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The Doomsday Machine
The Doomsday Machine

The Doomsday Machine

Franc68Lorient Montaner

"I dream of a day when they may rise above the billows to drag down in their reeking talons the remnants of puny, war-exhausted mankind—of a day when the land shall sink, and the dark ocean floor shall ascend amidst universal pandemonium."—H.P. Lovecraft

It was a Monday evening I recall, when I heard a strange knock on the front door at my residence in Chicago. Upon opening the door, I saw two strangers standing before me, who they had identified as agents of the FBI. At first, I was puzzled by their unique presence. They had asked to speak with me, about a matter that was strictly confidential in its relevance. I had proceeded to let them enter, where we began to discuss the matter in the privacy of my home. I would be informed that the agents had come to escort me to Europe on a mission that was of great importance and top secret. It would deal with not only the security of the country, but of the whole world as well. The year was 1940, and the rise of the Nazis in Germany had begun to become an ominous threat. My name is Jacob Bernstein, and I was born in Germany, but had American nationality. I fled Germany in 1930, due to the persecution of scientists, who were against the power of the Third Reich. I had emigrated to America, just like Albert Einstein and others had been compelled to do as well before me.

That threat would be an imminent peril, in the form of a potential nuclear bomb. I had agreed to go to Europe, in particular, to France. I would be taken in an automobile directly to the border of Germany to a place called Rust, whereupon at a secret location, I would be met by a Jewish scientist with the name of Aaron Hoffman, who had still remained in Germany incognito. Once I had arrived there, I was apprised about the situation that was occurring. It was already autumn and the weather was cold, as the rustling leaves were heaving with the whistling winds that blew. From what I had understood in the conversation, there was a certain German scientist whose name was Helmut Stauffer, who had been designing a hazardous bomb that he had called, "The Doomsday Machine."

This aforementioned scientist had previously worked with such distinguished German physicists, as Otto Hanh and Fritz Strassman on atoms and neutrons. What was troubling was the fact that Stauffer was working in collaboration with the Nazis, who were attempting to progress in their advance for a nuclear weapon. This was the inconceivable thing that had warranted the concerns of the West and my immediate participation as a fellow scientist. To fathom that the Nazis would have in their possession a nuclear weapon was sufficient to investigate and discover to what extent was this program fully developed. They could not be permitted to accomplish this mission of theirs to acquire a nuclear bomb. The lessons of the Great War with their usage of chemical warfare had to serve, as a deterrence for any possible usage of nuclear weaponry in the future.

The Germans had invaded Poland in September 1939, where they began to experiment on prisoners in forced-labored camps. There were disturbing reports that they had been exposing the prisoners to gas chambers, using carbon monoxide gas generated by engine exhaust that was released. These reports were soon collaborated, by the few prisoners that had escaped the camps. There was one camp, in particular, that had already begun this maddening process, and it was called Dachau. This would be the haunting place, where Stauffer had been conducting his experiments, with a monstrous efficacy that was his horrendous chamber of concealed perversion and delight. The world would learn afterward of the abominable and macabre experimentation that the Nazis had been creating, with their distorted ideology.

I would have the daunting task of infiltrating the camp, as a spy and informant of the United States. Nothing would prepare me for the shocking revelation of the ineffable horror that was occurring at Dachau. The risk I was taking was evident, but the thought that the Nazis could be devising a nuclear bomb was a huge risk I could not afford to dismiss, with such impertinence. I was chosen from among a few selected to stop the scientific experiments of the Nazis. I had felt I was destined for this unique challenge and knew at the same time that it would be a perilous endeavor I would be undertaking, but I was not alone. I would be working in corroboration with other German scientists, such as Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch. I would be in touch with them, through private correspondences exchanged.

Before I had left for Dachau, I had consulted with Peierls and Frisch about the feasibility of encountering proof of Schmidt's intent to create a nuclear bomb. I had also spoken to other German scientists, who were taking refuge in France. I wanted to know exactly, what advice they could give me that would be significant in discovering elaborate designs or materials that would be in the possession of the Nazis that could enhance their scientific ambitions. The information that they had made in their disclosure was sufficient to allow me to cogitate the meticulous details, about the course of action that was needed for the procurement of my challenging task. All of this I had taken into strong consideration and had attempted to prepare myself, knowing that time was of extreme pertinence.

