Alfred-Ingemar Berndt was born 22 April 1905 in the West Prussian city of Bromberg, now Bydgoszcz in Poland. Berndt's family was expelled and dispossessed from West Prussia in 1920, a result of the Versailles Treaty. In December 1928, after interrupted study of German literature and volunteer work for German newspapers, Berndt got a job at Wolffs Telegraphisches Bureau (WTB), the largest news agency in Germany. Berndt was able to disguise his Nazi leanings as serious journalism. When Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, Berndt’s position in the Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur led to his promotion in Wolffs Telegraphisches Bureau, which had become the Nazi press office, the Deutsche Nachrichtenbüro (DNB). In December 1933 he became chief editor of the DNB. Joseph Goebbels, with his doctorate in German literature from Bonn University, knew a good writer when he read one. In 1935 Goebbels hired Berndt as official head of the Reich Press Office in the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. In April 1936, Berndt was appointed head of the press department of the Propaganda Ministry (Division IV). After the partitioning of the press department in March 1938, Berndt was made head of the newly created home department (Division IV-A). Berndt devised the propaganda for the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland. In February 1940, Berndt reported that he had fulfilled his task of adapting the German broadcasting system to the requirements of war and war propaganda. He was released from all functions in the Propaganda Ministry and enlisted as a volunteer in the Wehrmacht. In the French campaign he was a sergeant in Heavy Tank Division 605. He was awarded the Iron Cross second class, 27 May 1940. On June 6, 1940 he received the Iron Cross First Class. In May 1941 he went back to the front; this time as a lieutenant on the staff of the German Afrika Korps under Lieutenant General Erwin Rommel. Berndt pulled out all the stops of the propaganda organ to blare out the myth of Rommel the "Desert Fox." After a dispute with Goebbels, Berndt volunteered for combat. In September 1944, through the mediation of Heinrich Himmler, Berndt was elevated to the military rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer, the equivalent of captain, in the Waffen SS. According to several eyewitnesses, Berndt, as commander of the Second Division of SS Panzer Regiment 5 "Viking," was killed at Veszprém, Hungary, during an attack by Soviet dive bombers, March 28, 1945.
The epic true story of Dunkirk—now a major motion picture, written and directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, and Mark Rylance
In 1940, the Allies had been beaten back by the Nazis across France to the northern port of Dunkirk. In the ultimate race against time, more than 300,000 Allied soldiers were daringly evacuated across the Channel. This moment of German aggression was used by Winston Churchill as a call to Franklin Roosevelt to enter the war. Now, Joshua Levine, the film's official historian, explores the real lives of those soldiers, bombed and strafed on the beaches for days on end, without food or ammunition; the civilians whose boats were overloaded; the airmen who risked their lives to buy their companions on the ground precious time; and those who did not escape.
In 1939, a team of workers beneath the Vatican unearthed an early Christian grave. This surprising discovery launched a secret quest that would last decades — a quest to discover the long-lost burial place of the Apostle Peter.
From earliest times, Christian tradition held that Peter — a lowly fisherman from Galilee, whom Christ made leader of his Church — was executed in Rome by Emperor Nero and buried on Vatican Hill. But his tomb had been lost to history. Now, funded anonymously by a wealthy American, a small army of workers embarked on the dig of a lifetime.
The incredible, sometimes shocking, story of the 75-year search and its key players has never been fully told — until now. The quest would pit one of the 20th century’s most talented archaeologists — a woman — against top Vatican insiders. The Fisherman’s Tomb is a story of the triumph of faith and genius against all odds.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John O’Neill is a lawyer and #1 New York Times bestselling author. He has spent much of his life visiting and researching early Christian sites. He is a 1967 graduate of the Naval Academy, a former law clerk to Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and senior partner at a large international law firm.