From the 1950s to 1990, the world was embroiled in the Cold War between the superpowers of the United States and the Soviet Union. In the middle of this was a divided Germany, broken apart after World War II into East and West Germany. East Germany, and nearly half of Berlin, were under the control of the Soviet Union, while West Germany was under the auspices of the United States, Great Britain and France. As a result, this political division also created a physical division in Berlin called the Berlin Wall, separating parts of the city between the allies of World War II and Soviet Russia. Germans were relegated to the rules of the conquering nations, regardless of which portion of the previous Germany they'd lived in. One such rule was the prevention, creation or performance of any super-powered Germans - ever. Any super-powered Germans in those days were identified, removed from either of the two Germany nations, and brought to work for their respective conquering governments instead. No super-powered beings or sophisticated technological heroes were allowed anywhere inside either German nation's borders under a United Nation's brokered deal. As such, any native-born German with powers or superhuman abilities were considered illegal.
During this period, dozens of super-powered, enhanced or technologically or magically enhanced Germans were discovered and, as per the U.N. edict, were brought before the western government powers or the Soviet government powers. Many of those discovered in East Germany were forced to join and form a Soviet super group known as Condor Legion; for West Germany, they were instead hidden from the rest of the world and/or asked to volunteer as part of a secret super-powered band of government heroes that no one was to known existed. Most of the West German super-powered beings agreed to be a part of the secretive, yet illegal, German super group only known then as the "West Germany Agriculture Ministry, Division 8". Over the next few decades, this band of secret heroes went on government unsanctioned missions (even though the FBI, CIA MI-6, the Kremlin and the French Secret Service knew of their existence). Altogether, up until 1991, Division 8 performed over 2000 classified missions, some resulting in the loss of fellow German superheroes. Regardless, the secretive nature of Division 8 prevented the rest of the world knowing about their heroic actions, that is, until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany.
Between 1989 and 1991, the Soviet Union crumpled. As such, East Germany was in shambles. The German people, knowing the time was right, helped tear down the actual Berlin Wall that had walled off the city of Berlin into Soviet and western sides soon after the end of World War II. Once the wall fell, reunification of Germany became a reality. Division 8, during that time, wanted to go public and inform the world of the incredible exploits and sacrifices their team had done for the German people and West Germany, however, thanks to the United Nation's edict about "no super-powered people being allowed in German borders", the West German government instead decided to apply a different tactic. Instead, the new reunified German nation would insist on the removal of the super-powered ban in Germany. After years of political fighting and government disarray, the United Nations held firm on their decision - no super-powered beings in Germany, ever. As such, in 1997, Division 8 was quietly and secretly shutdown (thanks to help from the CIA and MI-6) and the heroes of Division 8 were told to 'go home and live normal lives' and to never reveal their super-powers or abilities to anyone ever. In 2000, that all changed when the alien Soltan Star Empire invaded Earth.
Just as the ex-Division 8 ex-heroes of ex-West Germany were starting to lead normal lives, the Soltans invaded from space. In less than a day, German cities were once again attacked and decimated with tens of thousands of civilian and military casualties. Without pause, everyone who was ever part of Division 8 rallied together and fought the Soltan invaders in Germany. In what could be conceived as a glorious display of heroism, nationalistic pride and the true nature of of Division 8's heroes, they stormed upon the invading hordes of Soltans and fought them with their lives. Over the next few months, Division 8 held off massive attacks against what was once considered East and West German territories at great expense. By the time Earth's forces banded together to defeat and repel the Soltan invaders, nearly all of Division 8's heroes had died in battle. In the throes of the invasion, one of the first edicts rescinded by the reconvened United Nations was the repeal of the rule for no super-powered beings allowed in Germany. The U.N. even had a memorial commissioned to stand in Berlin to those heroes. Although the memorial was simple in nature and design, it was a nod to recognize those secretive heroes. The memorial today is only marked with a statement about those that sacrificed their lives as part of Division 8 of the West German Agricultural Ministry.