For a whole week, I had submerged myself in the character that I would be forced to represent, during my time at Dachau. I could not afford for any minor mistakes or flaws on my part. If I was caught, I would certainly be imprisoned then killed. This was the portentous danger that I would be exposed to its dreaded plausibility. Nonetheless, I was willing to undergo whatever transformation was required. I had looked German enough to be able to not be questioned of my ethnicity, and I still retained my original accent, which was Bavarian. This was one of the principal reasons as well that I was selected for the task and responsibility that would be entrusted in me. I had to memorize the list of names of the people in charge of Dachau, more importantly those who were close to Stauffer in his inner circle at the camp.

I was given a fresh new identity, with a new name that was more convincing than less suspicious in my persona. I would be known by the name of Gerhard Schneider, and within two weeks I was in the city of Munich. It had been several years, since I had last been there in person. There was a certain change in the city that was apparent and accredited to the rise of the Nazi's control in Germany, whose presence was everywhere. There were banners and placards placed and posted throughout the local shops and streets. I was stunned by these activities and display, but I had to restrain my unconformity in public. The Munich that I had once known had indeed altered for the worse. My childhood home was still intact, as were the main buildings that I had grown up admiring their wondrous architecture.

I had rented a modest apartment in the city that was not that far from Dachau. From the information that I was apprised of, the SS units guarded the camp with watchful eyes. The camp had an appointed commandant and staff, a security police officer who would maintain the records of the condemned prisoners, and a qualified physician that was assigned the task of experimenting with the prisoners, who was Stauffer. Dachau had been established since March, 1933, and had over 200, 000 prisoners at one time. It was located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory nearby the northeastern part of the town, which was ten miles northwest of Munich. The camp had a capacity for 5, 000 prisoners, who were mostly German Communists, Social Democrats, trade unionists and Jews. All of which were forsaken to their doom.

Dachau was divided into two sections that were the camp area and the crematoria area. The camp had consisted of 32 barracks, and there was a particular gatehouse at the main entrance that was conspicuous. The support buildings had contained a kitchen, laundry, showers, workshops and bunkers. The courtyard between the prison and the central kitchen was used for the summary execution of the prisoners kept within the camp. There was an electrified barbed-wire fence, a ditch, and a wall with seven guard towers surrounding the camp. What was more disturbing was the supposition that in the experiments of the Nazis, the prisoners were being exposed to phosgene and mustard gas. If this was proven to be true, then what other foul atrocities were they committing within the confined walls of their death camp?

I had to situate myself in the city of Munich for an entire week, allowing myself the necessary time to observe the daily activities of the Nazis, and also the route that I would take in and out of Dachau. All of these particular preparations and more were vital to my success and survival. Fortunately, for me, I would have competent informants, who were inside and outside of the camp working on behalf of our intelligence. These men in earnest would be the eyes and ears of my intricate operation, and the men who I would have to trust with my life. I was guaranteed security while in Munich, but there inside Dachau, I would have to depend more on my instinct and intuition. I had to utilize my astuteness and the faculty of my mind to outwit the Nazis. That was easier said than done in retrospect.

The notion that war was on the forefront of Europe was beginning to emerge, as a probable eventuality than a supposed possibility. It was my mission to stop them from possessing a nuclear bomb, before it was too late, and they would bury the continent and the world in nuclear ashes. I was a dedicated student of physics and chemistry and was once under the tutelage of Einstein and Planck's teachings. Unfortunately, Stauffer was well informed about their teachings and work. This was something that was terrifying to imagine. Nevertheless, it was not important why he was so aligned with the cause of the Nazis. He was known to be a fervent nationalist and anticommunist. What was relevant was his determination to succeed, in creating a nuclear bomb for them. Einstein had warned the President of the United States of the looming danger, but to no avail.

The morning that I had infiltrated the camp, I had gathered in my mind the evidence that was presented to me, and I had sufficient credentials to establish myself, as a reputable scientist and physician. It was somewhat damp and dreary outside, as I had stared at the landscape that led to Dachau. It had rained the night before, and there were abundant puddles everywhere, and mud that had covered the soot of the ground. There was a fresh scent of petrichor that was pervasive throughout the area, where the quiescent trees had stood. The automobile that would take me to Dachau had finally arrived, and I left the hotel that I was staying. To deny that I was a bit nervous would be to omit the truth and make a false admission. The hour had come to present myself in the camp and assume my role.

