The Bronze Buckle 1944
The Budenzauber Boys at War
"My program for educating youth is hard. Weakness must be hammered away. In my castles of the Teutonic Order a youth will grow up before which the world will tremble. I want a brutal, domineering, fearless, cruel youth. Youth must be all that. It must bear pain. There must be nothing weak or gentle about it. The free, splendid beast of prey must once again flash from its eyes… That is how I will eradicate thousands of years of human domestication… That is how I will create the New Order." Adolf Hitler, 1933.
Occupied Poland 1944
After the British air raids on Berlin intensified the Fuhrer, concerned about protecting German children, had many schools with their staff and pupils relocated into the rural areas of southern and eastern Germany, and western Poland. The leaders of the Hitler Jungend to which all boys belonged, and the SS welcomed this move as they could better instill Nazi ideals and help mould these future warriors of the Third Reich free from the bourgeois influence of their families.
No one is quite sure how the Bronze Buckle came into the hands of the Hitler Jungend but no one questions its authenticity, at least in the Warthegau, that part of Poland being incorporated into Germany. The boys believe that the buckle brings good luck and that it has mystical powers. It's possession confers honour and requires sacrifice. The story is that Bronze Buckle was originally worn by a Corporal Schmidt who died leading the last German attack on the Allied lines, killing over a dozen French soldiers early in the morning of that fateful November day which led to the Fatherland's humiliation. Schmidt is reputedly a distant cousin of our more famous corporal. His heroism and sacrifice was one of few uplifting events in those dreadful days. The story is that the buckle twice saved his life on his fatal mission enabling him to reach the bunker with his grenades. The proof of this lies in the two dents caused by the bullets it stopped. The Bronze Buckle has become the symbol of regional supremacy among the HJ groups and they engage in keenly fought brutal war games for its possession. These go beyond the customary terrain games where boys are "killed" when members of the other team rip off the identifying strings around their upper arms. In battles for the Buckle boys continue to fight as long as they are able. While no weapons are allowed they may use any means to attack and incapacitate their opponents short of causing serious injuries. Bruises, black eyes and bloody noses are common and several boys have been hospitalized in the savagely fought contests for the Bronze Buckle.
Walther Bruning, like many other teachers left his wife and two children behind in Berlin and followed his school, and the Trojans, as the boys called their teams, into a deserted hotel near a large village in south western Poland not far from the Tatra Mountains. But for his club foot Bruning would probably have been conscripted like most of the other male teachers at his school. As a result he is one of the most senior teachers remaining and with his rudimentary knowledge of Slavonic languages he became the head administrator under the Hitler Jungend and the SS who effectively run the school. In political matters he takes orders from Reinhard Kassellmann, the burly seventeen year old HJ group leader who in turn defers to Colonel Heinrich von Staffen of the SS, a one armed veteran of the Russian Front. He directs the boys' paramilitary training and selects candidates for special training and recruitment into the SS.
Herr Bruning's deformity has caused him to suffer taunts, name calling and a variety of torments all his life. Among the worst are some of the Nazi zealots. Where race and blood are held up as ideals any imperfection may be seen as a sign of inferiority. Talk of killing or sterilizing the unfit is common. Although Dr. Goebbels, the Party's propaganda chief, has a similar affliction, the Party generally considers the handicapped as inferior. Bruning has heard that they poisoned the inmates of asylums to free staff for the war. He knows others who have suffered from being labeled defective yet his club foot may well have saved him from the disaster at Stalingrad where many of his former colleagues died. And the Jews? What has become of them? There were millions in Poland. He knows that at least some of them are fine people. These things bother Bruning because in so many other ways he sees the Nazi Party as a patriotic and progressive, albeit rather ruthless force. It has accomplished so much and restored the pride of Germans. But now, since Stalingrad and America's entry into the war he has lost hope that Germany will win the war. His pupils however remain confident of the Reich's ultimate triumph and seem ready to die for the Fuhrer. This also bothers Bruning in his private moments. He has great respect and affection for young people and does not want to see their lives wasted in futile warfare.
As a boy, Bruning, despite his handicap, became caught up in the romance of the wandervogel, the youth movement of loosely organized bands of roamers who in the early years of the century hiked through the land delighting in the beauty of Germany's countryside, forests and mountains and taking pleasure in the camaraderie of their peers. They rejected the bourgeois values of their elders and inspired by the old folk myths and songs they dreamt of a new German nation and destiny. While young Walther couldn't keep up on long hikes, he could, using his walking stick accompany other boys on short overnight excursions. He spent a lot of time in hostels, barns and fields where they camped, sometimes traveling by road and train to meet up with his companions. He learnt the old songs, he could sing and play the guitar and enjoyed casual sex with many of boys and young men he met. When the war began in 1914 he saw it as a chance for Germany to renew itself by overcoming the decadent bourgeois democracies of France and England. Even with his club foot he thought he could serve as a sniper and joined a marksmanship club. But still he was not permitted to enlist, and in the War he lost many friends, some no older than himself.
After the War Walther Bruning's genuine interest in and affection for boys led him into teaching but he still managed to take part in the movement, although he lamented how organized and political it became. Even after he married he kept in touch with groups of boys right up until they were all taken over by the Hitler Jungend. While the HJ claims to follow the old principle of youth leading youth, he believes that they are manipulated by the SS who use them for their own purposes. Regimentation, indoctrination and bullying seemed to have replaced the promotion of fraternity and natural leadership. Any sympathy he might have had for the Hitler Jungend disappeared as he watched his son Rolly change from a trusting open child into an arrogant petty tyrant spouting nonsense under their influence. In many ways he feels that the HJ is the antithesis of the old freewheeling wandervogel bands of his boyhood. Bruning tried to stay away from politics and only joined the Nazi Party when he felt it was necessary to keep his job as a middle school teacher.
