Berlin Batman — an Austrian?!
A Jewish Batman? A female Robin? The Dynamic Duo battling on behalf of truth, justice, and Austrian economics? Are we in a parallel universe or what? We are indeed if we are reading The Batman Chronicles, the Winter 1998 issue, devoted to “Elseworlds,” in which “heroes are taken from their usual settings and put into strange times and places.” — Paul A. Cantor
From the Wikipedia article on “The Berlin Batman”, an Elseworlds comics published in 1998 by DC Comics and written by Paul Pope:
In Berlin, Germany in the year 1938, wealthy socialite Baruch Wane learns from his friend Komissar Garten that the police have confiscated the library, works, and notes of Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, due to his stance against the Nazi Party policy of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Unbeknownst to Garten, Baruch is actually the mysterious Batman who has been terrorizing the wealthy members of the Nazi Party.
Years ago, when Baruch was still a child, he watched his Jewish parents get beaten to death by an anti-semitic mob. From that point on, Baruch swore that he would avenge their deaths and spend the rest of his life on a war against all criminals and injustice. As he grew up, he developed his mind and his body, and upon inheriting his parents wealth and estate, he became inspired by a bat which flew into his home and decided to use this symbol as a means to frighten criminals.
The following night of his visit with Garten, Baruch suits up and heads down to the trainyard in order to steal back Mises’s works. He tries to stop the train, but when Garten’s men surround him, he instead blows up the train so that way Mises’s works and ideals do not fall into the wrong hands.
The following is an excerpt from the unpublished memoirs of Baruch’s assistant, Robin.
“…Ludwig Von Mises escaped to the United States when the Nazis ransacked his apartment in 1938. It was his landlady, a friend of his mother’s, who told the authorities Von Mises was working on a new book which challenged Nazi social and economic policies. They slowed him down, but they couldn’t stop him. He continued work on a book which was eventually published in ’49, called ‘Human Action’, now considered one of the great libertarian works of our times. Von Mises anti-authoritarian ideas were first a threat to the Nazis, then the Soviets, and to all increasingly regulatory governments in our own times. He was against socialism in all its many forms. He was an advocate of individual liberty, free speech, and free thinking… and so, should I add, the Berlin Batman. The Batman, as we all know, got better at what he does, and the legends of his exploits continued to grow to this day.