’t about sex, but Hollywood insists on it anyway.

   One interview was so distorted that I wouldn’t have recognized it as mine, if I hadn’t been mentioned by name.

   A colleague told me a reporter phoned him after publication of his own interview to apologize: I didn’t write it like that! The editor completely rewrote it!

   Another reporter, whose parents were friends of my family, refused an assignment: I won’t write what they want me to…and they wouldn’t print what I would write!

   An acquaintance, who dealt with the press in a totally non-controversial area, assured me the media made many mistakes there, too.

   One reporter even followed around my elderly mother! I phoned his boss at home: If my family’s address is published in your paper, I will return the favor. I will publish the addresses of the reporter and his boss and his boss’s boss!

   The resultant article was one of the most vicious ones I’ve ever seen. But it did NOT include family addresses.

   Of course, the media always referred to obviously extremely hostile and biased sources as being “reliable”.  But this also had an advantage. At one of my trials years later, a German government official referred to the same source as reliable. No wonder their intelligence was way off! Our supposed enemy was a valuable, albeit blissfully ignorant, conduit for false information. God bless them!

   Imagine the following scenario. You decide to take a course on Jewish history. The professor enters the classroom. He is wearing a Nazi armband. He instructs you to purchase Mein Kampf as your primary text book. Do you think this course will be unbiased?

   Frankly, most of the “literature” on the Third Reich is no less biased! Regardless of your views, you deserve the facts! If you can’t find an “objective” book, read openly subjective books from BOTH sides.

   Anyway, the hostile press generally portrayed its intended victim either as ridiculous crackpot or as terrible menace. The latter offered a bigger story for the reporter. It was also preferable for us. Furthermore, official German government publications kindly verified our significance.

   Our “media kit” later included physical copies of all ten of our tabloid newspapers plus a booklet. Entitled An Introduction to the NSDAP/AO: The Fight Goes One!, this booklet included extensive mainstream media quotes, the NSDAP/AO’s chronology and various articles. Sometimes we even threw in a videocassette. Even the laziest reporter could extract enough information to write his own entertaining article. (We also had a German-language edition.)

   Already in the early and mid-1970’s, we started to get media coverage. This early coverage included a front page article in the local paper in Lincoln and a feature article in the Sunday supplement to the Omaha World-Herald. My friend George, an old Rockwell activist, participated in the latter.

   When the FBI asked George if he knew me, he said no, but he’d like to meet me! The FBI kindly put us in contact. We became pals. He introduced me to many valuable contacts!

   Many of my overseas trips were financed by governments, government-affiliated media and privately owned media. Sometimes they just handed me a stack of $100 bills. It was kind of like professional wrestling. The hostility was just part of the act.

   I do not wish to imply they agreed with my views. Quite the opposite! But, hey, business is business. The media is a prostitute. It wants a good story. A good story means profit. It would sell out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver…and then sign a book and film deal with Judas.     

   Almost more pathetic were the journalists who were obviously sincere in their aversion and desire to harm us. They were played just as easily, but without profit for them or harm to us. Quite the opposite: Their obviously sincere hostility made them more credible as a source for false information.

   A few interviews were particularly amusing.

 

 

My 1979 CBS Sixty Minutes interview with Ran Rather

 

   His first question went like this: You have been called a rich Godfather who supplies the Neo-Nazi underground in Germany with propaganda material, money and guns. Is this true?

   His facial expression was serious. I had to struggle to keep from laughing. (I don’t recall whether or not this question was used in the broadcast.)

   When this interview was broadcast in January 1979, it included a close-up shot of our PO Box 6414 in Lincoln Nebraska. The result was duffel bags of mail every day for weeks. Over 90% of this mail consisted of simple requests for information. The remainder was equally divided between fan mail and hate mail…When this interview was broadcast again in July 1979, we received even more mail than the first time.

 

 

My 1992 ABC Primetime interview with Chris Wallace

 

One segment of the interview went like this:

 

   Wallace: If Hitler was such a great man, why did he lose the war?