As the automobile had approached the front gate, I could see the towering towers that were described to me in my notes. It was indeed impressive to see, but there was still the hidden manifestation of a lurking terror that had existed beyond the walls of Dachau. The guards that were patrolling from above were keen on who entered and exited the camp. They had clear instructions to shoot and kill if necessary, any unidentified intruder or possible escape prisoner. This I did not doubt one bit. The Nazis were a ruthless band of ideological zealots, who had formed into a powerful coalition of political fascism. Fascism had spread from Germany onto Italy, like an uncontrollable wildfire that was untamed. It was only a matter of time, before Europe would succumb to the brutality and madness of the fascists.

I could see the weary and emaciated faces of the prisoners that were outside. When the automobile had entered, I got off and was greeted by the commander in charge of the camp, a certain officer by the name of Hans Meier, who then proceeded to escort me to the office of the notorious Helmut Stauffer. He was not present in his office, but I was told to remain there, until he would return. Apparently, he was occupied with his daily experiments. Inside his office, I was able to see with transparency, the photographs of the Führer and Nazi symbols as well. I had never seen so many austere images of propaganda displayed in an office, and it was revealing to me. It was the symbol of the swastika that had disquieted my thoughts. It was obvious that there was a draconian system of enslavement in place, judging from the prisoners that I had seen outside doing manual labor.

Once Stauffer had returned, he greeted me, and he was eager to reveal his inner secrets and recent experiments with me. He escorted me to a gas chamber, where he was conducting his lethal experimentation. Along the way, I was able to see more prisoners who were in cells gathered together, like a confined flock of sleep. It was not until I had reached the gas chamber and entered that I was able to see the most atrocious sight that any human being would witness, the putrid mound of burned corpses. I had to reflect the guise of indifference, so that my indignation would not be expressed or recognized. I had to secretly bite my lip and clench my fist. For some reason, Stauffer had taken me to there to elicit my immediate reaction. I was stoic amidst the adversity.

Thereafter, we had returned to his office, where he began to talk to me about other experiments that he was conducting that were just as harmful and destructive. The prisoners were guinea pigs to be used at his disposal, but it was another experiment that he was performing, and that was creating a superior race of mutant beings that he wanted to share with me in depth. He took me then to a chamber, where he was active in this experimentation. What I would witnessed there was something from a science-fiction magazine. There were numerous men chained to the adamantine walls that were distinctively altered with their visible physiognomy. Their appalling features had resembled hideous mutants of some inhibited monstrosity created from the chasm of the netherworld. Some of them were bare from top to bottom, while others were infected with overgrown tumors that were bulging from their deformed bodies. These were the noticeable rejects of Stauffer's experiments.

It was like staring at an exhibited freak show that was on display just for me. Stauffer had admitted to me that he had been working on this experiment for months, but he had not totally perfected it. According to his vision, from amongst the strong prisoners, he would create a monster race of Nazis that would help with victories in the battlefields. He was capable of mixing the genes of these prisoners, with the Aryan genes of the Germans. Thus, creating his mutant force of potential soldiers. He was convinced that these mutants would allow the Germans to conquer, not only Europe but the world also. At the time, I was not certain whether or not Stauffer was driven with utter insanity or utter delusion. Either way, he had to be stopped. The consequences would be catastrophic, if he would succeed.

There was another matter that was more concerning, and that was his deliberate attempt to build a nuclear bomb. It would not take him long before he began to divulge to me what he had been working on secretly behind the confines of the walls of the camp. Stauffer had revealed to me that he was indeed working on creating a nuclear bomb. It was still in its initial planning. He was aware of the work of Leo Szilard, James Chadwick, Otto Hanh and Fritz Strassmans, but apparently, he was not aware about Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch work with uranium-235 in large quantities, to be used to produce an atomic bomb. Atomic bombs would require uranium-235 and plutonium-239. The same for a nuclear bomb, but the explosive power of a thermonuclear bomb would be thousands of times more potent and lethal than atomic bombs. An atomic bomb would be measured in kilotons, while a nuclear bomb in megatons.

