Nazi Doomsday, by Tim Tobin
Auschwitz, Poland – The barracks were stifling hot in June of 1944. The food was rancid and water was usually contaminated. Death was common.
The rampant suffering and disease made a perfect laboratory for Dr. Josef Mengele.
Mengele tortured and mutilated the inmates of the concentration camp in his irrational desire for medical immortality. In pursuit of his goal, Mengele meticulously isolated, categorized and stored diseased tissue samples from hundreds of prisoners
His latest experiment was Silvie Greenbaum, a 36-year seamstress. Greenbaum suffered from tuberculosis and dysentery. Mengele designed experiments on Greenbaum to observe the symptoms following the injection of a cocktail of diseased cells. A gruesome death was the expected outcome.
Without mercy, the Angel of Death injected the conscious woman and began jotting notes in his journal. Within seconds convulsions began. Bleeding from the nose and ears was copious. Respiration varied from rapid to shallow in increasingly short periods of time.
The woman tried to scream from the pain but a gurgling moan was the only sound she could make.
Silvie Greenbaum took ten minutes to die.
Mengele turned his back and began updating his record books. He heard a shuffling noise behind him and assumed it was the guard becoming impatient. But when Mengele heard a howl of anguish., he whirled around in his seat to find Silvie Greenbaum eating the brains of the guard.
Mengele recoiled in horror and screamed for help. Additional guards rushed into the laboratory. Seeing what was happening they fired dozens of rounds at Silvie Greenbaum but she would not die. One of the guards named Klein got too close to the undead woman and she nipped him on the shoulder.
By happenstance a random bullet found Greenbaum’s head and she fell dead for the second time and finally found peace.
And like Silvie Greenbaum, Klein, the guard, reanimated a few minutes later and infected six more guards before Mengele ran to the graveyard shouting instructions to shoot them in the head.
During the following week, Josef Mengele successfully repeated his experiment five times. In each case the only way to stop the reanimated victim was a bullet to the head.
Satisfied, the doctor called the fuehrer in Berlin.
“Mein fuehrer,” Mengele announced to Hitler. “I have invented our Doomsday weapon.”
Berlin, Germany – At that very moment Hitler was planning the Ardennes offensive scheduled for December of 1944. But in his heart-of-hearts Hitler knew the German position was hopeless. The best the could hope for from the counteroffensive strategy was time to develop a Doomsday Weapon.
In the warped mind of Adolf Hitler if he could not have the world, he would insure no one could survive in it.
German scientists and engineers worked feverishly across the country on weapons as varied as atomic bombs and chemical weapons. Hitler was not surprised, however, to learn that Dr. Mengele had invented the weapon first. The man’s insane genius was already legendary.
Hitler named the creatures zombies after an undead monster in Haitian folklore.
He then called the doctor and ordered him to create enough of these monsters for a division by the first of the year, a total of ten thousand zombies.
Dr. Mengele agreed without hesitation. Auschwitz closed shortly thereafter.
Teddington, London – General Dwight Eisenhower first heard rumors of a successful Nazi Doomsday weapon from French and Belgium resistance fighters. Initial reports were vague but seemed to focus on some kind of super-soldier, one who was almost impossible to kill.
But, Eisenhower reasoned, if Hitler had super-soldiers, why not use them against the Allies? So he dismissed the notion as sheer speculation. Yet reports persisted. And they became more specific.
So-called zombies were being manufactured by the thousands somewhere in Poland and being stockpiled in warehouses near Berlin. These zombie things were unreasoning beings, uncontrollable and useless as soldiers; in other words, they were monsters.
General Eisenhower was still far from convinced. So he contacted Wild Bill Donovan, the head of the Office of Strategic Services. He issued a terse order to the OSS.
“Capture a zombie and return it to England.”
Berlin, Germany – Mickey Macgruder and Larry Wilson parachuted into a village near Berlin. Armed with only pistols they made their way towards Berlin quietly and quickly. Their maps showed the way to the warehouse district.
When the two spies reached the area they found dozens of warehouses and were uncertain how to locate their targets. But several of the warehouses were brightly lit so Macgruder and Wilson tried them first.
They found a couple of ladders and climbed to the second story of a building. As they approached the window a horrendous din came from within. The men peered into the open window to a sight unlike any horror ever on Earth.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of zombies were tightly packed into a single room. With no benches or chairs the snarling creatures lurched mindlessly around the room colliding with one another unnoticed.
There was no way to know exactly how the zombies detected the spies. Perhaps one of them saw them at the window or maybe they smelled the humans. In any case the mass of bodies swarmed over each other trying to reach the window.
Macgruder and Wilson watched in terror as the things neared the window by climbing on the bodies of other monsters. Finally they retreated but not before Wilson was scratched by one of the zombies.
When they reached ground they fully expected the zombies to spill out of the window after them. But without ladders, the creatures appeared not to understand that they could just jump.
The two spies abandoned their mission to capture a zombie and fled towards the village and relative safety. Along the way Wilson complained of nausea and a headache but did his best to keep up. Finally, though, he sat to rest for a moment under a tree. Macgruder tended to his partner as best the could but encouraged him to keep moving.