   Lauck: First, he was greatly outnumbered. Second, he was betrayed. Third, he was too humane.

   Wallace: Hitler was too humane?

   Lauck: Yes.

   Wallace: Let me get this straight, you’re saying Hitler was TOO HUMANE?

   Lauck: Yes, Adolf Hitler was the greatest man who ever lived. But he was too humane. We will not make that mistake again.

  

   The Simon Wiesenthal Center later quoted the last part. It was printed on the outside of a fundraiser mailing envelope.

 

 

Wahrheit macht frei! (Truth makes free!)

 

   This Swedish documentary film featured me prominently. It was almost like a paid advertisement. The ominous music used in the soundtrack was hilarious. Reminiscent of a B rated gangster or even horror film. It was later broadcast in a dozen countries.

 

There are many more extensive print media quotes in the back of this book.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

   The same governments that were dumbfounded by the concept of free speech nonetheless attempted to use it to their own advantage. Not in the east, of course, rather in the west. Against us!

   Presumably, they hoped to pressure Western governments to “crack down” on us. If this was their intent, then they failed miserably.

   In fact, they shot themselves in the foot!

   The stories they leaked to the media often resulted in substantial publicity. This free advertising was worth gold. Whether the media was a willing accomplice or an unwitting pawn made no difference. I have several scrapbooks bulging with news clippings.

   One of my favorites is my interview in the U.K. edition of Reader’s Digest, which was entitled: Evil Genius of Germany’s Neo-Nazis! I was highly amused. But I also felt flattered.

   Oddly enough, another magazine, Der Spiegel, quoted the mayor of my town as describing me as a “model citizen”.

   Which version is correct: Evil genius or model citizen?

 

 

Law Man & Outlaw

 

   Sometimes a former (?) foe wanted my help in a matter involving a former (?) friend. The situation was often both bizarre and confusing. Akin to the Old West, where the line between law man and outlaw was sometimes blurred.

   Murderers sometimes received shorter prison sentences than non-violent activists. This injustice only promoted radicalization. Some activists figured: If I’m going to do the time, I might as well do the crime, too!

   Isolated acts of violence were the result.

   Thanks to my extensive contacts, it often wasn’t hard to establish at least an indirect “link” to me. Furthermore, our literature was very widely distributed in dissident circles. It was often found during searches or even at “crime scenes”.

   Sometimes I knew “terrorist suspects” from many years earlier. Back when they were still part of the non-violent resistance movement. Of course, there was never any involvement or interference.

   The only psychologically half-way effective way to counteract this trend was to tell them: We agree those dirty dogs DESERVE to be boiled in oil and stranded on a desert island with their mother-in-law. But we don’t want to play into their hands. Maintain discipline!

 

 

Immunity from Arrest

 

   Ironically, some of the governments requesting my assistance had, at least at one time or another, actively combated my underground activity. I still faced the very real prospect of arrest at the border. Therefore, I had to be granted an official immunity from arrest! They did this more than once. Specifically in 1979 in Bückeburg and in 1992 in Stuttgart.

   On March 9, 1992, I testified at the longest National Socialist trial in postwar German history in Stuttgart after being granted temporary amnesty. Security was lax. I was attacked and got some mace in my face. It did sting a bit. However, the taste was not quite as bad as my own cooking.

   On the lighter side, my close comrade Christian Malcoci pointed out the names of three of the attorneys: Sieg, Heil and Führer!

   On another occasion (Frankfurt 1989), I was informed that I had been granted immunity for some things, but expressly told this immunity did not apply to others. In effect, I was told: We promise NOT to shoot you with the gun we are holding in our RIGHT hand. But we hereby inform you that we do NOT promise not to shoot you with the gun we are holding in our LEFT hand!

   I found this extremely amusing.

   Despite my gratitude for providing me with such a good laugh, this was one of the few occasions, when I declined the offer. 