The thought that he was adamant in his conviction to build this doomsday machine was a clear demonstration of the urgency that the Nazis had in progressing their errant vision of fascism. An atomic bomb built with either uranium or plutonium would rely on the fission, a nuclear reaction in which a nucleus or an atom breaks apart into two distinct pieces. The pit is the core of an implosion nuclear weapon consisting of fissile material and any neutron reflector fastened to it. A nuclear bomb utilizes the energy released when two light atomic nuclears fuse together, to form the heavier nucleus. An atomic bomb would use the energy released when an atomic nucleus splits into lighter nuclei. It would reach a temperature close to 200 million degrees Fahrenheit, about 100 million degrees Celsius. This nuclear bomb would cause a seismic shock wave on the Richter Scale.

A nuclear bomb made of uranium-235 and plutonium-239 would lift up enough soot that would be thrown up quickly into the atmosphere, which would cover the earth, cutting the rays of sunlight for countless years, causing then was is known as a nuclear winter. A large amount of nitrogen oxides would be produced by breaking down the air around them, causing an ozone depletion which would release a great intensity of nocivious, ultraviolent radiation from the sun to the ground. A nuclear bomb would create an ozone hole, triggering severe catastrophes of health problems and environmental damage for decades. After a nuclear winter, a nuclear summer would occur, caused by aerosols inserted into the atmosphere preventing sunlight from reaching the lower levels of the surface ground that had abated. A greenhouse effect then would occur, due to the carbon dioxide released by combustion and methane released from the decay of the organic matter displayed, such as corpses that freeze during the nuclear winter.

There would be a great reduction of food supplies, crops destroyed, the electromagnetic radiation would disrupt electronic equipment and technology. A nuclear fallout would occur where the residual radioactive dust and ash would propel into the upper atmosphere after a nuclear explosion. It would spread for hundreds of miles from the explosion site. If the explosion was high enough in the atmosphere the fallout would cause black rain darkened, by soot and other particulates exposed. The radioactive dust, usually consisting of fission products mixed with atoms that were neutrons activated by exposure, would be a highly dangerous kind of radioactive contamination. This black rain would contaminate waterways, agriculture, soil, etc.

Of these calamities predicted, they would not only destabilize the world, but they would be a burden for generations to come. The potential danger that a nuclear or atomic bomb would cause in the wrong hands would be devastating. For the moment, the construction of the bomb was not the top priority, but it was the second. He called the project, the Doomsday Machine. I did not know, whether to believe Stauffer or not. It was a matter of principle for him. He had requested plutonium and uranium to be brought to the camp. This would confirm my immediate suspicion that he was planning on working with these elements in his laboratory that he had showed me afterward. Stauffer would describe in precise details his ambitions and aspirations, with an austere confidence.

I would spend the rest of the day, observing his behavior and state of mind. He had attributed his work to the advancement of science and believed that his contributions were deserving of his accolades. Stauffer was no ordinary man to be easily dismissed for his aberrant nature. He was highly intelligent and well studied in physics and chemistry. Mathematics was also one of his strengths. He had a villa that was close to Dachau. He had suggested that I could find a villa there. I had told him that I was looking to stay in Munich for the time being. I would be at the camp during the day, and I would retire in the evening. This would be my established routine, while I was there at Dachau. The nights would be dark and clammy, as the chambers of his experimentation.

When I had arrived at the camp the following morning, I was able to better prepare myself, for the unsettling occurrences that I had been witnessing and experiencing. Once again, the image of the haunting towers of Dachau was conspicuously present above the enclosure, as were the images of the pale and emaciated prisoners gathered to do the incessant manual labor. I was clueless to know what was the ultimate plan with the imprisoned ones, whose souls drifted away it seemed from the somber gloom of the horrible camp. There was a demonstrative sign that said in German "Arbeit macht frei," which translated into English to mean, "Work makes one free." Upon entrance into the camp, I could see several listless bodies dangling from a tree, which I had presumed were dead. Men who were executed by the Nazis, without any token measure of commiseration.

The sight of such a macabre scene was compounded by the fact that this would become a daily occurrence, and as time would progress, so was the barbarity acted upon the prisoners at Dachau. The overcrowding, the bad sanitation, diseases, malnutrition, suicides and epidemics were rampant and quite palpable. I had never seen such inhumane horrors before than those I had experienced at that horrid camp. What was worse were the gas chambers in which the dead were disposed onto excessive piles of mounds, and the chambers where the prisoners were being experimented against their volition. All of these abominable things were clearly the sign of a callous mind that had treated his fellow human beings, with such disdain and vileness that were incomparable in their terror.

