Oaths of Loyalty

«Announcement from Death!» for background, after the putsch, Hitler got slung into Landsberg Prison for treason along with a few other top Nazis. But got let out early, about a year later, as the judges sympathised with him, monarchists and democracy haters that they were. That said, 1928 is actually pretty much the high water point of the Weimar Republic. The Nazis are down to a few thousand voters, the economy has recovered, political violence is the lowest its been for years…

Alright. The NSDAP is only just arising, phoenix-like, after the disaster at Munich five years ago. You've got a new guy in charge in Berlin, a chap called Goebbels, who the Fuhrer has made Gauleiter of Berlin. Its more a prestige appointment for him than anything else, as Berlin is /not/ a Nazi stronghold, it's filled with communists. He's a learned man, and a bit runty, with a club foot in fact, and consequently doesn't get on with the meatheads in the SA. At all.

You're currently holed up in your pseudo-barracks, one of many in Berlin, and have been told by the Nazi Blockleiter in your area that apparently the Gauleiter has a special task for the very best of the SA in the area. While you lot are low down on the totem pole, SA-Fuhrer Ewald at least knows that those a bit higher up in the brown battalions are a bit sneering about whatever runt-boy has planned. That said, you're your own boss, so its up to you whether you want to impress the man - or not. He's coming this afternoon.
Over to you, Ewald!

Its not so much a desire to impress that drives Ewald as much as desire to do the best he can for the Good of Germany. And so, for Herr Goebbels visit, Ewald's uniform is perfect, his face is clean.. and he's done everything he can to make sure his SA-Mann(s) follow his example.

Fuchs didn't have to be told twice.. perhaps not even once. His family had been dependent upon him to show pride in his country, and this is the time to do it. Unlike previous weeks, where he has been his usual disciplined, but somewhat vague self, today there is a snap to each step, every action sharp, crisp, and clean.

Doktor Schmidt is sitting gingerly on a bunk, dressed in the obligatory brown uniform. His small, round spectacles have been pushed high on the bridge of his nose as he peers down at a little booklet in his hands. The booklet in question has a small, surreptious skull-and-crossbones motif on the back cover.

Schwenkfeld has gotten himself straightened up, his peasant roots not a background for spit and polish but his time in the Imperial Army during the Great War sufficient. With his black boots, brown shirt and brown trousers, the large man no longer quite so young makes final adjustments to his collar and tries to suck his belly in. "He will be here soon?" to the others.

Doktor Schmidt glances at Schwenkfeld, his thin brows drawing down severely. The years have further hollowed out his angular face, making his sharp features stick out all the more. There is a look of abject dislike on that unpleasant face, a dislike that he seems to hold fairly evenly for all of humanity.

He is indeed coming. "Gauleiter of Berlin", while soon will be only three steps from God as far as Berliners are concerned, currently is a title that means very little. But the Nazis know about style and impact alright, so a quite young Goebbels is accompanied by an escort, four black clad young men, in /very/ swish uniforms. He lets himself into your barracks, without announcement, so it better be clean, dammit.

Oh, you know the barracks are clean! Ewald probably went so far as to put a white suit on and roll around on the ground to check for dust. Well.. probably not. Anyways, as soon as Ewald notices Goebbels entrance (and it is soon.. he's a sharp one) he barks out- "ACHTUNG!"

Fuchs takes silent note of Schmidt's disapproval, but if it affects him, he doesn't show it. His eyes move across the room before they fall on Schwenkfeld, to which he answers with a shake of his head. "I don't know, but I am certain he will be here when it is appropriate." He continues his visual sweep of the room and spots a man with a 4-person escort, causing his eyes to dart about for some sort of rank insignia. Of course, it never hurts to show a bit of extra respect, and so he snaps to attention, his eyes at that dull dead-ahead that few outside the military can quite master.

Doktor Schmidt stands up gradually - not too slow to be disrespectful, but slowly enough to set him apart from his "comrades." He assumes something approximating a pose of attention, turning a thin, humourless smile the Gauleiter's way. He also slips the little booklet into a hip pocket.

Schwenkfeld blinks as suddenly sharpness and crisp attention fills the air. He, too, straightens his posture that extra bit, becoming likely the tallest man present. Chin up, no weapon to present though. Keeping silent and giving the formal attention that was drilled into him during the Great War.

