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(A 19th Century Tale of Tails)

Book 1: The beginning 1875-1883

By Castor

© Copyright 2017 Castor

Chapter 1. The Academy - Near Amberg, Bavaria

The institution was called, rather innocuously, but curiously, ‘The Amberg Academy’ and was known as a place where recalcitrant young men were sent as a last resort in an effort to have them mend their ways. In every district of the new vision created by Bismarck, schools and courts as well as the military [the Army and the Navy] had the discretion to assign an unruly or habitually disobedient young men to the Academy. Despite the large number of potential candidates throughout the new nation, very few had the opportunity for the second chance that was offered by the Academy. Schools generally allowed the students who were disruptive and seemingly had no prospect in life to leave with an expectation that the judicial system, sooner rather than later, would take over government of their futures. The military was much the same using its stockades and brigs to discipline in-house those whose only prospects were as cannon fodder in the event of war. Those who were considered intelligent and capable of changing whatever bad habits they had developed were assigned to the Academy in the hope that they might one day return to their units and perform more than adequately.

Once the facilities had been established the authorities looked to the military for a suitable person to run the establishment. In all military establishments notices were posted advising of the position at the Academy and inviting applications from those who thought they might thrive in such an environment. It was from Kiel that they received an application from one Commodore Jakob Beck who was somewhat curiously in his mid-30s. The Board assigned the task of finding the Head for the new establishment was surprised that such a young man who had risen through the ranks of the Navy so quickly would be desirous of the post in question. Nonetheless they asked Beck to attend an interview in Berlin.

Commodore Jakob Beck was Prussian by birth, rather tall and with chiselled features that seemed to convey both self-confidence and determination. Beck had been a fast rising star in the Imperial Navy but an unfortunate accident on board a destroyer at sea had left him with a slight limp which was clearly a safety issue on board any ship. As a consequence the Commodore had been assigned to shore duties which he found to be dull and offered very few opportunities to indulge his most pleasurable pursuits of disciplining young sailors and bedding quite a few of them as well. This aspect of his nature was known to those around him, but had never been recorded in his official record and thus the Board in Berlin could but judge him on his obvious intellect, excellent career and the unfortunate nature of the minor disability which had brought his career to a fairly obvious dead-end.

During the interview Beck was told about the purpose of the Academy in great detail and he told his interviewers that he had always been a strict disciplinarian and, on occasion, had been criticized for being too strict. Members of the Board of found this to be an admirable quality and given the nature of the inmates who would be sent to the Academy they were unanimously of the view that the more severe the discipline the more likely it was that useful and productive careers for the inmates would result. They told Commodore Beck that it was unacceptable in the extreme for any of the inmates to suffer permanent disability or worse but that, provided those restrictions were observed, the Commandant would have free reign regarding matters of discipline.

The interview ended and Beck was asked to wait outside the room in which it had been conducted while the Board considered his application. Beck left the room desperately hoping for the appointment which would allow him to indulge his passions. He sat in the corridor wondering just how long it would be before they Board would make its decision and he couldn’t help but start pacing up and down the corridor as the minutes flew by. In reality it was but a short time before the door to the large room in which the Board was meeting was opened and the Commodore was asked to return. To his delight he found that the Board was unanimous in its decision to appoint him to the position of Commandant of the Academy and asked that he make preparations with haste to move to the vast building in Bavaria. And thus it was that the framework for the Academy was established.

The Commandant wasted no time in getting to the former monastery in Bavaria which was to be his new home and his new domain. Within just a few months he was able to report to Berlin that the Academy was able to accommodate its first inmates even though a great deal of work still was required. As the word went out regarding the reformatory, Commandant Beck started to organize a disciplinary framework designed to keep the first inmates on the straight and narrow. For this he needed somebody other than himself who could administer discipline with efficiency and great effect. Berlin had already organized for a team of men to be on site to look after the grounds and he turned to the leader of that group, Herr Georg Wolff, in order to establish a means of administering justice. In due course, the Commandant realized, Senior Cadets would be identified as being on the verge of release and they would take a leading role in making sure that other Cadets were kept in line.

While the Academy provided a suitable venue in which to incarcerate miscreants it provided also a useful training regime for those young men who the relevant authorities had assessed to have a future which would be of some value, one way or another, to the economy and society. Its existence and purpose was well known in the ‘right circles’ because of its strict regimentation, uniforms and rules, and, once it had been developed, some rather ‘special’ services which were available to a relatively select few. The general community, even in the immediate vicinity of the institution, was oblivious to its modus operandi. The Academy was housed in an old, rather handsome abandoned monastery which had been converted to its intended new purpose. Five stories high it appeared to sit in the forest like a guardian of morality and virtue – a statement about the new nation the Bismarck had created – although its occupants knew quite well that that visage concealed the truth about its inhabitants.

The grounds were extensive and situated in various clearings in the forest were buildings which housed many of the staff who looked after the cooking, cleaning, laundry and a host of other necessary functions. There were cottages which, in due course, in order to help defray the costs of running the establishment the Commandant would decide to use as very expensive accommodation for those who sought discretion while they indulged whatever peccadilloes that drove them. It was in this respect that the Academy would in time differentiate itself from other institutions that housed the large number of youthful offenders throughout Germany.

