Seventy-five years ago today, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. On the 50th anniversary of that day, in 1983, a writer named Alfons Heck wrote a piece for the Phoenix describing his time in Nazi Germany as a rising member of the Hitler Youth. He describes being swept up in the discipline and the fanaticism that Nazism provoked and instilled. “The teaching of ‘Racial Science,’” he writes, “to which I had been exposed for five years in school and in the Hitler youth, had done its work. To me, even the Jews of my home town, nearly all of whom I knew by name, had become dangerous polluters of our pure Aryan blood.” And he details the process of coming to terms with himself and his country in the aftermath of genocide. ce:office" />
Read Heck’s piece, “A Child of Hitler: Growing Up in the Third Reich (a memoir),” in full here.