 

  

The FBI and the Sexual Perversions of J. Edgar Hoover

 

   Our telephone connection is terrible. It’s annoying.

   I complain to my co-worker on the other end of the line: You know, I don’t mind the FBI tapping our lines. But I just wish they wouldn’t screw up the connection!

   He agrees whole-heartedly: Yeah, at times like this I feel like talking about the sexual perversions of J. Edgar Hoover!

   Click! The phone goes dead right at this moment.

   I call him back. He makes an astute observation: I guess they didn’t like my comment about Hoover’s sex life!

   We both laugh!

   Another co-worker said the agents once apparently got their wires crossed. He could here them, but they couldn’t hear him. They were discussing what went wrong, then figured it out and cut out.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

   The United States government seemed pretty indifferent to our activity. The FBI visited us from time to time. Either on general principle or at the request of a foreign government.

   This put us in a delicate position.

   On the one hand, we had to act on the presumption the FBI would pass along information to our enemies. We didn’t want to reveal any important secrets.

   But on the other hand, we wanted the FBI to be able to learn enough to be confident we were neither criminals nor terrorists.

   I have had several amusing encounters with the FBI over the years.

   The very first time they showed up at my door, I was stationed in a strange city. I pretended not to speak English. Unfortunately, the FBI agent spoke fluent German. The dialogue was like a skit from a comedy play. But we both kept a straight face. (The neighbors always greeted me with an amused smile after that.)

   Another time, I was called to the personnel office in the factory where I worked. The personnel director had a concerned look on her face. She pointed to two men and said: These gentlemen would like to talk to you. I still remember that agent’s last name, because he visited a few times. He also visited my neighbors. One told him: Yeah, I know him. He’s a nice guy. He gives our kids piggyback rides.

   Every printer in one medium sized city refused to do our work. Two mentioned they had been visited by the FBI. We briefly considered buying our own print shop and going into competition with them! (There was only one printer we hadn’t asked. He was a neighbor and we didn’t want to put him in an awkward position.)

   Over the years, two banks in different states had told us that they no longer needed to order certain foreign currencies from the big banks back east, because they got enough from us.

   We seriously considered buying two different bank buildings over the years. One of them was an impressive three story building on a main road in a major U.S. city. We already had more than enough money to cover the down payment. But our need wasn’t sufficient to justify the cost, so we decided against it.

   One of those banks would occasionally phone first and then send a driver fifty miles to pick it up from us, when they needed it in a rush.

   Sometimes I would personally take foreign currency to the other bank. The young lady at the foreign currency desk and I became friendly in the platonic sense.

   One day she was absolutely beaming. After my last visit, somebody had rushed into her office and asked in sheer terror, if she knew who he’d just seen leaving her office. He had acted as if he’d just seen Billy the Kid leaving the bank carrying a big bag with banknotes falling out of it. 

   Twenty years (!) later, that bank informed us in writing that it was closing our account. Only much later did I find a clue. I obtained a copy of an Interpol document stating I was under investigation on suspicion of money laundering and gunrunning in the state of Utah! (Note: I’ve never even been to Utah in my whole life!)

   Gretchen, who remembered the FBI from the 1930’s, remarked: Do they manufacture those fellows from a mold? They looked exactly the same as fifty years ago! I spotted them from fifty feet away!

   George commented: The FBI likes to send their new agents to interview us as part of their training, because they know we’re harmless.

   One of the funniest incidents was when three agents came to my door. I didn’t want them in the house, so we walked to a nearby restaurant.

   An older gentleman present was afraid I would never come back! He had lost kinsmen to the KGB in a similar manner. He wanted to phone the police.

   The youngest and most inexperienced agent was Howard. He insisted he had proof I had received $70,000 from terrorists! He promised to “shut me down”. I replied: If you have proof, please come with me to the bank. Tell the bank president so he will credit my account for that amount!

   Does the FBI lie to its own agents? Do you actually believe their own BS? Or do they hire them from an acting school instead of from a law school as they claim?