Wagner snaps out of his daze. Seeing his comrades come to attention, he stands, back straight and chin up, ceasing whatever it is that he was doing.

Goebbels heads for Ewald, who he has at least seen pictures of. "SA-Fuhrer Ewald?". He smiles a shark smile, and offers the new salute. "Heil Hitler!". A brief pause, and then he says, "I understand from our records that you are one of the longest serving of the SA in Berlin… that you were even at Munich, and fought alongside the Fuhrer.". His face is impassive, and its hard to imagine this guy fighting anywhere. Not exactly the Aryan superman.

Ewald stands up straight and tall as well, keeping himself at rigid attention along with his men. "Yes, Herr Gauletier," he responds after echoing Goebbels salute, "We were all there." He makes no comment on the events of the day however, choosing to leave it at that.

Doktor Schmidt shoots a look of slight distaste at Ewald's back. Clearly, he doesn't agree on who the most important man in the room is. This look disappears when he looks at Goebbels, to one of neutrality; he probably doesn't like the other man, either, but he's smart enough to know that he's worth being friends with.

Schwenkfeld pauses a moment watching the curious new salute. He keeps silent, and tries to give the look of being background furniture. Standing there with his fellow brownshirt infantrymen, directing his eyes back to stare ahead.

Wagner glances at Goebbels, then focuses his attention on… standing at attention. Wagner appears to have decided the best course of action is to keep his mouth shut.

The Gauleiter explains the situation. "The Fuhrer is looking for volunteers for the SA's bodyguard regiment. He wants the very best. The men most devoted to the National Socialist ideal, the most intelligent, the finest soldiers. The best the Fatherland has to offer.". He glances over at the rather blank Schwenkfeld when he talks about intelligence, but is far too controlled a man to do more than that. "Your record suggests that you and - perhaps - your men would make fine candidates.".

Ewald takes the compliments with grace, showing no reaction to them. "These are some of the finest sons of Germany I've served with, Herr Gauleiter," he states in endorsment of his team, "I've known most of them since the Great War."

"I am sure that we remember that we are German, and that our blood is pure." Doktor Schmidt looks meaningfully at the Gauleiter, putting emphasis on the disjointed phrase. "A true member of the Aryan race could desire nothing so much as the opporunity to raise it to its destined glory." He speaks almost at the same time as Ewald, clearly unwilling to let the other man speak for him.

Schwenkfeld seems to be largely successful in showing no reaction, though at the point of all the adjectives of praise he shows a simple little smile as if a dog being rewarded with a treat. It's only for a moment, though, as he finally catches himself and returns to the display of discipline and attention.

Doktor Schmidt shoots a slightly doubtful look at Schwenkfeld, as if suddenly regretting his praise of the company as examples of fine Aryan manhood.

"I would be proud to serve the Fatherland, and my Fuhrer!" Wagner barks out. His eagerness to serveor maybe prove his wortheasily overpowered his discipline, and now he once again falls silent. During the Great War, he was in the trenches as part of a machine gun crew. After Munich, he grew comfortable in his duties and confident in his abilities. This man became naught but a glorified bully, and it is in this role he excels.

"In that case, I am considering putting your name forward for membership of the SS." the Gauleiter tells Ewald. "You will need to swear new oaths of loyalty, your old SA oath will be dissolved." he says, with eyes narrowing slightly. "And you understand that your complete obedience to the Party will be required. It is a great burden that will be placed upon you… the burden of doing extremely difficult, and yet necessary, tasks at the Fuhrers direction. There can be none in the SS too weak to be able to discharge their duties. Needless to say, you will also be expected to give your all for your men who are under you as well, both in passing orders from the Fuhrer to them, and supporting and encouraging them to live up to the ideal.". A pause. "If you believe you can handle all this, of course…". His voice has a slight edge to it.

Fuchs remains fairly rigidly still, eyes ahead. He'd been saluting since he was six, and the new salute he had spied out of the corner of his eye was foreign, but he knows that to get it right is important. All the while his mind carefully rolls over the idea of being a bodyguard for the Fuhrer. The mention of difficult tasks actually forces a slight tingle up his spine…. he knows promotion when he hears it, and the selfish bastard wallowring around in him silentely rejoices at the opportunity. Oh yes, Fuchs is quite willing to swear himself a new oath.

