Reviewer: Rednight
Date: 07/18/09 23:49
Chapter: Chapter I: Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Schwalbe

A giant ship? Make sure to put in lots of detail! I would like to draw it!

Author's Response:

Don’t worry - I’ve written quite a few paragraphs just describing the interior, so I think there’s enough description to work with, for both the inside and out. Fanart is greatly appreciated, and I’m thrilled you like the story that much!

~ Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: OliveOil_Med
Date: 07/18/09 19:07
Chapter: Chapter VII: Beobachter

I suddenly feel compelled to write another review for your story. I know I am already your beta reader, but I feel like writing something that could help to inspire you to write your next chapter. I am just so excited to finally see when Dieter finally goes to Durmstrang. You have been building it up so much on your popular character thread after all.

It's so interesting to see how Dieter is beginning to see that there is indeed a difference between the Muggle world and the Wizarding world. And poor little Paul! If it turns out that he really isn't a wizard, he might very well turn out to be yet another Petunia Evans. If I had to place my bet, though, I would say that Lena would definitely be the one to also be a witch. But you probably already know that from the drabble I wrote you in our round of Drabble Tag. I wonder if any of them will find out about the wizard's house themselves and go looking for it. But it would turn out to be quite funny if it turns them none of them have magic and they just end up wandering the town until nightfall and they have to be brought home by the SS.

One of the things I am really looking forward to seeing is the actual journey to Durmstrang. I have been curious for a while about how other schools transport their students, and I myself have been coming up a bit empty as far as my own imaginings for my own invented schools go. I am excited to see the giant ship you talked about in your thread and how you concieve the actual journey itself.

I hope we finally get to see it in the next chapter. At the very least, I'm happy that as your beta reader, I get to have sneak peeks of all your chapters.

Author's Response:

Hello Molly! Thank you for the review, and of course, for beta’ing my chapters. Anyway, now that you’ve edited my latest chapter which is now posted, you know how Dieter gets to Durmstrang!

The topic of the potential wizardry/witchery of Dieter’s siblings won’t be much of an issue now, but it is fun to speculate - though as the evil author, I already know all the answers! HA HA! For the time being, the younger Heydrich children will just have to keep looking for imaginary fairies, as they don’t know anything about the Strichleiter house.

I hope you enjoy the ship journey in the next chapter. Concerning new ways of transporting students, the first thing that I thought up of right now is to have a fleet of flying sofas…

~ Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: Rednight
Date: 07/07/09 18:48
Chapter: Chapter I: Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Schwalbe

Wonderful chapter! I really did like it!

Author's Response:

Thanks! I enjoyed writing it!

~ Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: Leah_Lovegood
Date: 05/25/09 15:32
Chapter: Chapter III: Schnee-Krieg

I like this story. You've definately captured the disturbingness of Nazi Germany. I look forward to the eventual wizarding equivilent. Very ambitious, and quite cool.

Author's Response:

Thanks for reading, reviewing, and enjoying the story, Leah_Lovegood. And I look forward to writing the chapters about Grindelwald’s Germany! Cheerio!

~ Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: OliveOil_Med
Date: 05/21/09 18:36
Chapter: Chapter I: Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Schwalbe

Wow! I can't believe I never wrote a review for this story, after all the posts I made on Dieter's character. But, at any rate, here it is.

Probably one of my favorite portrayls so far has been of Hans. Despite the fact he has been brainwashed from such an early age, he is still very much a teenage boy. I recall Hans' life asperation to become a gynocologist to the stars (alright, maybe not to the stars, but it wouldn't hurt him to aim high). It looks like Dieter is just far more impressionable than his brother.

Also, all the little brothers and sisters are so adorable. Then again, they always are before the goverment takes up raising them for the parents.

It also fasinating to see how you portrayed the wizarding world in the mists of this period in history, especially the teacher's impression of the swastika. It's only to bad that photoshop decided the drawing that went along with it was 'inappropriate'. Not difficult to understand, but it still sucks!

And probably one of my favorite scenes was the wand shop. It's wonderful that you didn't just make it a German version of Ollivander's technique. I have always wondered how wandmakers around the world make their wands differently, and this description was certainly a wonderful portrayl.

Anyway, finals are over for everyone, so now you have no excuse not to write. So I'm hoping to see some more chapters from you very soon. You have allowed the people to speculate long enough! Now, write before I instigate a revolution!