   But Howard did admit my house and car were modest. Definitely middle class.

   Anyway, I published an amusing account of this incident. Afterward, Howard phoned to thank me for not revealing his last name!

 

 

A New Approach in the 1980’s

 

   In the 1980’s, “legal arm” became the dominant force in the National Socialist movement in Germany. Our “illegal arm”, embodied in the NSDAP/AO, worked side by side with it, parallel but separate. I even offered to print a newspaper for the legal arm, but Michael Kühnen figured it’d just be banned anyway. This relationship was akin to two different branches of the armed services of the same nation.

   Michael Kühnen devoted a whole chapter to my work in his book Führertum zwischen Volksgemeinschaft und Elitedenken (Leadership Between Folk Community and Elite Thinking).

 

   Here is an excerpt:

 

   The actual role model for a National Socialist leader of the new [postwar] generation, however, is Gerd Lauck, the organizational leader of the Preparatory and Foreign Organization of the NSDAP! …

   Party comrade Lauck created the actual National Socialist battle organization of the postwar period. The organization’s construction started practically at the null point. Young comrades who today come to our still small, but functional and successfully working movement, will hardly be able to image that ten years ago nothing existed yet at all. No organization, no propaganda material, no conception, simply nothing: aside from a few fanatical young National Socialists who dared to approach an apparently hopeless task, namely the reconstruction of the National Socialist party and the struggle for the Fourth Reich.

   Among them was Gerd Lauck, the actual leader personality: What an imagination, want will power and determination were required to sacrifice private life and profession for a movement, which did not even exist again at all, and which he himself would build from nothing in years of struggle! He organized the first printing possibilities, created with the NS KAMPFRUF the first open National Socialist newspaper of the postwar period, he developed the concept of a movement working in the propaganda underground with cell structure, he found financial possibilities – and with unimaginably meager resources, the struggle got into motion and found more and more followers in Germany.

   In the process, party comrade Lauck consistently resisted the temptation, in view of the lack of a political infrastructure, to proclaim himself the new leader or to portray his small troop as newly re-founded NSDAP – both would have been a caricature of our great past! Instead he viewed his task as service to the future party. This discipline, the priority of the party, even if it did not exist yet at all, over the vanity of personal leadership, this renunciation of the recruitment of personal followers, the principle that leader and organization must prove themselves in the eyes of the activists, whose trust they must win before they can demand it the other way around – party comrade Lauck established all this in the developing movement. All this became a model for us, after we – emerging from the NSDAP/AO – created a legal arm of the National Socialist movement and thereby took a decisive step forward in the struggle for the party re-founding.

   But we must never forget to whom we owe that a foundation was set for this reconstruction work and the principles of genuine National Socialist leadership again became known – we owe this to Gerd Lauck and his NSDAP/AO. Their significance for our work simply cannot be overestimated – without this struggle by party comrade Lauck in the 1970’s, our first breakthrough in the 1980’s would have been simply inconceivable. And although our community has dominated the headlines for years and grown into the leading force in the National Socialist movement, we are nonetheless still always just the one, the legal arm of a single, unified movement, whose other, illegal arm remains the NSDAP/AO under the leadership of party comrade Lauck. This portion of our movement has also made great progress in the previous years, today possesses substantial technical and material possibilities and – as already in the past – thanks to its location in the USA possesses an unassailable position, which will always represent a safety net for us…

   The accomplishments of the first decade and a half of his leadership work and his bearing of genuine leadership justify counting him already now among the great leader personalities of National Socialism, who are role model and inspiration for us all.

  

*   *   *   *   *

 

   My services were no longer in as much demand. Thanks to my staff, even my “part-time” attention sufficed to keep the scaled down operation up and running.

   I decided to pursue a business career. When I got the highest test score in company history, the self-made millionaire CEO was so impressed that he hired me on the spot. He trained me personally. I became his Vice President of Marketing. This training and experience are the foundation of my business knowledge.

