Even The Fuhrer Likes Canadians

"I have not come to make men better, but to make use
of their weaknesses."
- Adolf Hitler

There has been a slight pause in the offensive as far as your company is concerned. The rest of the LSSAH is headed north, chasing after the retreating BEF, but the CO, Sepp Dietrich, has instead given your company orders to head south, to Arras itself. Arriving in the tiny village of Vimy you are then diverted to an old WW1 memorial on the slope of the ridge there, with instructions to guard it. Only upon your arrival are you told the reason for the diversion - the Fuhrer himself wants to tour the front, and he specifically wanted to visit Vimy Ridge.

Doktor Schmidt is standing around, trying to look official. He's gotten wind of the Fuhrer's impending arrival, and isn't going to miss this golden chance to hob-nob with influential people. He stands a little way away from the soldiers, occasionally shooting them distasteful looks.

Schwenkfeld has straightened himself up as best as he can, making sure his uniform was washed in a hurry and dried before arriving in Arras. The large man with the Golden Party Badge has rifle shined and polished, medals pinned to the uniform, but now he simply stands and waits, looking around as if a bit uncertain what comes next.

Having donned his cleanest uniform and polished his medals, most specifically the Iron Cross, Riechter stands at rigid attention in the formation of SS soldiers. No hint of emotion, no suggestion of what he might be thinking… rather a lot like how he looks during combat. No non-sense. Stone-faced and cold.

Even Sofia is dressed up nicely, her hair done up. She's straightened and cleaned and everything. Sofia looks somewhat official, standing near wherever she is allowed to stand. At any rate, she is here, a silent statue.

Fuchs is standing in line beside Schwenkfeld and Riechter and other members of his company. As with the rest, his polished rifle rests against one arm at his side and at stark attention. In many ways, Fuchs is personifying the purpose of a uniform… as he looks like another drop in a sea of military exactness.
The CO, Sepp Dietrich, is here with you all, and you are all well drilled in the required courtesies. You are, after all, the Fuhrer's bodyguard regiment, nicknamed the asphalt soldiers by the rest of the Wehrmacht - parading rather than soldiering too much. The Fuhrer's car (a Benz, of course), with only a single truck for escort, wends its way up the narrow road up to the memorial, and then comes to a halt by the gate, where you all are. Without any further ado the man himself climbs out - somewhat smaller and less imposing than the propaganda posters make out, and wearing surprisingly plain clothes, a humble corporal from the last war.
As he approaches the line of SS, Dietrich salutes. "Heil Hitler!".

Schwenkfeld fixes his face forwards, lips closed and right hand outstretched. He, too, echoes the words. "Heil Hitler!" immediately trying to add his voice in unison. He keeps a proud bearing as best he can, but can't hide the glimmer of enthusiasm in his eyes to see the little man he'd known from Munich once again, though they've both now added a touch of gray.

Doktor Schmidt clips his heels together in a militaristic manner, his back ramrod rigid in his black leather trenchcoat. He raises his hand in a stiff nazi salute, calling out a cold, clipped, "Heil Hitler!" The tall surgeon's face is expressionless, his gaunt features held in check by his iron self-control.

And thus echoed by the rest of the company, one would guess. Riechter's posture is unwavering, his eyes betray nothing but the training of a soldier. All the proper courtesies are reflected by the Southlander, though he lacks any discernable enthusiasm at the presence of Herr Hitler.

Another voice chiming in, it's Sofia's. It's somehow nearly reflexive, which is slightly perturbing. But she is going with the crowd, irresistable as it is. She stifles any curiosity in her expression.

Hitler returns the salute, and with a deep frown, walks up the line, looking into the eyes of each soldier briefly, until he reaches Dietrich at the end. Then he nods, still looking quite thunderous, and looks over Dietrich's shoulder, at the memorial itself. Then his stern look melts a bit. "The ridge looks just as I remember it." he says, half to Dietrich, half to himself, and then he stalks past, into the grounds of the memorial itself, where he stands in front of the statue of the woman, peering at it with brooding eyes.
Dietrich walks with him, but the captain on duty declares, "At ease.", he himself staring at the Fuhrer's back rather than the troops. He looks like quite a young captain, too.

Doktor Schmidt hesitates for a moment, glancing from the corners of his eyes at Sofia, and then steps forwards, sidling towards the Fuhrer. It's very very hard for an over six-foot man to move inconspiciously, but the Doktor takes a stab at it anyway. It looks slightly hilarious, as if he wanted to draw attention to himself while being wary of the possible perils of that attention at the same time.

Schwenkfeld relaxes a bit, the salute lowering, but his stand remains upright with a degree of fascination. His eyes follow the movement of the Fuhrer, head turning to gaze over at the man now reviewing the French/Canadian statue. A tiny pleased smile forms on his face for a moment.

Hitler heads past the statue into the grounds itself, and spends some time wandering around, mostly uncommonly silent, with Sepp Dietrich in tow, pausing by the huge block of stone with the names of the multitude of Canadian soldiers who died. Unfortunately for Herr Doktor his wanderings take him some distance away from the SS at the gate. Or maybe not, as he's coming back! And his gaze does fall upon Herr Doktor, who is making himself conspicuous, and Sofia too. Before he can look bemused, Dietrich pipes up helpfully, "Doktor Schmidt, mein Fuhrer - the finest surgeon in the division, and one of the best in all the Reich when it comes to the treatment of battlefield injuries. He is attached to the Liebstandarte company here."
Sofia blinks, at Doktor's attempts to be sneaky. But it is only a blink. Maybe the sun was in her eyes. That's it. Her face betrays nothing, still and expressionless as some lost feral dog slinking on the fringes. She stays where she is, not daring to move any further. She freezes, not even daring to blink for a moment as Hitler's gaze falls on them. Oops.