The young men that were sent to the Academy were known as Cadets, which was thought to be appropriate to differentiate the institution from a simple prison. Their ages spanned the years from fifteen to about twenty-five and it was run with ruthless efficiency under a system of government not unlike that which was prevalent in England’s elite schools. The hierarchy was well structured as one would expect and as it matured a select group of the senior year Cadets –those who had benefited from their time at the Academy and had identified future, productive careers – were given responsibility for maintaining standards in every respect.

Although the Senior Cadets held sway on most matters, the Commandant and the teaching staff had a supervisory role and could advise the Senior Cadets on any matter in which they found fault. To a limited extent they could attend matters of a disciplinary nature at the time it occurred but the unwritten rule was that serious discipline was that the preserve of the Senior Cadets or the Commandant himself. Ritual punishments were left to Herr Wolff and his team. To a significant degree this arrangement prevailed, although there were some notable exceptions.

Shortly after he arrived Commandant Beck invited Herr Wolff to take tea with him one morning and the two men discussed what precisely was required in order to create the proper environment of discipline. Since there were no Senior Cadets available in the initial years, the Commandant had no choice but to find a group of men who could administer punishments and Herr Wolff and his team seemed an obvious choice. During their meeting Commandant Beck suggested adopting the procedures used in other establishments whereby new arrivals received a painful and memorable ‘Welcome’ to impress upon them the essential nature of conformity and an equally painful ‘Farewell’ which would be given on the departure of any ‘reformed’ Cadet as a vivid reminder of the consequences of their reoffending.

Wolff indicated that he was more than happy for he and his men to perform this service and he and the Commandant spent a considerable amount of time discussing how the punishments might be delivered and which implements might be used. Commandant Beck found that Herr Wolff was very much of a like mind as he and the two of them quickly developed a sound understanding of how things might proceed. Wolff was quite candid with the Commandant regarding the disciplinary practices he used with his own team as well as their sexual proclivities so that there might be no misunderstanding between the two. Although the Commandant was tempted to explore those opportunities, he showed commendable self-control by not taking the bait that Wolff had dangled in front of him.

But the Commandant was not to be denied and when the first batch of inmates arrived in the summer of 1875 he quickly established the position of Ensign for one of the chosen inmates who would serve his official and personal needs. So that recourse to Corporal punishment was not the sole means of punishing recalcitrant Cadets, Beck established a ‘Courtyard of Shame’ where minor offenders could be tied naked and on display for humiliation and, it must be admitted, some minor physical teasing by the other Cadets. Over time, all of these procedures became widely accepted and the implications known throughout the inmate population.

To say that discipline was rigid would be somewhat of an understatement but the authorities were firmly of the view that it was only through strong and persistent discipline that the Cadets had any chance of developing a future for themselves. In a sense their views reflected the rigidity, conformity and discipline which Bismarck had espoused. After several years, during which the Academy settled into a routine, Commandant Beck deliberately established at the very pinnacle of the institution a group of Senior Cadets entitled ‘The Cadet Council’ and it was to this body that he gave supreme power on a daily basis over the rest of the Cadets.

The Council comprised the five most Senior Cadets – those who were finishing their time at the Academy before embarking on their chosen careers – and its determinations and decisions were considered final. Although Cadets had a right to appeal to the Commandant, the tales of woe that quickly spread regarding the Commandant’s predilection towards very harsh punishments for those whose appeals his disallowed meant that very soon the Cadets discarded the appeal option.

Although instruments of punishment could be said to be used without hesitation, there was a class of offences where alternative methods of discipline could be employed. When Commandant Beck had first arrived to oversee the final development of the facility he had noted with interest a large courtyard, a reasonable proportion of which was covered by a roof, in which a large number of posts stood firmly embedded in the ground in a circle. Apparently the religious order which had formerly occupied the premises used the circle to exercise while reciting their religious texts. The Commandant decided that the circle of posts, with a little modification, could be used to punish offenders whose crimes were considered to be minor and hardly warranting the serious application of a cane, strap or other employment. In time the circle of posts would also be used to put on display those who had been punished as a warning to others of the consequences of disobedience or inappropriate behaviour.

Sending for one of the farriers who looked after horses on the estate, the Commandant arranged for each post to be fitted with a short bar which was parallel to the ground at the end of which an adjustable metal collar designed to hold a neck and on either side of the wrists of any offender was attached. Any Cadet committing a relatively minor offence could be sent to what the Commandant called ‘The Courtyard of Shame’ and confined one of the collars for whatever period was considered appropriate. When he finally decided to use the area to display the results of punishments administered to certain Cadets as a warning to others it was axiomatic that those so displayed would not have the benefit of any clothing. Since the courtyard was open to passing Cadets, those on display would suffer the humiliation of being observed and, in cases where passing Cadets were so inclined, taunts and even minor physical attention.

The area proved quite an attraction and Cadets moving between classes often made a detour around the circle to observe those unfortunate enough to be confined there. The teachers made frequent use of The Courtyard of Shame to deal with those Cadets who were simply a nuisance but had done nothing that warranted a formal chastisement.

Each new Cadet entered the Academy with a thorough understanding of the regime into which he was entering and every new Cadet signed a document to that effect. Any prospective entrant who declined to sign the document was denied entry – effectively a one-way journey to prison.

In its operation the Academy was not dissimilar to boy’s boarding schools. The probability of what might be termed unconventional relationships was not denied, and in respect to some Cadets actually encouraged. Some would say that the Academy was an English public school dwelling in hell, although such a categorization would clearly be an exaggeration – as any of its exclusive and very private visitors would readily attest.

