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The Lebensborn Legacy

by YeOldeMariner 

Posted: 11 August 2011
Word Count: 1730
Summary: Felow WW member Kim has produced a script froom my short story.The script reached the semis of the prestigious Kaos Film Comp.2010. This is my short story.

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September 3rd 1939

11.35 AM

The crowds on Westminster Bridge were silent. Small groups of anxious people huddled together trying to absorb the Prime Ministers resigned statement and the realisation that once again the world was about to be torn apart by war.

A lone figure threaded through the crowd, black shawl allowing only a wisp of blonde hair to expose itself to the chill air. She glanced furtively from side to side before standing on the raised ledge and dropping into the swirling Thames.

July 30th 1966

2.00 PM

Detective Sergeant Joe Tanner was looking forward to England’s big day. He had lived every minute of the team’s torturous campaign to get to the final game of the World Cup. The hopes of a nation depended on the next 90 minutes even more so as their opponents were the “old enemy” West Germany.

It had been quite a week for the murder squad, which Joe headed. He had been promoted at the age of 26 and was looking forward to a trouble free weekend.

He slammed his desk drawer shut, pocketed the key and reached for his coat sporting a large England rosette

Joe grinned as he glanced at the clock. Five past two. Just time for a quick pint before getting the tube to Wembley. He’d already donned his hat and closed the door when the nerve-jangling trill of the phone pulled him out of his reverie.
“Tanner. Murder squad,” he barked into the receiver before slumping into his leather chair.

“Be there in 10 minutes”
Wembley was a diminishing dream.

Tewkesbury Place is not unlike like a hundred other bed sit communities to be found in the capital. A once grand collection of Victorian houses divided into rabbit hutch compartment to house a fluid population

No.72 was no different from the rest. Except for the smell.
The lingering, sickly stench of death.

A young uniformed policeman emptied the contents of his stomach in the weed-strewn garden.
“Jesus Christ!” Joe exclaimed as he ducked under the tape.” What the hells been going on here?”
The officer was still trying to control his innards.

“I received a call from the landlord at 1.35,” he gasped,” asking for assistance to evict the tenant of flat 6, he gulped more air as his face turned an ashen green.” As repeated attempts to get the rent had failed. I attended as requested only…Oh God “He turned and dashed back into the garden. Just in time.

315 PM.
The news that England had gone behind washed over Joe as he watched his men gingerly gather evidence from the run down flat which now resembled a slaughterhouse.

“Reckon there are 4 bodies here, Boss. We’ve got a list of tenants from the other flats but no one appears to be missing. Looks as if there’s been a party recently.”
Tanner pushed open the kitchen door to reveal crates of empty beer bottles.

“Anything else?”

“In here on the table.” Their feet squelched through puddles of crimson gore as they the third room of the flat.
A polished mahogany table glinted in the sunlight, the surface broken only by a loose-leaf writing pad. Joe took a pen from his pocket and poked it through the coiled spine, lifting it to read.

“DESTROY “was scrawled across the page in blood red ink. Underneath Joe counted 5 names. He turned to his colleague Tim Collins, a tried and trusted sidekick from their days at training college.

“What do you reckon Tim? A religious nut? What the hell is this all about? Well at least we have the names of the victims. Tie up the loose ends then we can get this bloody maniac before he strikes again.”

AS Tanner started the engine of his white Jaguar, the announcer blasted the news that Geoff Hurst had scored courtesy of an obliging linesman.

“About time the Russians did something for us,” he muttered.

Sunday July 31st.

10 .00 AM.
Scotland Yard briefing room.

Six members of the murder squad sat round a long table bleary eyed a night of celebration for the new world champions. Tanner tried to ignore the drums beating in his head as he addressed the team.
“Right those of you who were at Tewkesbury Place won’t need to be told we’re after a maniac here. The medics have pieced together 4 bodies. They were all male, white between 26 and 31 and they were all castrated.” Tanner paused to allow his words take effect.
“They all lived at different addresses and appear to have no link to each other. Except each had an invitation to a party at the address.

Tanner held a bloodstained card for all to see.

“CELEBRATE A NEW SOURCE OF LIFE” was written upon the card and underneath the now familiar address in Tewkesbury Place.


“Each card had a different date, presumably the date each one died. Each date coincides with a World cup match,” Tanner continued.

“Smith and Watkins here’s a chance to make amends for cheering Germany on yesterday. Find what this source of life thing is all about.”
Any further questions” Joe asked.

“Just one thing sir” Smith queried, “The pad had five names yet there were only four bodies.”

“Exactly. That’s why we need to move fast on this one.”

Monday August 1st.
2.00 AM
The sharp trill of a phone interrupted a nightmare about disembodied arms, legs and genitals.
“Boss. We’ve found a link. I think you’d better back here pronto.”
Tanner was back at his post within fifteen minutes.
“What’ve you got?” he asked.
“Well for starters they were all adopted.” Watkins replied placing four sheets of paper in front of Joe.
“Carry on”

“As I said they were all adopted. And… each one had and English mother and German father.”
“So what are you telling me?”
Tanner’s tiredness was forgotten as Watkins placed a brown folder alongside the profiles of the victims taking out a faded black and white photograph.