Doktor Schmidt smiles, the thin, self-satisfied smile of someone who intends to be nowhere near the actual brawling front-line in this SS business. "I am pleased that the Fuhrer has seen us fit for this duty. I had lately had doubts that the Sturmabteilung was fulfilling its role in the promotion of the Society's goals." When things are pronounced with capital letters, they must be Evil.

Schwenkfeld shows a lift of spirit, excitement, but it's not alltogether clear he's picked up on the subtleties implied by the Gauleiter. "For Germany!" he blurts out, smiling proudly for a moment with chest lifted.

Ewald is a German, first and foremost. His loyalty belongs to whoever is the best for Germany and as far as he can tell, Germany's best hope is that short madman from Austria. Someone who will bring back Germany's pride in itself. And so he has no problem agree with Herr Goebbles. "Thank you, Herr Gauleiter," he says, puffing his chest up just a little bit, "We will not fail the Furher."

"Good.". the Gauleiter indicates one of the men by his side.. "The uniform will have to wait, the oaths we can do now. This is Oberfuhrer Foerster, who will be your new commander. Your old SA commanders will be informed as to your new status.".

Foerster steps forward. "You must understand that your swift acceptance is purely based upon your past service to the Fuhrer and Party, especially your presence at Munich. Normally it takes months of hard discipline and difficult tasks to properly test your quality to be a member of this… elite… organisation. Raise your hands in oath, and repeat these words:

'I swear to you, Adolf Hitler, as my Fuhrer, loyalty and bravery. I pledge to you and the superiors appointed by you, obedience unto death. So help me God.'"

Fuchs does not step forward, as that was not one of the orders. However, his does raise his right hand, arm at a strict ninety degree angle and intones with as much gravity as he can muster, "I swear to you, Adolf Hitler, as my Fuhrer, loyalty and bravery. I pledge to you and the superiors appointed by you, obedience unto death. So help me God."

Ewald raises his hand as well, and intones with the rest of his squad the oath ditcated to him. "I swear to you, Adolf Hitler, as my Fuhrer, loyalty and bravery. I pledge to you and the superiors appointed by you, obedience unto death. So help me God."

Wagner's voice is loud and clear as he raises his right hand and repeats the oath, "I swear to you, Adolf Hitler, as my Fuhrer, loyalty and bravery. I pledge to you and the superiors appointed by you, obedience unto death. So help me God." The oath uttered, Wagner can't help but grin in satisfaction.

Schwenkfeld raises his hand to join in, but his cheeks fill out a bit as he blurts out a question before repeating the vow, "Don't we swear our lives to Germany, too?"

"I am loyal to the Society. I have been sworn to the Siegrune." Dr. Schmidt says this almost in protest, eyes narrowing. Behind his steel-grey eyes, furious thoughtprocesses are in action; clearly, he finds the oath too restricting to pledge himself to. Being the cold rationalist that he is, he's not yet convinced that this Hitler guy is who he should be committing himself to, if indeed he should be committing to anyone.

Oberfuhrer Foerster scowls at Schwenkfeld. "The Fuhrer /is/ Germany!" he says, enraged. He glances over at Goebbels, and with a voice dripping scorn, says, "I knew these simple thugs would not understand, Herr Gauleiter! They may be good in a bar brawl but have no deep understanding or even love of National Socialism, as I have said.".

The Gauleiter is cool enough. "An honest mistake. But perhaps we will reconsider his position… for now, anyway." he says smoothly. To the Doktor, he nods. "I have been made aware of your involvement, Doktor Schmidt. Suffice to say, that you have no need to join the SS yourself, your work on the intellectual plane has been quite well received, as I understand.".

Doktor Schmidt inclines his head to Goebbels, ignoring the Oberfuhrer. A thin smile of self-satisfaction flickers on his lips, to hear his work praised, "I would hope so, Herr Goebbels. With the assistance of the Society and its friends, I will yet do great things for our Race." The surgeon's spectacles glitter - or as those his eyes - brightly. There's something almost reptilian about the cold, rational precision of his speech.

Ewald shoots Schwenkfeld The Glance. You know the one that the old Feldwebel cum SA Furher has been perfecting since Mons. Its the Shut Up Now glance. "Heil Hitler!" he shouts now, perhaps trying to counteract the farmboy's faus pas.

"Heil Hitler!" Wagner echos, mimicking the new salute he witnessed earlier.

