|The Man With the Iron Heart|
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
|Affiliations:||United States Army|
Frank and Weissberg were unanimous in their frustration with the country's military and political leaders. In 1946, a tip came to the CIC that the GFF was planning something in Hechingen. Hechingen had been the location of Germany's rudimentary atomic bomb facility, and where most of the country's scientists had been working before their capture by the Allies. Unfortunately, Hechingen was in the French Zone, and relations between the US and France had soured since the war ended. Weissberg met with French Captain Jean Desroches, who had adopted the French policy of "independence". As Weissberg was not at liberty to devulge much beyond his knowledge that Hechingen was a possible target, Desroches seemed little inclined to take him seriously.
Days later, Desroches arrived in Nuremberg to smugly report to Weissberg that the GFF had indeed attacked a rubbish dump in Hechingen. When Weissberg pressed further, Desroches noted that the dump was next to the building where several German physicists were caught. These same physicists made up the group that Heydrich had kidnapped. Concerned, Weissberg brough Desroches to Howard Frank. When Frank heard Desroches' report, he contacted a superior, Colonel Samuel Goudsmit, who violently swore into the phone before explaining what the GFF had been after. Frank and Weissberg then summarily dismissed Desroches without telling him what Frank had learned. Once Desroches was gone, Frank informed Weissberg that the GFF had stolen 10 grams of radium that some of the scientists had hidden before they were captured. The Americans knew about it because the scientists' quarters had been bugged while in captivity. Both Weissberg and Frank marvelled at the fact that the American authorities decided it was better not to tell the French.
The consequence of this decision came when the GFF detonated a radium-bomb in the American compound in Frankfurt, again preventing the trial of the accused war criminals.
In the following months, Frank, Weissberg and the CIC did its best to stop the GFF. When Weissberg suggested that closer cooperation with America's allies, the USSR in particular was in order, Frank warned him off.
By July, 1947, the Allies were ready to begin the trials of the German war criminals a third time. This time, the Soviet Union volunteered to host the trials in Berlin. Weissberg and Frank were assigned to oversee the transfer of the prisoners to Berlin. After arriving in Berlin, the two met a Jew who'd survived the camps. Weissberg and Frank gave the displaced person some money and chocolate.
As Weissberg and Frank comtemplated the upcoming trial, they were soon subject once again to bitter disappointment: the GFF crashed a C-47 into the Berlin courthouse. Both men were reduced to hysteria.
A few weeks later, Weissberg and Frank were approached by CIC General R.R.R. Baxter, who informed them that the Soviet NKVD had contacted the CIC about handing over a person who might know where Hedyrich was. As both Weissberg and Frank had been overheard saying that the US and the USSR should cooperate more, they were offered the chance to meet with the NKVD officer, Captain Vladimir Bokov. Both agreed.
The meeting took place at Fent's Establishment in Berlin. This was somewhat ironic as the place had previously been named "Hitler's Establishment", and the owner had been Adolf Hitler's half-brother, Alois Hitler. Weissberg and Frank met both Bokov and his informant, Jewish Displaced Person Shmuel Birnbaum-who was, ironically, the same Jew the two Americans had met when they initially arrived in Berlin. While Bokov was initially suspicious of the coincidence, he nonetheless turned Birnbaum over to Weissberg and Frank, even getting a receipt. They all then drank to a toast of "Death to the Heydricites!"
Birnbaum was eventually able to lead Weissberg to Heydrich, and Frank was pleased to congratulate his colleague on his promotion and his economic reward. However, both saw their victory evaporate when the GFF refused to die with Heydrich. In 1948, Frank was happy to return home, hoping against hope that democracy might still take hold in Germany.