|Beatrix Brehme |
|Relations||Jürgen Bernhard (deceased love interest)|
Irisdina Bernhard (nemesis and former best friend/rival)
Abel Brehme (father)
|Features||Black, Long hair |
Tall, buxom figure.
|TSF||MiG-21 Balalaika |
|Voice Actor||Yukari Tamura|
|Manga Appearance||Schwarzesmarken |
Bernhard im Schatten
Major Beatrix Brehme is the primary antagonist of Schwarzesmarken and main heroine of Bernhard im Schatten. The commander of the infamous Stasi TSF Guard battalion "Werewolf," and one of the best pilots in East Germany, Beatrix was notable for being a ruthless and brutal huntress of deserters, anti-government dissidents, and emigrants fleeing to the West.
Beatrix was the childhood friend and former military academy classmate of Irisdina Bernhard. The two had a strong rivalry growing up, which would transform into an adversarial relationship as adults.
Bernhard im Schatten Edit
A recently transferred student to Irisdina's school, Beatrix was the only child of one of the preeminent families in the DDR and certain expectations were placed on her because of it. Suffering from severe depression, Beatrix joined an after school swimming club partially to escape her cruel father. Due to her introverted and anti-social nature, Beatrix was unable to make friends despite Irisdina's attempts to reach out to her. Though her performance was stellar and her beauty dazzling, enough to cause Irisdina to be envious, Beatrix became ostracized by the other swim club members.
Irisdina's jealousy would inflame the curiosity of her brother, Jürgen Bernhard. Wishing to see the girl who had challenged his school idol sister, Jürgen decided to tag along with Irisdina to her swim meet. As Irisdina had feared and predicted, Jürgen became infatuated with Beatrix.
Beatrix herself developed a crush on Jürgen. Unable to express herself properly, she reacted in a typical "tsundere" fashion to Jürgen. Her first attempt to reach out to him involved her favorite hobby, cooking. On another occasion, she became so flustered by Jürgen's teasing that she spat out the first thing that came to mind when he promised to let her punish him for his transgressions: a demand for a date. Jürgen accepted, and the two fell deeply in love. Their relationship would last for years despite being separated from each other for long stretches of time due to the BETA war.
When Irisdina learned of their relationship, she initially reacted with shock and hostility. She viewed Beatrix as a potential rival who would steal the only family she had left. After a few rows with Beatrix, the two made up and became best friends. They would support one another while Jürgen was away fighting the BETA.
When Beatrix and Irisdina were 15 years old, Jürgen asked them their plans for the future. After some deliberation, Beatrix answered "You are as essential to me as I am to you, so I've decided I want to become a TSF pilot", and Iris added "We're going to help you, brother."
Beatrix was the first person Jürgen would visit whenever he returned from the front. They would confide their secrets and insecurities with one another and often had to console each other's mental trauma and anguish. It fell to Beatrix to cheer Jürgen up when he sunk into depression after he lost a few of his subordinates in a confrontation with a Fort-class.
Beatrix's came to loath Irisdina for the death of Jürgen and Irisdina's subsequent abandonment of her. Though she'd often antagonize Irisdina or fantasize about her destruction, deep down, what Beatrix really wished for, but considered impossible, was to patch up her relationship with Irisdina and work with her towards fulfilling Jürgen's will. Indeed, in Irisdina's route, both Beatrix and Iris nearly succeed in swaying the other to abandon their cause and join their own.
In 1983, Beatrix was field testing the MiG-23, and was in the process of setting in motion a series of events that would bring even more power to her faction in the Stasi. She quickly took interest in Katia, finding her conscription into the NVA and the special attention she was receiving after her unorthodox rescue highly suspicious.
After some time of trying, Beatrix eventually found a chance to plant an agent into 666th. In the span of two months, Lise succeeded in trapping Irisdina. As a result of this and her status as a pioneer of sect Moscow, Major Beatrix received a surprising gift from the USSR: 4 Mig-27s.
Beatrix would find good use for these MiG-27s during the NVA revolt. Piloting a crimson MiG-27, Beatrix and her Werewolves quickly became one of the biggest scourges to the rebellion. Her tactical brilliance would allow her to outmaneuver General Franz Heim in a series of battles and nearly destroy the rebellion.
