For the first time in my life, I feel purposeful. I am in control, and things are actually going right. I have the German Workers' Party in hand, and I see great success for it in the years to come. We are the National Socialists; everyone must hear our words. They will hear us.
I hesitate to call my days spent in prison a setback. On the contrary, I consider them a benefit to me. Those days provided me with the time I needed to plan the future the Fatherland needs in black and white. Truly, it was time well spent. Although I have passed beyond the rough patch, my struggle is only beginning.
My fellow National Socialists and myself raise our heads proudly, acknowledging that we are responsible for bringing our country out of the dust and restoring it to what it once was. We greet one another with choruses of "Heil!" One day, all the Fatherland will do the same.
As I look back on my younger days, I would never have imagined that this is where I would be today. I see myself, a young Adolf, sickly and clinging to his mother's skirts. She was devoted to me, and I knew it. After the loss of three children, her fear of losing me as well made me something to be protected with her life. No one had ever held such feelings for me before or since, which strikes me in particular. There was someone who would have died for me. I loved her dearly, and even now, she is a part of me.
My father, I do not miss. Although I was branded an insipid child who clung to his mother's hand when all others wanted to escape ties to their families, she was my best friend. Other boys romped through the hills and fields at their fathers' sides, growing strong and healthy. All I can recall of my father, regardless of how far back I turn the clock, was how he ground his fingers to the bone trying to contort me into something I had no desire to become. Every dream I had was ruthlessly trampled in order for him to create the son he wanted.
Did it matter to him that I had a soul? I do not doubt that it had occurred to him, but he brushed it off, as one brushes off the whims of a stallion, a captive in his box, to break free and gallop wild like the camargues of France. But he is a horse, not a human, so why should he be permitted to act on his will? And why should a child be permitted to act on his will, when adults wish differently for his future?
I, as children are, was to be seen but not heard. For my future, I had plans just as bright as those my father had made for me. My attempts to gain his approval while still maintaining a sense of self were met with harsh lashes of his black leather belt. My tears and shrieks of anguish did not move him. At that time, all I had was my art, and my father did everything in his power to take that away from me as well.
This was while I was still in school, my techniques still ripening and I strove to find my artistic voice. I would estimate myself to have been thirteen or fourteen years of age, before I developed the saturnine foresight I now possess. I had been working on a painting of an aged church not far from my home for quite some time, and my excitement grew and peaked at the prospect of its completion.
One afternoon, I returned home to find that it had gone. I scoured my room, unable to find my masterwork anywhere. Frantic, I sought out my mother, hoping she could help me. When I turned to go back down the hall, a voice bellowed my name threateningly, "Adolf Hitler!"
Beads of sweat formed at the top of my neck, and slid down apprehensively. In the few short seconds I stood motionless, I dreamed of a time when my name might be respected and even revered, not spat out like profanity. Reluctantly, I swallowed my fear and forced myself to face this man who was my own flesh and blood. My father.
"Ja, mein Vater?" I answered timidly. I didn't want to show fear by any means, but I considered that if I let him have his way, he would leave me alone.
Two strong hands seized me by the shoulders and jarred my skull. My limbs were rattled around limply, and my eyes widened. His eyes were narrow, seething with rage. "I pay hard-earned money to get you a good education. And you neglect your studies in favor of this mindless drivel. Painting your little scribbles!"
I wanted to protest, but I knew it would leave me with nothing more than more welts on my backside to soothe later. He flung me up against the wall; any more force would have sent me through it. My nose already bled freely from the impact against the wall, but the worst was yet to come. With each lash, my skin seemed to convulse, wanting to rip free of my bones and escape the sting it was enduring just as it had so many times before.
Even in the intense pain through which I suffered, I was able to see my dear mother standing at the end of the hall, watching this ordeal take place. I pleaded silently with her, to step up and pull father away. But I knew she wouldn't. Every time someone mentioned to father that it seemed I was beaten rather frequently, he responded the same way every time mother was near.
His answer was always, "I am the head of the household. It is my duty to act as such. Young Adolf simply needs a firm hand to show him where he stands. And of course Klara does not interfere" his voice trails off, and he looks to her, expecting her to pick up there.
"because a woman who interferes with her husband is a bad wife," she responded every time, without fail.
Now was when it truly counted. I was in excruciating pain, but I could do nothing, and neither could she. I had to accept my fate. The only good that came out of the experience was my mother's doing. Out of piteous sympathy for me, she rescued my painting from where father had abandoned it, and secretly returned it to me to finish. When I did, I gave it to her, as thanks for staying on my side always.
My grades in school were poor, as I had diminishing interest in my studies anymore. The world was crashing down on me. Only one window of hope remained open, but it was out of my reach. Longingly, I hoped that one day, this little known dream of mine would be reconciled. This dream's name was Stephanie; Stephanie Jansten, I believe.
Despite being several years my senior, I idolized her as a goddess. Her brother was my age, and I befriended him out of a lack of other recreation, but mostly to be close to her. She never knew of me as anything apart from her brother's companion, but I gazed on her every opportunity I had. She sat in the study, leafing through famous novels. Just seeing her was a dream come true in itself. I had dreams of her, so many dreams