The formal new year began each in autumn and it was at this time that, commencing in 1877, the Academy said goodbye to those who had been reformed during their enforced stay and a newly appointed Council assumed responsibility at that time. In most years this meant that the Cadet Captain and one or more other Senior Cadets, along with a variety of other ‘reformed’ young men departed and those considered worthy of promotion rewarded accordingly.

Throughout every year there was an almost continual stream of new entrants to the Academy which, by 1883, contained a total of slightly more than five hundred Cadets of varying ages and backgrounds. Typically each would arrive at the local railway station accompanied by at least one supervisor or, in the case of young men prone to violence, a number of supervisors. The timing of every arrival was known and a carriage would be sent to collect the new Cadet and whatever minimal luggage he might have. To avoid exposing the sensitive residents of the area to the plight and nature of these young men, they were offloaded from the train after all other passengers had departed the platform and the route that the carriage took to the Academy building circumvented the local villages.

As a general rule the local communities didn’t discuss the Academy. Most people obviously had an idea about its purpose but were oblivious to the activities which went on behind its grim walls which suited them down to the ground: ignorance was bliss. Moreover the visitors the Academy attracted throughout the year was too important to the local economy to question anything about the institution. The fact that the visitors comprised males and females created a degree of confusion about what might be attracting such people to the Academy. Over time a consensus view developed that the visitors were aiding in the reformation of those confined to the institution by exposing them to social norms. The development of that view suited Commandant Beck, the teachers and the staff quite nicely.

In general the new arrivals found the environment during the carriage ride through the seemingly endless pine forest that surrounded the Academy a vast improvement on whatever place they had just left. However the first glimpse of their home as their carriage emerged from the forest was enough to impart a sense of dread. All the sharply pitched roofs of the buildings and the conical peaks of the towers, designed to limit the capacity of snow to accumulate, made the entire establishment look enormous and secure. More than one new arrival resigned himself to the fact that escape was a highly improbable prospect.

Upon each new arrival the formal process of transferring custody to the Academy authorities was completed and it was at that stage that the new arrival was required to sign the document which effectively assigned his rights and his future to the Academy and expunged any rights he might have to appeal against his treatment during his tenure at the institution. Few, if any, had any idea of when they might be released for the courts and the military in particular were only interested in the making sure that the individual was deemed by experts to be set to resume a place in society or the military. Time was largely irrelevant – to them at least.

Chapter 2: The changing of the guard - 1880

Commandant Beck had been extremely busy with the development of the Academy. Routines had been well established and a significant number of Cadets had been reformed sufficiently that they were set free.

It was in 1880 that Beck determined that it was time to release Cadet Captain Ehren Schubert. The Cadet Captain had clearly changed his ways during his time at the Academy. He studied hard and set a good example for the other Cadets. As was to be expected, from time to time Ehren Schubert had found his backside making an unfortunate acquaintance with a cane or strap: but those occasions were now so rare that his continued presence had drawn the Commandant’s attention. Of equal importance, the Cadet Captain had made known a firm decision regarding his future and Commandant Beck found all the reasoning behind that decision perfectly logical and understandable.

Having mentally made the decision to release Cadet Captain Schubert from the Academy as well is quite a number of other young man, the Commandant had to make a decision regarding a replacement as Cadet Captain. There were a number of candidates that the Commandant had in mind but it was the Senior Cadet, Friedrich Vogt, who stood out from the rest. Yet knowing that a wrong choice could cause significant difficulties for the Academy as a whole, and himself in particular, Jakob Beck decided to have an in depth discussion with his choice for Cadet Captain just to make sure there were no peculiar characteristics in the young man’s make up that might pose a difficulty.

It was for this reason that he sent his Ensign, Wolfgang Jung, to find Friedrich Vogt and invite him for a chat.

Any message from the Commandant sent a rush of fear through even the most senior of Cadets and Friedrich was no different. He was reading in his study when Ensign Jung arrived and immediately he felt a sense of dread in the pit of his stomach. He listened as Jung issued the Commandant’s invitation. Friedrich acknowledge the message and watched as the younger man had departed. Although a little fretful, Friedrich could not help but smile at the site of Jung’s firm backside and briefly wondered how the young man found the Commandant’s undoubted carnal demands. Turning to the more important issue, Friedrich focused his attention on the state of his dress and then departed his study. Friedrich felt himself sweating slightly and not on firm legs as he made his way to the Commandant’s office. Yet again making sure that his uniform was perfect, Friedrich knocked on the door and when commanded to do so entered the Commandant’s office, marched into the centre of the room and saluted.

Looking up from some paperwork he was doing, Jakob Beck acknowledged the Senior Cadet and then, much to Friedrich surprise said: “It is good to see you Senior Cadet Vogt. Would you care to join me for a drink while we discuss some issues regarding the future?”

Friedrich was astonished at the invitation and momentarily thought he might pass out from the shock but he managed to convey his acceptance of the offer of a drink and watched as the Commandant prepared two glasses, all the while wondering what on earth was going on. When invited to take a seat Friedrich did so and accepted the glass of wine that the Commandant offered and took a quick sip of it to try and steady his nerves.

“The reason I have called you here, Vogt,” he began, “is to inform you that I have decided that it is time for Cadet Captain Schubert to depart this place and I have to make a decision about his replacement.” The Commandant was surprised at the sudden intake of breath by the Senior Cadet sitting opposite him but decided to ignore the matter for the moment as he continued. “You must be aware that you are one of the logical choices for this important position, but before I make any decisions I should like to get a better understanding of your background, your experiences and your reactions to them. I don’t mean to pry unnecessarily into your past but I need to understand the factors that have moulded your character for they have a significant bearing on how you might perform the duties of the Cadet Captain.”

