The Enigma Factor


Flowers and Stone

James Frishkey



As the Russian Army advances on Hitler’s bunker in 1945, the remaining occupants rush to secretly evacuate the most important person in the Fuhrer’s inner circle…Eva Braun.

Twenty five years later, a young KGB agent discovers proof that Braun did not die in the bunker and is ordered to undertake a yearlong search to find and kill her.  They would never allow the birth of the Fourth Reich.

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April 30, 1945:  Führerbunker, Berlin

“We must hurry, please Madame,” Heinz Linge yelled, grabbing the young woman’s hand as he guided her up the stairs through the bunker’s emergency exit to where SS-Sturmbannfüher Otto Günsche was waiting with a large horse-drawn wagon.  She would join a family of refugees hoping to slip through the advancing Soviet forces.

The SS officer helped her into the wagon and handed to her a small leather bag that had been entrusted to him earlier in the day.  “He wanted you to have this.  Guard it with your life.  God speed.”  He clicked his boots, saluted and watched the wagon slip into the darkness.

As the wagon maneuvered through the debris, the girl opened the bag and found a Walther PPK 7.65, a spare clip, and several official documents.  At the very bottom was an envelope with “Meine Geliebten Eva” written hastily on the outside.  She decided to wait and read it later, if she survived the night.




Spring – 1970:  KGB Headquarters, Lubyanka

Vladimir Gumenyuk was a mid-level officer with a spotless service record that had not gone unnoticed by Deputy Director Chebrikov in recent months.  He had been an avid student of the early SMERSH activities in post war Germany and accounts of the old agents tasked with locating and prosecuting Nazi’s were legendary among the new generation of intelligence officers.

Vladimir was growing bored and weary being tied to a desk and was eager to return to the field and made that wish known to anyone who would listen.  He knew his desire was not likely to become a reality and he was disciplined enough to realize that he mustn’t allow this unhappiness to affect the quality and quantity of his work.  Still he dreamed.

*   *   *

The former SMERSH (now KGB) facility in Magdeburg was in the process of being turned over to the East German government later that year.  It had been well documented that this was the last known location where the remains of Hitler and others had been buried on February 21, 1946.  Stalin had never been convinced that Hitler was actually dead and demanded that SMERSH agents locate any remains and confirm their identity.  What they found at the Führerbunker was moved to Magdeburg and buried in wooden boxes and remained there to this day.

Director Andropov knew that many Germans harbored Neo-Nazi beliefs and feared that once Magdeburg was controlled by East Germany, shrines to Hitler might be erected on the sight of his final resting place.  This could not be allowed.  There would never be a Fourth Reich.

The third floor of KGB Headquarters housed the offices of Director Andropov and his most senior staff, including Deputy Director Victor Chebrikov with whom he had monumental differences on how the agency should be run.  In spite of these differences, Chebrikov’s loyalty to the State was beyond reproach and he was trusted with the most delicate and important assignments.  Today would be the ultimate test of his fidelity.

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