Heinrich von Fremd
Fictional Character
1632 series
POD: May, 1631
Appearance(s): Grantville Gazette VII
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Germany
Religion: Catholicism

Heinrich von Fremd was the fourth son of a noble under the rule of Emperor Ferdinand II. His mother died giving birth to him. Raised as a Catholic, Heinrich was to become a priest, but the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War changed that. Instead, he became a soldier for the Catholic League and shared their belief that the League represented the one true Christian faith, called on to defeat the armies of the heretics and save the souls of the people. Heinrich was with the army for a short time and, due to his standing, became an aide to a general.

During the course of the war, and after witnessing so much brutality inflicted on every German town and village his army encountered, von Fremd, disillusioned, finally broke from his faith and the League at the Sack of Magdeburg. In June, 1631, he killed several of his comrades after they had murdered a farmer and his wife and raped one of their daughters. Von Fremd took the three surviving children and fled from Magdeburg, eventually arriving on the outskirts of Grantville. There he met John and Millie Trapanese, and (despite knowing very little English) pleaded with them to help provide the children with shelter and food. The Trapaneses, suspecting von Framd and the children were refugees, allowed them in their home. Von Fremd did not reveal his true name or his late affiliation to Count Tilly. He gave the Trapaneses a false name, Heinrich Busse, and claimed that he lived in Magdeburg when questioned by Grantville Police Officers Maureen Grady and Onofrio. When Officer Grady asked Heinrich if he would join Grantville's makeshift army, he forcefully refused. After this encounter, Heinrich and the children were directed to Grantville's refugee center, where they were all registered. The center arranged for all four to continue to stay with the Trapaneses'.

By July, von Fremdt had improved his English and acclimated to much of modern society (which included helping John Trapanese build an electric car). Heinrich learned about modern firearms when John confirmed the number of shots his shotgun could hold during a hunting trip (leaving Heinrich to question the value of his swordsmanship). In November, Heinrich took a job in Grantville proper, making microwave ovens for Guffy Pomeroy, but it didn't last. John then helped Heinrich find a job at a machine shop, which suited von Fremdt much better. Concurrently, Millie Trapanese noticed that von Fremdt avoided all churches in Grantville.

Millie confronted Heinrich one night, confirming that she knew he was a former soldier. After a silent moment, Heinrich confessed he was and revealed the truth before having an emotional breakdown. Millie comforted Heinrich and assured him that he did everything in his power in helping the children. She then shared her experience during World War II and confirmed that she and along with her husband was glad to have Heinrich in their home.

In June 1632, Heinrich and his new family sadly attended Millie's passing and burial.