Stauffer was inside one of these dreaded chambers, when I had arrived at the camp. He was busy with his experiments on the alteration of the genes of the prisoners he had confined in his chamber of horror, where the mutants were transformed into monsters of hideosity. He was anxious to see the progress in his experiment, in particular, with the new prisoners that he had chosen. He had appeared to be satisfied, but not totally. There was something inusitate, not adequate yet for his acceptance. I could not figure out what was troubling him. I had managed to keep his intrigue enough for him to tell me, and what he revealed to me was disconcerting. He was planning on testing his mutants once they were at full strength against the wretched prisoners, and then against the Western powers. If I did not hear him correctly, I would doubt the validity of his words professed.

I had amassed sufficient information to relay to the operatives who were working under cover back in Munich. The wicked delight seen in his eyes, when speaking of his distorted vision was compelling but reckless at the same time. It was only a matter of time, before he would perfect his mutants with the insuperable genes that would make them resistant to diseases that usually affect and kill humans. It was a despicable thing that he was doing, but he did not care about their transparent deformity. He had treated the mutants, as selected specimens of his insane world. Even though he was a self-declared Nazi, I felt that his commitment to science was much more apparent than his tendencies for his Führer. Stauffer had possessed an intellectual mind and acumen that was superior than the average scientist that I had assisted in any experimentation.

He had informed me that he would be away, due to a personal matter that he had to tend to in a week and that I would be in charge of conducting the experiments in his absence. He was making the special arrangements of the visit of Heinrich Himmler, who was coming to inspect the camp in two days. He had notified me about his planned visit. Stauffer was excited to have Himmler one of the Fuhrer's trusted men from his inner circle see his work and advancements. If true then this piece of information would be important to disclose back in Munich once I had returned. There was another piece of information that I did not know was completely accurate, and that was that Munich was where the Nazis had their headquarters. This meant that Himmler had been directly sent by the Führer.

I had located a new place to stay at, which was not far in Munich, but near the outskirts in a villa. That night, I had gathered secretly with my informants and had informed them about Himmler's visit to Dachau. I had also mentioned the experiments that Stauffer was conducting with the prisoners in privacy. In particular, mutating their genes. When I was asked about Stauffer's plan with a nuclear bomb, I told them everything that I was aware of. I did not omit one singular detail that was not vital or relevant. The plan was still intact, and Himmler's visit would not change its course, as long as I was not discovered or captured. The rest of the night, my thoughts were conclusively on the topic of Himmler. Why was he coming in the first place? Was there a hidden agenda that the Nazis were attempting to impose with his visit?

The new location of my residence was more serene than the bustle of Munich, but the influence of the Nazis was still present in the countryside. It was difficult to truly ascertain the genuine sentiment of the locals. Some I had imagined were attached to the ideology of the Nazis, while others were more frightened to admit their discontent with them. Fortunately, for me, I was occupied at the camp with Stauffer that I had little time to indulge in having friendly relationships with my neighbors. I had established a rapport with him, enough to gain his trust. He was not interested in my personal background, but more my intimate thoughts about his scientific experiments. As physicists, we had discussed the possibilities of the usage of uranium with plutonium and its powerful impact.

The day when Himmler arrived at the camp, Stauffer had instructed me what to say and how to behave in front of him. There was a strict protocol that was set, and it was significant that everything was in accordance to what Stauffer had envisioned of Himmler's visit. He was risking his reputation and his position. From what I had read about his views, Himmler was an advocate of science and the advancement of the Aryan race that was promoted in the propaganda of the Nazis. I had even seen several films that were playing in the theaters of Munich that had exactly this erroneous vision. It was a time, where Europe was dealing with the rise of fascism and communism. On each side, whether it was Western Europe or Eastern Europe, these forms of beliefs were pressing on the contiguous borders of the countries that had surrounded these ideologies.

Himmler would be presented to those who were in charged and showed the entirety of the camp, including the hidden chambers where the experiments were conducted. Judging from his reaction, he was satisfied with what he had seen. Himmler was not an impressive man in stature or in his persona, but he had a redoubtable aura that had drawn many to him blindly. It was not the idolatry or reverence to their Führer, nevertheless, it was unique in its nature. I had spoken little to Himmler, only a token gesture of my dissimulation. The conversation was mostly between Stauffer and him. I stood beside them, overhearing them, as they were deeply impassioned with their ideological discourse. They seemed to agree on most things, and in the end, Himmler had left praising Stauffer's contributions to their cause.

