The Watcher


“Why don’t you tell us about that day?” Gennat asked.
“Which day?” The guard Richard Schulz asked in return.
“The Monday, the day the Zäpernick girl disappeared and was murdered,” from across the table in the room at the Alex Gennat stared, his assistant by his side and the stenographer typing as he asked the questions he had prepared to better to understand the movements of the guard, the watchman Schulz. Gennat, not one for taking notes himself, he preferred to listen and to watch those before him to get a better measure had his assistant take down any important points, so not to have to scour the transcript later.
“I remember, on that Monday you ask of, a worker was quite drunk. There were some beers drunk in the Budiker.”
“On the Gilles construction site?” Gennat interjected. The watchman nodded.
“The Obmann was also present, he suggested to the worker that was already drunk that he should give me a bottle of beer. But, there seemed to be a dispute about this, the drunk, used the words “What does the guard have to do with me!” I still got a bottle of beer from him, and I bought one myself, so I drank two bottles that afternoon.”
“What time did the workers leave?”
“There were several of them, they probably left between five and six. Then the Obmann left with his brother and they took the drunk with them.”
“I dunno. Just know some faces.”
“Ok, then what did you do?”
“I hung close to the building shacks to make sure that the remaining builders did not take any of the useful building wood with them, Ganzkow then came back, the foreman, probably around seven.” Schulz paused, and looks as if he is contemplating something, Gennat doesn’t press, he lets the watchman ponder, “actually, I think I’m wrong about Ganzkow, I think that was a different day when the officers were already on site. I can’t say, with certainty when Ganzkow left on the Monday.” Gennat tapped his finger and his assistant wrote down Ganzkow’s name. A name to be investigated later. “I’m really not sure when the workers,”
“The brothers and the drunk?” Interjected Gennat.
“Jo, the brothers and the drunk,” Schulz continued “left the building site. But I know it was late, I guess it was around half past six, they were the last to leave.”
“And what did you do one they had left?”
“I began my duties. I closed up the gates and walked the perimeter fence, I found a few children playing and I ejected them.”
“Was Hildegard Zäpernick amongst them?”
“I don’t think so. But I could see there were several other children playing across the street at Sachsenplatz. Then the younger sister of Hildegard came through the fence and stroked my dog. Then the other children also wanted to come through the opening but I sent them away, I think it was soon after this that I started to hear people shouting “Hilde, Hilde.””
“And what did you do?”
“I went to the hut and ate my Stulle.”
“You didn’t go and investigate?”
“No, wasn’t my place, I ate my Stulle and continued my duties. Perhaps around 8 I went outside of the fence at Schaumburgallee to Westendallee. It was here that a gentleman and a aldy appraoched me and asked whether or not I had seen the Hilde that day. I then walked around the entire fence and looked to see if I could see the child anywhere. It wasn’t until Flade arrived that a serious request to search the Gillesbau construction site was made, we allowed them to search the building with ourselves.”
“Did you go into the cellars?”
“We did. I was probably in the cellar where Hilde’s body was found.”
“Did you go back into that cellar in the following days?”
“I did not.”
“You had your dog with you, after the brothers and the drunk had left and you walked the fence correct?”
“Correct.” Schulz nodded.
“Would your dog strike, strike if he sensed someone else on the property?”
“I would have that the answer to that question is in the negative. He would only strike if he saw someone directly.”
“Were the stone unloaders still on the site?”
“I don’t remember, it often happens that work is still being carried out at this time. On the other hand, of course, such work ends without my knowledge, and I then find disorder, open doors, or uncovered gaps which I then close again.”
“So there are entrances left open?”
“Sometimes, if the workers forget or are lazy, then I have to make sure they are secure. But I did not notice anyone on that evening and my dog did not either.”
“And what do you do after the you’ve secured the site?”
