Albert was originally from Germany. He and his fiancée Hilda attempted to escape to West Berlin in the guise of circus members (Albert drove a truck with an animal cage; Hilda dressed up in a lioness costume and stayed in the cage with an actual lion; this is in the manga, since in the 1980 movie and the 2001 series Hilda was Albert’s co-pilot). However, because Albert forgot to retrieve his forged identification from a guard, he panicked and sped off. The border guards opened fire on the truck, injuring Albert and killing Hilda in the process. Black Ghost agents arrived on the scene and lied that they would take Albert to a hospital. In the 2001 series, upon waking up as a cyborg, Albert was stricken with despair and developed suicidal tendencies, worsened by the side effects of his modifications which caused him additional physical pain and strain. This ultimately forced Black Ghost to halt the cyborg program for decades, and put the existing cyborgs in suspended animation until technology developed far enough to make future cyborg soldiers more stable.