• Zenia Platten

The Fuhrer's Gift

This quickie was something I wrote while planning a book that never saw the pen. I wanted a real life analogue and example of how the charming magic might work on an unwilling subject. Perhaps I also wanted a reason why people would follow something evil, outside of human nature. The latter does get exhausting every now and again.

The Fuhrer leans so close I can smell the sauerkraut on his breath. One lonely string of cabbage clings to his moustache, twitching with each exhale. Over his hissed words his stomach growls, burbling and complaining, and explaining the unpleasant smell permeating my cell. His belly giving him trouble again.

As usual, the ex-art student come dictator is dressed with military care, his khaki uniform pressed and spotless. On his arm the bright red sash of his party is tightly cinched, proclaiming bigotry with the pilfered and defiled Hindu symbol for good luck. His teeth are grey.

There are only so many details to distract myself with, to keep from hearing Adolf’s poisoned words. They made sure the room was clean, plain, and empty save for the chair that digs into the back of my knees. The only distraction is the man himself, and he a dangerous one. I try to shut him out, but as the distractions dwindled, so does my willful deafness.

“They are vile, sinful creatures and it is your duty to remove them from the public eye.” He spoke with passion, weaving his words with feelings of patriotism and pride, forcing the emotions on me with his Gift. “It is hard sometimes,” compassion, “but we must steel ourselves and do what is good, just, and right for Germany.” Courage.

I can feel it all battling in my chest. My natural disgust, and loathing for the manipulative monster before me, and the artificial trust, goodwill, and comradery that washes off of him in waves. He is powerful, and his feelings eat away at mine like maggots devouring a still kicking victim. I try to think of Hannah, my dear sweet Hannah, spinning the dreidel, the snow falling thickly outside. Of little Nicolas, his kippah pulled snugly over bouncing brown hair, running and laughing up and down the street, brothers and sisters in tow.

I sob as the images trigger a twinge of repulsion, deep inside. That didn’t come from Hitler. The Fuhrer smiles, and for a moment his grey teeth seem pointed.

“You’re beginning to understand!” he beams, fatherly pride shining from each line in his face. Contagious pride, forced down my throat and warming my heart as I fight to keep it cold against him. Pride at a growing hatred for my neighbours. “Good, but we can do even better. Let us begin again.”

Not a blow has been struck, no incision made, and yet he strips me away. He trains me like a dog to feel as he wants me to feel. Desperately I look for a way to end this, but the Fuhrer carries no weapons, and my hands are bound, gently but firmly, behind my back. When this work is done, I’ll be released without so much as a bruise. I’ll go back to my duties as General and the world will burn for Hitler.

I’ll be sure of this, as it will make him happy. He’ll have whatever he wants, be it Germany, Europe, or my soul. Hail.

Hitler was my 'charmer' of choice due to an article I'd just read on his doctor. Turns out the Fuhrer was in deplorable health in the last few years of his life, due in no small part to being regularly poisoned by his head physician.

It wasn't even intentional - as far as anyone knows the doctor was a genuine follower, but a quack too. To help invigorate Hitler, the doctor would issue injections of 'vitamins' that Hitler quickly became addicted to. Years into his service, the doctor was injecting Hitler many times a day with the vitamins that would later turn out to be methamphetamine.

Some credit some of Hitler's less-strategic choices towards the end of the war with his addiction, as it can be shown to effect decision making. The author of the article believed that the doctor's efforts to strengthen the dictator actually shortened the war by several years.

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©2019 by Zenia Platten.