Doktor Schmidt grimaces inwardly, but it's a testament to his self-control that what comes out on his face is a smile. Or, well, his thin lips curl up at the corners anyway; the end-result looks more like a rictus. With the rigor-mortis hilarity still fixed on his lips, Doktor Schmidt intones, "An honour, Mein Fuhrer. I've had the privilege of working with the Thule society all these long years. I am sure that any scientific excellence that I have attained is solely due to their inspiration." Fortunately, Jacob Schmidt's skeletal face and rigid expression make him a fairly good liar.
Schwenkfeld can't help but smile a little, watching the Reichfuhrer and the doctor come to meet. He utters no words, leaning slightly to get a better view for his curiosity.

Fuchs is keeping his eyes forward, his stance rigid. If there is one time to show discipline, this is it.

Sofia is silent. She says nothing, and if she's concerned, she hides it but for a little twinge, a quick sideways gaze.

Falk stands with the other SS men. His left arm is still in a sling but he is here nonetheless, his gaze unwaveringly on the Fuhrer. The expression on his face is one of awe, and almost rabid loyalty.

The Fuhrer glances past Herr Doktor for a moment, seeing an apparently scared Sofia. He knows fear/stage fright when he sees it, the Fuhrer is used to it by now, and being something of a weird lady's man he even gives her a brief, somewhat reassuring smile. Which fades as he turns back to Schmidt. "I myself owe a great debt to the Reich's medical knowledge - I have heard some little of the many advances made in the past ten years from my experts. Such skills will be very important in this war." he adds, a little ominously, the war being almost over after all, presumably?

"And after it, certainly, Mein Fuhrer. With your guidance, we will perform surgery on the body of the Reich - indeed of the whole world - and excise all impurity and corruption from it." Doktor Schmidt maintains the rigid smile, while a bead of sweat slowly describes a trail along his left temple. The word stiff is quite insufficient to describe his posture.

Schwenkfeld tries to straighten back up, but his eagerness to hear the fuhrer's words is likely noticeable, as well as the middleaged veteran's rather average and pudgy looks despite the SS uniform. At least it's not the flab of a rich banker's gut. Still, he's a rottenfuhrer and tries to at least make an effort to not be too carried away with curiosity at the leader of the Third Reich.

Um. Aw? Sofia just manages a weak smile. She is silent and still otherwise, listening now, green eyes wide.

"The removal of the Jewish poison within Europe is our highest priority, and always has been." Hitler agrees wholeheartedly with Herr Doktor. "For now at least, though, if other nations choose to weaken their blood with inferior races then let them do so - it will all be easier for us in the end. The British defence minister is a Jew - the results of that policy we can see in France today. It is people like you, Herr Doktor, who make the Reich strong, strong enough to compete against the decadent Jewish infested 'allies'. We have learned from the last war - this time it will be different.". He beckons Dietrich over, and eyes the statue of the mourning woman. "This is an admirable memorial - none of the triumphalism of the others, only an appreciation for the sacrifice of Canada's young men. They were brave men, those Canadians. See to it that no overly enthusiastic German soldiers cause any harm to it.".

Falk's eyes shine as the Fuhrer mentions the last war, his chin arching. His right cheek twitches a notch, as if those words caused a reaction from the scar his face still bears from the Great War. He nods when Hitler says things will be different this time. Indeed.

Doktor Schmidt nods stiffly to the Fuhrer, his rigid smile growing a bit wider (and more horrible). He steps a little back, observing the ex-corporals oblations by the statue.

Fuchs turns his gaze toward the statue, for just an instant, then his eyes dart forward once more, keeping his thoughts, if he's allowed himself to have any, to himself.

Schwenkfeld watches the Fuhrer curiously at the statue, his own eyes lifting to view the sculpture again after hearing the orders regarding German soldiers respecting it. A tiny faint nod, almost as if one would expect a shrug to follow, and the farmer's son remains in place, keeping silent.

Canadians. Who could be angry at Canadians? Even the might of the raging German army gives pause before them. So too, does Sofia as she turns to look over the statue of the mourning woman. She nods, too then.

The Americans, for a start, could be pleanty angry at the Canadians. Riechter's response to this is nigh-unto imperceptable. The much-talked-about thousand-yard-stare being employed by the Southlander to some effect at this moment. Unlike others, his attention to the statue is fleeting at best, to the Fuhrer he gives only a cursory glance.

Sepp Dietrich nods. "Jawohl, mein Fuhrer!" he says in response to the order. And then Hitler eyes the soldiers one last time, before heading back to his Benz, climbing in and heading out.

As his car wends its way back down the grassy ridge, back towards the town, the CO nods to the captain. "You heard the Fuhrer - set up a guard detail at the memorial. I will see to it that you are relieved shortly, there is heavy fighting near Dunkerque and we need every man.". The young captain, trembling a bit from the presence of the Fuhrer, promptly salutes. "Heil Hitler!". And then eyes you lot - 'guard detail' - while Dietrich climbs into a Benz of his own, to roar off back towards the action.

Doktor Schmidt shakes his head, letting out a pent-up breath. He glares at Sofia, as if daring her to remark on something, and spits out, "Come on. We have work to do." He heads towards the ambulance which conveyed the two of them there, shooting a last, distasteful look at the soldiers before clambering into the driver's seat.

Schwenkfeld turns to look after to the others, once the Benz is out of view. "We camp here and guard the statue, then?" asked curiously over to Riechter. "French will not try to knock it over, right?"

No. Sofia's not that bold. The woman just nods meekly, and follows. Righto. The woman steps into the ambulance quietly. "Yes, Herr Doktor." Is her only response.

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