Wilson looked up at Macgruder with glassy eyes and said simply, “Mickey.” He then slumped against the tree and died. Mickey Macgruder said a silent prayer for his companion and again made for the village.
Macgruder had gone only about two hundred yards when he heard a familiar grunting sound behind him. He rapidly turned to face a dead Larry Wilson staggering towards him. Macgruder fired his gun wildly but the zombie of Wilson was relentless.
In desperation Macgruder fired at its head. Larry Wilson fell to the ground and joined the truly dead.
Macgruder shoved the body into a drainage ditch and pushed a few leaves over it hoping it would not be found.
Ardennes Forest, Belgium – The Ardennes Offensive began on December 16, 1944 and took the overconfident Allies by surprise. For a while Hitler was ecstatic; his strategy was working. But slowly, yet methodically, the Allies themselves counter attacked.
By the middle of January, 1945, the Battle of the Bulge was won and the war in Europe was effectively over. Hitler retreated to his bunker in Berlin in near isolation. On April 29, 1945 Hitler gave his final order to SS-General Felix Steiner.
“Release the Doomsday Weapon,” read the simple order.
Hitler emerged from his bunker expecting to watch 10,000 near immortal creatures swarm out of the reinforced warehouses to devour every living thing on the face of the earth. When he heard the rumble, Hitler assumed he was hearing General Steiner’s tanks tear open the warehouse doors.
But the roar he heard came from the clouds. Hitler looked up to see an entire wing of B-17 bombers blacken the sky over Berlin. Their targets were the warehouses and the zombie creatures inside.
When hundreds of incendiary bombs struck the warehouses, the creatures burned like torches and the intense heat caused their heads to explode. The zombies joined the casualties of the war
All except one. A single creature managed to escape the fire. Its clothes and its skin burned off but its head was intact.
Hitler committed suicide the next day, April 30, 1945 with his insane goal of world domination thwarted and his Doomsday Weapon destroyed.
Bastogne, Belgium – On the eighth of May, 1945, Bastogne, along with the Western world, celebrated the end of the war in Europe. The town mourned the 86,000 Belgians who died at the hands of the Nazis and then it began to rebuild.
Officials were horrified to find a man resembling a burnt ember among the rubble eating the bodies of dead soldiers. When confronted, the man stood and lurched forward. Now terrified, the leaders of Bastogne ran back about a hundred yards. The burnt man continued his slow pursuit of the townspeople.
The man had vacant eyes and made a low grunting noise as he deliberately approached groups of one or two individuals.
A policeman named Paul Smets ordered the man to halt.
When he did not stop, the officer fired his weapon in warning over the man’s head. But the man continued his single minded approach to the people. Unable to warn the man away, Smets walked close to the man and fired a shot directly into his chest.
The man staggered but then continued his relentless approach. The policeman fired again and again but the approaching man would not fall, would not die.
Paul Smets survived combat with the Resistance and Nazi occupation. He was concerned but not afraid. He emptied his automatic into the man’s body with no effect. The policemen ejected the spent clip and fumbled in his belt for a full clip.
But the walking dead-man reached the officer before he could reload. The thing grabbed the officer by the throat and threw him to the ground. A crown gathered to watch the fight. Most, but not all, rooted for the policemen.
The fight did not last long. The zombie slashed open Smet’s stomach and began to eat his intestines.
A resistance sniper happened by and unslung his rifle. The sniper fired a bullet into the brain of the feasting creature. The zombie immediately fell dead on top of the policeman.
Paul Smets was buried with honor and was considered Bastogne’s last causality of the war.
During the war the Belgian custom of lighting bonfires to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring was abandoned. Customarily a caricature of a witch was placed on the fire for good luck.
And in June of 1945 the citizens of Bastogne built a bonfire unlike any seen in years.
And on top of the bonfire they laid the dead body of the zombie.
The fire consumed the creature.
Bastogne was safe from witches and zombies and finally the world was safe from the Nazis.
Sao Paulo, Brazil – After the end of the war, Dr. Josef Mengele, masquerading as Fritz Hollmann, evaded capture until he fled to South America in 1949. In South America Mengele moved from country to country staying a step ahead of Mossad, the Israeli Secret Services.
By 1977 a failing and demented Mengele was visited by his son Rolf in Sao Paulo. As Rolf was leaving for home, his father pressed a briefcase into his hands. Rolf glanced at the journals and notebooks in the valise and decided they were just the writings of a raving lunatic.
Rolf tossed the case and its contents into a fire and began his journey back to Germany.
Dr. Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death, died of a stroke on February 9, 1979.
Mr. Tobin holds a degree in mathematics from LaSalle University. He retired from L-3 Communications after a career in software engineering. His Christmas stories The Legend of Christmas Past, Fred the Christmas Dog, and A Soldier’s Christmas will be published late in 2012. The Knock on the Door appears in A Fistful of Horror, an anthology from Cruentus Libri Press. Cramer appears in I’ll Never Go Away, an anthology from Rainstorm Press. Winds of Winter appears in The Speculative Edge and The Black Pumpkin appears in 31 More Nights of Halloween, an anthology from Rainstorm Press. His story, Chuckles, was podcast by The Electric Chair on October 14, 2012. He is a member of the South Jersey Writer’s Group.