“I can’t be on my feet all the time,” Schulz answered. “I normally bring a book, but I think on that day I bought the B.Z, but I couldn’t tell you what was in it, I am not interested in the political part, I just read it indiscriminately, to pass the time. I also collect wood shavings, waste pieces, to take home and burn for heat. I had actually collected a backpack of them, this might have taken an hour. Then I heard the shouts of Hilde and shortly after spoke to the two people, I actually can’t remember if it was two men or two women or one man and one woman. They asked about Hilde, and I told them I didn’t know anything but I noticed that it seemed as if half the population was on the move. I then searched the site on the two people’s request.”
“Did you tell anyone that your search for Hilde was in vain?” Asked Gennat.
“I told em that, but I don’t know who they were.”
“Did you have any thoughts to what the commotion was about?”
“No, I didn’t think about it.”
“Have you done anything on your part to look for the girl within the building inside the fence?”
“No, I didn’t reenter the building, I didn’t see her, so I assumed she wasn’t there. I didn’t return to it until Flade arrived, no-one from 8 until the joint search took place entered the building site, because we always walked around the fence.”
“But you searched the building later with Flade correct?” Schulz responded in the affirmative.
“We did, and a few residents, there was also a few boys with bicycles who I asked if their lanterns were in good order and might be used to light the site.”
“And you went into the cellars?”
“We did, I cannot say we went into them all.”
“But you went into the cellar where the girl was later found?”
“I cannot say for certain that I did.”

The interrogation had run on for the time limit they were allowed and Schulz had been returned to the cell he had occupied since the previous evenings interrogation and Gennat mulled over the moves the Zäpernick Murder Commission now had to make. It was evident that those in the Budiker needed to be found and interview. Especially the brothers and the drunk. The movements of all of the workers needed to be reconfirmed now that it was known that the girl was probably murdered on the construction site which meant interviewing at least one hundred and forty people for a second time which would take considerable man power but had to be done. Gennat ordered his assistant to gather the information needed and make use of all available man power that might be given over to his enquiries. Then Gennat, perhaps mulling over the prospect of a slice of his favourite cake after a lengthy interrogation returned to his office.
He called in his secretary and began dictating a note from the comfort of the sofa in his lavishly decorated office, an office that bore more in resemblance to that of a small living room of the middle class, the note read:

“To the public prosector office III, date 17th August 1929, Berlin. On Monday, August 12 1929, around 18:30pm, the student Hilde Zäpernick, born 11th August 1918 Brandenburg an der Havel, Berlin Charlottenburg, Westendallee 89, lived with her parents, whom disappeared without a trace was found buried in the sand on Friday 16th August 1929 at around 10:30 am in a basement of a new building at Westendallee and Sachsenplatz. The forensics, performed by Dr. Waldemar Weimann follows “At the entrance to the vagina there is extensive tissue tearing and blood, i.e. a hard object has been inserted, fingers, limbs etc. Bleeding in the conjunctiva. Small tear on the left earlobe, so suffocated probably after the pressure of a hand over the face. According to the objective findings, the criminal investigations and the medical findings, there is no doubt that a capital crime has occurred. Dispatch with a request for the autopsy to be carried out has already been given. The files remain at police headquarters for further processing. The culprit as not yet been identified.”

“Where are we with the autopsy?” Gennat asked of his secretary. FIND THE REPORT OF THE MISSING DOCTOR TO PERFORM THE AUTOPSY.

The news had naturally made it to the press. After the previous evenings, that of the 16th of August 1929, interrogation of the watchman Richard Schulz had concluded and Gennat had retired to his office to review the case, the transcript had been typed up from the stenographers notes and as ever, with the German bureaucracy and need for documentation the transcipt had been copied at least twice, one copy had been sent to the archives where it would be placed within the main criminal investigation folder, and another in the working folder that held the notes and drawings of those who were working the case. Copies, also, had to be distributed to the teams investigating it and slowly the paper trail fanned out. The centralisation of information within the police department widened, the bubble of those informed grew and eventually it sprung a leak, a catastrophic leak. To have eyes not wanted look on the information being gathered in an ongoing investigation was troublesome, but to have eyes that fed the details to the press were certainly not welcome.