Friedrich was somewhat still recovering from the shock that the news of Ehren Schubert’s imminent departure had caused, but he understood the Commandant’s meaning and knew that the Commandant wanted to make sure that he didn’t have any undesirable qualities which might bring discredit upon the position at the very apex of the Cadet establishment.

“Where would you like me to start Sir?” Friedrich asked after taking another sip of his wine.

“Well I’ve looked at your record, as you would expect,” Beck replied, “but I would like to understand a bit about your family and your upbringing. So perhaps you might give me an idea about your family life leading up to the point at which your indiscretions became so great as to cause you to be sent here?”

Friedrich took another sip of his wine as he thought back over the years. “I was brought up in a prosperous family, Sir,” Friedrich said, “but my parents and the wider family thought I was deliberately not conforming to their ideals about behaviour and matters of politics. In a sense I knew I was different in my views about a whole host of matters and at a young age I found it difficult to wrestle with those complex matters and yet behave like every other student in my hometown.

“My father was a stern man but I’m sure he cared greatly for me,” Friedrich continued. “Occasionally if I did something objectionable in his eyes he would take me over his knee and give me a spanking. I thought his doing so was quite just and I tried to avoid getting into too much mischief. Once I had reached the age of twelve or thirteen and my body was maturing as everyone’s does, I started to express myself more vocally and with greater self-confidence - much to the annoyance of my parents and my teachers. One day at school I had a very public disagreement with one of my teachers regarding the formation of a united German state and the roll that Herr Bismarck played in it. As I’m sure you are aware, debating such matters in public with any teacher was verboten and as a result I received a severe thrashing with the martinet on my naked backside in front of the whole school.

“I took the beating as stoically as I could but afterwards, when I thought about what had led to the beating, I became extremely angry that my teacher was not prepared to engage in debate about matters that many people, not just me, would dispute. I don’t know whether it was right at that time on that day or whether it was somewhat later when my father found out what had happened that I began to develop a rebellious and somewhat aggressive streak.

“I don’t know how my father found out although I assume it was from one of the other parents but all I remember is lying in bed on my stomach reading when he stormed into the room carrying a bundle of switches. I didn’t know what was going on but he told me not to move and proceeded to pull up the nightshirt I was wearing to expose my backside which still bore some of the marks from the martinet. He used the bundle of switches without mercy as he accused me for having shown disrespect and brought disgrace upon the family by arguing with my teacher. He didn’t give me a chance to say anything in my own defence and only ceased the beating when my backside was a bloody mess and his switches were more or less useless.

“I don’t know Commandant whether you can see my point of view at that age, but I was certain that I had a right to my own point of view. The other thing that was confirmed by that experience was that I found my body having a physical response to the pain of the beating and also, if I recall correctly, having had my naked backside on display to the whole school.

“With time, as I’m sure you’ll appreciate Sir, events and timing become somewhat blurred but I do know that I became increasingly rebellious and argumentative and that my backside paid a terrible price quite frequently. I also became increasingly aware that my body had a mind of its own and that I found sexual pleasure after any punishment and, on rare occasions, even during it. I had a number of friends who seemed to follow my rebellious lead even though I didn’t encourage them to do so and it was in that way that I found myself before the courts. I am sure that the chief magistrate wanted to send me to prison because he knew there that my young age abuse at the hands of the other prisoners as well as the prison staff would be inevitable.

“For some inexplicable reason the chief magistrate took ill just a couple of hours before a decision was made regarding my future and thus it was to this Academy, rather than prison, that I was sent. I suppose from your records Sir you know pretty much the rest,” Friedrich concluded.

“Thank you for your candour, Vogt,” the Commandant replied as he offered more wine to the young man and refilled his class at the same time. “Your background and your journey here does not really surprised me and your record since you arrived is one of gradual maturity and understanding of the relationship between those in authority and those who are subject to it. But your record does not tell me about your relationships with the other Cadets here. There are notes which indicate your physical response to discipline but nothing which says that you have had or developed a long-standing relationship with any of your fellow Cadets. Would you care to tell me about that aspect of your personality?”

“You must know Commandant that practically every lad that arrives at the Academy finds sexual attractions and opportunities everywhere. I can assure you I was no different from any of the others and I was certainly not one of those of such strong moral character that I did not avail myself of the charms of those who offered companionship, friendship as well as sexual relief. I took a lover some time ago and I am rather surprised that we have kept the relationship relatively private during that time. There is a great deal of difference of course, Sir, between a hasty encounter and meaningful relationship and it wasn’t until Ehren Schubert and I took some time to get to know one another that I really came to accept my enjoyment of a committed relationship.”

“Oh! Now I understand your shock when I told you that Schubert would be leaving,” the Commandant said. “Does that present a problem for you or is it just a case of moving on with your life while you remain here?”

Friedrich didn’t respond immediately but he wanted to be as open and honest with the Commandant as possible. He took a rather large sip of his wine and then looked the Commandant squarely in the eye. “When you told me the news Sir, it was a shock simply because I hadn’t thought about it. But of late Ehren has become far less tender in our relationship. Now I don’t mind him beating me when I have done something wrong and I really don’t mind him taking me forcefully, if that is his pleasure. But I have the impression that he senses that his time here is about to end and he is trying to make it easier for me when the relationship ends. His increasing brutality of late, Sir, I think is a sign that he is determined to form a conventional relationship once he has left this place and, quite frankly Sir, he will probably turn out to be a generous, gentle and loving husband.

