Response to Comments About Eva Braun: Life With Hitler:

I’ve never understood what everybody considers so mysterious about the relationship of Hitler and Eva Braun. Hitler married her in the Fuhrer Bunker at the end of their lives to keep his long-standing promise to her in the only way he could. He’d consoled her for years with the thought that they would be married when he retired from power and they moved to Linz, Austria with their dogs, most of his secretaries, and the favorites in his entourage. Why did he care what she thought? He loved her. He’d often talked to his secretary, Christa Schroeder, about it in years past. He admired the young woman’s courage, the way she went to Munich when there were bombing raids, the way she stood on the burning roof of a friend’s house, and didn’t worry about her own safety. In years gone by when he was at the Wolf’s Lair he often phoned her[[ASIN:B007UKXEV0 The Nazi Sphinx]]. When Christa Schroeder once suggested that he could do better than Eva, Hitler said, “She’s good enough for me.”

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There’s an article in National Geographic about the sinking of the Titanic one hundred years ago today. There’s been a big blockbuster movie and all sorts of fanfare and media attention. I’m willing to bet that on May 7, 2015, one hundred years from the sinking of the Lusitania and about three years from now, there will be hardly a mention of that ship disaster.

How can I account for this? It’s easy! People would rather forget it and pretend that it never happened, especially the British who would never come clean about the manifest and the mysterious second explosion aboard the ship.

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It’s The Lusitania, Not The Titanic, Stupid!

As everybody knows today is the one hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. And the big movie is back! But I find it odd that everyone pays so much attention to what was a tragic accident and ignores the real sinking of the time period — the Lusitania.

The Lusitania wasn’t any accident. It was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland on May 7, 1915. That was the ship that meant the end of an era, the one that changed how people thought, and the one that helped to bring America into the war. It was a much earlier 9/11 to the one hundredth power.

Perhaps because it was so real and so important that’s why people don’t pay as much attention to it. The Titanic is more escapist. The Lusitania makes you face facts.

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Volume One in the Captive At The Berghof series is now up on Kindle. The thriller saga starts with a torpedo sinking the Lusitania and ends in 1945 with the explosion of the first atomic bomb. First the Kaiser and then Hitler are behind it all.

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Reading about the original Queen Mary gives me an idea for an additional World War One/World War Two thriller novel. Dora, Edward, Thomasina, and the Benleys should board the ship in August of 1939 for its last voyage as a cruise ship until 1945. It will take them to New York, but on the way they battle Hitler’s agents, including Helga, who are trying to kidnap their daughter.

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The QM2 is supposedly 236.2 feet high. The original Queen Mary that debuted in 1936 which sits in Long Beach, California is 181 feet tall. QM2 has 17 total decks and 13 passenger decks. The original Queen had 12 decks, at least as far as I can determine. The fad seems to be to make cruise ships taller. Inevitably some decks are going to be farther and farther away from those lifeboats. In the dark without electricity and perhaps with a ship that’s starting to list to one side like the Costa Concordia and the Lusitania, that makes it all the more difficult to reach those lifeboats even with the aid of stairs.

Disclaimer: I don’t mean to imply that any cruise ship approaches the literal height of the Twin Towers. I’m using the Twin Towers as a metaphor and a warning.

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It just occurred to me that tall modern cruise ships can be as dangerous as the tall Twin Towers in 2001 in New York. If passengers are dependent upon using elevators to descend many levels to the main deck where the lifeboats are stored, they are in trouble — perhaps as much trouble as many of the denizens of the Twin Towers who didn’t use the stairs.

Cruise ships of yesteryear didn’t have this setup.

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This is the ship that the Benleys sail on to reach America when war is declared in 1939. They take their granddaughter, Thomasina Edwina Ware, with them to Pittsburgh. It is also the ship that Dora, Edward, and Churchill sail on in May of 1940 when they accompany the British fleet to America. By then it is called the Gray Ghost. People think the QM2 is impressive. But this seems to be the really historic ship that was launched in 1936. Would you believe that Bob Hope would be accompanying the Benleys on that last 1939 sailing to NYC right before the war?

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Best Western in Cologne? They seem to be everywhere. This one doesn’t even look like a traditional building. It must have been something else first. I wonder what. I don’t think it goes back to the Romans.

Here’s another Best Western in Brussels of all places! This one looks more like a palace than anything that resembles the Best Westerns in the U.S. along the sides of the interstates. The Romans really might have visited here.

This BW looks really modern. It reminds me of Erdman, one of the dorms at Bryn Mawr College where I was a stude

This hotel in Cologne looks like a hotel I stayed at before when I was in Europe back in high school. They haven’t changed much, have they. But then Europe doesn’t.

C’mon now, you’ve got to be kidding me about this BW between Nuremberg and Wurzburg. This is no simple Best Western. It looks like a place where a king might live. Either that or they’re taking a cue from Disney World and turning it into a theme park.

Now this Nuremberg City Center Holiday Inn looks like it’s part of Old Town Nuremberg! I could picture a bunch of gnomes, dwarfs, and medieval types hanging out here in the beer hall. They would be dressed in leiderhosen and would have their own beer steins.

What a way to go! First you take a car to the East Coast. Then you sail across the Atlantic. You hop a car in Hamburg and drive through Belgium to France to hit Dunkirk. Then you drive back through Cologne, Nuremberg, and Weimar to return the car to the airport in Hamburg. This BW International airport hotel is as close as you can get to the airport and still stay at a BW. Then you hop the ship and find that set of wheels parked at the pier in Brooklyn. Wow!

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I hope this guide includes Dunkirk. I just wrote The Dunkirk Plot and need a guide. The table of contents promises a military guide to the Benelux, which is supposed to be Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. That sounds promising.

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