Some details were obvious, some others were willingly given. A body had been found. That was evident from the arrival of the so called murder wagon. Yet someone in the press had become privy to the exactest details that had, so far, been gathered by the Zäpernick Murder Investigation. In the papers that were neatly lined up on the news stands or were held in the air by the flailing arms of young boys and men desperatly trying to sell their quota of newspapers for that day as quickly as they could the headlines revealed the importance prescribed onto the case by the press.
No pause in the Hague, they began in great black italic letters readable to the passing eye or shouted by the criers, Stormtoopers Unmasked, Zeppelin over Siberia and The Murder of Hildegard Zäpernick. For those who had read the story of the missing 11 year old girl grow from paragraph to column to page they now could read on the front page the details of her murder. With a supplement the press proved that they had ears and eyes within the Alex. They knew about the placement of the stones around the soft recently turned earth of the cellar, they knew of the panties being around her legs, and of the red marks found upon her neck, they even knew that the guard had been interrogated and printed as the opening subheading Der Wächter war der Täter? The Watcher was the culprit?

Quoß and Werneburg were once again on the building site that had been the centre of suspicions before but now, with the discovery of the body of young Hildegard Zäpernick, was the centre of a crime. They had been informed that they needed to not only interview every worker, which certainly was going to take more than just a morning to do, and reconfirm alibis but also they needed, more expressly, to find the workers who had remained on the building site and amongst this they needed to speak to more of the children of the area. The suspicion lay with the guard, the watchman Schulz, and as before with the investigation circling like a swarm of the hooded ravens of Berlin around the Gillesbau now the investigation circled around the war injured guard Schulz.
They approached the familiar door. Quoß had already been through it a few times, it was he who just the previous day had the unfortunate job of telling her mother her daughter was not coming home ever again. The stress slowly reigned over him. The job was not as it was made out to be in the detective magazines purchased by men and boys alike, the stories where the detectives always get their man, the stories that left reality watching from the sidelines to focus on the mystery, and the characters were strong, who with a glass of whiskey and cigarette could easily forget the trials of the horrors that investigators, kriminal kommissars secretaries and all others on the echelons of the higherarchy had to endure. He pressed the bell with the familiar letters above.
“Herr Zäpernick.” He said to the forlorn figure at the door, and took off his hat upon witnessing the man.
“Kriminal Kommissar, do come in,” Herr Zäpernick spoke resigned in sorrow. The Kriminal Kommissars entered.
“We have some more questions.”
“I do not know what else I can tell you.” Herr Zäpernick responded.
“Our questions,” Quoß spoke politely, “this time are not for you, we’d like, if we may to speak with your youngest.”
“Yes, with Elsa.”
“Very well.” Herr Zäpernick went to find his daughter. The information that Schulz had provided at the Alex had been relayed, Elsa had been seen on the building site by Schulz, so it was important to gather what they could in terms of information from her. The only issue was her age. She was far younger than Hilde, and they questioned internally how much information could be gathered from one so young but young eyes are often curious and young minds underestimated often by the elder. A young mind is not bound by the confines of sensibility or society, it acts far freer than the mind of the adult who has had his or her will bound to and shaped by the rules of the considered norm, as much as the laws and will of a government. They were all in the room quite shocked, therefore, when Else Zäpernick began to speak.
She, Else, was wide eyed and awake. Alert and definitive and left the detectives at the table shocked to her keen eye of observation.
“Else, we need to ask you some questions,” they began, “about your sister, Hilde, the construction site and the guard Schulz. Do you know the guard Schulz.”
“Yes.” The girl nodded firmly.
“Have you and your sister ever been hunted down by the guard Schulz on the construction site?” Quoß asked.
“He has sent us away but never hunted us.”
“Were you often on the construction site.”
