International: Homecoming

It was Christmas Eve, 1942, in Berlin. Carpenter Franz Mueller argued the news from Stalingrad with his neighbor, Sign Painter Hubert Knopf.

Challenged Knopf: "Ten marks the Russians give up the city."

By March 1943 the betters learned about the German debacle. Dunned, Knopf said: "I'll take care of it right away."

He took care of it by hurrying to the Gestapo, reporting his neighbor for Wehrmachtzersetzung—corruption of the Wehrmacht. Mueller's widow paid the execution bill: 474½ marks, including 175 for the gallows, twelve for the rope, eight pfennigs for notification of the verdict.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!