Author's Response:

Hello Molly! Thanks for the review, not to mention the beta’ing and for all the great feedback. I apologise for taking so long to reply to this review, but here I am…

I’m glad you liked Hans’ appearance in Chapter Four, and just so you know, he’ll have a larger role in the upcoming chapter (which is still proving a pain to write). As you have guessed, Hans isn’t terribly impressionable because his (rather stubborn and egotistical) personality has been the least shaped by National Socialism, compared to his siblings. For Hans, he seems to like the Hitler Youth for the sole reason that he gets to wear nice uniforms, and as everyone knows (or so he thinks), girls flock to men in uniform…

Thanks for liking Dieter’s younger siblings. I didn’t show too much of them, but I’m glad what was provided was adorable. However, they could still be adorable and complete racists at the same time – the Heydrich parents are dedicated Nazis, after all. The Nazi state did indoctrinate children in schools and in youth programs, but it was still the parents’ responsibility to raise children to have proper Aryan values.

Writing about the wizarding world in Grindelwald’s Germany was very fun to write. especially Herr Starkerstab’s wandmaking process, since I was adamant on making something unique. I made it stereotypically German – precise, functional, and with a hint of something sinister. Like you, I also like to think about how wands are made around the world, and I usually base my assumptions on common national stereotypes. For instance, I think of French wands as underpowered and unnecessarily decorative, American wands as wild and unpredictable, Swedish wands as mellow and supplied free by the government, and so on…

Anyway, thanks for reviewing and for threatening me to write faster, Molly. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get out the long-overdue seventh chapter reasonably soon!

~ Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: padfootsgirl1981
Date: 04/15/09 14:22
Chapter: Chapter I: Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Schwalbe

Tim, I am seriously in awe of this story! I spotted it a while ago, and thanks to the Easter Egg exchange I jumped at the chance to review it.
I'm currently studying Hitler's Germany for A Level history and so it's great to read this!

Adolf Hitler Platz was a spacious, airy town square, spaced with trees and benches and bordered by busy shops. At one corner was a house that looked no different from the adjacent homes and businesses: it was of the same, typically German medieval half-timber construction, and the national flag hung from a small horizontal pole near the door just like every other building in the town.

You set the scene beautifully and leave no doubt in the reader's mind as to what this story is going to be about. The historical accuracy here is magnificent, I didn't know anything about the Adolf Hitler Platz before now.

People saw his eccentric, outlandish clothes and reported him as a lunatic or a homosexual to the Gestapo

Brilliant again, such a typical reaction from German people at the time.

But every time the Geheime Staatspolizei paid a visit to the Schwalbe house, the agents resolutely confirmed (in odd, monotonous tones of voice) that there was nothing to worry about. Herr Schwalbe was sane, perfectly heterosexual (he had a wife and children, after all), and was a good National Socialist.

Am I sensing a little Memory Modifying going on here? lol

the Schwalbe family was perfectly normal
Something's telling me that it should be 'were' instead of 'was' here.

“Those Muggles, they have no imagination at all...”

Ha! This made me laugh.

Without bothering for the smoke to clear

Did you mean to put 'without botherin waiting for the smoke to clear'?

were all rudely awakened

Yes, how rude of Herr Schwalbe to let his house get burnt down :p.

Tim, I really did love this, and I will definitely be reading more, I'm so glad that I finally made it around to reading this. It's so interesting to read, especially seeing as I'm studying all about the era. you never know, you might just help me pass my exam :p.

Thanks for the great read!

~Whit>/br>

Author's Response:

Greetings, Whit! Thank you very much for reading and reviewing my story, and I wish you luck on any tests you happen to have on this subject. I’m glad my story has given you an insight into the period.

For a bit of historical trivia, practically EVERY town and city in the Third Reich had something named after Adolf Hitler. For my fictional town of Gemüsestadt, it is the town square that is named “Adolf Hitler Platz.” You’d also find many streets, avenues, bridges, and other public places named after him. And of course, every one of those places reverted back to their original names when the war ended…

However, I’ve heard this one story about a street in Munich. It was originally called “Count Adolf Street,” named after some medieval nobleman. Then after 1933, it was changed to “Adolf Hitler Street,” and it went back to “Count Adolf” after the war.