“We, Hilde, Kurt, Wilhelm, Theo, and the Jürgens would sometimes collect the wood chips on the ground there and we’ve been to the guard shack. The guard gave away photos sometimes.”
“Photos?” The Kriminal Kommissar asked.
“Hans Bökner asked for one, but Schulz said no and gave a big photo to Hilde.”
“Why did he do that do you think Else?”
“I don’t know.”
“Did she ask for it, as some sort of souvenir?”
“I’m not sure. But he gave it to Hilde and then said “Give us a kiss.” Hilde replied no, he then asked her why not.”
“What else did he do anything else?”
“He grabbed her here,” Else pointed to her waist, “when he gave her the photo.”
“Had you ever been into the building?”
“We’d collected bottles for him, empty beer bottles that the workers drink inside the building.”
“Have you been into the cellar Else?”
“No.” The young girl said resolutely.
“Had Hilde?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Else, did Schulz ever touch you or Hilde, other than touching Hilde’s waste?”

The dogs were back. In a further effort to uncover evidence that would lead to a building of a case the police had returned once again with the dogs. One of the things that had been mentioned in a morning briefing before the teams of investigators had departed for the Gillesbau, before Quoß and Werneburg had left to speak with Elsa Zäpernick was an emphasis on trying to discover just how the girl had been buried. Yet the Gillesbau was a construction site. It was scattered with tools that would allow for the earth to be moved, would it not? For the hole in the cellar floor to have been dug to almost a meter deep would not have been possible by a man, or person on bended knee, for every scoop of the soft sand that their arms would have pulled away from before them would have led to the sand beneath them collapsing into the hollow they had just made, a shovel must have been used. There was also this talk of a print made by the sole of a shoe and the evidence of a dog or dogs having walked the floor of the room to be inspected also. However, hope of finding either of these seemed, from the combination of the workers own investigation and that of Quoß and Wernerburg before the arrival of the more skilled and practical Murder Kommission, impossible.
Working in teams, and dividing the site into sectors, the police officers searched. The dogs, noses to the ground, moved soft sand with their snouts as they drove their sensitive noses into soft patches where a sent required further investigation from themselves, eyebrows raised and eyes widened on the faces of the officers but always relaxed again disappointedly when nothing was uncovered. They searched and searched for a shovel, but although they could find hammers, chisels and all other tools of the trade their was no shovel found in the basement area and the only one known to the police had been used by the foreman Steuer in the investigation of the workmen into the suspicious ground that had ultimately been revealed to be the resting place of the murdered child.

As the dogs searched, Quoß and Werneburg used the advantage that the Saturday presented as a day free for many workers from the confines of their respective offices. Many of the employees of the Reichsbank, those not required to stand or sit behind the counters that faced the customers would be at home, and with the discovery of the young girl and the subsequent announcement of her murder, few had felt ready to leave the area that surrounded their homes.
From the ground floor apartment of the right, Quoß and Werneburg did their best to thank and reassure a family that had been held in suspense for the working week and been in mourning for less than twenty four hours. Their first stop was to speak with another resident of the same building. A man by the name of Herr Asch who lived in the same building and when asked told the inspectors of his movements, from the time in which he heard of the disappearance of the young girl to his exploits in travelling to the police station and the hospitals. Quoß and Werneburg took notes especially when Herr Asch mentioned of who he was with. They thanked him and asked him to present himself to the police station to give a formal report that he would need to sign.
The boy who Herr Asch was with was Theodore Müller, who lived three doors away at number 86. Theodore Müller enlightened to his movements of that day, the 12th of August 1929. He told of the red ball to which Hilde wished to play with and how he had searched for many hours on his bicycle when he had found out she was missing. Quoß and Werneburg asked Theodore to do the same as Herr Asch and make an official statement. But slowly they were gathering the information as to the members of the communities movements and also Hilde’s.
