The Characters

The Snake and the Serpent series is a fictional story that incorporates major events that occurred in world war 2. Although these events and characters have been researched to ensure a certain level of accuracy, we suggest that if you are interested in things mentioned in this story, that you do futher research.

This area has all the biographies of the Characters featured in the series. Each Character has been identified as fictional or as a Historical Character.

Natasha is the eldest daughter of Helene and Friedrich and was born at the beginning of World War one. She grew up being her mothers main support while her father was fighting. She was mostly home schooled by Anneliese a family friend. After the war during her formative years, she saw a lot of changes in society, both politically and culturally. This intensified in the lead up to the second world war. In the early thirties, the family struggled with this and eventually split, with Natasha staying in Munich with her father.

Natasha learnt very quickly how to survive. She was isolated through home school but was also brought up within the Nazi elite in Munich. But she didn’t fit in with the other females. She spent most of her time in Police and Gestapo headquarters with her father, picking up tricks and analysing everyone’s behaviour. She watched and learnt and adapted. One of the first things she learnt was how to fortify her feelings and emotions. Soon she was watching interrogations, before moving through to making her own.

But this also ostracized her from the normal female circles, which forced her more into the male dominated Nazi party. Natasha is becoming more prominent at a time where the Police and Gestapo are opening positions up to a limited group of females to help with the internal security of the country.

Personally, she is isolated, deemed inappropriate for not being wed and not producing children for the Reich, but ultimately it suits her.

Natasha is a logical, practical, and strategic thinker.

Michele is the youngest daughter of Helene and Friedrich and was born near the end of the first world war. She grew up in a female dominated house, being home schooled by Anneliese, who she considers family. She was younger when the turmoil of the first world war was taking place and was a lot more sheltered from it by her family. But she too felt the change as the Nazi party started to come to power. Her family mirrored what was happening in society and this ended with her mother and her fleeing to Austria, leaving her sister and father behind.

Michele was nurtured a lot more than Natasha and developed a strong network of friends. Her mother helped start a resistance group which Michele has gone on to lead after her mother capture in Berlin. This had a profound affect on Michele, as she was there when her mother was arrested but had to pretend to not know her.

The guilt is something that she carries with her. But she has harnessed that to push on with the resistance group and to put safeguards in place for their protection. This incident also helped to harden her and focus her efforts.

Michele is independent and practical. She is a strategic thinker, but she is also an adrenalin junkie and can let her emotion cloud her judgement, but not for long.

Friedrich was born in 1884 to an upper class family living in Munich. His family had a holiday chalet in Austria, which they would visit each year. This is where he meet Helene.

Friedrich is the father of the two girls. He is high up in police administration and has a reputation as a ruthless interrogator. He is proud of his daughter following in his footsteps.

But his personality was not always this way. He became involved with the Nazi party, because he believed they would represent the working class people. The people that he had served with in the trenches. He also believed that the family values that the Nazi’s emphasized would be good for his beloved childhood sweetheart, Helene and his girls.

Friedrich is still technically married to Helene and lives for his work and eldest daughter. Although he would prefer her to get married, he is also reassured by the fact that she is still by his side.

He saw Helene’s flight, as a mark of someone that was unaware and looked at her as someone who needed saving from herself. He knew better, he had been with the party from near the beginning, and is so indoctrinated, that he does not see any other way as being right.

Although invited to prominent parties and regularly meeting Hitler, he is not in the top circle. But he does not mind this, he just wants to do his job.

Friedrich is an intelligent man, but easily led if he believes it is for the right reasons.

Born in Austria in 1896 to a wealthy family, Helena first met Friedrich when his family came to stay in her village for a holiday.  She moved to Munich to study and stayed with an Aunt until marrying Friedrich.  He went to war and she ran the household and became active in the community.

Once the war had ended she continued her role as Friedrich focused more on his work.  Helena is an intelligent woman who listens to her intuition.  Her instant judgement on Friedrich’s new friend Hitler, forced her into a research role.  When she uncovered the horrors that were taking place she knew she had to get out, with her children.  Unfortunately this did not occur and she left Germany with only one of girls, and left her confidant behind. 