However, her strategic talents and cutting edge Aligatori would not save her when she faced off against the 666th. Though she was victorious in many of her confrontations, she was unable to repair her MiG as it became increasingly damaged by the rebels. By the time of her final duel with Theodor Eberbach, her MiG was falling apart and had even lost an arm. Still, it was a close battle, with Theodor barely emerging victorious when he surprised Beatrix using an anti-destroyer class diving technique that she and Irisdina had developed together to slam a Type-77 Battle Halberd into her fuselage and send her crashing into the apartments below. Trapped inside an unresponsive machine, she made an easy target for Theo, who finished her off by bisecting her with a combat knife straight to her cockpit.
Beatrix had been the "spiritual pillar" upon which the government forces had rested upon, much as Irisdina or Katia was for the rebellion. When her death was transmitted to the loyalist forces, many of them were openly distraught and lost all will to fight.
Personality and BeliefsEdit
Beatrix was described as a "bewitching" and "glamorous" beauty. With a sensual smile never far from her lips, Beatrix often acted the part of the playful flirt. She was ruthless, ambitious, and possessed a sadistic streak. She was a gadfly that enjoyed watching people squirm. Beatrix often gave mixed signals, such as threatening or intimidating others using a sultry tone of voice. Some of her pranks, such as the time she convinced Lise that she was going to kill her in a TSF spar, or egging Theodor's paranoia on with her jokes in Lise's route were particularly cruel.
Beatrix respected loyalty above all other traits, and conversely, considered betrayal, especially of loved ones or family, to be the greatest sin. Lise's own fealty to Theodor and strength of will in the face of adversity would be what originally attracted Beatrix to her for recruitment into the Werewolves. Beatrix placed such tremendous value on loyalty that she would sometimes pick it over pragmatism. An instance of this was in Irisdina's route, where she temporarily allied with Irisdina against the BETA. When Schmidt ordered her to betray the 666th to certain death, Beatrix refused and continued to stand by their side until the BETA were destroyed, thus saving her enemies at severe cost to her own battalion and throwing away the best shot at victory she had.Much like Irisdina, Beatrix was noted as being an extremely effective and charismatic leader. She preferred leading from the front; the first to the fight and the first to dirty her hands. She never asked for something from her personnel if she wasn't willing to do it herself. Such was her charisma that the Werewolves were absolutely loyal to her and not the state of East Germany. Some members of the Werewolves, such as Lise Hohenstein, even came to view her as an older sister figure. The power this absolute loyalty gave her, along with her past with the Bernhards and numerous personality conflicts brought her the distrust and animosity of the Minister of State Security, Erich Schmidt.
Also similar to Irisdina, Beatrix had internalized Jürgen's ideals but had applied a very different interpretation of them. Despite her seeming loyalty to the Moscow faction and its cause, Beatrix in truth hated the DDR and placed humanity's welfare over that of East Germany's, directly contradicting Irisdina, who prioritized German interests. Ironically Irisdina, the rebel, was more patriotic than Beatrix, the enforcer of state authority.Beatrix believed that politicians were too corrupt, indecisive, self-destructive, and self-interested to lead the DDR while under attack from the BETA. Beatrix's end goal thus hinged upon reforming the DDR, cleaning house of its corruption, and transforming it into a military-secret police dictatorship to act as a bulwark against the BETA while the rest of Europe evacuated. To these ends, she opposed democratization or the reunification of Germany as she believed it would be inefficient, disruptive, and expedite the fall of the Oder-Neisse front.
Beatrix, like many of the other Werewolves, expressed guilt and disgust over the atrocities she and the other stasi committed. She often had to hide her feelings behind a veil of cruelty or become the target of her leaders' suspicions. At one point, she admitted to Lise that the Werewolves were a "dirty battalion" and that her hands were "stained with blood", and that there was no glory waiting for her at the end. In another case, she expressed disgust at the torture of Marai Heisenburg and her co-interrogator's flippant attitude. Employing gentler tactics, Beatrix hypnotized Marai into believing that she was her dead lover, Major Holzer Hannibal. Perhaps taking pity on the woman for her loyalty to Hannibal, Beatrix comforted Marai after receiving the pass codes she needed, then executed her. When questioned about Marai's fate, Beatrix simply reported that she had died during the torture process, to which Schmidt taunted Beatrix over the strain the interrogation must have had on her. Despite all of this, she was also capable of expressing raw sadism, callousness and extreme ruthlessness to her enemies. It was often difficult to tell where her veil began and where it ended.Beatrix believed that the ends justified the means and that her actions were a necessary evil, even if she found them repugnant. This rationalization would become the crutch her psyche propped itself up against and would allow her to commit unconscionable actions, such as forcing confrontations in heavily populated areas when outgunned knowing that Heim would be hesitant to shell the area. Her willingness to use any means to achieve victory turned the final battles before the fall of the Berlin Wall into a bloodbath.