The few remaining heroes that survived the Soltan Invasion hung up their costumes and titles for the next dozen years. During that time, more and more super-powered German heroes were being discovered, most of them creating their own small hero groups or doing community help instead. Over the last decade, however, those super-powered people began disappearing, one by one. By 2010, reports of abductions of super-powered people from all over Europe started pouring in, leading to great fear amidst the super-powered European community. As a result, in 2012, an old retired Division 8 manager, Damon Kaufmann, put the call out to all the remaining super-powered German citizens that had not yet been abducted or had mysteriously disappeared. Meeting in an old Soviet-era East German Government building in Berlin that had been vacant since the Soltan invasion, several super-powered German citizens answered Damon's summons. After a few hours of talks, it was agreed that they'd band together and work as a team to discover the source of the super-powered abductions, as well as introduce a new hero group to the world - The Teutonic League.
During the next few months, the Teutonic League made international headlines in saving super-powered people from around the world from their abductors. Eventually, it was discovered that a nefarious band of anti-super-powered militants and scientists known as the Exterminators were responsible for the abductions and slaughter of innocent super-powered people and beings. The League shutdown several splinter operations throughout Germany and as a result saved hundreds of lives, all the while still using their abilities amidst the public, some for the first time ever, to help the citizens of Germany wherever needed.
Today, the Teutonic League is an officially sanctioned German super-powered group, authorized to operate out of the building they'd first met in with Damon, a building now called the Teutonic Tower. Loved by Europe and the German people, the Teutonic League continues their efforts in being the superheroes that the people of Germany had long hoped for.
Ezekiel "Zeek" Freber
There have been six bearers of the Teutonic Knight armor legacy; three of them Nazi soldiers awarded the armor to use to fight for Nazi Germany during World War II as part of the Nazi super group called Axis Force, while the other three were each respectively from the Cold War period, the Soltan Invasion of 2000 and the last being today's modern day bearer.
In 1937, German/Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche was tasked with devising a powerful combat armor for use in the field, yet following the precept of fashion, weapons and armoring relevant to the Teutonic Knights of centuries past. The armor was desired by Adolph Hitler to be created so as to promote old Teutonic pride and power. Porsche, along with dozens of engineers, created the armor in less than 2 years and tested it for the first time during the invasion of Poland in 1939. The armor's bearer, initially, was one of the Porsche engineers, but after the Poland field test, a highly decorated Nazi solder was awarded the armor. That soldier, Lieutenant Heinrich Zummewalt, died in combat in the armor in 1941 in France.
A month after Lieutenant Zummewalt's death, another Nazi solder was awarded the armor - Lieutenant Werner Heinz. He wore the armor until he was killed in 1944 by one of the members of the Allied Fighters, an Allied super group created to fight the Nazis and their Axis allies.
The last one to wear the armor during World War II was Captain Friedrick Fausbaum, who was hand-picked by the Nazi super group Axis Force's leader, Baron Berlin. Captain Fausbaum was highly anti-Semitic, a bully and a warrior who fought hard and gave little ground. His victories were many, and was known to have killed at least one Allied Fighter superhero in 1945. Unfortunately for Fausbaum, Hitler recalled all Axis Force personnel to one of his bunker and charged each member of Axis Force with conspiracy against the Fuhrer. Fausbaum was stripped of his armor and executed minutes after the charges were stated. The Porsche engineers that was assigned to Fausbaum were also present, along with their blueprints, future plans and drawings and new tech for the suit, as per Hitler's orders. They too were executed on the spot. The armor, blueprints, devices and notes were all tossed into a hermetically sealed hardened steel crate, locked and stored in another hidden bunker's vault by three Nazi SS personnel. The expectation was to find an eventual successor to the armor, but due to the fall of Berlin, Hitler's suicide and the invasion of Berlin by the Soviet troops, it never came to pass. Instead, the three SS officers, in a bid to escape prosecution and hide, broke into the bunker's vault, stealing the artifacts, weapons and paraphernalia of the executed Axis Force personnel. One such SS officer took the crate with the Teutonic Knight materials, as well as several hundred (equivocal) dollars in cash and stolen art treasures, and made his way to Switzerland to hide from Allied post-war persecution.
