with Standartenführer Dr. Hagen Kohl
Are you a morning person or a night person?
I am whatever person I need to be, but I think I work better at night. It is dark and quiet. I am lucky that with my rank and position as Special Investigator to the Reichsführer-SS, I have complete autonomy from the usual office system. But as a military man, when I need to function, I am alert. After an experience such as the Great War, one learns to stand up quickly when needed.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Of course, I wanted to be exactly as my father; a banker for the Fugger family. Service to the Fugger was a family tradition. Sometimes I wonder how different my life would be if I had followed that path. But after the cataclysm of the 1920s here in Germany, how can one travel on old footsteps? In this new age, life moves far too fast for one to walk on travelled paths.
What was the scariest moment of your life?
How to answer that question? When I first arrived at the Western front in 1917, I was 17 and at the beginning, I was simply too stupid and excited to be scared. Then we had our chance at the most front line. My childhood friend Folke, who I joined up with, he jumped up on the firing step to look out over No Man’s Land at the British, and a sniper shot him right between the eyes the minute his forehead cleared the parapet. I don’t know if he even saw the other side. It was that quick. He was dead before he hit the duckboards. I remember looking down at him. His blood was on my face. I still remember how warm it was. But the less said about that, the better.
Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
I would like to see the lands of the Oriental people. Our old German holdings in TsingTao in China, now taken by Japan. A friend of my father’s served in Tsing Tao and he told such stories of the place. Of women with the tiniest of feet and men with long braids down to their waists. I’ve read translations of Chinese literature, of course Sun Tzu among others, and I feel a spiritual kinship with them. However, since the Japanese moved down from Manchuria, or should I say Manchukuo, I don’t know if 1938 would be the best moment to travel there. I understand that since Shanghai and Nanking fell a few months back, it is very hard there. I’ve had enough war in my life. I don’t need to go visit one.
Do you have any special routines or rituals?
Every night I polish my boots before I go to bed, whether they need it or not. During the war, my boots were an absolute horror. I will never have boots like that again. Never. You can tell everything you need to know about a man by the shine of his shoes. I could never trust a man with old scuffs on his footwear.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I sit in my chair with a good book, a fine Armagnac, the fire roaring in winter. Perhaps a little music on the phonograph. Right now I’m reading some Theosophic Texts by Madame Helena Blavatsky given to me to peruse by the Reichsführer. But metaphysical and religious texts are perhaps not my first choice of relaxing reading material. If I’ve had a particularly bad day, I pull out one of my volumes of English Cavalier poetry from their civil war time. Donne. Herrick. Suckling or Lovelace. My doctorate was in British literature of the Civil War. It takes me back to better times.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
On my desk at the Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse SS headquarters, I have a shoe of my fiancée, the Pfalzgräfin von Steinberg, on my desk. I don’t think Galiena even knows that. The first time I met her, she had been in an accident and her shoe fell off. I picked it up to return it to her but it’s never left my blotter. I believe it is a Ferragamo. My friend, Gruppenführer Wolff, informed me that his wife would dearly love a pair but he would need a second position to afford it.
Is it true that I’m an officer in the Geheime Staatspolizei?
Why do people always ask me if I’m Gestapo? I wasn’t until very recently. I was very content being a Standartenführer, or colonel in the SS. It was enough. But during my previous investigation, I needed more authority for carrying out detentions amongst certain protected occupations in the Reich. The Reichsführer ordered Gruppenführer Heydrich to confer upon me the equivalent rank in the Gestapo, Oberst, as I have in the SS itself. But am I active Gestapo? No. Dear God! I would never be out of meetings if I was. I’m just a simple investigator for the Reichsführer, working on his special projects.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Teufel and New Austrian Order
by LD Towers
GENRE: Military fiction
BLURB FOR NAO:
1938. Germany is moving faster than Standartenführer Hagen Kohl thought possible. Sent down to Vienna to investigate a potential threat to Hitler’s plans for Austria, Hagen is drawn in to an aristocratic world he’s never encountered before. Without Hauptsturmführer Eugen Friesler at his side, Hagen is in more danger than he could have imagined as he hunts for a shadowy organization called the New Austrian Order. Back in Germany, Galiena von Steinberg returns to Riesa and the von Steinberg Gesellschaft, but taking over the reins of her Grandfather’s empire comes with many challenges. Can she protect her family holdings while keeping true to the new sense of self she has worked so hard to find?
BLURB FOR TEUFEL:
Against the politically charged background of Nazi Germany's police state, Standartenführer Doctor Hagen Kohl is trying to carve out a profession for himself in the SS. A middle class intellectual with a doctorate in Literature, Hagen is a an investigator who hunts criminals within the party apparatus itself. Hagen justifies everything by his personal code and patriotism, unable to see the flaws of the regime he serves. When he is ordered to investigate members of the army, he discovers patriotism is entirely a matter of perspective. His eyes are further opened by exposure to Galiena von Steinberg; an aristocrat whose own experiences bring him into the entanglements and intrigues at the highest levels of Third Reich society.
Excerpt for NAO:
Hagen nodded at his acquaintance, Standartenführer Heinrich ‘Gestapo’ Müller, as they passed on the walkway. Gestapo Müller and Hagen worked well together and were polite to one another, but there was always something between them. Hagen was a highly educated man; he held a doctorate in German literature. Müller was a former Munich vice detective who had worked his way up through the ranks before being brought into the SS by Reinhard Heydrich. Hagen was known to be ruthless, but Müller was a step beyond. Cold, calculating and completely without morality when it suited him, Müller’s penchant for physical brutality and torture were well known in the Gestapo. Müller thought nothing of beating a man to the edge of death to wring a confession from him, and Hagen could not look at Müller’s coarse hands without thinking he could see dried blood on the skin. It was that image which always leapt to Hagen’s mind whenever he saw the man. Blood crusted fingernails.
“Well, afternoon, Teufel! What brings you outside on this piss poor day?” Müller always called Hagen by his nickname, echoing their mutual master, Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich.
“Going to see the boss,” Hagen nodded, aware Müller would know which one.
“Lucky you,” Müller replied snidely. “But then you are the fair haired boy, aren’t you?”
Hagen cocked a brow at Müller. “Is that what they’re calling me?”
“Heydrich might have said it, yes, but then he is out of favour at the moment and he so hates competition,” Müller snorted derisively. “Watch yourself. The RF might like you, but you don’t want Heydrich to get jealous. He isn’t above making your life difficult.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
LD Towers travels the world like a rootless vagabond! A military historian, she searches out places of conflict to find a deeper insight to the things she writes about. Presently enjoying the warm weather and azure seas of Central America, she has lived all over Western Europe, including 5.5 years in the incomparable Berlin.
Primarily working in Historical and Military Fiction, LD sometimes sneaks in the odd Dystopian or Modern Thriller piece. Also look for a series of novellas about the despicable yet intriguing Meinrad von Steinberg from the Riesa Series, coming in fall 2015.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/LD-Towers/e/B00ZMFTJTQ
Also, Teufel is on Kindle countdown as follows:
November 19, 2015 at 12:00 AM (PST) -- $0.99
November 20, 2015 at 6:00 PM (PST) -- $1.99
November 22, 2015 at 12:00 PM (PST) -- $2.99
November 24, 2015 at 6:00 AM (PST) -- $3.99
November 26, 2015 at 12:00 AM (PST) – Back to original list price $4.99
November 19, 2015 at 8:00 AM (GMT) -- £0.99
November 22, 2015 at 4:00 PM (GMT) -- £1.99
November 26, 2015 at 12:00 AM (GMT) -- back to original list price £3.27
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