“This is Alice Box .She worked for the Ministry of Defence in 1933 and was seconded to the British Embassy to assist in the appeasement talks with Hitler.
One night while she was working in Berlin she disappeared. Talks were at a delicate stage and her disappearance was brushed under the carpet. A year later she resurfaced in London. With a baby in tow. When questioned about where she’d been and about the baby she would only reply, “”He’s a Lebensborn baby”
“Lebensborn?” Tanner queried.
“Yes boss. I did history at College. The Lebensborn were supposed to form the basis of the Third Reich. Himmler and Goebels opened up several homes in Germany where blonde blue-eyed women were mated with men of pure Germanic blood to produce a true Ayrian nation. Then they were going to repeat this exercise in each of the countries they invaded. Norway was the first. Britain was to be next. Alice had an affair with a German attaché and coerced other British women to be baby machines for the Reich. The literal meaning of Lebensborn is Source of life.”
Tanner pondered for a moment and then asked,
“This Alice Box character. Is she still alive?”
“No Alice committed suicide on September 3rd 1939 by jumping off Westminster Bridge. But shortly before she died she told her bosses that she had recruited five other women to the Lebensborn cause and each one was pregnant with a German soldier’s child ready to sow the seeds of a British Reich. When the government realised what was going on they took the babies away from the mothers and placed them for adoption with English families. There identities to be hidden for ever from public scrutiny.”
“Except someone found out,” Tanner interrupted. “These invitations to CELEBRATE A NEW SOURCE OF LIFE what’s the take on that?”
“Well sir we know each of the victims was visited during the past month by a smartly dressed middle aged woman. It’s only a theory at this point but we think she probably enticed them back to her flat at Tewkesbury Place with a promise to reveal something of there past.maybe she even told them she was there mother.”
“So Box is dead but what happened to the other mothers?”
“Three died.. but…”
“Yes go on.” Tanner urged.
“Martha Long was the last recruit of Box. When she realised what the future held for her baby it sent her over the edge and she was committed to a mental institution. Martha was a Cambridge graduate at the time and intended to go into medicine but she suffered such trauma that she turned to taking lives instead of saving them. She butchered two other patients in the 20 years she was incarcerated. In there wisdom the doctors decided she was well enough after all this time to let out for a day. But she never returned. They think it was the continued mention of the German football team being in England that rekindled her fears about them creating a new Reich.”
“So she decided she was going to find the Lebensborn survivors and make sure they couldn’t produce any progeny” Tanner said taking one of Watkins proffered smokes then looked out over the sleeping city.
“Nothing we can do ‘til morning so I’m going home. See you nine sharp.”
“Ok boss” Watkins replied.
Tanner strolled through the darkened corridors and his thoughts drifted to his own happy childhood as he tried to imagine the horrors Martha and her victims had endured. His parents had always assured him they had specially chosen him and only occasionally did he wonder why he was blonde and blue eyed whereas his brother was dark and olive skinned.

He stepped out into the cold air and spotted his car bathed in cold neon, alone in the vast parking area.

Tanner settled into the driver’s seat and fumbled in his pocket for the ignition key before stretching to relieve his tired muscles.

As he leant back he saw too late the glint of light on metal as it swished in an arc across his throat sending spume of blood across the windscreen.

They found Martha as the city woke under weeping skies, her arms wrapped tenderly around her dead child.

A single tear drifted slowly down her cheek as deep in the shadow of her mind she grieved for the Lebensborn.

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Comments by other Members

Donkeyjacket at 19:23 on 18 August 2011  Report this post

Mike, what the hell I am doing reviewing ‘The Lebensborn Legacy’ when the notification I received was re ‘A love to far’ I know not. I really must get to grips with the navigation of this site. But let’s not waste the effort ’cos I really do owe the site one.

You have a fascinating concept in ‘The Lebensborn Legacy’ and rounded the thing off nicely. I expect you know that one of the Abba girls was reputed to be one such?

For me, it moved along just a little too fast, even for a short story; and I wish you’d taken several deep breaths and handed it down slower and with more flavour – and several clichés didn’t help bring on the mood of curiosity and apprehension:

nerve-jangling trill
slammed his desk drawer shut
barked into the receiver

I don’t think any of these contributed much to the character or the story: Telephones ring all around us every day and we don’t get put into psychiatric care from the strain of hearing them; slamming draws – okay, he’d had a bad week and was tetchy, but he’s going to be even more tetchy when he finds he’s going to miss the game; and barking into the receiver connoted the most wonderful image of detective dog answering the phone with deerstalker on his head, droopy pipe in mouth.

I loved the way you brought us constantly back to progress in the match – it not only joined the sequences up but seemed to give me a 3-D sense of being right there.

Lots of typos. But better to get them right sooner rather than later as they really do check the reviewer in mid flow:

Bleary eyed …. after (?) a night…
You’d better ….get (?) back…
Was … their (sic)… mother
“Smith and Watkins (comma) here’s a chance to make amends for cheering Germany on yesterday…
…their (sic again) past.maybe she even…

Two places where quotation marks went awol: …Find what this source of life thing is all about.”
Any further questions” Joe asked. (leave the quotation marks out at end of line 1; open them again at beginning of line 2).
And the “I received a call from the landlord…” para needs a bit of scrutiny in the same context. (Incidentally, whilst I am 6 years out of touch, I don’t think a copper would assist evicting on these facts.)

“Be there in 10 minutes” caused me to check who was talking; and, finally, to me, “I did history at school” was a slightly lame explanation of Watkins’ detailed knowledge.

I just wish you hadn’t killed him yet and that this was the start of a novel rather than a short story.


YeOldeMariner at 11:54 on 20 August 2011  Report this post
Thanks Anthony,sorry only just seen your comment. I'll amend accordingly

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