Magda Stapleford, a widow of Col. Kevin Stapleford, had never been so surprised before. Or was it shock? Perhaps it was the latter. She was holding in her hand one of the 60 slides of art pieces that Lt. Colonel Wendell Stevens (Ret.) had brought from
Magda Stapleford had already looked worried when he mentioned ‘
“Where did you find all these?” asked Magda Stapleford.
“Oh, it is a beauty, isn’t it? Well, not only these 60, rather there were masterpieces from all over the world; almost a billion dollars in priceless artwork, all stored in a little Catholic Church in Cuenca, Ecuador. The person in charge of this artwork was Father Krespi. He was kind enough to show me the storeroom in which all these masterpieces were held,” Colonel Stevens explained with great exuberance.
“Was there a frame or anything around it?” she was asking about the picture in the slide she was holding, “Or were there anything that looked like numbers or symbols of some kind along the edges?” she was eager to know.
“There was no frame, but yes; there were some markings. But again I am not sure whether they were numbers or symbols, for I don’t know German.”
Magda went inside a room and came back with a notepad and a pencil. She sketched something on the pad and showed it to him. “Is this what you saw?”
Colonel Stevens was taken aback. “Yes. This is exactly what I saw.”
“Oh, my God! That piece had been in my family for generations. Those bastards looted it from our ancestral castle in
“Who looted it?” Colonel Stevens was flummoxed.
“The Nazis,” she replied and grew silent for a few seconds. She needed some time to compose herself. Then she asked calmly, “Tell me about this Father Krespi.”
“Yes. Father Krespi. He was a great old man; probably in his early 80s. Very kind.”
“Well, could you describe him please? I mean his height, eye colour, his walking style, etc.”
Colonel Stevens was a trifle disconcerted, but decided to answer her query anyway.
“He was a little over 5 feet tall. About 5’2” or 5’3”. He had a wrinkled forehead, his eyes, with deep bags that drooped down and, his most striking feature; his sparkling blue eyes. And while walking he kept his hand back, and sort of swaggered, kind of kicking out his knees.”
Magda Stapleford was lost in her own imaginations. Then she hid her face in her hands and let out a sharp cry, “Mein Gott!” My God!
Colonel Stevens looked like a fish out of water. Swimming through her memories, Magda began to tell her story.
Magda Zeitfeld, a German Intelligence Officer, was the daughter of a leading Plastic Surgeon in
As the war broke out, Magda was commissioned to work in the German Army, and was assigned to German Intelligence; working with the SS.
In the fall of 1943, three high level Nazi officials were brought into her father’s clinic under conditions of extreme secrecy and security. No paper works, no names. These men chose to have their faces altered to have exaggerated Semitic features. Two of these men were Adolf Hitler and Martin Borman. Magda herself was well acquainted with Hitler and had commissioned a program to alter the appearances of four men to look exactly like Hitler. The surgery was conducted in her father’s clinic itself. Same height and build. They were to master Hitler’s voice and distinctive walk. Faces and dental work were altered. Even their spines were broken in the same place where Hitler had been injured in World War I. The fact that Hitler had dummies is a well known theory and that had saved his life a few times. But this time it was totally different. Hitler himself underwent plastic surgery which altered his body completely, especially his face.
Martin Borman was the Nazi leader and a private secretary to Hitler. He masterminded the decentralization of German industry and was also planning a Fourth Reich, since Nazi Germany was slowly collapsing which he was not oblivious to. Hence the planning of surgery and eventually, escape.
Two weeks later, all the scars on their faces from the surgery were gone. And when the surgeon was not needed anymore, the Nazis raided the clinic and brutally killed the entire staff including Magda’s father and brother. The clinic was burned down along with all the records. But Magda was spared for some reasons. Maybe because she belonged to SS, and didn’t pose a threat. Magda decided to have her vengeance and surrendered herself to the United States Government and told them everything she knew about SS, and the famous surgery followed by mass murdering.
She continued to work for SS, and reported back to Col. Kevin Stapleford who was the head of
Magda had been in Hitler’s office many times and had once noticed a particular art piece that was hung behind Hitler’s desk. It was the same Raphael’s painting that was looted by the Nazis and it was the same Raphael’s painting which she was now seeing in the slide.