   Ironically, this CEO was Jewish! My friends debated whether or not “he knew”. An old Bund comrade remembered similar situations: After the war, a lot of people were afraid to hire us Bund people. But the Jews would. They knew we were good workers and would make them a lot of money. Furthermore, they would be exempt from criticism for hiring us.

   Later when the Iron Curtain fell, I left the world of business. I returned to “active service” as it were.


 

Chapter Five

I Become an Executive

 

You have a Yiddish mind!

 

The CEO’s biggest compliment

 

The Interview

 

   When I walked through the front door for the first time, I was somewhat taken back by the large Spartan room full of desks and people talking on phones. At the back, a small elderly man beckoned me. I walked over and took a seat.

   What he told me sounded promising.

   He had founded the company back in the 1940’s in his basement as a manufacturing operation. When his business outgrew it, he purchased a brick building. When it grew still more, he expanded the building and built more warehouses.

   His company consisted of three divisions. These were essentially three different businesses. They operated under the same roof with an overlapping staff.

   There were two senior executives aside from himself: The General Manager, who ran the “office”, and the Vice President of Production, who ran the “shop“. Both had been hired right out of high school, stayed on and worked their way up the ranks. They did their jobs well and knew company procedure inside out.

   But there was a problem.

   He had been diagnosed with an incurable disease. It was one of those insidious diseases that can progress either very slowly or very quickly. He was preparing for the day when he would no longer be able to run his company himself.

   He wanted to hire somebody to gradually assume his leadership role in the company. And to personally train that person one-on-one! He stressed the value of this training. I agreed whole-heartedly! This was the opportunity of a lifetime!

   He had already made two attempts to find the right man. Both had failed. The first man had been fired after six months. The second, my immediate predecessor, an MBA (!), had lasted eighteen months before being dismissed. I made a mental note that managers coming in from the outside obviously had a high mortality rate here.

   The three top executives pondered how to find the right man.

   Then the Vice President of Production came up with an idea: Instead of hiring an older man already set in his ways, why not hire a young fellow. He’ll be more adaptable. Then train him how we do things here.

   I thought to myself: This explains why this opportunity has opened up for me DESPITE my lack of a college degree or ANY formal business education. And why the experience in mail order and publishing listed on my resume made me stand out. 

   He summoned the General Manager. I was asked to take a test.

   For many years now, he had insisted that every prospective employee who passed the initial screening take that test. He put a lot of stock in it. Based on past experience, he explained.

   At the time, I didn’t know my score or its full significance, but I knew I did very well. It was the kind of thing I’m pretty good at.

   At any rate, I was quickly hired.

 

 

Training

 

   About a week after I started work, a college graduate younger than me was hired for essentially the same trainee position. I was surprised and concerned. Nobody had said anything about multiple trainees! I thought I would be the only one!

   My younger colleague once told me: I go to bed late. I don’t like to sleep. Sleep is a small piece of death. That made me feel old. I countered: I like to sleep. I can sleep longer than I can eat. I can eat longer than I can drink. I can drink longer than I can make love. I thought this was a clever reply. But I still felt old.

   I later learned the other trainee had actually started interviewing before me. After multiple interviews, he had been rejected. But he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He was so persistent in his pursuit of the position that the CEO finally relented and hired him.

   The Vice President of Production later told me he had actually suggested not one but two young men. Two trainees did not cost more than one MBA. This also offered backup in case one didn’t work out.

   Fortunately, both of us management trainees quickly became comrades-in-arms instead of rivals. Three factors contributed to this:

   First, the shared suffering of the chaotic training.

   If I had trained my non-profit organization’s volunteers in such a chaotic manner, they would have quit.…And if we had trained the underground resistance people like this, we would have all round up in prison.

   Second, our common foe, namely a couple of brusque supervisors who sometimes gave the two of us a tough time.

   Perhaps they resented the fact that the CEO had given strict orders that both trainees be addressed by “Mister” and last name. This directive applied only to the two of us and to the CEO himself. The other two senior executives, who had worked there since high school, were generally addressed by their first names.