“I am more accepting of my nature Sir, and so I shall seek a lover while I remain here. But there is one thing I need to say to you in that context and having regard to the brutality of Ehren in his current state of mind, and that is that I would never force myself upon another Cadet and I would not let any other Cadet do so either,” Friedrich stated firmly.

“But surely your needs might affect your judgement,” the Commandant observed.

“Commandant, Sir, there is one thing you should know with absolute certainty and that it is that I will never allow any sexual attraction to cause me to allow a Cadet to avoid proper punishment and also, that if I find any Cadet forcing himself upon an unwilling partner, no matter how senior he might be, I will punish him with such controlled fury that he would wish he had an invitation to Hell itself. My needs and my lusts don’t affect my judgement or my actions: they never have and they never will Sir!” Friedrich concluded.

Commandant Beck sat silently watching Friedrich, quite astonished by the young man’s sense of responsibility. Although he couldn’t admit it at the time, Jakob Beck was reasonably confident that he had found his next Cadet Captain.

After a few moments of silence Beck said: “Finish your wine and then perhaps we should both go about our business. I have many things to consider but I should tell you that I am most impressed by your honesty and strength of character. Mind you, Senior Cadet Vogt, I am conscious that it is being quite some time since my heaviest cane has made its acquaintance with your backside. I fully understand why Cadet Captain Schubert finds such delight with that part of your anatomy. I do hope to find a reason to have a reunion between my cane and your posterior, so watch your step.”

“Commandant, I have a very vivid recollection of the last acquaintance I had with your heaviest cane even though that was a year ago,” Friedrich said with a faux smile, “and I have no desire whatsoever for a reunion.”

The Commandant and Friedrich shared a laugh at their macabre sense of humour. Friedrich finished his wine and saluted the Commandant before departing.

For the next few days the Commandant reflected on the discussion he had had with Friedrich Vogt. While he felt reasonably confident that he knew the decision and he was going to make regarding the vacancy created by the departure of the incumbent Cadet Captain, there was one other Senior Cadet, Hans Ziegler, who warranted consideration.

Beck and Ziegler met in the Commandant’s quarters a week after Beck’s meeting with Friedrich Vogt. As he had done with Vogt, Beck asked Ziegler about his upbringing, the reason for his being at the Academy and his attitude towards the role of Cadet Captain.

Like Friedrich, Hans Ziegler was forthright and honest with the Commandant as he described his home life which, it transpired, had been far more brutal than that of Friedrich Vogt. As Hans described his upbringing and his schooling the Commandant found himself wondering how two young teens could have such diverse experiences.

“My father was prone to overconsumption of alcohol, Commandant,” Ziegler had said. “When I was very young his overindulgence caused him to take out his frustrations on my mother and it was not until I was nine or ten that he started beating me as well as her. My younger sister later became the focus of his attention and it was the indescribably perverted nature of that attention that led him to prison. We were taken in by his brother and my mother had to go to work. For a short time I felt that our situation was.

“At school I was well-behaved mainly because my back, legs and thighs, to say nothing of my backside could take no further punishment, but once my father was out of the way and my body started to change, so did my experiences. My uncle’s oldest boy (Franz) was some five years older than me. He took an unnatural interest in my sister but fortunately my uncle put an end to that, although he did so by telling Franz that he should take responsibility for my upbringing. My uncle’s house was not that large and so my cousin and I shared a room and soon I found myself being beaten by my cousin on a regular basis with a quirt or a belt.

“At first I thought the beatings were because I had done something wrong, but it turned out that Franz was simply putting me into a frame of mind where I would do his bidding rather than take another beating. I didn’t understand what was going on but then, one day at school, Franz came to me and told me that I had to report to the headmaster at the end of the day. He gave me his punishment chit which simply had his surname on it and it finally dawned on me that he was sending me because I had the same surname to take the punishment that he had earned. From that point on I was his surrogate for school discipline and the laughing stock of the older boys.

“The worst part began that year when my uncle took the rest of the family away for a holiday while we had a break from school. He left Franz in charge of the house with me it’s only other occupant. I was terrified that there was nothing I could do and it wasn’t until the following day when Franz invited some of his school friends over that I found out just how depraved a monster he was. I don’t recall how long it was before Franz and his friends had me naked and were taking turns in beating me with a heavy strap which one of his friends had brought. They only stopped when my screaming got out of control but there were plenty of days to follow and they were pleased to have access to every inch of my skin for the beatings.

“Perhaps it was four or five days before youthful lust took control of the situation and I found myself a sexual slave of my cousin and his friends. There was nothing gentle about the sex: I’m certain greatest orgasms came when they were hurting me the most. Eventually, of course, the rest of the family returned, but Franz and his friends made it quite clear that they could do far worse things to me if I told my uncle what was going on.

“To be quite honest Commandant, from that period on I didn’t care about what I did and how much trouble I got into. I took the beatings that were inevitable and they just served to make me tougher mentally and finally I got what I was looking for: trouble with the authorities that led me here. I guess only my age saved me from prison but from what I hear about prison that would have been like a holiday after what I had been through.

