Ich sehe wer Sie wirklich sind

Bavarian Alps, Obersalzberg, Germany, 1943

Does he really think I don't know what's going on? What he's done to them? What he's doing to them? Does he think I'm so ignorant that I've missed out on those parts? Such a delusional, materialistic princess that everything passes over my head - unless it concerns the dynamics of fashion and make up?

It appears that way.

I have to pretend to be that way. Put on an act of mental incompetence and an all-consuming obsession with vanity.

But he can't tell it's an act. An illusion. A character. He thinks that's actually me. The mindless girl who's always twiddling with her hair and spending the money he throws at her on mink coats and countless couture gowns.

He thinks that's Eva.

Really, he doesn't know me much. But I suppose up until recently I didn't actually know him much either. To be honest, I knew as much about him as I had done over a decade before when we first met in the photography shop; almost nothing.

Mind you, I don't actually think he wants to know me. I'm just a convenience for him, often an almighty inconvenience too. He doesn't want anyone to know who I am, or more appropriately, who I am to him. "Great scandal!" is what he always says would come of the public having such knowledge. That's paranoia because of what happened with Geli. Of course, I would never bring that up with him. That would only end badly.

Geli meant too much to him. He loved her more than anything, even more than his crazed ideal for the Third Reich. But I'm not jealous. Jealousy for Geli's position in his life has since been violently pervaded by other feelings for other things. Mostly increasing disgust and contempt for what he's done.

He has so much blood on his hands and I watch the floods of viscous red colour them even more every minute. It drips from his fingertips, each droplet hitting the ground and splaying out its body. That's a metaphor for his victims.

I see their faces in my sleep. The men, the women, the children. Their desperate faces and cries pierce my soul. They want me to feel the pain and terror they felt. And I do.

They like to hurt me because they know who I am to him.

They think I am like him.

I tell them no, I'm not. Not one bit. I hate what he's done to you, what he does to you. But they don't listen. They don't believe me. Instead they come closer, their gaunt, ulcer-beset faces surrounding me. Their cries grow louder, shrill yet with a hint of a somewhat demonic growl. Their eyes turn black and start to cry blood; dribbles at first, then great, flowing rivers, streaking indiscriminate linear patterns of thick crimson down their white cheeks. I see words appear on their foreheads, ragged letters cut into their skin saying 'JUDE', 'ZIGEUNER', 'BIBELFORSCHER', 'HOMOSEXUELL', 'POLITISCH'.

And then I see a woman, different from the other faces. She's healthy and well-dressed making no sound, no cry of pain. She has no tears of blood, yet her eyes are just as frightening, hollow and lifeless orbs of wispy blue. And she has a word on her forehead too. This time it's cut with unadulterated precision, the letters slicing cleanly through her porcelain skin.

'TSCHAPPERL'

She's a nice little girl.

That's what he calls me. Could I be the woman? Will I be one of his victims? Left to seek light in his eternal darkness of misery and terror? An Untermensch?

No. He loves me...doesn't he?

Who I am kidding? Of course he doesn't.

He does, Eva. Er liebt dich. Er liebt dich sehr.

Nein.

He is incapable of loving me. He hates too many people to allow feelings of love and affection to exist. As I mentioned before, I'm just a convenience. Not the love of his life, not his partner, not even his friend. Just a convenience.

And, I guess, I'm fine with that. It's not like I can do anything. I'm just an unimportant woman - no one ever listens to us. Who are we to complain? Who am I to chastise the Führer?...

...but he's breaking me.

I should leave. I should pack my bags and leave this place, right this moment. I can imagine myself running down the mountainside and through the pine forests below, my hair streaming out behind me and the wind biting my face. I can see the road through the trees - my way out...

But then I see lights.

Yellow lights that cascade over me as they filter through, between the tree branches.

And than I hear an engine. Hear tyres against gravel. The deep, throaty rumble of an exhaust.

A car. They've caught me. He's caught me.

Limbs branded with that familiar red armband grab me from behind. They drag me through the forests with ease; I let them. I've given up. Let them catch me.

I'm returned here, brought before him. He looks calm, at least indifferent, but I know better - I know that inside he's seething, consumed in anger.

He waits until we are on our own. Then he slaps me.

"Was denken ihr, du machst, Eva?!"

His face is purple in fury. His blue, bloodshot eyes, bulging with rage are fixed unwaveringly to my own.

I stay silent, fighting back the urge to either weep or yell something back at him.

But he wants an answer. Now. So, he slaps me again.

"ANTWORT!" he pauses, then hisses, "Miststück."

I turn away as I feel uncontrollable tears slide slowly down my cheeks.

I will not answer him. I will not look at him. I will not let him break me.

He's a monster. A murderer. A despicable creature. A man of no morals, remorse nor conscience. A soulless entity.

I only see that now, Adolf.

Ich sehe wer Sie wirklich sind.

/

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/

APPENDIX - German to English translations

Jude...Jew

Zigeuner...Gypsy

Bibelforscher...Jehovah's Witness

Homosexuell...Homosexual

Politisch...Political (prisoner)

Tschapperl...a nice little girl (a derogatory, Austrian expression, actually used by Hitler to Eva)

Untermensch...Subhuman

Er liebt dich / Er liebt dich sehr...He loves you / He loves you very much

Nein...No

Was denken ihr, du machst, Eva...What do you think you are doing, Eva

Antwort...Answer

Miststück...Bitch

Ich sehe wer Sie wirklich sind...I see who you really are