Sample Pages

A Pact with the Devil

(Pathfinder Novel)
– By Richard Bonte and James Crew Allen

Richard Bonte and James Crew Allen

Near the end of World War II, the Nazis offer a group of death camp prisoners an opportunity of freedom and wealth. The result will endanger the world in the most horrific way.

A never before told story about a top-secret Nazi project.

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Chapter 1: AUSCHWITZ………………………………………………..3

Chapter 2: 1932 …………………………………………………………. 13

Chapter 3: 1933 …………………………………………………………. 15

Chapter 4: 1937 …………………………………………………………. 17

Chapter 5: 1938 …………………………………………………………. 21

Chapter 6: 1939 …………………………………………………………. 25

Chapter 7: 1940 …………………………………………………………. 29

Chapter 8: 1942 …………………………………………………………. 31

Chapter 9: 1943 …………………………………………………………. 35

Chapter10: EPILOGUE…………………………………………………67

Richard Bonte and James Crew Allen

Chapter 1: AUSCHWITZ

Auschwitz, Poland during the Second World War

“My dear people please come in. Oh, I am so sorry that you have had to experience this awful place. Here, let me remove these degrading yellow stars from your coats. I have taken the liberty of having my own tailor make some new clothes for you. See!? Now, first, before we take you out of this place, please take a leisurely bath. Not a shower. Don’t be afraid! Freshen up, dress up and join me for a sumptuous dinner!”

The smartly dressed SS Officer Fritz von Himmlau with his aristocratic accent smiled and shook hands with each of the concentration camp inmates. He picked up the small children and kissed them on their foreheads before returning them to their mothers.

He tried not to allow the stench of these prisoners’ filthy bodies and clothes affect his behavior. After the last of the inmates had left the main room of the camp guards building, he gestured to the six female attendants to open the windows. He ran to the door to draw in as much fresh air as possible.

The inmates shuffled into the guards’ bathrooms. Dreading for their lives, they slowly turned on the

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faucets in the bathrooms. No poison gas came out. It was safe to bathe.

After one hour the six female attendants entered the bathroom and requested that the now clean inmates try on their new clothes. After this was done and the attendants had left, the inmates began to whisper among themselves.

“Is he lying?”
“They all lie!”
“Are we to be set free?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Why would they allow us to go?”
Some of the inmates knew each other from before

the war. They were scientists from universities in Germany. One was an American scientist.

Fritz von Himmlau appeared again: “Ladies, Gentlemen and Children, it’s time to eat. The children will be fed in the next room.”

A shudder ran down each of the mothers’ backs. They clutched their children close to their bodies.

“Oh, please don’t worry. They will be fine.”

The six female attendants extended their hands to the children and the mothers reluctantly loosened their grips. “Ice cream and chocolate cake!” von Himmlau barked even though he was trying desperately to be kind. Smiles appeared on the children’s faces and they pleaded with their mothers to let them go.

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Fritz von Himmlau was relieved that their stench had disappeared. He would be able to eat without fear of vomiting. He surveyed his group of concentration camp inmates. There were six men who probably ranged in age from twenty-five to fifty although it was difficult to tell their ages since they had been inmates for some time. There were also eight women six of whom were mothers and included one old woman, and one young single woman. The young woman was a scientist like the men.

Von Himmlau rudely examined this female scientist. She was gaunt like the others. She stared at the floor and avoided his gaze. He thought about her name, Gretchen. He had once had a beautiful girlfriend by that name. He was disgusted by the thought that this pitiful creature in front of him could actually claim her same name. He looked away as if to cast aside this ugly thought and then proclaimed magnanimously,

“Please! I want to show you something. Come!”

Von Himmlau walked to the side of the room where a long table was located. On the table were seven piles of documents.

“Let me see?” Von Himmlau looked at a list he had picked up.

“Yes, these are your personal documents.” He pointed to a pile as he gently guided one of the mothers, Angelika Steiner, to the table.

Frau Steiner opened the small cardboard-covered dossier. She recognized the photograph. It was she. She

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read the age under the picture. It was the same as hers. But the name was not the same.

“This is you. Yes, this is the new you. The Aryan you!”

Frau Steiner picked up a Swiss bank account statement. It was in the name of her husband. The balance was $10,000. Enough to buy a substantial home and sufficient to live on for a few years. Frau Steiner looked at her husband; she was trying to gauge his view of this incredible event.

Meanwhile, the others in the group had sat down to study their own personal dossiers. Then the first woman noticed the old lady who had walked the length of the table and back again. The look on her face was one of desperation. She had not found any documents with her photograph on them.

Von Himmlau walked over to the old woman and placed his arm around her shoulder,

“Don’t worry, I’ll explain later.” This comment did not allay her fear.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s enjoy lunch!” he bellowed as his voice rose hysterically on ‘lunch’.

Von Himmlau pointed back to the other side of the room where an extravagant meal had been laid out.

The inmates moved slowly and eventually decided which chairs they would occupy. They looked at the delicious food. Memories returned to their minds of what food used to taste like, before the concentration

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camp diet of hot water, chicken bones and rye bread. They began to eat. The taste was incredible, but they worried that they would be in agony later as their stomachs reacted to such unfamiliar nutrition.

Frau Steiner looked through the window. A new group of prisoners had arrived. She knew the routine, having witnessed it for several years.

