CHAPTER 2: NINETEEN YEARS LATER
Date: December 20, 1937
Location: Bismarck Archipelago - Island of Malabascar
Situation: The von Stiehls
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Important Suggestion: Reread Chapter 1 The Last Naval Battles
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Following Germany's World War I defeat, the nation descended into a severe depression. Extreme food shortages, hyper inflation, riots, thuggery and reparations caused national hopelessness, anger and shame. Political opportunists and new movements promised to make things right. These ardently sought influence with self-proclaimed merits to restore order, the economy and national honor.
The Weimar Republic replaced Kaiser Wilhelm II. By 1935, Communists became insignificant. Wretched Fascists suffered similarly after the suicide of their leader following huge election failures in 1933. Many political thugs were jailed with long sentences. Others settled down to work with each other. By 1937 the economy though still a shambles began to recover. Faint hope revived. Others having a more ambitious nature developed plans for meteoric recovery.
In the 1920s, one family sought relief in its South Pacific holdings on the independent Island of Malabascar. The small shipyard started in 1901 by Rheinhard von Stiehl thrived amidst tropical weather, plentiful seagoing clients, peace and by the influx of family members escaping the Fatherland. They brought millions of marks and skills to build plantations, a bank, medical facilities, a factory, a hotel, a telegraph, roads, an import/export business and a single track rail line. All were safeguarded by a cooperative agreement signed between von Stiehl and King Vanu Vutu XIV, specifying mutual advantages and protections.
The von Stiehl Shipyard.
The von Stiehl Werke established in 1901 on the Island of Malabascar. It's 8:00 p.m. and....
Prosperous family members are arriving for a special commemoration and social event.
The family gathers for the special occasion on the second floor of the main building.
Rheinhard von Stiehl: "I have been waiting for this moment since November 1918.
Trudi von Stiehl: "My darling. Tell me the story again. That shocking night.....
Rheinhard von Stiehl: "Ja. We were returning here from Isla Incognita as the Herr Doctor calls it. Half the crew was dead or disabled by a terrible sickness contracted ashore. We thought the war had been over for a few days or at least we thought so."
Rheinhard: "The crew heard the explosion and raised a cheer."
Rheinhard: "Her name was Zanzibar. Fire broke out amidships as she listed to starboard.
Trudi: "And nineteen years later my darling, here you are. Let's join our guests. Your first birthday gift is imminent."
Trudi: "Ja. I hear your present coming!"
Rheinhard: "Everyone but me is in on it, eh?"
Rheinhard: "Welcome home son. I am delighted to see you....
Rudi: "I also. It is good to be back. --- Ach! I see the ever unhappy Herr Doctor Krausen is about to demand an untimely audience Father.
Dr. Krausen: "Ja, ja, but I am afraid we must have a brief conversation now. Pleasantries later, bitte. Your early arrival is fortuitous. I can almost smile. We do not have a day to spare before the wretched Cyclone season starts again and potentially ruins the mission months from now."
Dr. Krausen: "Herr von Stiehl, I insist we sail for the island within two days."
Rudi: "To Isla Incognita."
Trudi: "Ja. For the von Stiehls and The Fatherland!"
Meanwhile, Isla Incognita waits.
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1) Thank you for looking in. I appreciate it very much and hope you enjoyed the experience.
2) Chapter 3 is scheduled for late September.
3)Your remarks are welcome below at Comments. We all look forward to what you have to say.
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