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Around 1943 Schmidt sought out and obtained the Tesseract, a powerful artifact believed to be of Asgardian descent, from a monastery in Tønsberg, Norway. He tasked Doctor Arnim Zola with delivering the Tesseract to their base personally, however in the very center of Berlin Zola's convoy was attacked by Captain Carter, SSR Super-Soldier who took Zola prisoner and captured the Tesseract. Left without his prize, Schmidt saw Hydra suffer several defeats at the hands of Captain Carter and the so-called Hydra Stomper.

Adolf Hitler demanded Schmidt to present himself in Berlin, a message delivered to Schmidt by SS offier Roeder. Roeder also mocked Schmidt's failures and dismissed his activities as "playing with metal trinkets". For this, Schmidt shot Roeder point-blank in the stomach. In his final moments, Schmidt revealed to Roeder his true Red Skull face and procalimed that the Third Reich's fall will precede Hydra's rise. Eventually, Hydra managed to lure Captain Carter, Hydra Stomper and the Howling Commandos into a trap by feeding them false intel, which led to the capture of the Tesseract-powered Hydra Stomper Armor, with Steve Rogers still inside.[1]

Finally back with the Tesseract

As the war neared its end, Schmidt had constructed an interdimensional gateway to summon Hydra's "true champion" from beyond the stars. Just as he used the Tesseract to activate it, Captain Carter and the Howling Commandos stormed his base at Castle de Krake. A massive tentacled monster emerged from the portal, only to immediately grab Schmidt and crush him to death.[1]

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