He enjoys teaching and the company of boys. He also enjoys family life and dearly loves his wife Anna. He is not concerned about his affection for boys and their smooth slender bodies. While the Party officially frowns on men having affairs with boys things go on as before. Everyone knows that the sex allegations in the Rohm affair were merely a cover for doing what the generals demanded. Baldur von Schirach, the former HY leader and Gauleiter of Vienna is renowned for his exquisite taste in boys. One of Bruning's own pupils boasts about having slept with him. And Reinhard, a big bluff and vain braggart, does little to disguise his interest in hairless pups whom he plies with vodka and treats. His bespectacled deputy Kurt Zinger, known as The Squint, who is the head of the school SRD, a sort of junior gestapo or morals squad, concerns himself mainly with the problems of smoking, drinking and keeping the boys away from the Polish girls who work in the school kitchen and laundry, or from fraternizing with the local population. The Squint is considered near sighted in more ways than one. In Berlin Bruning was unaware of any sex among his pupils and although he occasionally picked up boy hustlers in Frederichstrasse he never thought to take advantage of the boys in his school.
Things have changed since the school was relocated to Poland. Not only are the boys denied normal contacts and forced into close communal quarters, but the SDR forbids them to patronize the limited entertainment available in the village several miles away. Bruning is uniquely aware that the boys turn to each other for their sexual and emotional needs. His own room and office which was once a pantry has been crudely sealed off from the hotel's dining room which serves as the main dormitory. He regularly spies on the boys' libidinous activities, which aside from his Blaupunkt gramophone, is about the only entertainment around. He calls them his budenzauber boys. He soon becomes aware that other staff members and leaders often recruit boys for their nocturnal pleasures. The SRD dorm monitor acts as a go between. Reinhard, he discovers has a predilection for sweet faced twelve year olds while Colonel von Staffen usually calls for Thomas a tall, affable, sensuous lad of fifteen. Bruning would never think of him sexually but he's had the pleasure of flogging him twice. A couple of others, he's not sure who, also have the dorm monitor summon boys for them. It is not long before Bruning begins to enjoy the nocturnal company of various boys. He is popular with the boys and can more or less have his pick. He finds that most boys 'don't mind' but lack real eagerness and passion although there are some who are 'that way' and show considerable aptitude in bed. He never feels that he's being unfaithful but regards the boys as compensation for his being away from his family. It has been many months since Walther Bruning has been able to see his wife and two children in Berlin, and while he misses his wife's cooking and attention he does not miss her sex. Bruning prefers eager, he likes to think imaginative boys, free spirited working class boys that the Party has liberated from bourgeois conventions. He also likes pretty, fair skinned blue eyed racial specimens, something like Goering's taste for little girls. But in other ways he prefers spirited boys who put up some resistance. Those who have to be persuaded, maybe smacked a couple of times first, are the most exciting. But if that doesn't bring the boy around he leaves him alone. He doesn't believe in forcing boys, just testing them.
Herr Bruning had not been one to flog his pupils before the Nazis came to power. In fact the practice had largely fallen into disuse at his school during the Weimar Republic. He does not believe that it is necessary or even useful in maintaining discipline. But then he has always been well liked by his pupils and can't speak for others. However after Hitler came to power it became expected, and most teachers began using the strap routinely. A fellow teacher who once complained of a sore shoulder from disciplining his charges, expressed surprise at how few beatings Bruning administered. Bruning doesn't mind beating boys, in fact he even derives a certain satisfaction from it. Not to flog is something that would certainly arouse the curiosity, if not the suspicions of his colleagues and the HJ leaders. His pupils understand this and expect to be beaten. Despite the increasing number of rules, mostly rather petty, Bruning can find very few offences that in his estimation warrant a flogging, and he rarely flogs with punishment in mind. Sometimes he even wonders if flogging boys is wrong in some sense because so many are opposed including some in the Party, not that they have any influence. He knows from his own boyhood how painful they can be, and the fear and the dread they can inspire. And they hurt like hell. But he can say he's never seen a boy who was harmed by a simple flogging, no matter how severe, that he could steel himself to endure. They are of little consequence. But he's seen a thousand boys destroyed in other ways. He sees them all around, eroded in spirit, honour and integrity, their idealism lost. He will not flog to break a boy, or make him as he's not, but he'll flog him well and respect his dignity.
His practical solution is that every couple of weeks or so he gives a little sermon on discipline where he hints at his need to meet a minimal quota. And his pupils know that there'll be a flogging the next day, a spectacle that most eagerly anticipate. He gives hard and bruising strappings that allow the boy to demonstrate his self control and fortitude, and his persona. Bruning chooses his victims quite arbitrarily. He prefers boys he rather likes to begin with. These are often the more attractive and popular boys but as he rarely flogs the same boy twice during a term most get a turn bending over the end of his desk. He insists that the victim face towards his class so that they can observe his reaction, and he theirs. He applies the heavy strap vigorously and likes his boys to take their beatings without making a fuss. They have their honour to protect. Generally the ugly, stupid, frail and scared are safe unless they deserve a good flogging for other reasons. Herr Bruning likes to keep his pupils in suspense about which of them is to be flogged until not long before the actual event. Floggings become a bit of a guessing game which makes them more exciting and fun.
After the school was relocated, and there were no parents around to complain, floggings tended to become somewhat more severe, and being free from community concerns the practice of giving strappings over a boy's trousers disappeared as leather on flesh was seen as more manly by the teachers, and more valorous by the boys. Occasionally teachers get carried away and injure boys. While boys may learn lessons from the strap, cane or fists, Bruning believes that it may not be the intended lesson. Bruning unlike the other teachers, or the HJ in its affairs, does not vary the severity according to the offence. Whether a boy is ostensibly being flogged on an absurd, trumped up offence against decorum, or for a serious theft, or assault, the punishment will be the same. He does make some allowance for the age, size and constitution of the boy.
