"The missile carries a warhead weighing 1870 pounds. It has three different fuses to insure detonation."
Susan Griffin traces the life of Heinrich Himmler, one of Hitler's right hand men, while at the same time tracing the history of the rocket, and of the cell. She talks about a frail boy, who envied his more athletic brother, who craved the acceptance of his peers. The frail boy grew up to be a man who hoped to see duty in the First World War, but it ended before he had a chance. He befriended a fellow soldier, with whom he shared philosophies. The two would end up running Germany.
Susan talks about a six year old girl visiting a concentration camp: "Shoes in great piles. Bones. Women's hair, clothes, stains, a terrible odour." The girl didn't find out what it was until years later in school. Susan quotes Himmler's letter: "Make no mention of the special treatment of the Jews."
Susan describes an old mining shaft in the Harz Mountains where, at gunpoint, concentration camp inmates put together rockets. "The missile carries a warhead weighing 1870 pounds. It has three different fuses to insure detonation."
Himmler, of course, was captured by the Allies at the end of World War II. He swallowed a poison capsule, leaving a wife and children. He would never face the music at Nuremberg.
Note: To read the entire article, visit http://learning.writing101.net/wp-content/readings/griffin_our_secret.pdf.