It was as they were leaving number 86 that one of the investigators, who had been prowling the streets looking for them desperately approached them. The exasperated investigator, relieved, but tired from the heavy humidity of a day where the air temperature was high but the sky, more often than not, obscured by clouds, and most people who happened to be out were fanning themselves to keep a breeze passing over faces that were gathering beads of sweat. “We’ve got someone for you to speak too, one from the Budiker.” The investigator informed his superiors.
“Where is he?”
“At the police station.”
“We’ll come with you.”

The worker which the investigator had deemed to hold relevant information to the investigation happened to be someone that Quoß and Werneburg recognised. They had already spoke with the worker in question but over a different matter, and now with the work of those who had to, once the investigation had turned from a missing persons and into a murder enquiry, interview all of the workers once again the person in question was made known to the Kriminal Kommissar once again.
“Once again for the report: Your name, date of birth and place of residence?”
“Otto Rich. born 23rd February 1900, Landsberg.”
“Landsberg, Bavaria?”
“No, Landsberg an der Warthe.” The details were noted down.
“And where do you reside now?”
“Landsberg Allee 8.” Otto replied to which an eyebrow of the Kommissar raised noting the coincidence.
“How long have you been employed at the site Herr Rich?” Otto Rich had been one of those that had been present at the discovery of the circle of stones, and was the one who had noticed the, since destroyed, heel print and traces of dogs in the cellar.
“Since mid April of this year, I’ve been employed on the new build at Westendallee. I know more most of the people who work there and I know some of the people who live in the area.”
“Who do you know?”
“Well, I always work in the building which means I only know the population by reputation.”
“Do you know the children?”
“I see them sometimes playing on the street and sometimes I see them come up to the building.”
“Did you know Hilde Zäpernick?” The question was asked of Rich.
“I did not know any of them personally, not even Hilde Zäpernick.”
“So what do you have to tell us about the day in question, the 12th, Herr Rich?”
“I worked until 4 on Monday, the 12th. At four, I went to a building with several other colleagues, where I changed my clothes. There I waited for my brother, who was talking with some other colleagues as a foreman. I left, the building, after a while and joined a group of other workers who were talking over union matters, there I met Gastler, and the both of us then went to the baubuiker.”
“The construction site kneipe?” Asked the investigators.
“Jop.” Rich confirmed.
“Were other people there?”
“We were joined by several others.”
“Other colleagues?”
“Yeah, colleagues, including my brother. We drank there until five I think. Gronau and Jahn then left, they operate the Budiker, and seeing as when they leave they lock the Budiker we also had to leave.”
“Where did they go?”
“To collect bottles from the building site I think. We sat outside and waited for them to return.”
“And they went into the building?”
“I don’t know.”
“When did they come back?”
“Around half past five I guess was when they returned. They unlocked the door and we went in to have another beer. It was then sometime between then and six that Ganzkow, a foreman, left without saying good bye.”
“Do you know where he went?”
“As far as I remember, he turned to the right towards Westendallee and the Nietschke store.”
“You had changed from your work clothes, had Ganzkow?”
“I couldn’t say, but I assume he was still in his work clothes. At 6 one by one people were saying goodbye, it meant that it was just myself and my brother, Gronau, Jahn, Hemer, and Gastler, who was a little drunk.”
“What time did you leave?”
“I can’t say for certain.”
“Ok, so what happened when you decided to leave?”
“Gastler, like I said, was a little drunk, so myself and my brother took him under our arms and left in the direction of the Schaumburg Allee entrance, the watchman, Schulz, he let us out.”
“He was with you?” enquired the investigators.
“Yeah, I guess he was.”
“What did you see of Schulz when you left?”
“We saw some children playing on the embankment and as we left he went to, I presume, chase them off. But we left and walked along the other side of the fence.”
“Where did you go?”
“We, my brother Gastler and I, went to Bahnhof Neu-Westend, in the direction of Alexanderplatz.”
“Do you know what happened on the building site after you left?”
“I don’t. But in my opinion, when we left there was no one else in the building, other than Schulz, but I can’t say that Ganzkow did leave the building site after he left us. You’d have to ask him yourselves.”
