Divided We Fall
United We Stand
PART I - By Your Side
Author's Note 1:
It's been awhile, since I have written any fanfiction. A couple of months ago, I was re-watching Hetalia and then it happened! I wanted to write again so badly and this story is the result!
I place a lot of meaning on symbolism and I hope, through the story the meaning will be clear.
A couple of the titles of the story will be a reverence to songs of German bands, which go well with the characters. This one is inspired by 'An Deiner Seite' by Unheilig.
IMPORTANT! Author's Note 2:
To write this story, I have done a lot of research on the time frame. I am convinced that to write a decent story you have to do research. There are no excuses for not doing it, if you have any respect for the characters and the history they represent. I used dates, places and words in German and you can find the translation (italics) and further information (numbers) at the end of the story. Bear in mind, I'm not an expert of German history and am definitely open to suggestion if something should be corrected.I have consulted encyclopedias, books specifically on Prussia and the DDR (GDR) and Russia (written by Russian history experts to avoid one-sided/biased information on the country's history), watched documentaries and read articles. Oh yes, I know I'm weird. ^_^
- italics for foreign words, dates, emphasis
- (Numbers) for historical facts and more info below
PART I - By your Side
12. August 1961
Crafty and Genius.
These were only a couple of word how his older brother had been described at one point or another, but he would never, ever have been called quiet. Until today.
It was a hot day in August 1961. All of the windows had been thrown open despite the oppressing midsummer heat outside. Someone had thought opening them would provide relief and cool down the rooms. What had been a nice gesture made it even worse. The heat penetrated every corner of the building making its occupants suffer just a bit more.
A special delegation of personnel who worked for the leaders of the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik) had discarded their jackets. The shirts were opened halfway with ties hanging loosely around their necks. Some tried to work despite the temperatures, while others had given up and relaxed in their chairs trying to find some relief in an ice cold drink. One or two went so far as to put a cold wet tower on their head and wait for their working day to be over. The gears of the administration machine would keep on turning nonetheless in Berlin. None of them realized yet what was happening at the garden party of the government guesthouse in Döllnsee (1). In the great scheme of things they were not important. As government employees they would continue working and not lose any of their privileges.
The people who did matter and had changed history were just next door. The guesthouse had only one spacious room and it was just about enough to cram in the leaders of the DDR, USSR and their national spirit in human form. Unlike the personnel, these people were all dressed in perfectly tailored suits. Nothing was out of place except for their sweaty foreheads as they all stared at the two men standing in the middle of the room.
"As of today, the order has been signed to close the border completely and finish construction of the wall that will separate East Germany from the West." Announced Walter Ulbricht, the chairman of the DDR State Council. "Gilbert Beilschmidt, the national spirit formerly known as Prussia, you will reside in the DDR under supervision of our comrade Ivan Braginski, the national spirit of the USSR." Ulbricht was staring at the fair-haired man watching his reaction, but had to raise an eyebrow as nothing came. Gilbert Beilschmidt remained silent and looked on with unreadable eyes. All of them expected some kind of outburst and protests. The Prussian was known to display erratic behaviour. The DDR delegation even placed four security guards in the room as a safety measure. And yet, nothing happened. The albino was standing there calmly watching him. The chairman cleared his throat and quickly continued to read off the official statement: "Ludwig Beilschmidt, you will remain in the West, residing in Bonn the official capital of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland under supervision of the Allied forces. They will be notified at a specific time."
Ludwig clenched his fists slightly. "Gilb-"
"Bear it, brother." He interrupted softly unclenching his fingers and let them hang limply. You need to survive this, boy. No matter what, he thought to himself and gritted his teeth.
Ludwig glanced sideways to see the other man tremble slightly. It was so faint nobody noticed it, except him. Several centuries together ensured he would notice the slightest change in this man's behaviour.
"It's hard to breath-." Prussia only managed to get out before he fell to his knees and started coughing up blood. He managed to break the fall by falling on his hands, but the red liquid splashed across the marble floor in front of him. Just when his battle wounds finally started to heal they were being ripped open again. He could more or less bear the pain of a bullet wound, gashes, cuts and bruises. It was a completely different pain to feel your heart seize up.
The younger brother was immediately kneeling by his side, shouting to get a doctor.
Ivan was the first to act and knelt next to them as well, checking for Prussia's pulse. By just looking at the man's pale face he understood this was a different kind of pain. The humans would be unable to help. "A human doctor won't be much of help to him." he said softly.
"Then what will?" Ludwig demanded, looking desperately at the tall Russian. During the war, his older brother had taken all of the hits from the USSR's attack. The Russian army had been an unforgiving and menacing force freeing and defending its regions. In Ludwig's personal opinion it was more than justified after what the leader of the Third Reich had done to Russia. The war had been 20 years ago now, but Gilbert had only started to heal from it and now this. The DDR, the vassal state of the Kremlin was at a breaking point and might lead the world with its actions to a possible World War Three between the US and the USSR. At this point his brother might die.