After Himmler's departure, Stauffer had taken me to a nearby river that was on the west side of the camp, where there were floating bodies of prisoners who had attempted to escape, but were unsuccessful. Watching these dead bodies from the edge of the river had conjured in my mind sudden flashbacks to the Great War, when I was a young adolescent. I had witnessed then, a similar scene. The reason that he had taken me there was, because he was planning on performing experiments on the dead bodies, as guinea pigs. I was baffled with what he was suggesting, until he had explained to me in details his sinister plan. As the talk of war was looming on the horizon, the Nazis were advancing their scientific research and experimentation. The West was unprepared for what would ensue thereafter.

There were more prisoners that were brought to Dachau. The poor souls would be taken to the cells of their impending doom. What was evident to me was that the Nazis were expanding their prison camps, and Dachau was only the beginning of their infamous acts of cruelty. It was difficult to not display any emotions, but I had stayed firm to my controlled actions and comportment. My conviction to prevent the Nazis from obtaining a nuclear weapon was just as passionate, as theirs to obtain one. The only difference was that I had to conceal that passion. I could not dare to reveal it before them. Stauffer was too swept up in his determination to execute his experiments that he did not spend any considerable time in noticing any suspicions on my part demonstrated.

I has spent the afternoon in the awful crematorium observing the charnel remains of prisoners, who had succumbed to the madness of Stauffer. I had to wear a mask, because the foul stench of death was pervasive throughout the surreal place. I had to step out for a while to regain my composure. Stauffer had left me alone. He had to address another issue that had abruptly occurred in the camp. When he had returned, we went to the chamber where the mutant beings or altered men were kept like caged animals. There he began to inject them with some type of exotic drug that I was unaware of its origin. Stauffer was overtly talkative about other major details of his experiments, but he would remain quiet about what he was injecting into the veins of the mutants he had chained like wild beasts.

I could hear the effects of the redounding echoes of the screams and moans of the mutants. It was disconcerting to bear witness to such brutal torment. Stauffer had stated that this experiment of his was necessary for the Nazi cause. I, on the other hand, thought he was exceeding the threshold of science and humanity. I could see the pride exude in his mien and his character. He talked as if he was deserving of a Nobel Prize. The advancement of science had progressed, but what Stauffer had intended was not for the amelioration of science. He had an intractable obsession for perfection, and his experiments were that of a mad scientist, who took advantage of the poor men, who were unable to defend themselves amid the adversity of their imprisonment. I was forced to accept this and continue with my assumed role.

Stauffer had confessed to me that he first began experimenting with animals, but had found them unreliable, because they did not possess the capacity of the human mind for thought and reason. He had realized that the distinction between them was impossible to discard, and there was no concatenation that was compossible in their nature. Therefore, he proceeded to experiment on humans, thinking he would discover a congruity that would adhibit him to advance in his endeavor. Stauffer was a brash and daring man, and he was willing to forsake the lives of the prisoners, for any successful measure of progress in his experimentation. I did not doubt his genuine conviction. It was his logic that I found conflicting and at times irrational. We had both studied the teachings of physics, chemistry at the university, but his mind was distorted with the ideology of the Nazis that I had intuited it was irrevocable.

There were moments when he was rational that we had discussed formulas, for uranium atoms and neutrons. I was eager to know what his thoughts and ideas were, concerning the subject. He was quite meticulous and had reflected his apparent intelligence. There was a moment when I had thought, if only he had spent his time more on physics than crude experiments on mutants that were beneath his intellect, he would have accomplished a lot in the name of science. My perception of Stauffer had not changed, since my arrival. However, there was something about him that I had sensed I could relate to, and that was the field of physics. By no means, could I ever consent to his madness or concede to the absurd notion of his argument for the Aryan race.

The news of the ongoing atrocities in Poland had reached Dachau, and it was only a matter of time that more of these barbaric acts would be perpetuated, in other parts of Europe that were seized by the Nazis. The more territory they would gain, the more it would propitiate their ambitious goals at whatever cost and detriment to their enemies. Stauffer had informed me that more cells and chambers were to be added to the camp, stating that more prisoners would eventually be sent to Dachau. I had predicted this outcome, because the number of prisoners that were dying was beginning to affect the immense productivity of the labor that was being effectuated. Every day the ghastly image of their demise was tangibly seen. There would be bodies strewn on the ground and prisoners collapsing suddenly. They would remind me of the dead cattle that I once saw before strewn because of the plague, during the Great War.

