|Franz von Papen|
On the night of February second they all laughed out of the other side of their mouths. In the small hours Werner Horn set off his dynamite, damaging the bridge slightly but blowing out half the windows in Vanceboro. The freezing residents wanted to lynch him next morning. By then he had surrendered to the town sheriff, rather than fall into the hands of the Canadians, who would doubtless have shot him out of hand. He had changed into his uniform particularly to keep from being executed as a spy.
|The Penobscot Exchange|
“I did not blow up the bridge for money. I am a soldier, not a mercenary. I acted for the good of the Fatherland!” Actually von Papen had written him a check for $700.00, a fact that came to light later that year in the spymaster’s papers, which were confiscated when he was run out of the USA for sabotage. But perhaps Horn had used up the money for explosives, train tickets, and hotel bills, and so didn’t consider it pay.
The bridge was repaired within days. Werner Horn spent years in jail. After the Americans entered the war they turned him over to the Canadians, who, surprisingly, did not kill him. Eventually he went mad due to an advanced case of syphilis which somehow had gone untreated and he was repatriated to Germany, the war being over. Von Papen went on to enjoy a fairly distinguished career in German politics, all things considered, and although he helped Hitler rise to power he was acquitted of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials. You can hear him speaking in his own defense on YouTube. I would find his speech more enlightening if I spoke better German.
© 2015 Kate Gallison