Bruning is a whimsical fan of the heroic nude male art favored by many Nazi connoisseurs, and has placed his impressive collection of prints and posters up on the walls of the classroom next to where he flogs. He finds total nudity more aesthetically pleasing and insists that boys to be flogged also remove their jackets and shirts as well. They can however retain their neck ties, armbands and other HJ regalia. Recently Bruning has been adding a few very popular ceremonial touches to the actual floggings. He assigns two small boys dressed in their full HJ uniforms to stand rigidly at attention on either side of the 'victim' during the flogging, and he throws in a 'Heil Hitler' or two. Of course he never explains his choice of victims leaving the boys to endlessly speculate.
Walther Bruning is sitting at his makeshift desk making some notes for the morrow. Over coffee in the morning Colonel von Staffen had noted that it was not really necessary for the boys to know much about Schiller and Goethe, and suggested instead that they needed more mathematics for keeping track of inventories and calculating the trajectories of mortars. He takes this into account and with his lesson notes completed, Bruning checks the clock and sees that it's almost time for the boys' lights out. He first turns out the one bare light bulb over his desk and then goes to the end of the room where he carefully lifts aside some books on a shelve built against the sealed door that once connected his room to the main dormitory. He carefully slides a wide sliver out of a split door panel. Most of the forty odd boys are already resting on their cots reading or working on some school work at the small stand each is allowed. A cluster of older boys monopolize the only table. At lights out the boys put away their work and settle down although in the late spring the large room is still dimly light. Along the right hand wall not twelve feet from his eyes Herr Bruning watches Mark, his current favorite as he strips off his uniform and boots. Mark Klein is not only an intelligent lad but he's remarkably handsome, with generous boyish features framed by wavy dark chestnut locks and a strong and faultless, compact muscular body which he carries with pride and grace. As he watches he notices The Squint, Reinhard's deputy, say something to the dorm monitor who fetches a small pretty blond boy from his cot presumably for his superior. Kurt privately condemns perverts and boasts of an affair with the young daughter of a cook whom he claims is three quarters German blood. In the dim light Bruning detects the not particularly furtive motions of masturbation in many cots and sees several boys crawling into bed with others. As he listens to the passionate sounds of sexual frisson Bruning marvels at the etiquette that allows such uninhibited sexual exuberance in such a crowded space. It is a rare voyeurs' delight. Some minutes later, Thomas, a tall, easy going youth, quietly gets up and leaves for his appointment at von Staffen's quarters in the old coach house. Bruning notices that Mark has not joined in, and just as he is unwrapping an orange to give to the monitor as a tip he sees Bondi, a pleasant faced, soft bodied and very blond boy, crawl over to Mark's cot where they whisper briefly before assuming a position where they can fellate each other under a blanket. It has happened before. Bruning is overwhelmed by arousal and relieves himself as he watches the scene. He has noticed the two together on several occasions and seen them sharing intimate moments not quite appropriate for members of the HJ.
The following evening he has Mark summoned to his room shortly after lights out. He has the fifteen year old sit beside him on his bed and tries to get him to talk about himself. His answers are minimal, and when conversation really lags the boy starts to pull off his singlet. Bruning asks him why he is undressing and Mark replies that he should obey. "It is the fuhrer prinzip". Bruning pretends not to understand. "You are my teacher and I obey you." He puts his arm around the boy's shoulder and looks him in the eye. The boy's face is expressionless but his arousal is obvious beneath his briefs.
Bruning asks if he would enjoy having his cock fondled. The boy nods and starts wriggling out of his briefs. He does not want to talk but Bruning persists, "I don't want you do to anything you don't want. I like you and want to be a friend." When Mark does not respond Bruning can think of nothing better to say, "Do you like girls?" Mark points out that there are no German girls, just Polish whores, and that it is wrong for an Aryan to lie with inferior races. "Even for pleasure?" the man inquires.
The boy hesitates and ventures that, for pleasure, a man could use a Polish or maybe a French girl, "But not a Jew. My cock would wilt if it was a Jew. When I remember what Jews have done to Germany my blood vibrates with hatred." The teacher asks if he's ever met a Jew. While he can't recall ever meeting one he's sure he could tell if he ever did. He knows filthy rich Jews once owned the hotel where the school is. He's seen the remains of a synagogue in the village, but the Jews all moved away. Taking an aggressive posture he states with contempt, "I would like to meet a Jew so I could show him what I think of them."
To change the subject Bruning commands "Let's see you." and signals the boy to stand. "Let's see your muscles." The boy stretches and flexes his muscles. The man runs his hands over the perfect form, his chest, his shoulders, his lean rippled belly, his lanky muscular thighs, and his firm narrow ass. Bruning's thoughts go back to a week ago when von Staffen took him along to an airfield to see the new ME 109 fighter, a triumph of German engineering that the Colonel claimed could drive the Allied bombers from the sky if they could produce enough. Mark is sleek, powerful and compact just like the Messerschmitt, Bruning feels, right down to his rigid stubby cock protruding from his body like a cannon barrel from the fighter's wing. To have this boy would be like flying that plane. The boy sees the man's pleasure in his body and looking pleased assumes heroic poses as the man looks on in delight. He is like a living sculpture, he might have stepped out of one of the heroic Nazi nude art prints he has on his classroom wall. Walther Bruning stands and takes the boy in his arms, lays him on his bed and massages his front from his shoulders to his knees before concentrating on his ready for action, hard stubby barrel. Mark lies back passively and indulgently, and soon squirts, and as the man continues to work his cock he squirts again and again, and only after his teacher applies his practised lips does Mark's little cannon finally run out of ammunition. The boy though willing and eager for sex does not welcome affection, and has to be told what to do in return. Bruning likes a little more enthusiasm and imagination, and less Nazi nonsense, but he's enamored by the beautiful, idealistic and dedicated boy. And he is obedient.