The national spirit of the USSR ignored the younger German and stood up, turning his attention to the human leaders in the room. "Gentlemen, the decision has been made, how the Deutsche Demokratische Republik and the USSR will proceed. I ask you to vacate the room. The matter of the national spirits of each country should be dealt with between ourselves." He sensed and understood the curiosity of the human leaders to see what would happen to Prussia. However, he had not only an obligation to his own country, but also to his fellow nations' spirits. Prussia, later a part of the Third Reich had invaded his lands several times, but it were the human leaders who had done it. Their national spirit had the option to try influence its leader's decisions, but always had to bear the consequences. No exceptions existed to that rule. For this reason the relationship between spirits were strictly dealt with care and without human presence. Ivan held no grudge for neither Gilbert Beilschmidt nor his younger brother. His own existence was far too old and twisted to make such a pointless distinction between good and evil. There was no such pure duality in their world.
Understanding that this was not their business, Premier of the USSR Khrushchev vacated his seat and headed for the door. His delegation followed quickly after him and lastly the leaders of the DDR.
Once the room was empty, Ivan quickly knelt down again cradling Gilbert's head with both hands. "For goodness sake, Gilbert you have to let go." He said softly to the man. "If you keep holding on, it will destroy you."
Gilbert managed only a cough in reply and the blood stained Ivan's face and a part of his white dress shirt. The Russian paid no attention to it and continued. "Don't make the same mistake as the Holy Roman Empire..." He never had forgotten how the boy had suffered a tragic death. It was in fact a slow process of decay for more than hundred years: the worst kind of death for them. Prussia had been declining since 1918 and it was 1961 now. "It's 43 years now…you have to stop."
Ludwig let his brother lean against his chest and listened to the Russian. "What do you mean?" He frowned, not understanding what was being said.
Ivan glanced over to him and cocked his head to the side. "You don't know?"
Gilbert grabbed Ivan's hand squeezing it lightly. "I've…never told'im."
The answer made the Russian sigh heavily. "You are insane…" He studied Gilbert's pale face noting his ruby coloured eyes were too bright to be normal. Placing one hand on his forehead confirmed his suspicions. The man had a fever and it was quite high. "Alright, I'll keep it short. Humans make history and we change with it. There are certain key moments for us, when we must change to survive. I started my existence as a small kingdom of pagan tribes, became an empire and almost got killed during the Bolshevik revolution and had to change again into a collective republic of different countries. Each time I had to let go of my past duties. We cannot let ourselves get trapped by memories long gone. If we do…" Ivan watched as the Prussian was leaning slightly forward to have the hand cover his forehead completely. Having the legendary General Winter on his side gave the Russian perpetually cool hands. He did not like the cold, but on this occasion it came in quite handy. "If we do not change with the times, we start to lose our existence in a very painful way, as you can see. Gilbert has been holding on to his existence as the kingdom of Prussia, although the dissolution happened already in 1918.(2) You have to let go. Become East Germany, while your brother will be the West."
"If I do, the Wall will…we won't be seeing each other for god knows how long." Gilbert gritted his teeth sitting up properly. "I'll have to follow your Kremlin bosses." This could not get any worse, but then again it could. Dying was always the worst outcome.
"Is the option of dying and leaving your only family all alone more appealing to you?" Ivan could be level-headed and patient, but only to a certain degree. At this moment both of those qualities start to wear thin. "Sometimes we do, what we have to do in order to survive. Given your history, you know that better than others."
He could not abandon his brother. "I know…"
See you in PART II!
I would love to hear what you think of this first chapter : your impressions, comments. They will totally help me to improve.
- DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik) is the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in English that existed from 1949 – 1990 during the 'Cold War' period as a socialist state in central Europe. It was a vassal state of the USSR after WWII. The capital and seat of power were located in East Berlin. In present day Germany the DDR included the following states: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, East Berlin, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen.
- Bundesrepublik Deutschland (BND) was West Germany with its capital in Bonn (state of Nordrhein-Westfalen). It was under control of the Allies (France, UK and US). The seat of the Chancellor of West Germany and the seat of power of the DDR were 598 km away from each other.
(1) Döllnsee (Templin, near Berlin, state of Brandenburg): Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was the First Secretary and later the Premier of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1954-64). So, basically the president of the Party. In this scene, I am describing the actual facts. The Wall that separated the East from West Germany had not been spontaneously decided. Walter Ulbricht, the key figure of the DDR was urging Khrushchev to build a wall since January 1961, but the leader of the Communist Party declined. The reason was that West Berlin was located in the DDR and he wanted the whole city. The US refused and secretly were stocking up on arms for a possible war. Parts of the Wall were already there in several parts of the country and were secured. West Berlin was the last part that stood still open. Once Khrushchev heard that the US were not giving up the western part of the city and were armed, he agreed with Ulbricht's proposal. The last part of the Wall was build overnight and completed on Sunday 13th 1961 at 6 am. The date was not chosen randomly. The Allies were aware that the Wall would be closed, but they had not anticipated that it would be done on a Sunday in a matter of hours. Later, JFK actually did agree that having the Wall ensured a sort of fragile stability between the two major nations. This is just a quick summary on my part. There were so many other things that happened, but there is no point in writing it here. In fact, if you did read until this point, then I salute you. ^_^
(2) Gilbert calls himself the Great Prussia and revers to its status as a kingdom, when it was at the height of power. The Kingdom of Prussia ended in 1918 and became a republic until 1933 before becoming a part of the Third Reich. He knows that it does not exist anymore, but has difficulties of truly letting go.