In the visual novels however, she shows restraint and avoids fighting in civilian areas when she can, such as in Irisdina's route where she attempts to funnel the fighting to the outskirts of Berlin. Beatrix is even shocked when Irisdina orders sections of Berlin to be bombarded in Lise's route.
Despite her reservations and thoughts on the subject, Beatrix was still as emotionally moved in Irisdina's route as any of the 666th when she witnessed Germans embracing one another over the ruins of the Berlin Wall. She and Iris then reminisced about Jürgen and what an ideal world would look like.Finally, Beatrix expressed suicidal tendencies after Jürgen's death. Her whole plan called for the sacrifice of herself along with much of East Germany. Right before Theo stabbed her, she smiled in relief, knowing that she would no longer have to bear the misery and sins of her life. This was seen yet again in Irisdina's route, where Beatrix decided that she and her handful of surviving Werewolves were dead women after the rebellion took power. Beatrix thus turned down Irisdina's offers of amnesty, taunting that Irisdina could do nothing, and attempted to goad Irisdina into killing her. Neither could bring themselves to finish off the other however, and it took a missile strike called down by rebel command to end their stalemate.
Above all though, Beatrix loved Jürgen Bernhard with every fiber of her being.
In contrast to the visual novel, Beatrix in the anime is a sadistic sociopath who delights in the pain and deaths of those around her. Instances of this are in such scenes as the anime original mass execution, where she smirks viciously as her victim's viscera splashes on her face. Another example was during her torture of Marai, where it was implied that she had enjoyed the experience. Even her own soldiers weren't immune to this, as Beatrix took great pleasure in Lise's mental turmoil over her brother and the deaths of other Werewolves. Beatrix was only truly happy at the expense of others.
Another difference was her relationship with the Stasi, namely Axmann and Schmidt. In the visual and light novel, Beatrix, Axmann, and Schmidt detest one another, and Beatrix avoids them whenever possible. At times, she will even subvert or disobey their orders when she can get away with it. In the anime, she has a good working relationship with them and acts as their willing attack dog.
Finally, unless dealing with Irisdina, Beatrix in the visual novels remained calm and collected. She was somewhat detached and cool during her final battle with Theodor, and even right before her death, smiled serenely at the incoming CIWS. In the anime however, she devolves into a snarling, bloodthirsty berserker, and uses her last moments after being mortally wounded to taunt Theodor.
"For me, East Germany is a cage even bigger than the Brehme family. I'm not going to be at the mercy of my father nor will I become a tool for East Germany. If my father and the state want to treat me like a tool, then I'll make use of them as well."
-Beatrix discusses her plight with Jürgen
"Your decision may not have been the "good" choice, but it was the correct choice. History progresses on the sacrifices of people, does it not?"
-Beatrix consoling Jürgen on the deaths of his subordinates
“We will grasp victory, in the name of the fatherland — even if we have to make the entire Neisse River run red with the blood of our countrymen.”
-Beatrix rallying the Werewolves
"Someday, you will realize…
...the limits of your ideals. Only under stasi dominion…only ideals like mine [and Jürgen's] will bring hope to humanity.
——I shall be watching how it ends in Valhalla, with pleasure… "
-Beatrix's last words after being fatally stabbed
- Beatrix's ace colors were red, the same as her dead lover, Jürgen Bernhard.
- Jürgen affectionately calls Beatrix "Bea" or (red/tsundere) "Princess." The second pet-name references the Brehmes family moniker, "Red Aristocrats(or nomenklatura,this word means the authorities' families in a socialist country like Soviet)."
- Her name, Beatrix, means one who brings joy. Rather ironic name all things considered.
- She's Yoshimune Kouki's self professed favorite Schwarzesmarken character.
- She's often referred to as Schwarzesmarken's Yuuko by fans for sharing the same teasing tendencies, relative cunning and superior intelligence when compared to the rest of the cast, belief in utilitarianism and internationalism, and guilt complex. Her behavior around Irisdina when they were still friends could even be said to mirror that of a younger Yuuko towards Marimo.
- Often compared to a rose to in Bernhard im Schatten, and rose motifs even show up in some of her art.
- Her theme song is likely 翼よ、暁を渡る誓いの中で by Zähre, which is about completing vows, mourning lost happiness and "that day", loneliness, rebirth, and wrapping everything in darkness to ease your misery, all themes that describe Beatrix. An instrumental version of this song is also played during her death scene in certain routes. Alternatively, the song would work well for Theo too.