Stauffer would be frustrated with the lack of progress in some of his other experiments, such as finding a cure for hypochondria, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, hepatitis, gonorrhea, syphilis, or other chronic illnesses. It was particularly, the study of the human mind that concerned him the most. He was convinced that the cause for mental problems could be cured, with more studies on the thalamus. He knew that this was attached to the function of the brain's cerebral cortex, such as consciousness, sleep, learning and memory. He had believed in the genuine study of mnemonics, which was a technique that aided in the retention of information or retrieval of human memory, for such things as numerical sequences and mathematical operations inter alia. Stauffer was perhaps at the vanguard of German science, and he was indeed one of the most active scientists that I had known.

The situation with the prisoners at the camp was becoming more distressing. I could hear them in acute pain, as they had worked in terrain of the ditches of labor. It was impossible to not think about what they were experiencing at the merciless hands of the guards, who treated them with utter disdain and disrespect. What would give me horripilation was the fact that many of these same prisoners, who once toiled in the mire and dirt of the ditches would be tossed there upon their immediate execution. The executions that I had witnessed were enough to convince me that the Nazis were relentless and apathetic in their means of torture. They would cut off the fingers of the prisoners executed and keep them, as a form of perverted memorabilia. Whatever ultimate plan they had, that dealt with the prisoners at Dachau was one which would be unprecedented and unmatched in its pursuit of terror.

I had left the camp that evening to return to my villa. There I had pondered the words of Stauffer and the things I had learned about him and his ghastly experimentations. I wrote a correspondence to a fellow physicist in Austria, who I had confided in by the name of Otto Klinsman, inquiring about the situation there with the Nazis. What I did not know at the time was that Klinsman had been arrested by the Nazis, for conspiracy against their ideology. Klinsman was not Jewish, but he was a staunch communist. It was difficult to know to what extent was the effectiveness of the resistance to the Nazis. I was isolated and could only depend on what my informants were revealing to me secretly. These were precarious moments to be a foe and a part of the opposition, but I had retained my unabating determination.

The day had arrived, when Stauffer was to depart the camp, as he had intended to. It would be the first time that I would be alone without his presence. It was the moment I had seized to investigate more in depth and without his intrusion, the plans he had for a nuclear bomb. He had apprised me of his intentions and some of his ideas, but I needed to find documentation that could be irrefutable proof of his complicity. After his departure, I had managed to look into his files in the privacy of his office and was able to discover that he had in fact, designed a nuclear bomb with details. It was only a rough draft, but it still was menacing in its idea and proposal. Finally, I had the proof that I needed in my hands. There would be a major problem and one that would complicate my exit from the camp.

I was scheduled to leave the camp for good, before Stauffer would return. However, as I was in the office, I would be delayed by the SS officers. They had wanted to question me, about possible acts of conspiracy against the Nazis. Apparently, they had intercepted my letter to Klinsman in Austria. Although there was nothing directly incriminating me, they wanted to know what relation did I have with him? Their questions were bold and imposing, as they stood with their imperant stare. I had to establish that my relation with Klinsman was solely as old compeers from the university days. I made it clear that I had not seen him in years, but that was not enough to dissuade their questioning. Had they discovered as well, my definite connection with the Americans?

Stauffer was requested to return to the camp. Once he did, he was immediately asked, about any possible occurrences of mine that would indicate that I was a collaborator or worse a spy. My life depended on his answers and cooperation. I thought I was doomed and caught, but Stauffer would vouch for me and tell the SS officers that I was a committed Nazi and involved with the greater plans of his experiment. I was vital to him. He too was risking his life. Why he decided to speak on my behalf, I did not know at the time. In the end, the officers of the SS had ceased their inquiry. It did not mean that they would not return, but for the time being, I was removed from their list of suspicious scientists. I was not expecting to see them again, because I had planned on leaving Dachau, with all the information that I had gathered during my time there.