So the story/joke goes, after the war, a woman asks someone, “Excuse me, where can I Adolf Hitler Street?”

The man replies, “Sorry, but it’s called ‘Count Adolf Street’ now.”

And then the woman says, “Oh, it’s about time they gave him a title…”

~~~~~~~

Also, thanks for pointing out the grammar errors. And yes, those Gestapo agents were Obliviated, and it was very rude for Herr Schwalbe’s house to get burned down. What a bother! Anyway, thank you once more for enjoying this story and reviewing!

~ Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: luinrina
Date: 03/28/09 5:34
Chapter: Chapter VI: Gellert Grindelwald Platz

Chapters five and six were another two interesting and well-written chapters. I really like your fiction, your way of telling Dieter’s story. Your narration sounds natural, and what most fascinates me is that you create Dieter’s worlds with a love to the detail. Everything from the clothes via the names of streets to the currency is minutely described without overpowering the plot else. You obviously spend a lot of time on the details, and you show them, not just tell, which makes reading easy, fluent and enjoyable. The narration thus flows naturally.

What I also liked very much is that in the last two chapters you introduced the other side of Dieter, Dieter the wizard. He’s a typical eleven-year-old boy who is fascinated by the prospect of doing magic, of being something special. You showed nicely his enthusiasm of discovering the hidden world of magic, and it adds perfectly to what we already know about Dieter from the first four chapters. Also, it fits completely how I imagine any child of that age would react when confronted with what Dieter experiences. I can already see that Dieter will one day be an important personality in the Zweites Zauberreich, even maybe dangerous, but still a likable character with which I as the reader have spent a lot of time.

Chapter six in itself is a diamond of fiction because you have so many similarities to the Harry Potter books and Diagon Alley, but still inserted a lot of new ideas, your own, of how another hidden shopping place could look like. The similarities make it obvious that your story is a fanfiction to Rowling’s books, but the differences in details show that you try to create something original nonetheless – with success. Then the addition of an unknown wandmaker and his friendly banter with Odoaker who talk about Gregorovitch (which is spelt with a t according to my copy of GoF, by the by) and Ollivander answer a question of mine: Why didn’t Dieter get his wand from Gregorovitch? Your answer bridges back to the Harry Potter books, completing the circle of canon and fanfiction with original details. Also, I liked that you gave the tailor in The Spinster as a name the translation of her profession – Näherin. Genius, but I doubt many will notice.

Though, a small advice: Depending on where Durmstrang and the Gellert Grindelwald Platz are located, I would be careful with giving a lot of people German names or having them say German words all throughout their sentences. It might start tending towards too much. With Dieter, I can imagine him saying “Mutti” and such words easily, but having an unknown small child say “Mutti” feels a bit weird if the family isn’t German – which I couldn’t know since they’re only passers-by. And remember, Viktor Krum, a Bulgarian, went to Durmstrang, too. I doubt he would speak much German, if any at all. Maybe you could vary even more with inserting fragments of other languages such as Bulgarian, Slavic etc. Knowing you, I’m sure you can pull it off correctly so that it fits the story beautifully.

Another detail I found truly enticing was the little four-line poem you inserted in chapter six:

All Wizards are Brothers
All Witches are Sisters

All wizardkind, forward!
For the Greater Good!


Again, it reminds me of the speeches of Hitler’s time and it draws me into Dieter’s world even more. I can see many similarities between Germany of 1939 and the Zweites Zauberreich, and yet the story is still vague enough to not spoil future events. I know how WWII ended for Germany and can imagine how the Zweites Zaubbereich will end when Dumbledore defeats Grindelwald, but I’m curious of what will happen to Dieter. How will he fare? You make me curious and I’m looking forward to read more.

Overall, I can only repeat what I said in earlier reviews: Tim, you leave me in awe. Please keep updating regularly. Für das Größere Wohl is brilliant.

~Bine

Author's Response:

Hello Bine!

I must offer a million, billion apologies for responding to your lovely review so late. So, five months and three chapters later, I’m here for comments!

First of all, thank you for reading and reviewing this story. Also, I must thank you for your comments on my writing style. I can be quite wordy at times, so I’m glad you think that my description is interesting to read, adds to the story, and doesn’t overpower the plot.