“You mentioned that the Cadet Captain Schubert is to leave and I have to assume that you are considering me to take over his responsibility simply because you asked me here and offered me some wine. The Cadet Captain has to have a clear distinction between discipline and brutality and must always err on the side of mercy. The hurt I feel, even after all these years, tells me that I should never be Cadet Captain because I have known dimensions brutality which others shouldn’t experience. To be quite honest, Sir, I am not confident that I might, on occasions, push discipline a little too far. So Commandant, if I am reading the situation correctly, I am not your man.”

Commandant Beck was stunned. His records didn’t contain any of the information that Ziegler had provided and it occurred to him that there were hundreds of other stories, possibly equally gruesome, amongst the Cadet population and yet no one knew.

“Well if I can’t appoint you, who should I appoint?” Beck asked.

“I’m sorry Sir but I can’t answer that question because it could be taken as seeking favouritism,” Hans replied. “You’re older and wiser I am Sir and I’m sure you know the answer,” he added.

The Commandant just nodded his head and watched as Ziegler finished his wine. “What you have told me is private, I promise you that,” Beck said firmly. “When you have a lover that you can trust, I do hope you will tell him what you have told me about the past, because no one can hope to understand you as a person without that knowledge. Think about it. It’s just a suggestion. Now get on your way but take with you my respect for your honesty. You could always told me some sort of lies and I could well have believed them. I am grateful that you didn’t.”

Before Ziegler started to move, Commandant Beck uncharacteristically stood up and extended his hand which Ziegler accepted. Hans Ziegler departed, his mind swirling with a new and confusing view of the Commandant.

Chapter 3: Education

The Academy had a number of very clearly defined goals from the outset. These of course included confining offenders, administering justice and to use discipline to wean recalcitrant or rebellious youth away from their chosen form of unacceptable behaviour and onto the straight and narrow path followed by the bulk of the citizenry. Another goal was to provide opportunities for education and to ascertain the intellectual strengths and weaknesses of every Cadet. The purpose was simply to make sure that when Cadets departed, they did so with a set of skills which suited their intellectual abilities and would provide access to employment opportunities. The final objective was to make every Cadet as physically and emotionally strong as possible, for these were Germanic characteristics greatly valued by the populace at large.

It would be reasonable to say that the Academy did not attract the elite from the world of teaching. All teachers were qualified in their chosen field, of course, but more than one of them had characteristics which possibly didn’t endear them to the wider educational community. While not wanting to single anyone out in particular, it is perhaps useful to note the proclivities of one Mika Bloomfield who was exceptionally well-trained as a teacher of mathematics.

Bloomfield had been employed at a prestigious school near Hanover and at twenty-nine had established a reputation for being a highly effective mathematics teacher. Yet there are many dimensions to reputations and after some years Bloomfield’s reputation included a strong predilection towards the use of Corporal punishment in the classroom, where he adopted the motto that ‘if he could not get a concept into a boy’s mind vocally, he would force it there through the lad’s rear’. It would be most unkind to suggest that this mentality on the part of a teacher was unusual. Far from it: physical punishment was the norm and there was a widespread belief that every boy or girl could comprehend the same information if they only applied themselves to the task. The cane, strap or tawse [that peculiar and highly effective Scottish invention] were viewed, almost without exception, as necessary educational tools. Herr Bloomberg’s reputation developed not because of his recourse to such tools but the severity and frequency with which he employed this method of education.

At first the headmaster of the elite school where Herr Bloomberg taught was more than happy with the results of that his teacher produced. It was no secret that Herr Bloomberg who found a student lacking in a certain amount of knowledge would have said boy present himself at the front of the class where he would bend over and receive a number of fearsome strokes of the cane to his posterior. The number of strokes depended on the age of the miscreant. Junior boys expected three or possibly four strokes while senior boys came to consider that five or six was acceptable, although highly undesirable, and indeed expected. The teachers in the adjoining rooms had no qualms with Herr Bloomberg’s teaching methods particularly since the results of the end of the academic year were generally very impressive. Even the frequency of beatings was not a particular cause for concern.

But after a few years Herr Bloomberg attracted the nickname ‘Aufschlitzer Bloomberg’ (‘Slasher Bloomberg’) which gave some of the more liberal teachers a degree of unease, if not concern. Herr Bloomberg was fully aware of the nickname he had attracted but was unconcerned. Some of his colleagues, however, started to take a more than idle interest in his methodology and a couple of them noticed that on a number of occasions several boys in different classes might be caught making errors on multiple occasions. Seemingly, on the second occasion in a particular lesson, the offending student was required to lower his trousers and receive more or less the same number of strokes of the cane on his linen or wool clad backside. A third occasion during one lesson required the offender to remain after class where everyone else assumed that the same number of strokes would be delivered but on the bare posterior of the offender. Unfortunately, for the offender concerned, the matter was not always so simply resolved. The older lads in particular found the prospect of a further six or even twelve strokes on their naked backsides particularly unpalatable, and when ‘Slasher’ offered than the alternative of slightly more than six inches of rampant flesh up their fundament, more than a few accepted the alternative despite their being unused to such activity. Of course none of those who accepted this alternative form of punishment, despite the disagreeable pain it caused and the dull throbbing that remained for quite some time, said anything to their peers about what had transpired.