“So you mean all your ancestral property is in
“My ancestral property is a trivial issue compared to what I just told you,” Magda Stapleford said, frivolously.
Colonel Stevens still looked befuddled.
“You still don’t get it, do you?” Magda said.
When he didn’t answer, she told him one of the greatest cover-ups of the modern world.
“Krespi was actually an alias that was given to Adolf Hitler in 1943.”
Lt. Colonel Wendell Stevens was dumbfounded; his heart palpitated.
She didn’t give him any time to react, and continued, “After the successful surgery, in the year 1943, Martin Borman totally disappeared from the scene. He was given sanctuary by the
Colonel Stevens was still silent. She asked him, breaking his stream of unbridled thoughts. “Tell me, Mr. Stevens. In which year did your Father Krespi arrived at
He cleared his throat, scratched his chin and said slowly, “Krespi claims he is from an Italian/Austrian family in
Magda nodded her head and said, “Hitler did not make a single speech after late 1943, and his public appearances became virtually nil. 1943 is the year Hitler disappeared and it is also the year in which Father Krespi appeared in
Colonel Stevens still had his doubts. “But Hitler didn’t speak Italian. Father Krespi spoke fluent Italian.”
Magda slowly smiled to herself and said, “Oh, dear man, did you know that Hitler’s mother was a staunch Roman Catholic from northern
Colonel Stevens was now staring at the ceiling of the room, trying to make sense out of every word he was hearing. Magda slowly stood up and went to the store room and came back with an old black and white picture and a scissor. She placed the picture on the table and cut it in the shape of a kidney, so that only eyes, ears and forehead of the man in the picture were visible.
“Now, use all your talents that you got from your experience in American Air Force and examine the picture very carefully.”
Colonel Stevens started observing it keenly.
“Isn’t that the forehead of your Father Krespi? The eyes and the ears?” Magda inquired.
He observed the picture for another few seconds, then lifted his head and said, his voice shaking, “Oh, my God! It’s definitely he. It’s Hitler.”
Magda didn’t say anything and left him alone for some time. None of them spoke a word for a few minutes. Then Colonel Stevens leaned forward, arched his brows and asked, inquiringly “But he shot himself and his body was burned in the bunker?” It was more of a statement.
Magda was expecting this question. “Well, Russians were the ones who found the body first. All the evidence was washed out already as I told you earlier. But there was one dental assistant who had cleaned Hitler’s teeth, twice. The Russians asked her to draw the picture of his teeth. After 10 hours of deliberation, and brutal interrogation, when she couldn’t do it, Stalin announced to the world that the sketches matched Hitler’s, for he didn’t want to be humiliated in front of the whole world by letting them know that Hitler had in fact slipped through his fingers.”
Colonel Stevens grew silent again. Shock held him incapacitated for an unfathomable time. Magda’s expression was inscrutable.
The revelation he had was simply too much for him to digest. Father Krespi is Adolf Hitler? The Fuhror? The man responsible for thousands of innocent lives? Did I really meet that monster just a few days ago?
After some time, he quietly took Magda Stapleford’s leave. And she stood at the door, looking over him, not knowing what to feel anymore.
1. Villagers say that Father Krespi was often visited by German people. Father Krespi died in the year 1993. He was about 90 years old. Over 2000 people from all over the world came for his funeral and mobbed the little village. Some of them were Germans that had armed escorts. He was interned in a beautiful ornate polished teakwood coffin, with baroque gold handles. It was no less than a King’s funeral. He was laid to rest in a white marble sepulcher, which is still cleaned weekly, adorned with flowers constantly, all paid for by anonymous admirers.
A few days after his death, all the art pieces in the store room of the Church, worth billions of dollars, were loaded into a Boeing 707 and transported to an unknown location.
2. SS stands for Schutzstaffel (German), which means Protective Squad.
3. After the World War II, the officers of SS that were responsible for the brutal killings of thousands of people (under the dictatorship of Hitler), went into exile, for they were being hunted like dogs all over the country. They changed their identities drastically and became more and more evasive for the present govt. to track down. They then formed an organization called, “
Sources: Sean David Morton and Katman