Concerning my main character, Dieter, I’ll admit that I’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for him, regardless of his morally objectionable beliefs. But behind the National Socialist, he’s just a curious eleven-year old boy, and I’ve come to like writing about him. He’s certainly been a challenge to write, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.

I’m glad you enjoyed Dieter’s experience in Gellert Grindelwald Platz, as it was very fun to write. Little was actually planned in advance, and I pretty much made up details of the marketplace as I went. I did originally plan on having Gregorovich make Dieter’s wand, but I realised that would be introducing a Slav into the story early, and thus disrupting a major plot point – how Dieter reacts to being in a multi-ethnic community at Durmstrang. Since I wanted Dieter to be shocked at how the school has Eastern European students in addition to Germans, I replaced Gergorovich with Herr Starkerstab. And concerning Frau Näherin the seamstress, I was actually being lazy and I couldn’t think of a good name for her. In desperation, I just used an English-German dictionary and made her name her profession.

Gellert Grindelwald Platz is definitely within Germany – though its actual location will eventually be revealed, it is sort of like Diagon Alley in which it resides within a large Muggle city. However, as you pointed out, Durmstrang is not fully German, and this is a major plot point.

Naturally, Nazi Germany is the obvious parallel to Grindelwald’s Zaubererreich, and I’ve been looking at National Socialist propaganda material for inspiration. Though I’ve designed the Zaubererreich to have some recognisable similarities, the two dictatorships are very, very different, as Dieter will come to find out – another major plot point!

Anyway, thanks for this amazing review, and I’m again sorry that I’ve responded so late. Enjoy the rest of the fic! I’ve just finished Chapter Ten, so expect to see it soon.

~ Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: Rednight
Date: 03/17/09 1:01
Chapter: Chapter I: Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Schwalbe

One more thing, though.

Why was his mother called a squib? Are his grandparents magic?

Author's Response:

The goblin called her a Squib because he didn’t think there could be any Muggles in Gellert Grindelwald Platz. So anyone who doesn’t register on the magic-detector thing is a Squib by default. But concerning magic grandparents… I never thought about that, and that is an interesting idea. However, they are not. Dieter is purely Muggle-born with no known magic in his family history.

Anyway, thanks for reviewing!

Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: Rednight
Date: 03/16/09 18:52
Chapter: Chapter VI: Gellert Grindelwald Platz

AMAZING STORY! I am really excited to see how you describe Durmstrang.

Author's Response:

Thanks! I’m also exited to write about Durmstrang, but I’m stuck writing the blasted summer chapter before Dieter even gets there!

Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: dracoslamis
Date: 03/13/09 12:02
Chapter: Chapter VI: Gellert Grindelwald Platz

wow! cant wait for the next chapter! x

Author's Response:

Thanks for reading and for liking the story! I hope you like the next chapter when I am finally done with it!

Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: phoenix_526
Date: 03/13/09 6:15
Chapter: Chapter VI: Gellert Grindelwald Platz

Your story has really got me hooked. I have so many questions!

What is Dieter going to think about the prejudice against Muggles? He's going to be on the receiving end in Durmstrang because of his blood, so is he going to figure out that it's just like what the Nazis think about the Jews and change his worldview? Or is he going to be prejudiced about Muggles too? What about his parents... most importantly, what about his beloved Hitler? They're all Muggles too, after all.

How cool would it be if a pureblood non-Aryan looked down upon Dieter just because he's Muggle-born, when in Dieter's mind, he's supposed to be superior?!

Very, very intriguing!

Good job, I look forward to reading the next chapter as soon as possible.

Author's Response:

Hello phoenix_526, thanks for the review! You bring up some very interesting points about the conflicting prejudices of German Muggles and wizards. Incidentally, this clash of worldviews is one of the reasons why I decided to write this story to begin with! So, congratulations on spotting the central theme of this story!

And enjoy the next chapter whenever I finish writing it, and I have no idea when that will be! Unfortunately, the transition chapter between shopping at Gellert Grindelwald Platz and going to Durmstrang has proven excruciatingly difficult to write. But I’ll finish it eventually…

Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: jasheikh1
Date: 03/05/09 22:11
Chapter: Chapter I: Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Schwalbe

Its an awesome story mate, I think the fact that its been featured speaks for itself :D Cant wait till the next chapter

Author's Response:

Well, you don’t have long to wait, because the next chapter is in the queue! Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the next exciting instalment! Thanks for reviewing and enjoying the story.

Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: wilfen07
Date: 03/04/09 8:19
Chapter: Chapter I: Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Schwalbe

Dear Tim,

Once again, I'm dazzled by your story. The first chapter is gripping, exciting and does everything it needs to, in order to capitivate the readers. Of course, you don't need me to tell you this as you already know, but still, I must add that this is a wonderfully written composition.

 



Author's Response:

Hello, Wilfen07. It’s good to know that my fanfic Gestapo has ensnared yet another reader – MUWAHAHA! But in all seriousness and gratitude, thank you for reading, reviewing, but most of all, for enjoying the story. I am quite pleased with Chapter One, particularly the very first sentence which I think really sets the tone for the fic.

Thanks again for reading, and stay tuned for the next chapter, which is in the queue!

Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: le soleil
Date: 03/02/09 18:37
Chapter: Chapter V: Der Zauberer

BÜM?

really? lol...


But well, another chapter. Nice, I like it. Well, I think I don't have to tell you that you write very well, so there is not a lot I could write. But I liked this one: Now we are finally coming close to Durmstrang! ( I wonder; what language do they speak?). And I like that his parents are okay with it so quickly and he is not one of those "my parents are so misunderstanding" kids.

Author's Response:

I’ve been told that “BÜM!” doesn’t actually sound like an explosion, but I included it because… well, it just looks a lot more interesting than boring old “boom.”

Anyway, thanks for reading and reviewing this story, and I’m glad you like it. Indeed, we are getting closer to Durmstrang, and better yet, Dieter’s parents aren’t mindless clones of the Dursleys! As for what kind of school Durmstrang will turn out to be… well, you’ll see! Chapter Six awaits validation!

Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: luinrina
Date: 03/01/09 4:27
Chapter: Chapter IV: Die Eule

Continuing with chapter four, you divulge into a family evening, introducing us to Dieter and his siblings. I liked the way you showed Hans and Dieter bantering, and that Hans had difficulties concentrating on the book Mein Kampf. I personally haven’t read it, but I’ve heard that it’s not the best literary book there is. And still, it gave even more insight into the era.

What confused me a bit, though, were Hans and the pages he was reading on. Did he read the book backwards? Because before Dieter had the idea of reading to his younger siblings, Hans had only progressed about five pages into Mein Kampf. Then, Hans […] was still struggling with the fourth page of Mein Kampf, and when Dieter started reading aloud, Hans [was] looking up from the third page of Mein Kampf. Did he have to go back page by page because he didn’t understand what he had “read” previously and thus had to reread it?

But moving on. The younger siblings are positively cute, and I chuckled about Paul’s homework troubles and the exasperated Dieter explaining it to him. This small scene characterised both boys nicely, and added perfectly to the chapter’s setting of a quiet family evening. Also, again, it showed the teachings of that time, and that the Aryans were better and stronger than any other race. It was a simple way to portray those beliefs and yet very effective, like young children’s homework would have looked like back then.

The story you invented of Sky Captain Otto von Von was neat, and it read like being a true children’s book from Hitler’s era. Again, you leave me envying your creativity and ability to perfectly portray the time period.

Flower the owl was very sweetly described; the little feathery ball gave me an instant picture, and I would have loved to have seen that owl with my own eyes. And yet, despite being cute, the animal is trained and just waiting for the response. I chuckled at Dieter’s father’s antics of shooing the bird out without it moving. It’s really entertaining, and like in the Harry Potter books, authentically shows that the post owls were indeed very clever animals.

Some advice though: Be careful with dialogue. I noticed some parts were the dialogue should have been capitalised, like in the sentence He handed his parents the letter and the envelope and added, “and it’s addressed to me.” The “and” when Dieter starts speaking needs to be capitalised. Also, I noticed that sometimes, when someone addresses another person with their name, you forget to put the name in commas, like for example in the sentence You see Melita? (end of chapter three). There should be a comma after “you see”.

Another great chapter closes and leaves me waiting for more. Excellent work, Tim.

~Bine

Author's Response:

Guten Tag, Bine! So sorry it’s taken me so incredibly long to respond – I do apologise. But thanks for reading and leaving such a great, long review!