Many years later In Switzerland, an expatriated German (who left of his own free will in 1936 from Nazi Germany when he saw the threat that Hitler was) named Hans Freber overheard the drunk ex-SS officer one night at a tavern, with the ex-SS officer claiming he had the Teutonic Knight armor used by Axis Force stored in a crate at a chalet near his residence. Hans, ashamed of what the Nazi movement led to, didn't want anything to do with him or his armor and dismissed the whole of the conversation...that is, until the news the next morning.
The day after he overheard the ex-SS Officer brag about the Teutonic Knight armor, Hans Freber discovered that the ex-SS officer and his drinking companions were killed when their vehicle went over the side of a steep cliff's road while driving home drunk. Feeling like he'd been fated to hear the ex-SS officer's drunken secrets, Hans investigated what was to be done with the ex-SS officer's estate after his death. As it turned out, the ex-SS officer was buried in debt and once the authorities discovered his stash of his Nazi records, uniforms and materials, he was pronounced a war criminal on the spot and basically was to have his possessions sold at auction, with all proceeds given to the Swiss Jewish Holocaust Survivors Association. Hans attended the auction and discovered the crate that held the Teutonic Armor was actually up for auction. The crate was hermetically sealed and contained several locks around it, for which the auctioneers hadn't opened or revealed the contents at the time of the bidding. The crate was only listed as a "sealed storage trunk made in Berlin, Germany, circa 1930s". For 100 Swiss Francs, Hans bought the crate without anyone questioning or outbidding him. He brought the crate home and attempted to break the locks, but they were hardened steel and required diamond or titanium drill bits to break them. Luck being what is was, he later read an article that mentioned the ex-SS officer's home was bought by a Swiss real estate businessman, and that he'd mentioned in the article that he discovered 'more keys on the home's key ring than there were doors'. With that, Hans visited the businessman and finagled him to give him the keys that didn't go to anything in the house and he'd see if there are any known locks those keys would have been made for, thus helping out the real estate man. In all truth, Hans didn't know a thing about being a locksmith; all he wanted was access to the keys to see if they opened the crate. That night, Hans tested the crate's locks with the keys.
They were indeed the correct keys.
When Hans opened the crate, he saw that it was filled with not only the Teutonic Knight's WWII armor, but several other unique devices, blueprints and schematics for other sets of upgrades planned for the armor. He unpacked the crate and hid the crate's contents in a hidden closet behind his staircase in his home. The next day, Hans returned the keys, telling the businessman that he'd found 'no match' for any normal lock for those keys.
For the next few years, Hans obsessed over the armor, its designs and the engineering involved in its operations. The upgrade plans themselves were practically futuristic in concept and far beyond Hans' basic engineering understanding. Rather than involve anyone else in knowing of the armor's existence, Hans decided to keep the armor's secrets to himself...that is, until he died in 1969.
Not long after Hans' last will and testament was read did Hans' eldest son, Heinrich Freber, find the hidden armor. Heinrich was much like his father, however, he truly loved the lore and history of all that Germany once was, not what it had become. After seeing the armor and its condition, Heinrich spent the next 2 years upgrading and repairing it. Some of the newer devices that came along with the armor were installed and when the work was finished, Heinrich thought it best to remove the Nazi colors and instead use the West German flag colors on the armor. even though he enjoyed repairing and upgrading it, Heinrich saw little use for the armor in any way. People would immediately point out the atrocities done by the armor's former bearers and the representation of what it once meant. With that train of thought, Heinrich simply placed the armor back into its crate, never expecting to see it see the light of day ever again. That changed in less than a week after the armor was boxed back up.