She turned her head slowly as she heard the prison guards shout out:

“Women and children to the left! Men to the right!”

She watched as the guards made their decisions. The few able-bodied young men would be further segregated for work details and the attractive teenage girls would be saved and turned into the men’s ‘personal assistants’.

“Please, strip and shower. Then you will be fed.”

Frau Steiner knew this would be the last moment of their lives. The poison gas would be pumped through the showers as soon as the doors were locked. Their screams would be muffled and the only remaining sign of these victims would be the scratches from their nails on the inside door of the gas chamber.

Frau Steiner looked back at the piles of documents, and she vowed to do everything she could to claim these precious papers and leave this hell.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s talk about why you are here. Some of you are old colleagues. All of you are

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distinguished scientists. Now unfortunately, since I am not a scientist, I can only make crude statements, hah, hah! Please, don’t embarrass me when I get them wrong.”

Von Himmlau smiled as he looked for reactions from the inmates. There were none. He continued,

“Heavy water, Uranium isotopes, fission, containment. I see these terms written down on this piece of paper, but unfortunately they mean little to me. However, I believe they mean a great deal to you. I am going to share a piece of classified information with you. We are aware that the United States has a top secret project at a desert location. What is it called?”

Von Himmlau scanned his notes.

“Yes, here we are. The Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico? It is Germany’s intention to beat the Americans and successfully produce the ultimate weapon before they do. Of course our intention is purely to bring this unfortunate world war to a close as soon as possible. It was never our intention to be at the war with the U.S., nor with the Aryan nation of England, for that matter!

We have called our project the ‘Manhattan Project’ as well. It is ironic of course since New York will be our ultimate target to demonstrate the effectiveness of our weapon. I am probably telling you far more than is necessary, but I feel our business relationship should be built on mutual trust from the

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outset. Since New York is over 3000 miles away we will test our first bomb on London. There are some six million people in that city. We expect 25% of Londoners to die.

You must understand that this test is not something I necessarily approve of, but if it will save millions of other lives it is a necessary evil.”

Von Himmlau noticed that the inmates were crying. He felt disgust for their weakness, and wondered whether it would have been more sensible to leave the truth undisclosed, thereby allowing the inmates to delude themselves. Then he reminded himself that he was a German Officer, and as such, he should act honorably and tell the truth. Besides, he saw no early end to their silent crying and felt it better to give them a little hope.

“Please, I have explained truthfully what our ultimate move would be, but it may not happen. As soon as the Americans know we have the weapon, they may negotiate for peace.”

The crying ceased. The inmates wiped their eyes with the backs of their hands.

“I have something to show you.”

Von Himmlau arose and walked back to the document table. He returned holding a two foot square artist’s painting of a picturesque Bavarian village.

“This will be your new home. Fifteen hundred square foot, three bedroom cottages with central heating. There is a community swimming pool and tennis court.”

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The inmates made no impression of being impressed. They knew that the Nazis would tell any lie to get their prisoners into the gas chambers. This realization was not lost on Von Himmlau.

“I’m sorry. I have just realized what you are thinking. Please don’t worry. You will be safe. We estimate the project will take one to two years and at the end you will be given transportation to the Swiss border, after which you will be at liberty to go wherever you wish, with the blessings of the Fatherland, natürlich.”

Frau Steiner looked again through the window. The doors to the showers/gas chambers were now firmly locked and the carts were waiting to move the dead bodies to the lime pits. She thought about the Swiss Alps she had been so fond of when she was a young girl. She pictured a pleasant day in August with the warm sun shining on her face as she watched the cows being herded to pasture. She heard the bells ringing on their backs as the cows ambled along.

She had already decided she would do everything to escape the concentration camp. But what about the others? What about her husband? It was her husband they wanted. Could he be persuaded? She looked in his eyes. What were they saying to her? Surely he would do anything to save their children’s lives.

Von Himmlau continued,

“My dear ladies and gentlemen, I know this has come as rather a shock to you. You will obviously need

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time to think about my proposition, but I am confident that you will all agree to accept this offer.

There is one condition that I have to make sure you understand. We need the expertise of each and every one of you seven scientists to make an atom bomb. That is why you have been kept alive for so long and why you have been kept together. You might say you have a Guardian Angel looking after you, hah, hah!”

Von Himmlau smiled but when he realized that no one was amused, he continued,

“You may have been wondering what will happen to you if you decline the offer. It is of course obvious that you will remain in this hard work camp in the hope that you eventually will change your minds but there will be one other aspect to deal with.”

He walked over to the old woman and stood behind her with his hands on her shoulders.

“If you refuse, although you will be kept alive as long as possible, each month starting tomorrow, one of your children will be chosen and you will all watch as this happens to him or her.”

Von Himmlau removed his right hand from the old woman’s shoulder, placed it inside his breast pocket, clutched a short blade dagger and in one swift motion sliced open the old woman’s throat. As the blood spurted out onto the table cloth, he held her head in both hands and whispered,

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“There, there, it will all be over in a few moments, no more cares or worries.”

Two of the other women fainted and three vomited while the men lowered their heads and held their faces in their hands.

But Frau Steiner stared straight into his eyes and vowed to kill Von Himmlau the moment she had the opportunity.

The Pact with the Devil had begun.

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