“What would the watchman Schulz normally do after you left?”
“I always heard he arrived and went straight to his hut. But I did hear rumours that he would chase the smaller children away from the building but often invite the larger ones to the hut, but I cannot say with certainty on this, its only things I’ve heard.”
The Kriminal Kommissar read the transcript that had been taken of the conversation between the worker Otto Rich and themselves. Otto nodded as he confirmed what they had noted down as being correct and was allowed to leave. But it was evident now, from Schulz’s interrogation and from that of Otto Rich, the final movements of those in the Budiker needed to be uncovered.

“Who are you and what do you do?” The question was posed by an investigator at the Rote Burg, the Police Präsdium at Alexanderplatz that stood almost as large as the former imperial palace of Berlin on Museum Island. The older man, 62 years of age had presented him to the offices of the Murder Kommission of his own accord.
“I’m Paul Schiemann, Herr Kommissar, a roofer.”
“And what are you doing here?” The Kommissar asked.
“I want to talk about my son-in-law.”
“Oh, and who might that be?”
“The Watcher, Schulz.” The Kommissar, looked across the desk at the man and had to debate within himself as to what to do next. It was a Sunday and in contrast to the previous weekend the city was quiet. The bunting of the recent festivities had been torn down, the signs proclaiming the unity of the Republic removed and probably recycled by eager residents into firewood for their stoves, for cooking or for heating when the autumn and winter months set in, now the city had returned to its usual quiet Sunday pace, a day where religious practices, for those inclined, could be undertaken, and for the rest a day to relax, at home or in the cinemas or beer gardens that filled the city. He could make a choice and bring in Gennat, or he could take a statement himself, with a stenographer present of course. He chose to do the latter.
“Come with me, Herr Schiemann.” Herr Schiemann was brought into a room, not dark as the lower rooms of the Alex where the cells were, but a simply furnished office. “Take a seat.” The Kommissar took one and a Stenographer soon followed. “Herr Schiemann, I must make you aware that you have not been summoned here and you do not have to testify if you so wish.”
“I understand, but I want to testify.”
“And what will you tell us?”
“I wish to inform you a little of the person of my son in law.”
“Very well, let’s begin again, if you can state your name, occupation, birth date, birth location and current address.”
“Paul Schiemann, roofer, born 14th March 1866, Neuenhagen Kries Königsberg in der Neumark. Resident Langestraße 38.”
“Thank you Herr Schiemann, now when was the last time you spoke with your son in law?”
“I saw and spoke to him, Schulz, two or three weeks before the child’s disappearance at his hut in Rummelsburg.”
“And what can you testify towards his character?”
“Schulz is actually a decent man, he doesn’t drink,” the Kommissar made a note of this having read Schulz’s own testimony, “but he does smoke a lot of cigarettes. I believe, this msoking of cigarettes, is as a result of his war wound which made him very nervous. He also suffers from asthma in such a way that he sometimes cannot breath the air and often suffers from severe headaches.”
“And toward his character?”
“I judge him to have something of the fantastic about him, and is inclined to show off. I remember that he once told me that he had a great legacy in America and that he wished to move there with his family, that is my daughter and grand children. But naturally, this is just a fairy tale, he’s said many things that are not true.”
“And what do you know of his condition?”
“I am not too familiar, I only know what my daughter has mentioned in her letters to me. I do know that sometimes my daughter writes to me when it get’s difficult my daughter writes me that she is done with him. I believe he has been in a psychiatric clinic near Stettin.”
“Can you say anything else about this condition?”
“I know that there is a medical certificate that is either in the possession of my son-in-law or must be located here at Welfare Office 5 in Berlin, which states that Schulz must be handled with care, and that he can be easily irritated. I helped search with an investigator this morning at his and my daughter’s home at Rummelsburg. I remember I was interviewed here in Berlin about two or three months ago at the Kreigsversorgungsamt at Brommybrücke. The officer who interviewed me there said to me almost verbatim: “This is a very bad illness, so you have to be careful.”