Schwenkfeld lowers his head a bit as the Oberfuhrer shouts, shrinking slightly at the scolding by the officer but still remaining standing. He glances over at the Doktor for a moment, then very quietly lowers his hand. He does follow Ewald's example and shouts "Heil Hitler!" trying to mimic the new salute of a palm raised, but that doesn't really escape the fact that he'd not completed the vow.

Foerster remains unimpressed. "If this is to be an SS barracks, Gauleiter - as you said it would be - I must insist that this man is removed, and found a new SA command." he says, pointing at Schwenkfeld.

The Gauleiter nods. "We can't have the common SA mixing with our new elites, it is true." he says, with an edge of regret.

Foerster gives Ewald an appraising glance. "Staffelfuhrer… Baumann? See to it that this one is removed as soon as is possible." he orders, pointing at Schwenkfeld. "I will inform the SA that they have a new one to take in, I have no doubt that he will be reassigned before the end of day tomorrow.".

Schwenkfeld tries to dare a protest, "But I fought against the backstabbers after the Great War, and walked with the Fuhrer and my brothers arm-in-arm at Munich when the puppet leaders made the army shoot us!" He halts himself there, keeping a frown but shutting his lips and looking down slightly to avoid Foerster's eyes.

Finally! Orders to be rid of Schwenkfeld! "Of course, Herr Oberfuhrer," Ewald says, showing no overt reaction to the order, neither elation or regart. As Elvis said, 'Orders are or-ders.'

Doktor Schmidt glances at Schwenkfeld, not looking particularly sorry. One hick from haytown less.

Fuchs makes a point of keeping his eyes straight ahead as he raises his hand in a fair imitation of the new salute. "Heil Hitler!" he calls out, perhaps a bit loudly, but better to be heard than to whisper.

Doktor Schmidt raises his hand almost as an afterthought, murmuring, "Heil Hitler." Well, have to show at least some spirit.

Schwenkfeld doesn't fight the order, but his unhappiness shows. Frowning, looking to the others he'd served with since the front lines of the Great War, he keeps his lips closed tight and his large frame moves to walk out as directed.

Foerster narrows his eyes. "In that case, Mann… you should swear the oath. But it seems to me that your mind wandered. If it wanders now, in this room, at peace, imagine what it will do when you are placed in a difficult situation. You will hesitate. Who knows. You may even betray the Fuhrer.".

Fuchs has completed the oath and lowered his hand, but isn't moving a further muscle until properly dismissed.

Schwenkfeld looks back for a moment, just before walking out the door, and offers a final salute specifically to Ewald. The old Imperial German Army salute of the Kaiser's days, a decade ago, as he'd first greeted the NCO when first placed on the front in 1918. His gaze wanders to Wagner and Fuchs as well, as if bidding a final respectful goodbye to them as well.

Fuchs gives Schwenkfeld a quick nod and quickly points his eyes away from the large man. Of all the people sent out, the large one was the one he suspected least of such an act. The Doktor perhaps…. but then again, he hadn't sworn loyalty either, had he?

Ewald returns Schwenkfeld's salute with a slight nod of his head. "Good luck," he says simply, before his attention returns to the two higher ups, "Orders?" he asks.
Schwenkfeld exits, his brown uniform still with no weapon.

If Wagner notices Schwenkfeld's gaze, he doesn't show it. His eyes remain fixed ahead of him. As a new member of the elite, his previous life is irrelevant.

Oberfuhrer Foerster smiles at the first demonstration of loyalty. Maybe the Gauleiter was not wrong after all. "Unlike the SA, you will not be brawling with the communists in the streets anymore. There are more important matters for you to attend to. Until the time comes, you should train and be sure that you are ready for them. I will be sure to be in contact with you soon with some more instruction as to how to correctly train your men. And I will provide you with some books to read as well, concerning the procedures and ideology of the SS. You are no longer a brown shirted thug, but a living embodiment of the Aryan warrior, and your mind as well as your body must be sharp. Heil Hitler!". He offers you all a salute.

Goebbels watches throughout with something like fascination.

"Heil Hitler!" Ewald responds, saluting as well, "I await your orders, Oberfuhrer."
Doktor Schmidt has disconnected.

"Heil Hitler!" Wagner shouts, saluting.

Fuchs returns the salute, and waits until he gets the order to stand at ease before taking a second to actually look toward the door and moves to look around inside the barracks, perhaps getting an idea from the people around him.

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