‘Slasher Bloomberg’ was not found out until he made a particularly poor choice of a sixteen-year-old lad to whom he offered the alternatives of twelve strokes of the cane or a good a physical examination of the interior of his buttocks. The lad accepted the alternative since six strokes of the cane on his bare buttocks by the teacher in the previous class had left six dark lines upon them and the prospect of a further twelve was unconscionable. Regrettably for all concerned, ‘Slasher’ misjudged the capacity of the lad to accommodate his shaft with the result that the poor lad required medical attention and the headmaster was more or less obliged to encourage Herr Bloomberg to find alternative employment.

The year was 1880.

‘Slasher Bloomberg’ and Commandant Beck met and found their commonality of tastes to be a suitable fit, although the Commandant made it clear that the mathematics master could not force himself upon his students. The Commandant however did indicate that Bloomberg’s negotiation approach to discipline would not offend any of the rules that governed the teachers. Bloomberg took up his position without delay, even though he was slightly disappointed that the students at the Academy were not quite as young as some of those with whom he had had dealings in his former job.

At mealtimes the teachers at the Academy dined together and shared a large common room where they could freely exchange views regarding their approaches to discipline and their students. Those who taught language, mathematics and science, along with those responsible for physical education activities, had the larger canvases with which to work. Those who taught less universal subjects such as art and music, metalworking and the like had no regrets that their canvases in terms of the numbers were somewhat smaller: after all they were free to have trysts with any student by mutual consent. Thus the atmosphere amongst the teachers was jovial and pleasant.

Once Bloomberg took up his position the students at the Academy were a little startled by his particularly severe means of imparting information. More importantly, they were concerned that other teachers of other subjects were beginning to adopt the same approach. Over a matter of a month or so the students started to become far more attentive to their studies and, it must be said, academic standards started to improve significantly.

It would be wrong to assume that all the teachers at the Academy were pederasts for clearly some were well beyond the age where they required the satisfaction of sex or, in truth, could manage such activity. They were quite happy to retain the conventional attitudes towards discipline and refer offenders to the Senior Cadets for appropriate adjustment. There was a short period however during which the rights of the Senior Cadets with respect to discipline and the practices of the teachers caused a certain amount of tension. Commandant Beck recognized that tension and arranged for the Senior Cadets, led by the newly appointed Cadet Captain, Friedrich Vogt, to meet all the teachers in their common room one evening after dinner.

The meeting started out rather formally but the Commandant had arranged for a considerable amount of Schnapps to be available and the formality quickly dissipated. The Cadet Captain made it quite clear that he thought the change in methodology in the classroom might be seen as undermining the authority of the Senior Cadets, but he was assured by everyone present that that was not the intention. ‘Slasher Bloomberg’, feeling he was the focal point of the discussion, addressed the Cadet Captain’s concerns head-on. He pointed out that the teachers were greatly constrained by the rules governing their disciplinary powers and, in particular, that they didn’t have access to the wider range of implements available to the Senior Cadets. Indeed, he pointed out, they could only use a medium weight cane whereas the Senior Cadets could, if necessary, resort to weapons which had a far greater impact on the recipient. To try and reach an accommodation he suggested that any student who had been as egregious in his misbehaviour as to warrant a severe beating at the end of a class, was probably in need of further, more intense, chastisement from the Senior Cadets.

Cadet Captain Vogt, who had just assumed his exalted role, knew very well that those masters who were so inclined to offer their students carnal pleasures as an alternative to a third round of punishment at the end of class might be reluctant to give up that opportunity. In an effort to reach a compromise, he proposed that those who warranted a third beating in a single class might have their names taken and the master concerned might find reason to issue the particular student with a punishment chit during the following days so that the Senior Cadets could be seen to be discharging their duties effectively and efficiently. While the compromise caused one or two of the teachers a little concern about equity, there was ready agreement to the proposed arrangement and thus the fate of the students was sealed.

Chapter 4: The tail of Cadet Kunz

Leon Kunz was quite probably the first of the students to bear the full brunt of the compromise reached between the Cadet Captain and the teachers. Leon was a sixteen-year-old lad who had been sent to the Academy for having been reckless during target practice at the military school which he attended near Frankfurt. He was a pleasant enough looking youth with clear skin, square jaw and a rather muscular body, the most prominent part of which was clearly his backside. After several warnings regarding his undesirable habit of using his rifle even while targets were being set up, and suffering some severe beatings as a result, Leon found himself on the wrong side of the school’s headmaster and on the inside of the Academy.

Germanic through and through, Leon took umbrage at being forced to learn foreign languages, particularly French, and this brought him into a head-on confrontation with his language master, Herr Plesner. If the truth were known it would be probably fair to say that Herr Plesner had a particular liking for young teens with particularly well-developed posteriors, but to be fair it should also be noted that Leon Kunz’s rebellious nature was going to lead inevitably to a showdown which young Leon was never going to win. It was during a lesson on French verbs where the students were required to copy words from the blackboard to their notebooks that the battle was joined. Leon was sitting at the back of the classroom looking through the tall windows to the trees beyond and clearly making no effort or pretence to write down any of the words - a fact which was evident to Herr Plesner as well as the students towards the back of the room.

Annoyed and frustrated, the teacher found himself forced to take action. “Cadet Kunz, please bring your notebook to the front of the class,” Herr Plesner said firmly and watched as Leon sullenly stood up, grabbed his notebook and walked to the front of the room.

“Why are you not copying down the words from the blackboard?” Plesner asked in a rather even tone of voice.

“I detest the French and refuse to have anything to do with their language!” Leon declared.

“In my class you will be obedient and do as you are told, whether you like it or not, Cadet,” Plesner said firmly. “Now bend over and grab your ankles while I give you the spelling for the French word for ‘obey’ which is, of course, ‘obéir à’.