   Later I accidentally ticked off an assistant. When I asked her to “fetch” something, she shot back: I’m not a dog! I don’t fetch! This was an innocent mistake on my part. “Fetch” doesn’t have negative connotations out west. Nor do dogs. Unless, I suppose, a female thinks she’s being called a dog. But this one had a very nice figure…Not that I noticed.

   Third, the company was growing. So even if one of us was destined not to get the top position, he would probably stay on as an executive in the firm.

   The CEO told both us trainees: I know the supervisors are rough on you. If it gets too bad, come to me. I’ll back you up!

   I felt he was completely sincere. But I also sensed those supervisors were clever enough to undermine us despite the CEO’s support! My two predecessors had fallen victim to them. I would not underestimate them. I believe this is one of the reasons why I lasted so much longer than any other executive there aside from the “lifers”.

   Later, when those supervisors’ behavior toward us had become intolerable, the CEO gave them a good talking to. After that, they were a little less overt.

   Everybody else in the company got along fine.

 

 

General Marketing versus Direct Marketing

 

  What is the difference?

   General Marketing: A fancy advertising agency dreams up an advertisement for a well-heeled corporate client. It is witty, gorgeous, funny and sexy. It is quite entertaining. Everybody loves it. There’s just one hitch: nobody remembers the client’s product. Only the humor…and the cleavage.

   Direct Marketing: Mail order campaigns that actually work! Everything is designed to sell product! Sales are recorded, measured and analyzed. New test ads are tested against the control ad.

   I was trained in direct marketing!

 

 

Writing Copy

 

   The CEO spent a lot of time teaching us how to write good copy. We were printing at least three or four different catalogs for the different divisions each year. The press runs went up to one million copies for just one of our multiple full-color catalogs.

   A lot of money was at stake here. Optimization was essential.

   We often agonized over the tiniest little detail in meetings attended by three or four executives.

   This wasn’t a “Thank You” note to grandma for the $5.00 she gave you for your birthday!

 

 

Demographics

 

   One of the main reasons the CEO had hired me was that he figured I’d be good at what he called “demographics”.

   By today’s standards, that is akin to calling a school nurse a brain surgeon.

   Customer sales were recorded on oversized index cards. Analysis required weeks of manual compilation and computation. I welcomed the task of “demographic analysis” despite all this. It fitted my skill set and provided an excellent opportunity to definitively prove my value to the company. 

   My “demographic analyses” proved extremely profitable for the company already in the first couple years. This greatly increased my job security and my annual bonus.

 

 

The “Pass Through” Blunder

 

   Here is an amazing true story:

   For years, the CEO had been including TWO full-color catalogs in every mass mailing!!!

   His explanation: “pass through”.

   I knew this was nonsense!

   But in the beginning, I was still way too new to openly question this. He might be offended and I might become unemployed.

   The first time I brought it up later, I took great care to be very tactful. And to prove my case with numbers.

   After patiently listening to me, he replied: I understand everything you’ve just said. It makes sense to me. I don’t see anything wrong with your reasoning… But I don’t feel comfortable giving up the second catalog.

   I didn’t push. At least he had listened to me and acknowledged my logic. And I still had my job.

   Later, when I was starting to establish my reputation in the company, I brought it up again. This time, he went along with it. Our selling expenses dropped by six digit figures each year without any noticeable impact on sales.

 

 

Computerization

 

   When I started at the company, it still did not have a computer.

   We did have one machine, almost as big as a piano, which performed some of the tasks later computerized. But it was so complicated that only one employee other than the General Manager knew how to use it. (I don’t remember what it was called.)

   The first inventory system I encountered there was still in the development stage. Designed for only the one division with the fewest products, it consisted of oversized index cards with charts that had to be filled out by hand.

   But it didn’t work right. The numbers sometimes refused to balance!

