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Willi Dorsch
Fictional Character
In the Presence of Mine Enemies
POD: c. 1940
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Germany
Occupation: Clerk
Spouse: Erika Dorsch
Children: Joseph and Magda

Willi Dorsch and his wife Erika were the Gimpels' neighbors. Willi and Heinrich Gimpel were co-workers at Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. The Gimpels and the Dorschs played bridge often.

Willi Dorsch was a good citizen of the German Reich and a good Aryan, never once suspecting that Heinrich was secretly a Jew. He had a keen interest in politics, was generally quite gregarious and social, although perhaps unnecessarily boisterous. However, he and Erika began having marital problems. He began an affair with Ilse, a secretary, and Erika pursued Heinrich Gimpel. Willi stayed in the marriage for the sake of the couple's children, despite frequently sleeping on the couch and arguing with his wife over the phone. Willi, however, was oblivious to Erika's attempts to seduce Heinrich.

Things came to a head for all when Erika made one last attempt to initiate an affair with Heinrich at her sister's home. Embittered by Heinrich's refusal Erika denounced Heinrich as a Jew, an accusation she assumed to be false. Heinrich was arrested at Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. Willi telephoned Lise Gimpel, Heinrich's wife. Later on, he learned that the Gimpel's three daughters had also been taken, a development Erika had not considered. Erika attempted suicide out of guilt. Willi informed Lise of the truth.

When Heinrich was released, Willi, tremendously guilty for his wife's actions, made efforts to continue their friendship. Heinrich accepted.

Shortly after this course of events, Lothar Prützmann, Reichsführer-SS, launched a Putsch against Führer Heinz Buckliger in an effort to halt reform. Willi and Heinrich took to the streets of Berlin, and immediately went to the home of Gauleiter Rolf Stolle, who had been even more ferocious in his demands for reform. Both were present when the SS attempted to arrest Stolle and both were part of the crowd of people that made the arrest difficult.

When the rumor (started by the Stutzmans) spread that Prützmann was actually Jewish, the SS was further stymied. This gave the Wermacht time to move against the SS, forcing them to stand down. Willi and Heinrich climbed aboard a Wehrmacht panzer and accompanied the troops to SS headquarters. Prützmann had committed suicide by the time they arrived.

Heinrich and Willi remained friends. Willi carried a small measure of guilt for his wife's actions, although Heinrich held Willi blameless. Nonetheless, Erika was no longer a friend of the Gimpels.

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