Anyway, I’m glad you noticed the bit about Hans reading Mein Kampf backwards – very good observation! You have correctly guessed that I was making fun of how badly written the book is, in which Hans had to keep going back to understand what he was reading. I’ve actually read the first three chapters of Mein Kampf (I gave up after that), and I found myself in the exact same situation Hans was in – rereading the same sentence over and over and having to flip back to previous pages. I’ll tell you that if you have trouble falling asleep, Mein Kampf is the book to read! It’ll knock you out within five minutes!

As you have probably noticed, I had enormous fun writing the excerpts for Sky Captain Otto von Von. I’ve actually sketched out the plots for a few books from the series, and if I’m feeling ambitious I might actually write some of these novels in full! However, that might not be a very good idea, because that means I would be writing NAZI PROPAGANDA CHILDREN’S STORIES! Perhaps I’ll include chapters of Otto von Von at the end of regular chapters as “bonus material.” Oh, and for a bit of historical trivia, the homework assignment about the foxes and rabbits was inspired by a 1943 Disney propaganda cartoon called “Education for Death” - though it is an American wartime film, I believe the classroom scene is a fairly accurate picture of what Nazi education was like.

Thanks again for reviewing, and I'm very pleased that enjoy this story and think it is accurate - my research has paid off! Also, sorry I haven’t updated in a while, but hopefully I’ll be back to writing at a feverish pace when my school schedule loosens up!

Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: luinrina
Date: 03/01/09 3:29
Chapter: Chapter III: Schnee-Krieg

Tim, you leave me in awe. Your story is fluent, well-written, and interesting into the smallest detail. It’s obvious that you spent a lot of time researching and including all the facts you found out about that time. The details enrich your story and make it very enjoyable to read.

A lot of charm is brought into the story by using German words here and there. Nothing feels out of place and is included perfectly – it gives the impression that your knowledge of the German language is more than just basics, really. Though, some small mistakes I noticed. In chapter two, “dummkoff” should be “Dummkopf”. In chapter three, you wrote “Deutsches Jungvolk boys” which is doubling. The Deutsches Jungvolk consisted of boys only, that’s why adding “boys” after “Deutsches Jungvolk” is not necessary. The same applies to “Jungmädel girls”. The German word “Mädel” is an old version of “Mädchen” which translates as “girl”. So, no need for the “girls” after “Jungmädel”.

What I really liked about chapters two and three is the way you showed the Germans as a group. First, it’s the townspeople directing their anger at the Jews, and in chapter three, it’s the Deutsches Jungvolk doing early morning exercise and then having a snowball fight with the girls. “Teamwork”, that’s how it has been back then, and you showed it clearly and well-incorporated into the story. Once again, I have the feeling of sitting in my history lessons and either watching films or reading texts about the life of the youth in Hitler’s era. I even find myself wishing that this story would have been part of my education.

The way you developed Dieter is amazing. He’s the average ten-year-old German boy, with flaws like not being able to draw or stumbling over answering a question in school. He does schoolwork just fine but loves physical exercises more than anything else. He fully believes what the older boys and adults have taught him about Aryans being the better race and Jews, Gypsies and other human races being inferior to the German supremacy. He’s fitting into what I know the youths having been like back then; he’s portrayed really realistically. I especially liked that he’s shocked beyond words when he meets the old wizard in the Kartoffelstraße, but that he’s well-enough trained to “recognise” the old man’s weirdness. It’s also a nice way of introducing the readers to who Dieter really is – a wizard – without giving away anything vital in that moment. I’m really looking forward to when Dieter receives his letter of being admitted to Durmstrang.

The snowball fight was entertaining to read, and at the same time an education for both me and the characters. They fight like in a real war, the girls being one army, the boys the other. Some of the boys were armed with their spades, using them to launch large clumps of snow long distances (if inaccurately) while simultaneously digging field fortifications. I loved the reference to the field fortifications. It feels like they were on the battlefield in Russia or France instead of in the camp near their town. Again, you’ve woven the “simple” everyday life together with what the future for them all will entail – the battlefield. It makes the story so much more glorious.