The evenings after a day of 'war' are always interesting. The boys' sexual and sadistic appetites are keenly honed and there is always some illicit vodka for those who want to drink and a few village girls are available in the stable behind the school. The Streifendienst or SRD, the HJ's junior Gestapo, tends to relax its vigilance on such occasions. Tonight should be particularly interesting Bruning feels as he's just heard that the Trojans lost the Bronze Buckle to the Falcons, their traditional rivals. The boys are depressed, and full of gloom and recriminations. It was a confusing game, the Trojans had held off the Falcons easily bettering them in close combat, administering over a dozen heavy beatings and putting five of them out of the game with injuries. They had the high ground on the rocky ridge facing an open scrubby woodlands and with that advantage the Falcons were never able to advance anywhere near the Fort, the flat, stage like summit at the west end of the rocky ridge where the keepers held the Buckle. Bruning is told that when a large Falcon attack up the slope seemed to collapse and they gave chase, they were attacked on both flanks and their reinforcements were ambushed, and the Falcons were able to overwhelm the Fort and wrest the buckle from the keepers.
Reinhard is secretly blamed by many for not posting more lookouts around the ridge and more guards at the Fort. Reinhard angrily blames the boys guarding the right flank who failed to see the enemy assuming that they came that way. But there were only six sentries posted and two were given contradictory orders. Kurt, his deputy who was responsible for the scouts and lookouts claims the problem was a lack of Will, he contemptuously compares them to Italian or Romanian soldiers. The boys tell him that Reinhard has confined all boys to barracks, and that there will be an emergency meeting later in the main dorm. Reinhard has decided on Bondi as his scapegoat on the testimony of another suspect.
Bruning, observing through his spy hole notices that the boys are unusually quiet and apprehensive although he can't pick out any of the nervous whispered conversations. Kurt enters first with his deputies Simmel and Weber and squints around the room. Looking slightly contrite he announces, "I may have unfairly compared you to our faint hearted Italian former allies. I know that many of you fought bravely and I agree with our group leader Reinhard Kassellmann, that we lost due to the failure and cowardice of certain individual soldiers." Reinhard arrives with Mark and other trusted lieutenants along with Bondi in shackles. The Squint offers to teach the coward Bondi a lesson arguing that discipline is the job of the SRD. Reinhard replies that it is a military matter and none of his business. Reinhard turns to Bondi. "You have failed your comrades, you have failed the honour of the Trojan HJ. In a real war you would be hanged for cowardice, a bullet would be too good for you." Bondi tries to explain that he was obeying orders, he was told to pursue the retreating Falcons. "I did not order you to fail your duty." Reinhard looks around at the apprehensive boys. "I sentence you to twenty strokes of the paddle and confinement to barracks for two weeks." Bruning is shocked at the sentence. The huge, mainly ceremonial paddle is rarely used for punishment. He has seen the effect of six strokes on a similar boy, he wasn't able to sit or attend classes for a few days. Twenty could cripple him for weeks. Regardless of any crime he feels that even ten would be excessive. Bondi pleads desperately with Reinhard. "This is not school, this is the Hitler Jungend, this is Aryan justice." Reinhard turns to Mark, "For your noble efforts in the game today I think you deserve the honour of carrying out the sentence on this miserable coward." He hands the paddle to him.
Bondi is held over the big table by four husky boys. Mark feels uncomfortable about having to beat his special friend but knows he cannot afford to show any reluctance. Reinhard looks on approvingly as Mark begins slamming the heavy paddle into Bondi's ass. Many crowd around to watch the spectacle but others try to ignore it and a few hide their heads under blankets. The helpless boy's screams begin after the fifth blow and cease after about twelve when he no longer struggles. Mark comes to Herr Bruning's door just before lights out and asks if he will summon him that night. He does not want to talk, he just wants to be fucked, fucked hard, fucked painfully and fucked again, and only later does he allow his teacher to mouth his stubby barrel.
A new boy Dieter is transferred to the school after his home was destroyed and his parents were killed in an air raid. He is a small delicate looking lad with fine features. His reddish blonde hair, rosy complexion and red lips make him quite pretty and Bruning can detect highlights of fine hairs on his temples and upper lip. He is in that first rush of puberty when skin texture starts to change and face and body blossom, a stage that Bruning finds particularly erotic. He is surprised to learn that the boy is over sixteen. Dieter's tale is heard and he tells how he wants to become a fighter pilot and avenge his parents' deaths. Above his cot he pins up a large photograph from a magazine of Herman Goering wearing a pilot's helmet, and an HJ achievement award in basic mechanics. Bruning likes what he sees and also hears, as the boy's cot is very close to the spyhole but not in the angle of sight.
The monitor comes over to Dieter immediately after lights out and tells him to report to Reinhard's room. Dieter ignorantly goes to get dressed but is told to go as he is. Several boys snicker at his naiveté. Almost an hour later an angry, miserable, beaten boy crawls onto his cot. Over coffee next morning Bruning is thinking of mentioning the incident to von Staffen when Dieter still displaying nasty bruises interrupts them, pleads for attention and tells them that Reinhard molested and beat him. He tries to describe his rape politely, "What he did was an immoral act. It is a sin against nature. It's unnatural, and the Fuhrer condemns perverts. It is in the regulations."
The Colonel listens attentively to the boy's accusations and tells him it was his duty to inform him. "I do not doubt your word Dieter. But you must learn to be hard in more than just the body and the mind." He does not promise him anything, and after tells Bruning, "I will of course do nothing. I cannot order Reinhard to leave him alone, and protect him because boys in the Hitler Jugend must harden their Will and be strong in heart."
Dieter gets savagely beaten up one more time before Reinhard leaves him alone. The boys in the dorm have their own fun after he repeats his speech about the Fuhrer condemning perverts. The Squint is listening and tells him "You think perverts should be punished, and yet you are a pervert yourself."
Dieter tries to protest but a boy demands, "Are you different?" Another adds, "He doesn't look different."