“The investigators, when they were first at the home of your daughter and son-in-law found some books, can you tell me anything about them?”
“I believe they are now in the hands of the criminal police. I believe they have affected his mental state. He’s become strange directly because of them. He has been reading such books for years, perhaps as long as the Krieg is over. Apparently he also has to deal with it in his imagination, the war that is, because my daughter says he grinds his teeth at night and the like.”
“How is he as a father to your grand children Herr Schiemann? Is he a good father?”
“I don’t think he is able to properly raise and feed his children.” Herr Schiemann explained, an air of concern to his voice. “I persuaded him to move to Berlin this year because of this but also so that my daughter Martha, his wife, to be under my care. My own wife is of the same opinion as myself. He was recently in a poor house, in a very poor primitive apartment, which, in my opinion, was also harmful to health. As a result, I looked around Berlin for suitable accommodation for him. I finally found some where within the garden colony “Blumenfreund” in Rummelsburg for him, I actually found a piece of land for myself first and then him. After he had the house I persuaded him to join a security company, which he did and got his position through it.”
“Do you, Herr Schiemann, believe that Schulz, could have committed the crime against Hilde Zäpernick, by that we mean both the moral crime, i.e the rape, and also the murder?”
“I don’t trust that my son-in-law would have done such a thing. I myself have told myself, however, that if he carries out his guard duties so negligently that he does not supervise the construction site in such a way that an act can be committed by any stranger, he must be suspected.”
“Thank you Herr Schiemann, that will be all on our line of questioning unless you have anything else to add?” The Kommissar paused. Most suspects at this point say no, but Herr Schiemann had been thinking.
“I did notice the following if I may?”
“Please go ahead Herr Schiemann.”
“According to the newspapers, the criminal police also searched the entire building with dogs, but without finding any trace of the missing child. It strikes me now that after 500 Reichsmarks were offered as a reward suddenly 2 workers were sent to the basement or otherwise entered and immediately came across the child’s grave. In the interest of my son-in-law, I ask that you look into this.”
“We will, thank you Herr Schiemann.” The Kommissar stood, and after a pause so did Herr Schiemann. The Kommissar walked him to the door and thanked him. He mulled over the information that Herr Schiemann had just given and returned to the room that had been used to take the testimony of Herr Schiemann and to look at his notes and those of the stenographer. The thing that caught his attention is the fact that Herr Schiemann believed his son-in-law not to drink, he admitted that he smoked a lot, but saying he did not drink, when if he remembered correctly had Schulz now mentioned in his own testimony that he had had a few beers, maybe two when he arrived at the site. The main police file now also had the testimony of Otto Rich that briefly mentioned that Schulz was at the Budiker. But there was three main things now that needed to be done, the wife of Schulz, Martha needed to be interrogated, the health report from the Kreigsversorgungsamt at the Brommybrücke must be acquired and finally, the events within the Budiker and those who were drinking within had to be established with certainty.
“Could you bring Martha Schulz in,” the Kommissar asked of his secretary, that would be the best place to begin in establishing a little more about who Schulz really was.

The distance between Rummelsburg and the Alex was not much. One S-Bahn train would suffice. However, from the Rummelsburg S-bahn stretching out to the east it was almost entirely garden colonies until they gave way to the vast rectangular fields of Brandenburg. Fortunately for the Schulz’s their garden colony on Schlichtallee, the colony Blumenfreund was situated at the western most edge of the colonies, and just one future city block away from the station itself so it did not take much time for Martha Schulz, once informed of her required presence at the Alex, to travel through the Eastern districts of the city to its centre at the Rote Burg.
“My name is Martha Schulz, born Schiemann, 30th November, 1884, Graudenz, currently residing in Berlin-Rummelsburg, Schlichtallee, Blumenfreund. The arrested guard, Richard Schulz, is my husband. I have been instructed about the right to refuse to testify, I have understood these instructions, but I wish to make a statement, and what I am saying is true.” The Kommissar asked the stenographer to highlight her last remark.