Heinrich's home was very close to the Autobahn, especially near one particular hard turn in the road where many car crashes and deaths happened, especially during inclement weather. One snowy December night in 1971, a bus with over 40 nuns crashed near his home. Emergency vehicles were already said to be bogged down in the snow and with multiple other accidents all over the region. As soon as Heinrich saw the nuns were trapped in the bus, he broke out the armor and put it on. By the time he'd arrived at the scene, several other people were still trying to get into the bus to help the nuns, but had been unsuccessful. As Heinrich arrived in his armor, startling the crowd, he saw the gas line start to burn. With great speed, strength and swiftness, Heinrich lunged at the bus, tore open the side of it and helped the nuns to safety. As the last two nuns were exiting the burning bus, it exploded in a huge fireball. Heinrich saved the two nuns by shielding them from the blast with his shield and armor. All the nuns got out safe, all to the applause and accolades of the crowd. A reporter was one of the ones amidst the crowd and took three film rolls of pictures of what Heinrich had done. After Heinrich ensured the nuns were alright, he ran off into the woods and back to his home. Luckily, thanks to the heavy snow, no one was able to follow his tracks to decided to go chasing after him in the snowstorm. Heinrich felt that he'd actually done something good with the old Nazi armor and was pleased to know it had been used for something noble and not for killing.
The next day, all of Europe was engrossed in the story and pictures of the "new" Teutonic Knight saving lives instead of taking them. Most news reporters denounced the armor and its bearer, screaming at the TV cameras that it was an apparent attempt by neo-Nazis in their battle to bring back the Nazi regime; others, mostly saw what Heinrich had done - a good-nature, courageous act resulting in saving multiple innocent lives. In the weeks that followed, everyone was hunting down a lead on the new Teutonic Knight, even so much as interviewing those of nearby homes to the accident, including Heinrich. Eventually, the press' interest waned, however the West German government's didn't. They figured out that Heinrich was the one who wore the armor that day. Two federal agents paid Heinrich a visit. After a brief discussion, Heinrich told them he was the one in the armor and that he was ready to turn it over to the government for them to do with it as they pleased. The next day, Heinrich and the Teutonic Knight armor, plans, accessories and spare parts all arrived in Berlin. There, a German national intelligence officer not only wanted Heinrich to work for them effective immediately, but to train and wear the armor to perform covert operations to keep the 'red menace' (the Soviet Union) from doing their dubious covert acts all across West Germany without care of the consequences. After some thought, Heinrich agree and within five weeks, received the basic training necessary for him to be an intelligence officer, but also a secret superhero for all of West Germany.
Over the next twenty years, Heinrich and a new group of additional secret German superheroes, banded together as a classified German intelligence super-group who worked under a made-up government office name called "West Germany Agriculture Ministry, Division 8". This group saved thousands of lives and performed thousands of operations, all to thwart communism, save and protect West Germany from any and all secretive attacks by the East Germans and their Soviet backers, and ultimately, to push an agenda to allow German superheroes to once again be allowed to be superheroes in their own nation (all German super-powered beings were outlawed in Germany after World War II by the German government). Try as they might, the government considered "Division 8" to be as dangerous to Germany as that of a loaded gun. Throughout this period of time, Heinrich eventually became the team leader, all up until 1991.
In 1990, the Berlin Wall fell, and with it, Division 8. With talks of reunification between East and West Germany on the rise, Division 8 was considered a dinosaur. By the end of 1991, Division 8 was no more. What was worse was that all the sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice for the division, death, would never be told to anyone and no one would know what Division 8 had done or the impact they performed secretly and covertly.
Heinrich got married in 1980 and raised 2 daughters and 2 sons. Heinrich's eldest son, eventually discovered Heinrich's armor one day while playing in the basement. His son, Lukas Freber, wanted more than anything to wear his dad's armor, but the word from Heinrich was always, 'no'. In the year 2000, though, situations dictated a far greater need for the armor other than covert spy operations against a neighboring county; instead, it was an alien invasion of Earth.