Kurt states, "Maybe we should make sure he's not a Jew." A crowd gathers around and several bigger boys grab the new boy and pull down his lederhosen exposing him. Kurt takes his HJ Blood and Honour dagger out of its sheath and grasps Dieter's cock. "He must be a Jew , see how tiny his prick is? But what is this?" he adds as he yanks out the foreskin. As the boy struggles helplessly the head of school's junior gestapo scrapes the blade across the skin as if he was circumcising him. "You make a nice Jewboy, eh?" All the boys watch engrossed in the scene. Kurt carries his pretence to the point where he actually cuts into the skin, but then pretends it was just a tease. But Dieter has become cast as 'jew' in a game where the catharsis comes through expression of hate. He's held down, limbs pinned while boys take turns grabbing and squeezing his nuts until he shrieks, and then forcibly masturbating him until he writhes in agony. The torture exhausts Dieter and he sobs uncontrollably as he tries to catch his breath. They try to make him suck their cocks but despite threats and hard slaps he stubbornly refuses. 'Jews' don't always survive. Bruning is impressed by the new boy's pluck.
This day Herr Bruning has decided that Mark shall be his whipping boy. He has already enjoyed his handsome, muscled and magnificent body in bed. He 'doesn't mind', but he could certainly be more responsive and eager. Herr Bruning finds the prospect of whipping a beautiful and fanatical Nazi youth particularly exciting, and potentially fun. He will play him off against Bondi, his sometime lover, and Rudolph, a slovenly pupil who consistently fails his assignments and who by most standards deserves a brutal thrashing. Rudolph however, is not only a very plain child but would probably break down and blub after a few good blows. There is a keen air of anticipation when Herr Bruning begins his class in the morning. He starts in on Rudolph whose diagram of a panzerfaust he claims has huge ink spots on it. The boy tries to deny this but Bruning holds the drawing up for the whole class who agree that the spots are there, but locate them in different places. He then accuses Rudolph of moving the spots around in an attempt to confuse him. Then he accuses him of removing the spots without permission. This is unacceptable, and warns him he can expect to suffer. After quizzing the class on how to use portable radio phones he upbraids Bondi for having his neckerchief on backwards, which it isn't, and makes him retie it. Later he pulls Mark's shirt out of his shorts and accuses him of being slovenly, a disgrace to the HJ who should be shot. The rest of the class realizing they are off the hook begin relaxing and start teasing their three classmates. After looking closely he tells Bondi his neckerchief is now inside out, and that his ears are dirty contrary to regulations. A couple of pupils are invited to see for themselves, and asked if they will volunteer to scrub them out with lye. The class resumes until Mark is accused of leaving his fly unbuttoned, and after Herr Bruning checks it, it actually is. Mark is reminded of what happens to boys who play with themselves in class. A while later Rudolph is told he has his boots on the wrong feet and only after switching them twice does he get it right. Periodic absurd accusations against the three continue to pile up but after another hour or so everyone knows that Mark is the chosen one, and he almost looks forward to his fate. His comrades tease him and offer mock sympathy relieved that it's him and not them. Herr Bruning attired in his formal blazer with his party badge and pin, and high black boots for occasion orders Mark to strip. Herr Bruning signals a pupil to insert a roll in his prized Blaupunkt gramophone and the strains of the overture to Wagner's Tannhauser fill the room.
Wearing only his HJ neck scarf and swastika armband Mark bends over the back of Herr Bruning's desk. He gazes towards his classmates feigning nonchalance while they look back with amused anticipation. Two pimpfs, junior boys in full dress uniform stand ramrod straight on either side holding swastika wimples crossed over their breasts. Bruning encourages the others, all keen to watch, to gather around. He waits for the boys to settle down and then clicking his heels he shouts. "Heil Hitler!" The boys respond in unison. Without further comment he slowly applies a dozen hard, loud strokes with the heavy leather strap, deliberately twisting it on two of the latter strokes so that it cuts the skin. Mark's pale flesh is ridged and colorfully bruised with just enough blood oozing from the cuts to add a heroic touch to the scene. It is a demanding ordeal and Mark keeps his dignity intact throughout as one would expect from a good Nazi boy. He is surprisingly composed when his teacher shakes his hand after as is his custom. Herr Bruning then hands out special treats to all the boys, some hard to find chocolates his wife sent him in her last parcel. The next time Bruning summons Mark to his bed he finds the boy much more passionate and responsive. He is ready to obey and he learns quickly. The Fuhrer Prinzip. He hugs back, fondles skillfully, sucks and invites his teacher to fuck his ass, his slender, firm and still colorfully bruised ass. Penetration is not easy as Mark doesn't relax, and he knows it must be painful but the boy shows no more signs of discomfort than when he flogged him. Mark says, "I thought of Hitler the whole time you flogged me, and it made me love the Fuhrer even more." And he smiles rather nicely.
The day after Herr Bruning flogged Mark, Kurt insists on talking to him privately. He demands that he too be flogged. Bruning feels that frequent floggings interfere with teaching, which is one reasons why he limits them to about only two a month. However he is in no position to refuse as the HJ is officially and otherwise in charge of the school's operation. Moreover Kurt wants his deputies Simmel and Weber as part of his 'honour guard'. And he wants a drummer and a large portrait of the Fuhrer hung directly behind where he will be strapped. He will arrange to have it temporarily removed from the dining hall. And he also wants the HJ marching banner hung across the top. Bruning inquires for what offence he would like to be flogged. The Squint looks at him disdainfully, "I cannot be responsible for all the details." The boy consults his appointment book and schedules his flogging for eleven next morning.
Herr Bruning can only conclude that Mark's flogging must have been some sort of political success. He makes the necessary arrangements and adds some flags for the effect. He doesn't bother with the charade of implicating others and shortly before eleven he calls the eager young Nazi to the front of the class. Kurt, dressed in his finest uniform, boots gleaming and with all his badges and regalia, stands stiffly at attention before him. Herr Bruning regards him sternly, "Our Fuhrer demands that the future leaders of the Reich be men of clear vision." He removes the boy's popular Himmler style spectacles. "How do you expect to serve the Fatherland with these? It is obvious that your vision has been blurred." He wipes the lenses with a clean white handkerchief and signals for the four honour guards to take their place. "Prepare for your punishment. Heil Hitler!" Suddenly Kurt becomes hesitant and insists that they wait as it is not quite eleven. Bruning is not sure what to make of this order but just then Colonel von Staffen appears at the door and mentions that the Deputy HJ Leader had asked him to drop by the classroom. "Heil Hitler!" He offers von Staffen his own more comfortable chair. Kurt strips revealing his pale lean wiry body and puts his regalia back on. After another 'Heil Hitler' Bruning applies the strap with unusual force and cruelty. He imagines he is punishing The Squint for being the kind of person he is. He would love to make him break down or cry out but at least he can deny him any blood for display. A rather subdued boy shakes his hand when it's over. "Heil Hitler!"
