Jürgen Bernhard

Jurgen, in his casual attire.

Birthday July 1st
Nationality East German
Relations Irisdina Bernhard (younger sister)

Beatrix Brehme (love interest)
Joseph Bernhard (father)
Mercedes Bernhard (mother, estranged)

Features Blonde hair, short
Blue eyes
Tall, slim build

MiG-21 Balalaika

Voice Actor N/A
Manga Appearance Bernhard im Schatten Schwarzesmarken

The main protagonist of Bernhard im Schatten, Jürgen Bernhard was the eldest of the Bernhard siblings. Jürgen and his sister, Irisdina, were the children of Joseph and Mercedes Bernhard. Jürgen and Joseph were very close and Jürgen was never far from his father's side whenever Joseph had to travel abroad to execute his diplomatic duties. When Jürgen turned eleven, his mother divorced Joseph, citing her dissatisfaction with him, deeply shocking Joseph and the Bernhard siblings. With the family ripped apart, Joseph turned to heavy drinking, and his subsequent mental deterioration combined with his increasingly violent outbursts made him unfit to be a parent. Joseph was eventually confined to a mental institute, and Jürgen and Iris were left in the care of family friends. Because they often only had each other, the Bernhard siblings developed a very close relationship.

Jürgen's legacy would be felt throughout the series. Being one of the first great TSF aces, Jürgen's tactics and maneuvers such as laserjagd would be adopted internationally by many pilots down the line.

Bernhard im Schatten[edit | edit source]

Eleven years before the events of Schwarzesmarken, Jürgen was introduced by Irisdina to her new rival, Beatrix Brehme. Beatrix developed a crush on Jürgen, and asked him if he'd go out with her. Jürgen accepted, but because he was attending the NVA Air Academy at the time, Jürgen had few opportunities to spend time with Beatrix.

On the rare occasions he was given leave, Jürgen's time was divided between his sister and his new girlfriend. This drove a wedge into Irisdina's and Beatrix's close friendship as the two vied for Jürgen's attention.

Jürgen excelled at the academy, quickly rising to the top of the class and gaining the attention of Major Generals Franz Heim and Alfred Strachwitz. Because of his talent, the Generals would chose him to be one of the DDR representatives in the Soviet TSF program. For this, Jürgen would have to spend some time in Moscow training on and testing out what would become the MiG-21. Though a great honor, to say Irisdina and Beatrix were less than pleased to hear the news was an understatement.

After training in Moscow, Jürgen returned to the DDR to try to introduce laserjagd to the NVA. To assist Jürgen, the Soviets sent a few MIG-21s back with him. Jürgen realized that TSF forces needed a command craft with enhanced radio functions, so he began developing a new MiG variant, the MIG-21P.

Jürgen was a natural ace and would lead his squadron to great renown both at home and abroad. With the war going increasing bad though, and unrest becoming a problem when an economic crash occurred after a fifth hive cut the USSR off from its satellite states, Jürgen was asked to yet again to return from the front. The Stasi wished to offer him a position of great import in their newly formed TSF corp. In the pit of vipers that was the MfS, Jürgen would encounter his nemesis, Captain Heinze Axmann.

Jürgen's later execution by Irisdina created a divide between her and Beatrix in Schwarzemarken. The anime implies[1] that it was Jürgen who caused Irisdina to kill him in a plan to save her from the Stasi and to give her a powerful position from which she could use against the Stasi.

Jürgen's ideals that people should set aside their differences and work together for the greater good of humanity was passed onto Beatrix and Irisdina in his will. Both would pursue radically different means in realizing these ideals that would ironically bring much conflict to East Germany and each other.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Jürgen's ace colors were red, the same colors that his lover, Beatrix Brehme, would use in Schwarzesmarken.
  • He is a heavy sis-con. One day he was talking with his classmate and friend Katze. He replied "Don't look down upon me. If I have something with Iris's smell beside me, I can work hard through one afternoon."
  • When training in Moscow, his team was named "картошка (Potato)".
  • His appearance and mannerisms are similar to Erich Hartmann, not only Germany's top ace, but the most successful fighter pilot in the history of aerial warfare.
    • Alternatively, one could draw a comparison to Gundam's Char Aznable. Both were highly charismatic rebels, share the same hair and eye colors, are considered to be one of the best pilots of their time, were the older brother of their respective show's main female love interests, and most importantly, had a preference for red mechs.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

  1. Gretel's talk with Theodor, SM anime episode 3
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