Herr von Hammerstein, or just Hammerstein, was a fictional ex-Gestapo officer. The character was first introduced in Ian Fleming's 1960 James Bond short story, For Your Eyes Only, which was published in the eponymous anthology.
Von Hammerstein was a short robust man of Prussian Junker stock and an officer of the German secret police, the Gestapo, who immediately following World War II, fled Hitler's Germany and set up in Cuba. There he became the chief of the counter-intelligence bureau for the Batista regime. Shortly before the communist rebels of Fidel Castro took power, Batista sacked von Hammerstein who took his hoarded wealth and went abroad to invest it in property.
Seeking to purchase the estate of Colonel Timothy Havelock (Ret.) in Jamaica, he sent his hitman, Major Hector Gonzales, to negotiate the sale. When the offer was refused, Gozales kills the Havelocks and von Hammerstein proceeds to bully their daughter Judy Havelock into selling the property with intimidation tactics. Judy sets out on a vendetta to personally kill von Hammerstein and avenge her parents.
Von Hammerstein moves to Echo Lake, his retreat in a remote area of Vermont, to see out the winter with his Cuban henchmen and several whorish women. Judy tracked him there, as did James Bond who had been sent to eliminate von Hammerstein by M, a family friend of the Havelocks. Armed with a mere bow and arrow, Judy shoots von Hammerstein by in the back with a arrow from one hundred yards away at the precise moment von Hammerstein dived into a lake.
Behind the scenes
Von Hammerstein's name was taken from General Baron Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord (1878–1943), one of Hitler's opponents. While the character was not directly adapted for EON Productions' series of James Bond films, elements of the character were used in the creation of Hector Gonzales for the 1981 film For Your Eyes Only.
- Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies for Ian Fleming's Bond Stories, Griswold, John, 2006, AuthorHouse, 9781425931001, p.445
- Lycett, Andrew (1996). Ian Fleming. London: Phoenix, p.122. ISBN 978-1-85799-783-5.