At coffee next morning the SS colonel remarks that one cannot be too hard on the boys in the HJ. "How else can they be prepared for the realities of the Russian Front?" He leans towards Bruning, "The boys tell me that you whip them for the most trivial infractions and yet you seem to maintain discipline with few beatings. Do you have some secret technique?" Herr Bruning explains that punishment is a solemn occasion where wrongs are righted through suffering, and he leaves offenders well whipped as he's sure the Colonel is aware. "Indeed, I have seen the vivid results on several occasions." Von Staffen catches himself and quickly changes the subject.
Bruning indulges in fantasies of enjoying Dieter in his room if not bed, and finds the idea of summoning this obstinate new boy exciting. He feels that there's something special about him, but then that never lasts very long with most boys. He waits two days and summons him just at lights out so he doesn't get a chance to masturbate first as is his custom. He feels his prospects for success would be better if the boy is horny. Dieter is suspicious and a bit scared when he arrives at Herr Bruning's door. He regards his teacher apprehensively, he seems to know what is expected of him but is certainly not willing. Inside Herr Bruning asks how he got the bruises. "A fight." The boy replies.
"Let me see." The man looks, asks the boy to take off his shirt revealing more bruises on his arms and shoulders, and despite assurances that there are no more to see, he asks him to remove his lederhosen exposing himself. He examines the suspicious boy, compliments him on his slim physique and handsome cock, and putting an arm around him he pulls the boy against himself. He holds the boy's chin up and looks into his eyes seeing defiance. While Herr Bruning likes boys who resist a bit, Dieter could be very difficult, and he does not believe in beating boys into submission. He lifts the boy up onto his lap and hugs him. He tells Dieter that he won't hurt him and asks him about his family. The boy starts to sob and tells him how much he loved his parents, and Bruning touched by this hugs the boy who starts to cry and hug him back. They kiss, something Bruning's not done before with a boy, and he cries to himself after the boy leaves happier than he came. The next evening he summons Dieter again, and after they cuddle for a while he notices that his pupil is aroused, and ignoring his teacher he begins to play with himself. After a minute, as if he were saving himself the effort, he signals for his teacher to take over. Bruning looks curiously at the boy who is offering himself to him. He doubts if Dieter realizes how beautiful he is, his slender defined pastel torso, his fine features and natural grace. When he touches Dieter the boy lies back with his eyes closed and soon with his whole body undulating he spurts, again and again in his teacher's hand. He does not reciprocate and quickly leaves before Bruning thinks to stop him. The man is infatuated; he will wait a week or so before he flogs the beautiful sensitive boy.
Walter Bruning sits at his makeshift desk in the old hotel pantry and works on his lesson plans for the coming week. The shortage of texts and the burden of adapting courses to the demands of war is difficult enough. But his unhappiness goes far beyond that. If only the war would end so he could go home. And the boys, he likes them, he's fond of them and enjoys many of them in his room, but they are not the curious free spirits of the wandervogel days of his own boyhood, roaming through the countryside and exploring the meanings of life and ideas. Nor are they like the boys he taught before the Nazis came to power. These are not boys he can freely question and challenge in the spirit of learning. The dreary school and its routines, and the sullen Polish population who increasingly hate the Germans depress him. Only his times with Dieter who's liking sex more and more make life worthwhile. He longs to get out and explore the low hills to the south and spend a few days away from the oppressive atmosphere of the school. Even a short overnight trip with Dieter, and maybe one other boy of his choice as a companion would be all he'd want. And the Tatra Mountains are not that far. But even a trip into the village without guards can be risky now. He fondly recalls details and incidents of the wandervogel of long ago, days of freedom. And even how just a dozen years before in the Hartz Mountains he met two city boy campers about Dieter's age and they hiked together half a day, and spent the night in a deserted barn having a magnificent threesome orgy. He would love it to happen again.
The Trojans have one chance to recapture the Bronze Buckle or they lose it forever. A game is scheduled for the same location and they will have eight hours to wrest the buckle from the Falcons. Colonel von Staffen and other SS officials will attend as adjudicators if necessary, and to observe potential SS recruits in action. At coffee in the morning von Staffen confides to Herr Bruning that the Buckle games provide the best weaponless training for future soldiers that he knows of. "The boys learn the value of obeying orders unquestioningly. Boys following orders can defeat men. I have seen it. They also learn to make decisions, brave decisions. These may involve very difficult questions but the answers are often simple, very simple." Bruning nods agreement. "For example, the Jewish question is a most difficult one, one that requires the utmost courage. But we must not shrink from our duty to the German volk and future of the Reich." Von Staffen confirms rumors he's heard. "I will be watching Mark Klein, as soon as he turns sixteen in few months I plan to enroll him in the SS officers' training school. Such young men embody our hope for the future of the Fatherland."
When they return from the game the boys, many of them battered, bruised and limping, are in a jubilant mood chanting, "We seize the Buckle, we seize the buckle". Each boy gets to hold the Buckle, some kiss it, one boy reads out the inscription, GOTT MIT UNS and shouts, "With God we fight for the Fuhrer! We cannot lose." Bruning learns that an early mass frontal assault up the rocky ridge below the Falcon's fort ended with heavy casualties. Late in the day Mark discovered a roundabout route to the back of the ridge and they planned a surprise attack. Misleading information that the Falcons painfully extracted from prisoners aided the deception. While Kurt led another frontal assault a small elite squad led by Reinhard used the cover provided by a ditch to attack from behind and quickly grab the Buckle from its keepers. They passed it amongst themselves leaving the defenders piled onto the wrong boy who was soon beaten unconscious.