In her time away she managed to maintain contact with some trusted friends and developed a group that during WW2 would become the resistance group for Munich.  For her, Munich was one of the key areas for the Nazi party, however she realised that the other powerful city was Berlin.  So she took Michelle and tried to expand the network north.  However in 1939 she was captured by the Gestapo and was imprisoned in Ravensbrück prison camp.  She re-enters the story when she is being transported to Auschwitz.

This story takes Helena on a journey through being a leader and having to survive by herself and be self reliant, to realising that she does have limitations.  She discovers that she can and should rely on her children, as they have developed strengths that she has not needed to.  It is also the love story between Friedrich and her.  The emotions they experience move from love, to disbelief, to disgust, to anger and beyond. An ever evolving feeling of what their relationship was and is. 

Rudolf Hess is the only historical major character of the book.  Although he is not the main character he is a driving force in the story, by using his standing in the government and his legendary peace mission to England. 

Hess was born on 26 April 1894 in Alexandria, Egypt and later moved to Germany.  He first met Hitler during one of his speeches in 1920.  Hitler encouraged the friendship of Ilse Prohl and Hess into marriage, stopping queries regarding Hess’s sexuality.  They had one son, Wolf Rudiger Hess, during their relationship. 

There have been many theories connected with Hess and his movements during the war.  Conspiracies theorists have gone wild with the lack of factual information and by conflicting information that was documented during the war.  For the purpose of this story I have decided to side with the theorists. 

Although he was convicted of crimes against humanity, the biggest atrocities of the war occurred after his flight.  Admittedly these were probably conceived before he left, but they were not put in place and no one will really know how much of an impact he had on them either way.

When we first meet Hess in The Snake and the Serpent, he is in control of most aspects of the community.  But he has already come to a realisation.  Hitler can no longer be controlled.  He feels that this is partially his fault and feels the burden of responsibility. So he organises a plan to rectify the situation.  He also realises that he can not do it alone, so he embanks on recruiting a major player from his intelligence radar, Natasha.  He thinks that she would ultimately work well for him.  Unfortunately he under estimates her capabilities and soon realises that although she trustworthy, she is also his equal, who matches him at every turn.

Wilhelm was born just before WW1 and never really knew his father who was killed during it.  At the end of the war he formed father and son relationship with his Uncle Rudolph Hess.  Hess took Wilhelm under his wing and helped develop him during his childhood and early adult life.  This meant that Wilhelm was introduced to his Uncles philosophy as opposed to Hitler’s, which for the most part was similar enough to help him fit in, but humane enough to keep Wilhelm from being swept along like so many others were.  However this also meant that he was easily manipulated by his Uncle.

Wilhelm learnt to fly with his Uncle and in turn joined the air force when he was of the right age.  He is an intelligent young man who quickly rose through the ranks and moved into Research and Development where he worked with top Scientists.  He looks after the advanced technology side of things.  Staying clear of the human research, he helped manage projects that developed things from spy equipment to V2 rockets.

During the course of this story Hess tries to set Wilhelm up to take over from him when he is gone.   So Wilhelm is pushed towards Natasha and Michelle, in very subtle ways.  But Wilhelm realises that he is not being told the full story, and goes from feeling very included in things to feeling excluded.  All he really wants to know where he really stands and to know what is happening.  He looks to Natasha for guidance because he realises that she has done something that he has not managed to do, she has figured out his Uncle.

Anneliese has a very close connection to the family. Helene took her under her wing during the first world war just after Anneliese’s Mother died. During that time, she helped Helene raise Natasha and then after the war, helped raise Michele.

The complication came during the lead up to the war as Anneliese was Jewish and this conflicted with Friedrich’s work. So much so that she was fired from working with the family and not allowed to visit the sisters.

During the war, Anneliese is part of the resistance with Michele. She has trained herself in firearms and has been taught self-defence to help the group. Having discovered that she had a natural talent as a sniper, she normally would provide cover than be on the ground in missions.

She has a fierce loyalty towards Helene, and despises Friedrich for everything he has done to her family and everything he stands for.

Yosef is Anneliese’s older brother. He had spent some time with the family, but not as much as Anneliese or her father. At the beginning of the story, he is arrested soon after this he escapes.

By 1940, he is the assistant leader in Micheles resistance group. He is trained in arm-to-arm combat and regularly helps in missions and assisting other prisoners escape to the allies. We find out on one particular mission, members of the resistance are almost caught, and he surrenders to the police, in order for the others to get away.