This is the story of the Austrian and Operation Snowdrop.
The Austrian was born on the 20th April 1889 in a small village close to the German Bavarian border and in the locality of Linz.
He was raised among the lower classes of society in which his mother and his grandmother before her worked as a cook in the household of a wealthy jewish family.
One of his earliest childhood memories was shovelling snow in the bitter cold of winter while his best friend Leopold enjoyed home comforts.
The Austrian was ever conscious of a social divide and quickly grew to resent religion, aristocracy and the monarchy of the Hapsburgs who ruled the Austro-Hungarian empire at that time.
The Austrian had never understood how Jewish folk, migrants to the empire and successful in business, could be given equal civilian rights by the Emperor to the detriment of the germanic people.
To get anything, thought the Austrian, it had to be earned.
The Austrian went first to Vienna as a young man to induge his passion for art and classical music.
Wagner was a particular favourite.
He had no wish to serve the Austrian Army under the Habsburgs and avoided conscription by living in Great Britain for three years under the alias of his dead brother’s name and with his older half-brother and family in the city of Liverpool.
It offered the perfect muse and formed the basis of Operation Snowdrop which he carried out for the rest of his life.
The Austrian returned to his homeland in 1913 and spent some time in Vienna where he met men of influence in the coffee shops of the old city..
It was becoming ever apparent that war was imminent.
His calling was, however, to Germany, the nation state he served as a competent and brave soldier during the war of 1914 to 1918.
Demobilisation from military service thrust him back into unwanted civilian life but his anti-semitic message and ideaology was already receiving an audience even it was premature to be cast upon the world.
At the end of the war in 1918, the decisions of the Treaty of Versailles meant that Germany was being held accountable by act of reparation for the causes of the war and Kaiser Wilhelm was forced to abdicate.
A new world order was about to take hold.
The young Austrian was, however, an ambitious opportunist and saw strength in weakness.
He used his position as a confidential informant and educator within the German Army to become vocal and influential for the first time.
He played a pivotal role in the post-war creation of a new political party for which the word Nazi become the acronym.
He was instrumental in the foundation of a military youth movement and a secret intelligence service.
It was all too easy for the Austrian to attribute blame to the Jews for the German loss and fall from grace in the war and yet it was those same Jews who were the captains of industry, of finance and social life and held intellectual prominence.
The Austrian held the vision for a new world to ensure the supremacy of a master race, to exterminate sub-classes of humanity and to expel or enslave others unworthy of the recognition.
He sought no justification to plunder anything of financial, mlitary, industrial or cultural value.
He met in 1929 at the Nuremberg Rally the young son of his older brother whom he had last seen as an infant back in Liverpool in 1911.
The nephew was quick to become concerned about the political intentions of his uncle and tried to warn the British government on his return to England that a great tragedy would befall the world if warnngs were not then heeded.
The Austrian, once described in a quip by Field Marshall Hindenburgh to be ‘no more than a bohemian postmaster, much less a chancellor’, went on to become both Chancellor and Fuhrer of the German State and trigger a number of events which led to the second world war.
In one of his many inspections of Jews transported to the concentration camps, a voice called out from a packed train carriage ‘Adi, it is I, Leopold’.
The fate of one jew could well have been saved by a childhood memory.
As chancellor and fuhrer of Germany, the Austrian engaged in political combat with a man he first encountered delivering a dynamic speech to the British people in the English city of Liverpool in the summer of 1911.
The Austrian knew who that man was that day and would never forget. His English adversary would never know the identity of the stranger to whom he returned a blown-away sketch on the banks of the river Mersey.
History prefers to record that the Austrian committed suicide in a Berlin bunker in the spring of 1945 as the war was about to come to an end.
Reality is different it seems as the Austrian escapes Europe for a new life on the other side of the world where he lived until his death in 1970.
There is, however, one single moment in history which perhaps eptitomises what this was all about, a moment recalled years later by two men of common blood who sat in a cafe on the other side of the world.
What was Operation Snowdrop then?
Snowdrop was the name of the Austrian’s favourite ferry steamer which crossed the river Mersey during his stay in Liverpool.
It was the name the Austrian gave to a plan he formulated while sitting and sketching on the river banks of the Mersey in Liverpool as a young idealistic, perhaps nieve twenty-two year old.
Operation Snowdrop was no more than a muse.