A small boy knocks on his door and tells Herr Bruning that Reinhard would like to him drop by their victory celebration and the teacher follows him down to the mess hall. All the boys appear drunk, even a glum little youngster he recognizes as the SRD dorm monitor. Boys sprawl at tables babbling and boasting, others stagger around and a few have passed out. Bottles of strong Polish vodka are all over the place, along with puke, piss, broken glass and even blood where someone has fallen and cut themselves. He is surprised, as usually a only few older boys drink much, and then only discretely so as not to set a bad example. He's amazed that the SRD has allowed this to happen but he doesn't see any around. Reinhard has one arm around a pretty blond lad while he gestures with the other and boasts about how he tricked the Falcons, but no one is listening. Mark who is not quite as drunk greets Herr Bruning, hugs him warmly and makes a little speech of praise which brings a scattering of applause from boys nearby. Reinhard comes up to him and greets him effusively, so glad he could come, and offers him a drink which he has the sense to refuse. He notices another teacher drinking with a couple of small boys and openly petting them. Reinhard tells him what a hero Mark was. Mark begins his story but other boys interrupt with their tales of the 'War' and their brave deeds. Dieter proudly relates how he ambushed a little Falcon scout, apparently smaller than himself. He came across the boy taking a shit and kneed him before he could pull up his trousers. He punched him and kneed him again and when he got up he tripped him and kicked him again and again and stomped on his nuts. He wanted to make sure the Falcon was incapacitated as they were told to do. Then a big Falcon came after him and he ran.
Reinhard suddenly remembers that Colonel von Staffen, who was taking some injured boys to the military hospital to be patched up, is coming over, and he shouts orders for the boys to tidy up the room and hide the vodka. Those who've passed out are dragged up to their dorms and frantic clumsy efforts are made to put things in order but nobody wants to clean up the vomit and the piss. Then Kurt stomps in, squints around the room and starts screaming. "There is to be no drinking! What would the Fuhrer think?" He pauses, "Where is the SRD? Where are my deputies?" Reinhard tries to calm him down but The Squint tells him to stay out of SRD business. "Where are Simmel and Weber?" He sees the little one cowering in a corner. When he can't answer he picks him up and shakes him screaming into his face. Kurt stomps out and several minutes later returns with his two shame faced deputies. He found them locked in a closet. The culprits are known, two Fifteen year olds, one of them Bondi. They had extorted the vodka from a seller in the village on the way back from the game. Simmel and Weber caught them hiding it, and threatened to destroy it and report them for discipline. They were overpowered. When the two culprits are found Reinhard tries to take over. He has others restrain each in turn while he beats them viciously with his big fists leaving them with their faces puffed and bent over in pain. The Squint watches patiently and when the beatings are over he announces, "Now it is my turn." Bruning returns to his room, he doesn't want to be there when von Staffen arrives.
Bruning can hear the boys returning to the dorm, most sound quite subdued. He hears a few words of admiration for the daring of the two culprits but no concern as to their fate. Bruning's window looks over the rear courtyard to the stables and the coach house where von Staffen has his quarters. It is a clear bright frosty night and he observes Kurt and his two deputies escort the two culprits over to the hitching rail where they are made to strip and are tied over it. Another boy arrives with two torches like those used in HJ vigils, plants them in the ground and lights them. Kurt meanwhile has retrieved a slender whip from the stable, though less bruising than the paddle the whip tends to cut and is far more painful. The Squint takes the honour for himself and starts haranguing the two shivering terrified boys. Then he savagely starts lashing them, switching from one to the other as he spouts accusations and insults. Pale blond Bondi soon has trickles of blood on his back. From Bruning's window the torches create a haloed tableau of dark uniforms and bound pale flesh against the snow dusted background. Bruning has flogged both of the boys in recent months without any fuss. He watches for a while but turns away when their screams become unbearable. Fortunately von Staffen arrives before too long and they are taken down and wrapped in blankets.
Dieter's not a boy that Bruning particularly desires to flog although there is no question in his mind that he should, and with his usual severity. Sweet, sensitive boys like him, he believes, feel pain more intensely and require a responsible approach. He will choose fairly light music, something bright and melodic, to accompany the delicate boy's whipping. Perhaps some Brahms, and he will take his time so that the boy can experience each blow separately and the total effect does not become overwhelming. Although he's never inquired he thinks that the class prefers to watch slow floggings where they can enjoy the victims reactions better. Not too slow however as that could break the pace of the flogging. However he knows that this is merely speculation and that for Dieter it will simply be a painful ordeal that is part of life and the game. He decides on two boys as foils. One will be Rudolph, an obvious if not popular choice, but he will not forget him. When Rudolph's turn comes to be strapped he wants it to be a last minute surprise. Dieter seems to guess early on that he is the day's whipping boy and is properly accepting of his fate. Herr Bruning very slightly moderates his blows to account for Dieter's dainty physique. The actual strapping is unexceptional, his suffering is obvious but he emerges from his ordeal with his dignity intact. His soft flesh must be especially prone to bruising judging by the striking purple blotches that quickly form on his pale ass. A few nights later when he has Dieter in his room the marks are still quite evident and the boy is very passionate. His father, it seems, beat him regularly.
The news has not been good, Italy has fallen, the British and Americans are in France, the Red Army continues its relentless advance and the air raids never seem to cease. The Fuhrer remains confident of victory and claims that new weapons will turn the tide. Bruning is not optimistic, only a miracle can save Germany. He wants to see his family for what may be the last time and with von Staffen's help he is able to arrange travel to Berlin in an SS truck while most of the boys are away on special training in anti-tank warfare.