Leon had had some significant punishments at the military school from which he had been dismissed, but was little surprised when his taut, trouser-covered buttocks received a full six strokes. He gave no voice to the discomfort other than a small grunt when the final stroke landed. He returned to his seat with a warning from his teacher that a second offense would result in twice the number of strokes.

Leon sat on the hard wooden bench feeling slightly uncomfortable at the heat in his backside and watched as Herr Plesner continued with the lesson. The teacher was acutely aware that Kunz was being totally obstinate but allowed him a further ten minutes to see whether the effects of the first six strokes of the cane might persuade him to change his attitude. During what was simply a brief interregnum, Leon found that the warmth of his backside was having a decidedly embarrassing effect in his groin. Observing that the Cadet had no intention of changing his attitude, Plesner once again summoned Leon to the front of the room. This caused Leon to blush a furious shade of red since one glance at his groin was going to convey an unmistakable impression. One glance at the notebook by Herr Plesner confirmed that Leon was being recalcitrant in the extreme. A quick glance at the youngster’s grin convey, quite erroneously as it happened, that the lad was finding excitement from his chastisement.

“Cadet Kunz, your attitude is intolerable. I have no choice but to all have you remove your trousers, bend over and this time I shall teach you the French for obedience, which you should know is ‘l'obéissance’. Including the apostrophe this works out to a neat twelve strokes,” Plesner concluded with a slight chuckle at his joke. As the other students looked on with a mixture of terror, expectation and excitement, Leon did as ordered and soon had only the protection of his thin linen underpants to ward off the cane.

The beating was slow, measured and extremely powerful and Leon found himself close to tears well before the last stroke had been delivered. The cane was particularly effective when it landed on a previous weal, and when that occurred Leon’s grunts turned to rather muted yelps. Throughout the punishment some of the other students in the class were more than a little excited by the sight of the cane depressing Leon’s flesh and sending a ripple up and down his thinly covered backside. Stubborn to the end, Leon managed to remain in position even though every instinct in his body told him that he should jump about and furiously rub his damaged posterior. Once the process was completed Leon restored his trousers, took his notebook and walked defiantly back to his seat. He noticed immediately the vastly exaggerated level of discomfort as he placed his wounded backside on the hard timber bench.

As Herr Plesner resumed the lesson Leon wondered whether he should reassess his attitude but came down on the side of maintaining his principles. He thus sat defiantly as the lesson proceeded. Well before the end of the lesson Leon received the instruction that he knew was coming to the effect that he should remain after class where his continued obstinacy would be addressed. Leon spent the balance of the class contemplating how he was going to cope with the further twelve strokes of the cane on his bare backside. The lesson came to its end and Leon and his teacher were left alone in the classroom. The air was thick with expectation mixed with fear.

“Cadet Kunz,” Herr Plesner said in an ominous tone as he moved to lock the door to the room, “please come forward and remove your trousers and underwear.”

Trying to convey courage which was dissipating by the second, Leon walked forward and slowly did as instructed, revealing a firm, pronounced pair of cheeks already well marked.

“I don’t know Cadet Kunz why you have to be so obstinate,” Plesner said. “It’s only words after all and they are not going to bight you. However, you have made your choice and so prepare yourself for twenty four strokes which I will deliver as hard as I can.”

Leon, who had bent over rather quickly to hide his somewhat tumescent penis which had been growing steadily as the fire from the previous canings had seeped into those parts of his body which were stimulated quite naturally by the heat and the annoyed nerve ends, stood bolt upright looking incredulously at his teacher. “I thought it was only twelve Sir,” he said loudly with a voice that betrayed his terror. His semi-aroused appendage, now on full display, was the least of Leon’s concerns.

“You should know the rules by now Cadet. For your first offense you are caned over your trousers. For a second offense you get twice as many strokes but without the benefit of your trousers and if you are foolish enough to commit the third offense you get twice as many again without the benefit of any protection,” Plesner said without any emotion.

“Please Sir, there is no way in the world I can take twenty-four strokes,” Leon said piteously. “Could I not have half now and the balance tomorrow?”

Plesner laughed at the proposition. “Why on earth would I do such a thing?” he asked. “You have been abusive, self-indulgent and now, somehow, expect me to show leniency. I have no reason whatsoever to indulge your cowardice and arrogance. You knew that you would be punished for your actions and your obstinacy and yet now you show your true colors. I really do despise such weakness.”

Please, I apologize for my actions and I will reform my ways, I promise,” Leon pleaded. “Please give me another chance.”

Plesner allowed the plea to hang in the air for a minute as he watched Leon becoming increasingly terrified of the pain that was awaiting him. Realizing that the Cadet had no bravado left, the teacher decided to make his move.

Tell me Cadet Kunz,” Plesner asked, “When you were with your little friends at military school, did you fuck any of them?”

Leon looked at his teacher with horror knowing full well that Herr Plesner probably knew the answer already. Unable to articulate the answer, Leon simply nodded his head.

“And did any of them fuck you?” the teacher asked.

Of course not!” Leon replied indignantly.

Plesner allowed the silence in the room to build in intensity before he addressed the Cadet.

I’ll give you a choice, you pathetic excuse for a man!” Plesner said without any emotion whatsoever. “Either you get on your knees and do as I say or you simply bend over and I will strip the hide off your backside. It’s your choice Cadet Kunz.”

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