I would then learn the real reason why Stauffer had vouched for me in front of the SS officers. He had informed me that he had known that I was not who I had claimed to be, and that I was not a Nazi sympathizer or for their cause. At first, I was uncertain of what to do. If I confessed, it would mean that I would be detained and probably executed afterward. If I denied everything, I would be exposing myself to further questions and worse, the return of the SS officers. I was in a predicament. He gave me two choices, one to admit who I was or face the wrath of the Nazis. What he still did not know or suspect was the fact that I was half Jewish. If I had told him my birth name, he would have perhaps noticed then. He did not give me much time to make my decision. He was not interested in knowing, who I working for.

In the end, I told him that he was correct, and I would collaborate with him. I had no intention to do so, but it had given me time, so that I could devise a plan of escape. As we were talking, the load of uranium and plutonium had arrived at the camp. It was taken to one of the chambers that he had ordered built. Originally, it was supposed to be a place to hold more prisoners, but Stauffer had cleared out the prisoners to make room for his greatest experiment, which was the creation of a nuclear bomb. Apparently, Himmler had ordered him to work specifically on the project of the Doomsday Machine. It was to be a top priority for the Nazis then. I tried to concentrate on how I could escape. However, Stauffer had warned me if I dared to escape that I would be executed on the spot.

We had initiated the experiment for the creation of the bomb. Stauffer had bombarded uranium atoms with neutrons. When he had analyzed the debris then, he was stunned to find traces of the lighter element barium exposed. It was until he concluded that he could use the elements of plutonium-239 and uranium-235. He realized that he had found the answer that he was searching for. The answer that had eluded him all this time. What he discovered was that each element by itself was not sufficient to constitute a critical mass. He needed to collide the pieces that would cause a fission chain reaction afterward. He had the components to build his Doomsday Machine. The only thing that was missing, was the outer shell in which the bomb would be presented. It had to be a hardened surface for the projectile to be used, but he was planning on a massive one that was far bigger than a common projectile.

I had utterly frozen for a moment, when I heard him pronounce his minacious words. His project was still in its initial phase, but according to Stauffer, it would be presented to Himmler and ultimately, to the Führer in six months. This is what Stauffer had calculated he would need to finish his ultimate project of the Doomsday Machine. However, there was something that he did not suspect would occur, and that was the mutants he had hidden in his chamber of horror would revolt against him. One of the guards who was in charge of watching over the mutants had informed Stauffer that they had all escaped and had killed the other guards, who were with him. He had a frightened look in his eyes. Soon, the unleashed mutants would start to attack the other guards in the camp that were in other areas.

Stauffer had lost control of them. There was a secret passage that led to narrow egress that would end in a field ahead. This was his intention, but unfortunately, for him, he would not be able to escape their ire and revenge. Only I was the fortunate one to flee them. It was a genuine bloodbath, as the guards shot at them when they could. Many of the mutants would fall dead, but there were too many of them. As for the prisoners they watched the spectacle. Some of them had managed to flee, while others were shot by the guards. There was instant panic everywhere, and chaos was stirred by the presence of the hideous mutants who had devoured the flesh of the guards. To describe the scene was unfathomable in words. I could only express my amazement and fear for my own safety.

When it was over, I had found myself miles away from the visible carnage that was Dachau. Stauffer would be killed by one of his own creation that he had condemned, a horrendous mutant. He would be found hiding in the same gas chamber that he had utilized, with his throat completely slashed. It would be obvious to those that knew the terrible horror that had existed in that chamber, why Stauffer was so brutally murdered. Before I escaped, I had made certain to take the designs that Stauffer had planned for the creation of the nuclear bomb with me. There would be a huge explosion that would cause the mighty towers of the camp to crumble onto the ground. The camp would be rebuilt, and the rest of the prisoners that had remained would be sent to a temporary camp. As for the dreaded mutants that had lived, they would be caged and thrown into the depth of the Danube River to drown from a cargo plane.

I would return to America having accomplished my mission, and knowing that the Nazis would not succeed with their search for the elusive nuclear bomb. World War 2 would occur shortly afterward, and the Germans would control a great portion of Europe. They would be defeated in the end. It would take the full strength and cooperation of the Allies to make the Nazis succumb. It would take several years before the Americans would use an atomic bomb in Japan to end the war in the Pacific. The lessons of war would not deter the usage of nuclear weapons, because man would continue to espouse their means of destruction throughout the following decades. To some, Stauffer was merely a man with a grand delusion, but to others he was a scientist who was on the verge of changing the world with his Doomsday Machine.

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About The Author
Lorient Montaner
About This Story
4 Mar, 2024
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38 mins
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