He is unable to contact his wife and when he arrives at his home he finds it destroyed. Neighbors tell him that a British bomber crashed into his house killing his wife and daughter. He locates his son Rolly staying with another neighbor and hears of his exploits manning an anti-aircraft gun. Rolly seems unconcerned about the fate of his family, it is only the Fatherland and the Fuhrer that matter. He boasts that it was probably his gun that downed the British bomber. He proudly shows his father the badges and medals he's been awarded. He is now a member of the SDR, the junior gestapo and says he has volunteered for a special HJ defence unit. Walther cannot talk to his son and when he tries to reason with him, to get him to take care of himself, he is accused of wanting him to betray the Reich. Rolly promises not to inform on him, it would mean little at this stage, but his father is not to bother him again. Despondent and bitter Bruning returns to the school.
Walther Bruning and Dieter become very close. Dieter also losing his family in an air raid makes him seem especially dear. Dieter is only boy he wants. It amuses him that he always believed it was not good to have just one boy. The purpose of loving boys, he believes, is to bring together the generations, not for favoritism, or couplings that exclude.
The boy seems to understand the desperate situation they share, and the sex now belongs and seems so natural and beautiful. Walther cherishes the minutes they have together, they soothe him. The boy is relaxed and comfortable, his ass is more like a vagina than Mark's resistant hole. They simply tease when they're bored or talk. Dieter wonders about the little Falcon boy he savagely kicked during the Buckle game, and asks if he should always obey orders even when he feels they are wrong. His teacher has no good answers. Dieter can remember a Jewish family they used to know. They didn't know they were Jews until they were taken away just after the War began. Dieter remembers the son his age whom he used play with. He couldn't see anything wrong with him and wonders what happened to him. Their lovemaking is sweet and passionate. They talk, they talk about after the war as if there will be a life after. They play, fondle and suck each others juices to their shared delight. One day Dieter asks, "What are Jews?" Walther finds the question awkward. "I know they are greedy and sold out Germany for gold. I know about all the horrible things they do, and that they threaten the purity of the Aryan race. I know they killed Jesus Christ, I know all that but what are Jews anyway?" Bruning doesn't think it is time for a history lesson. "And What happens to Jews?" Bruning hugs the boy and cuddles him, and then sucks him silly. The boy is insatiable.
Then with the Russians advancing it is announced that the school will be relocated, and then it is countermanded with the boys organized into work crews preparing defences for the school. A perimeter is built with earth, sandbags and timbers. Labor is conscripted from the village to help build these fortifications. Reinhard boasts that he shot two Poles for malingering. Plans are made to blow up the two bridges over the river which would force enemy tanks twenty miles south. They send a dozen well armed older boys into the village to seize any medical supplies, gasoline and potatoes they can find. They clean out the cellar and shore up the floor above, and make a rudimentary clinic to treat the wounded in a former classroom. Reinhard puts Bruning in charge of keeping records so they keep track of what every boy is doing and seeing they get the material they need. Bruning loses himself in his work, his only solace being Dieter who shares his bed most nights. And the sex, the intense, passionate, affectionate and frequent sex. He desperately wants to save the boy, he loves him and believes he's the only thing he's got left.
Heavy fighting was been reported in the vicinity of the Falcon's school forty miles to the northeast. They were unable to evacuate before the Red Army breakthrough and headquarters has been unable to contact them since. There is apparently been a lull in the fighting and von Staffen takes Kurt with him in his car to investigate. The Colonel reports back that the Red army has withdrawn. They found the hulks of five Russian T-34 tanks destroyed by the HJ panzerfaust squads near the bridge leading to the school and the bodies of seventeen HJs. The school was in ruins, apparently the boys tried to defend it, and two more burnt out tanks were found and along with the bodies of twelve more boys. They expected there were more in the rubble and the snow banks. Over ersatz coffee von Staffen relates the story of two HJ youngsters, barely twelve years old who emerged from a root cellar where they'd hidden and ran to meet them. They were still terrified and barely coherent. Von Staffen explained that they could not bring them back as they would have infected the fighting spirit of the boys at the school. A touch of sadness and sympathy comes into his voice when he says, "Kurt showed great courage, it was a difficult order to obey as he'd never killed anyone before, and such young boys at that." The Colonel gives a rousing speech to the boys extolling the heroic courage of their fallen Falcon comrades who fought to the last man against the godless Bolsheviks.
A Russian tank column has been reported to the southeast and Reinhard and Mark lead a squad of a dozen boys and two horses laden with food, shovels and panzerfaust to prepare an ambush at a defile on the road beside the river. Reinhard has the Bronze Buckle on his belt for good luck and they march off singing a romantic old wandervogel song adapted by the HJ as the remaining boys solemnly salute, "Heil Hitler!" A light snowstorm soon obscures them and Walther Bruning does not expect to see Mark or any of them again.
The boys are doomed. Bruning can see no hope. Might a few be lucky enough to be wounded and sent back? Or would they be shot or kill themselves. They believe death is preferable to being captured by the Russians. And what about Dieter, his precious Dieter who is the only thing he has left, the only one he loves. If only he could be saved, maybe incapacitated and unable to fight or sacrifice himself. There is no way he could persuade him to not go to the front, or not die defending the school. But could he somehow injure the boy so he can't fight? Perhaps he could invite him to his room and give some ersatz hot chocolate laced with barbiturates. And when he is asleep he could give an injection of morphine, and maybe break his arm? A leg won't do as while he could not walk or run he could be used as a suicide sniper. But he would still know what had happened. He would resent it and turn against him.
He sends Dieter out with a message to give to a tank destroyer team preparing an ambush a mile down the road warning them of Polish partisans sighted in nearby woods. Walther Bruning prepares his own ambush and digs himself into a snowbank about a hundred yards away and waits with a sniper's rifle. He's still a fairly good shot. When Mark returns he will shoot the boy he loves, hopefully just wounding his arm so that he cannot fight. The partisans will be blamed. He will then take Dieter to the village to find a doctor, and in the confusion try to get them both on a train or truck convoy heading west. He will explain that the boy is the son of an SS colonel, von Staffen in fact. He has forged some papers that may work and stashed money for bribes. He sees Dieter come around a corner and waits until the boy is as close as he will get. It is not an easy shot. Walther Bruning takes careful aim, and squeezes the trigger.