Now, I’m definitely not a believer in Nazism, but let me just say that when I heard the speech for “Do you want the war” (or whatever exact phrasing they used), I kind of got excited as well. Hitler and his men were great speakers, and they could excite large crowds of people. You showed this “ability” when the Party official cried “Heil” and the townspeople answered with “Sieg”. And the way you used the repetition – just like what Hitler and his men did – build up so much emotions and feelings, it’s impossible not wanting to follow. You have a great talent there, and I hope you’ll include that more often in future chapters. It makes your story stand out.

Tim, the way you portrayed the era and the life of a usual boy is beyond amazing, and the story promises to become really great. Keep up the work; it would be a shame to not see this story finished. And as my final words: I marvel at your ability to write a fantastic story about a delicate topic, moving it into the realm of fanfiction, yet keeping it historically as accurate as possible.

~Bine

Author's Response:

Ah, Guten Tag, Bine!

Sorry it’s taken me a while to respond to your reviews, but it’s been a busy week. But anyway, I’d just like to say THANK YOU for such a supportive, in-depth review. Also, thank you for the German advice/corrections – highly useful since I don’t speak the language, apart from a few propaganda phrases I’ve picked up while studying the subject!

Again, I am immensely pleased that you find my depiction of life during the Third Reich as being realistic and believable – my research has been put to good use! Also, I am particularly glad that you like young Dieter Heydrich. Though what the Nazis did was undeniably despicable and vile, they were real people, just like you and me. A lot of people forget is that the Nazis weren’t just the SS men in black trench coats – they were also ordinary clerks, bakers, parents, and yes, little children like Dieter too. To get philosophical, one of my motivations for writing this story was to show what life was like under Hitler and hopefully shed some light on why so many people offered their enthusiastic support or at the least their silent consent.

Speaking of shovels and digging field fortifications, that reminds me of a scene from Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, when Hitler reviews the Reichsarbeitsdienst. I was surprised by militarization of something as mundane as construction work – they wielded their tools like they would rifles, and they even chorused (I’m just summarising here), “We don’t fight or stand under fire, but we are soldiers! Our labour is our weapon!” But I digress… as you noticed, I wrote Chapter Three as a sign of things to come.

Anyway, don’t worry about me giving up on this story – Chapter Five has just been updated, and Chapter Six is in the queue! Currently I’ve been having the worst case of writer’s block for the next chapter, but I think I’ve found a way around it and can resume progress as normal.

Once again, thanks for the fantastic review!

Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: Rednight
Date: 02/22/09 20:56
Chapter: Chapter IV: Die Eule

You know, I like the boy! I want to hate him, but I can't. I feel bad for him, and in a way all the young people who were brain washed into this sort of life....

You have a great story, it flows well. Keep up the good work!

Author's Response:

Oh good - thanks for liking the story and for reviewing! I admit that I too have developed a soft spot for Dieter, despite his rather serious character flaws. Anyway, I have two more finished chapters waiting to be validated, so stay tuned!

Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 02/02/09 12:51
Chapter: Chapter IV: Die Eule

A little surprised that the word magic does not appear.

Author's Response:

Well spotted. As you have probably guessed, the letter was written for a Muggle audience - it wouldn't have been taken seriously if it explicitly mentioned that Durmstrang was a school for magic. But then again, the Heydrichs didn't believe it anyway!

Thanks for the review! Next chapter is in the queue!

Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: Zoheb
Date: 01/03/09 0:24
Chapter: Chapter I: Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Schwalbe

Well, I could tell Dieter is a nasty little boy when stuck in a room with any untermenschen, but as he didn't seem any more violent or vindictive than I was at his age- I decided to forgive him.

And I wasn't aware that Nazi race theories were that convoluted. I had assumed that it was all about blonde people ruling over everyone else. That's the trouble with trying to track racial origins down: you can't.
So... I assume you're saying that my Aryan-descended friends would have been safe, while the rest of us Dravidians would have got the gas?

And incidentally, those are boxing-gloves. I, for some reason, don't have an image of the entire drawing, and you can't really tell what they are in the close-up. The complete drawing also includes a speech bubble in internet-translator-German:
"I've got enough Fuhrer for all of you! Bring it!"

Author's Response:

“That's the trouble with trying to track racial origins down: you can't.”