In 2000, Earth was invaded by the warlike Soltan Star Empire. Every major city on the planet was invaded in a well executed Soltan operation. When the Soltans started killing humans indiscriminately, two of those dead, being Heinrich's own wife and youngest daughter, launched Heinrich to finally attempt to take action once again as the Teutonic Knight. Heinrich, furious with rage, attempted to put the armor on, only to realize he was too big and fat to fit into it again. His eldest son, however, was fit enough to be able to wear the suit. Heinrich ordered his son not to don the armor, but Lukas ignored him and ran off into battle against the Soltans as the latest Teutonic Knight.
Over the next 6 months, not only did Lukas kills hundreds of invading Soltans as the new Teutonic Knight, he also formed the resistance movement against the Soltans. In the 7th month of the invasion, however, Lukas was killed when he tried to stop a 10 story building from falling down upon a dozen innocent German citizens. The old Division 8 team rallied at Lukas funeral and by the 9th month of the invasion, not only had the German resistance kicked the Soltans off of Earth and sent them back into space, but the whole planet's civilian, military and superhero communities paid dearly for it. Heinrich's old group, Division 8, became declassified and soon everyone learned what Heinrich and his teammates did for their country. A simple memorial was erected for Division 8 and all those who'd sacrificed themselves for Germany during the Cold War.
Heinrich was left with one daughter and one son. As far as he was concerned, the armor was now a curse to Heinrich. When the armor was sent back to him after Lukas' funeral, Heinrich demanded it be taken away and that the armor would never again cross into the Freber family's lives ever again. Heinrich went on to perform administrative functions for the rebuilding German government, but by 2009, he'd died of cancer.
In 2012, an old retired Division 8 manager, Damon Kaufmann, put the call out to the few remaining super-powered German citizens to help stop the capture, incarceration, torture and killing of other fellow super-powered people all across Europe. Since Heinrich died in 2009, Damon thought it only fair to offer up the Teutonic Knight armor to Heinrich's only surviving son, Ezekiel "Zeek" Freber, who in 2012 was now 22 years old and in the German Army as a Lieutenant. Although unsure if it was what his father Heinrich would have wanted, Zeek took the armor and become the latest Teutonic Knight.
The armor Zeek got was NOT his father's or brother's armor; that was placed in a museum, with all weapons and power supplies removed. This armor, however, was a state of the art, 21st century marvel. Composite fiber layered armor, energy protections fields for the armoring, and an energy sword and shield for combat. Zeek took to the role of being the Teutonic Knight like he was born for it. Eventually, Zeek was introduced to a relatively new band of superheroes. This band of heroes would eventually form the Teutonic League, a new super-group with their #1 purpose being to help save the people of the world. Zeek has been appointed leader of the team and continues to this day doing brave and heroic acts, feeling that even though his father didn't want Zeek to ever wear the armor, Zeek is sure that today, his father is smiling over Zeek being the latest Teutonic Knight.
The armor is designed using technological standards and are not like the original armor, which had a remarkable level of protection due to an infused magical protection spell. This armor was made with the latest carbon fiber and polymer mixes, accentuated with micro pneumatic devices to increase the wearer's abilities.
CoHverse: The Teutonic League was created on the MMORPG, City of Heroes, on 19 May 2012 on the Zukunft Server, with the original leader named Major Deutschland.
MDUverse: In MDU history, CoHverse's Major Deutschland was originally Baron Berlin's grandson from Axis Force, called Captain Germany, created in 1973. The character was supposed to be the leader of an all German superhero team in West Germany that fought the East German and Soviet aggressors. In 2015, the Teutonic League was recreated from the CoHverse version with only a slightly altered history to accommodate for the MDUverse differences. Most of the characters from the CoHverse version of the Teutonic League are what make up the current version, however, all the names have changed and their powers and abilities are quite different, all now under the leadership of the Teutonic Knight.