Unnamed Captured German Aviator

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Unnamed Captured German Aviator
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Unnamed Captured German Aviator
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Bandaged and "sick" in "Ad Astra," the German pilot whom Monaghan has shot down on the day Germany surrenders is nonetheless described as wearing the appearance of "a man who has conquered himself" (412). Born into a noble family in Prussia as the oldest of four brothers, he repudiated his hereditary title. He studies music at the university in Bayreuth, marries a woman beneath his privileged class, and fathers a child with her. Over time, however, the loss of each of his three younger brothers sends him back to military service. On the morning of November 11, his mother writes him with the news that his youngest brother has been assassinated and he himself is now the Baron. He attempts to escape that, but his suicidal final flight fails when he survives the crash of his plane. He remains philosophical about his own and Germany's defeats. In his conversations with the subadar, he offers the idea that his break with his family tradition is a significant gesture towards brotherhood, but he himself becomes the object of a barroom brawl when his captors insist on displaying him to the local French.