   The CEO said he couldn’t figure out why. He asked me to try. The solution finally dawned on me that evening. The next morning, I explained the reason to the CEO. Together we fixed the system.

   The second year I was there, the CEO decided to computerize.

   Nobody in the whole company knew anything about computers. Let alone have any experience with them. Except for the other trainee, who had taken a computer course in college.

   After him, I probably had the most experience. As a child, I had used big piles of discarded computer printouts as drawing paper. My father had brought them home from the university. Occasionally, I heard words like “Fortran” and “Cobalt”. They were something called “computer languages.”

   The CEO told us straight out that he didn’t like IBM. I never learned why.

   The IBM sales team delivered a formal presentation in front of our whole executive staff plus the office supervisors. The salesman spoke first, then their tech guy. He rubbed me the wrong way. Rightly or wrongly, I had the impression that he had an “attitude”.

   When he finished, I humbly asked him if I had understood him correctly. Then I presented the “equation” - as I had understood it from his presentation – and asked if this was right.

   He confirmed my equation was correct.

   Then I entered the numerical values for that equation. And asked if they were right.

   Again, he confirmed everything was correct.

   Then I ran the numbers through my head, speaking them aloud. Kind of like “If a = b and c = d then e = f” etc. etc....

   But the two sides of the equation didn’t equal!

   Then I innocently asked: What am I doing wrong?

   Dead silence. You could have heard a pin drop.

   IBM didn’t get the sale. We purchased a computer system from a different manufacturer. The hardware, which included a 40 MB central processing unit the size of a small refrigerator, some work stations and big wide-frame dot matrix printers, cost around $70,000. We also had to hire a programmer to write the software at an estimated cost of about $30,000. 

   Afterward, the other trainee told me: You don’t need a computer. You ARE a computer.

   When the CEO asked the General Manager to use the calculator to run up some figures during one staff meeting, I was doing the math in my head faster than the machine. Then the machine would confirm my answer. Finally, our results didn’t match: “You’re wrong, the answer is X!” – “No”, I replied, “Your machine truncated to two digits. It went three digits.” Re-adjusted, the machine confirmed my answer. 

   The reorganization of our operations during computerization occupied all of us for months. It forced us to reevaluate our procedures. Looking back, I would call it very educational. But at the time, I would have called it something else.

 

 

Sales Projections

 

   When the computerization process was finally complete, sales projections became even easier for me.

   Once a week, I would line up two thick stacks of computer printouts. They showed product sales in units from the previous week, and year to date for that year and for the previous year. Each division had its own set of columns, because each had a different seasonal pattern. There were two divisions on each printout. We tracked four separate markets, because one division had a large and unique “sub-market”. [Note: The manufacturing division and one other division with a small product line were not included here.]

   Then I calculated sales projections for every product in my head. Always on a Monday morning, because I was often a bit tired after the weekend and wanted an easy task.

   These projections were then used to make – handwritten (!) - entries on charts for every product AND for every individual part used in that product. (Some parts were used in multiple products being sold in multipledivisions.)

   Then I reviewed the re-order points. (The daily reorder list and the daily open purchase order list were two of the things that had been computerized.)

   Finally, I’d write up the purchase order requisition forms. The clerical staff would enter them onto the computer and print out the actual purchase orders. 

   All this usually took about half a day.

 

 

Executioner at Long Last

 

   By the time the CEO had decided to start interviewing for still another manager, I was sitting on the opposite side of the hiring desk. I had become the executioner instead of the condemned man.

   This was enlightening. The initial resume purge made Attila the Hun look like Mother Theresa! We were less interested in finding good candidates than in weeding out bad ones. Any reason to reject an applicant was welcomed.

   Two interviews in particular still stand out in my mind.

   The first interviewee was an MBA. He knew the buzz words. Whenever the CEO asked him a question, he gave a fancy answer. Unfortunately for him, one question really just came down to plain old-fashioned common sense. He flunked.