“Can you briefly tell us about your life with your husband Richard Schulz please Frau Schulz.”
“I can. We married on the 19th April 1912 in Stettin. My marriage has been a satisfactory one to this date. My husband is not a tinker and also not a fool. Of course, it happens that occasionally he drinks a little more than is necessary, he has even slapped me in such a state, but these are incidents that have not somehow clouded our married life. Soon after we married,” Frau Schulz continued, “my husband went to the war, but was hardly used as he was shot in the left eye. It was quite severe as he still suffers from headaches today. While we were living in Stecklin, he became, suddenly,m very ill. At first he had been at home for weeks, almost a full quarter. That is what I remember of the summer of 1927. He was in bed with an extremely severe headache, pain from the old wound and asthma, sometimes he even was fantasising. I remember once, he said that there was a man with a long white beard in the door. He kept telling me to check, eventually I did, and told him he was wrong. He also ran away occasionally, but could not remember what he had done.”
“Was he violent towards you Frau Schulz?” The Kommissar asked.
“No, not during this time was he at all violent towards myself.”
“Do you remember the names of the doctors that treated him?”
“Dr. Bütow, Dr Mühlmann were the treating doctors in Greifenhagen, then there was also the district doctor of Dr. Palesque, but he was only with us once when he made enquiries at the house to see if my husband was making noise.”
“Making noise?” The Kommissar questioned.
“Raging, fatasising and a like. Finally he had to go to the Frauendorf hospital near Stettin.”
“How is Herr Schulz with your children?”
“He’s very good to his children,” Frau Schulz emphasised.
“Has he ever shown a liking to others children?”
“I’ve never noticed a penchant for such, my husband didn’t do anything to other’s children.”
“The books we found in your apartment, can you tell us about those Frau Schulz?”
“He likes to read them. I’ve had a look at them myself too and scolded him for them. If he stops reading one he always put it away and doesn’t talk to me about the contents.”
“How does he get them?”
“Exchanges I believe. I can’t say where, but I don’t think they have had any impact on my husband at least as far as I have observed.’
“Did you husband have his picture taken?” The Kommissar was working his way through the notes from the interrogation of Richard Schulz, and so far the photos were of interest, but only Schulz himself and Hilde’s younger sister Elsa had mentioned them so far and he was keen to find out more.
“He did.”
“Why did he have his photo taken Frau Schulz?”
“So he could ride cheaper,” answered Frau Schulz.
“With the S-bahn?” Frau Schulz agreed. “When did he have the pictures taken?”
“Perhaps eight days ago. He showed them to me, and I said “You are so badly shown, where are the other pictures,” and he answered me by saying “Oh, I gave them to the other children, a boy and a girl. The girl always said “Mr. Guardian, give me the picture.” My husband said he wanted to tear up the pictures first, then he wanted to give them to my children, but he didn’t because they were so bad, but he did give my children two.”
“Do you still have them, are they still there?”
“Oh, they’re already cut in half, they’ll tear up anything.”
“This happened last week?”
“When Hilde was still alive.”
“I would say so.”
“What was your husband wearing on Monday?” The Kommissar questioned.
“The same as he’s wearing now. I’ve brought him fresh clothes so that he can change.”
“Was he a clean man? Did he look after his clothes?”
“He brushed himself daily, because the building was so dirty and he had to walk around it.”
“The clothes your husband wore, did you clean them on Monday, or help to remove any stains.”
“Frau Schulz, did you husband tell you about the girls murder?”
“How could he, he hasn’t been home since the discovery of her body.”
“Did he talk to you about her disappearance?”
“He told me that the children from that area…”
“The Gillesbau, Neu Westend?” The Kommissar interrupted to iterate.
“Correct, he said that the children told him that she had been taken away in a car, but I must emphasis that he reproduced this as the story of the children.”

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