Well said! After all, everyone in the world is African when you get right down to it, since that’s where humanity got started. I think the idea of race is pretty meaningless – we’re all the same genetically, and the only race that matters is the human race. Nazism equated ethnicity with biology, something I find absolutely ridiculous yet totally tragic because of its destructive consequences.

Nazi racial policy was both very complicated, and disturbingly elegant and simple at the same time. Based on nothing more than pseudo-scientific fabrications, they labelled pretty much every group on earth as a race or human sub-species, but it didn’t stop there. The Nazi obsession with genetics also included the mentally ill and “deviant” (criminals, in other words), for anyone who wasn’t what would be considered normal was biologically corrupt. Remember, the Nazis didn’t just murder Jews and Gypsies by the million, but also the irreversibly sick, homosexuals, and even the homeless, because there was supposedly something wrong with them genetically. Though Nazi ideology appears to be rigid and well defined, that is only an illusion propped up with the most arbitrary, vague, and often non-existent evidence and reasons. Who is an Untermensch? Who is an Aryan? The reason why Nazism was so incredibly destructive and effective was there were no set rules – if some SS officer simply said you were a sub-human, that was final, and there is nothing that you can do to say otherwise. And of course, since Nazi ideology was grounded in genetics, if your parents were considered sub-humans, so were you. And that is why Nazism’s convoluted racial policy was also so simple – it removed the humanity of its enemies by essentially comparing them to vermin, and the ease of labelling different peoples as such enabled such massive slaughter to happen.

So, would your friends have been spared and you “evacuated,” to use the Nazi euphemism? I have no way of knowing, and thankfully, the Nazis never got as far as Bangladesh to provide us with an answer. However, the Jews were given priority for mass extermination, while other undesirables like the Slavs would be used as slave labour, but would eventually be massacred or shipped east to Siberia after Germany won the war (but thankfully didn’t). If the Germans invaded the Indian subcontinent, I imagine that those fortunate enough to be considered Aryans would fare pretty well, but everyone else wouldn’t, to put it lightly. Concerning my own fate, it probably wouldn’t be too good. An SS doctor could conceivably measure my skull’s dimensions and pass me off as an Aryan or at least a Western European, but a simple search into my family history (which they would undoubtedly do) would put me into a world of trouble.

Well, that’s it for my long and rambling author’s response. Anyway, thanks for the thoughtful review. You can probably tell I think this subject is important…

Tim the Enchanter

Reviewer: Zoheb
Date: 01/02/09 0:24
Chapter: Chapter III: Schnee-Krieg

I liked that snowball fight at the end. Heh. Dieter doesn't seem like such a bad guy, just brainwashed by the system.

I'm curious though... what races did Hitler consider 'sub-human'? Australian aborigines? Amazonian tribes? My people?
And while we're on the subject of Hitler, I drew this:
http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa275/Drurbane/DaddyA.jpg

Author's Response:

Thanks for the review! Dieter isn’t such a bad kid until you stick him in the same room with a Jew, Slav, or other “Untermensch.” Then things get ugly, and you might want to reconsider what you think about him!

Though this is an incredibly simplified explanation, the Nazis labelled almost everyone who wasn’t “Aryan” as “sub-human.” Western Europeans like the French and Italians were deemed slightly inferior, but they were at least fully human. Eastern Europeans, on the other hand, were considered “Untermenschen” and no different from other “sub-human” races like Asians, Africans, American and Australian indigenous people, and Jews, who the Nazis classified as a race (in fact, some Nazi documents I’ve read referred to Russians as ‘Asiatic hordes’). I don’t know about Bangladeshi people specifically, but I do know that the Nazis considered certain (light-skinned) peoples in Iran and India as Aryans, because that’s supposedly where the ancient Germanic peoples (like the Goths and Vandals) originated. However, the rest of the population were considered sub-humans. Interestingly, the Nazis praised the Indian caste system because it prevented miscegenation between the Aryan upper castes and the inferior members of the lower castes. In a loosely related way, ancient Sparta was also admired by Hitler and the Nazis for its practice of eugenics and subjugation of the Helots.

I don’t completely understand Nazi racial ideology, and I think that clearly defining it is an exercise in futility, as it was completely arbitrary and often vague. Well… enough rambling on my part! I must say that your drawing of Hitler is quite good, though I can’t really tell what those white circles on each side of his head are – are those hands? Anyway, thanks again for the review!

Tim the Enchanter

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