   The second interviewee was a graduate fresh out of college. He was asked to come up with a marketing plan for one of our products and come back with it the next day. When he arrived, he smugly informed us that he would not provide such a plan, because he didn’t think we should take advantage of his expertise for free. The CEO kept a straight face and told him he understood his position. But after the youngster left, he declared:There’s no why in hell I’d hire that guy!

   I thought to myself: A college degree is not the COMPLETION of an education. It is just the BEGINNING. College is only basic training. Not the high command!

 

 

Missed it by THAT Much!

 

   One thing peaked my curiosity. That candidate had gotten right the only question I had gotten wrong on that test during my first employment interview. When I asked him, he said he had just guessed. 

   I took another look at the test. This time, I actually read the instructions instead of just looking at the sample question. The mystery was solved in an instant.

   My FIRST mistake was not reading the instructions! 

   Like many human beings of my gender, I have a natural aversion to reading instructions. I had just glanced at the sample answer and wrongly presumed that only a 4/1 pattern was an acceptable answer. Therefore, when I recognized a 2/2/1 pattern, I rejected it outright. (Heck, I even thought it might some kind of sneaky trick, because it so obvious.)

   My SECOND mistake was not applying “game theory”! 

   FW had long ago taught me a very basic concept from a type of math he called “game theory”.

   I have found “game theory” extremely useful, especially in strategic planning, decision making and even life in general.

   When confronted with variables impossible to gauge, simply assign them a value of “very high” (95%), “very low” (5%) or “50/50” (anywhere between those two extreme) as best you can. (When in doubt, use “50/50”.)

   I still should have picked the correct answer! Despite my first mistake!

   Theoretically, I would have had a 50/50 chance instead of a one out of four chance from picking one of the other four options at random. (This is based on the presumption I would assign a 50/50 value to the question of whether or not my rejection of the 2/2/1 ratio was correct.)

   At any rate, I often applied this concept when dealing with complex problems as an executive. Sometimes I would even phone FW for confirmation I had applied it correctly.

   This tactical error on my part had cost me a perfect score by one point.

   I had meanwhile learned more about this test:

   The highest possible score was 60.

   My fellow trainee scored 51.

   The previous highest score in company history was 53.

   The company that provided the test claimed the genius level was 55.

   I scored 59.

   In my case, I believe “pattern recognition” or “abstract thinking” would be more accurate than “I.Q.” or “intelligence”…All of us are good in some areas and not so good in others. Scores depend on how well the test aligns with those areas. I know for darn sure that I’m a COMPLETE IDIOT in some areas! And I can prove it. I can provide plenty of witnesses.

   Frankly, even if I had gotten a perfect score, my only correct self-appraisal would have been to tell myself: If you were so darn smart, you would have done the same thing in HALF THE TIME and with HALF THE EFFORT!

   Don‘t get smug and cocky! Always strive to do even better!

   FW had told me a story about one of my sibling‘s sports teams:

   His sports team became very good. It beat everybody. I thought they were getting a little too cocky. In the next game, I put in the second stringers for the first three quarters. I put in the first string only in the last quarter. By then, the opposing team had a big lead. The first string quickly racked up the points. But they lost the game by ONE POINT!

 

 

Promotion to Vice President

 

   We survived our training. We had gradually gotten the knack of it, become proficient, then very proficient. Work became a source of joy! Every new responsibility was an exciting challenge!

   We were both promoted to Vice President around the middle of our second year.

   The other former trainee, now a Vice President like me, soon suggested a product that didn’t meet our usual selection criteria. It was shot down.

   Later, he brought it up again. This time, I backed him. My reasoning:

   If this product – contrary to expectations – actually does well, then it opens up a WHOLE NEW  CATEGORY of potential new products. If not, it’s just one more new product that failed. Not the end of the world.

   That product became a HUGE success. It paved the way for many new products. This category of products also played a decisive role in our later entry into import/export.

   His perseverance paid off again! Remember, this was the same fellow who got his job in the first place thanks to his perseverance.

   He once told me: The average successful man fails