Following my tryst with the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh, I realized that my appetite for morbid human depravity is far from being satiated. If anything, it has only been stimulated and lately I had been going back in time, reading about mass atrocities committed by "leaders", trying to understand the twisted psyche that motivated them to commit such outrages.
Which finally led me to Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampfe (My Struggle). Now, I had read Anne Frank’s Diary as a child, well before I read about the Holocaust, and therefore I was not able to fully grasp the context of the book, though purely from the literary point of view, being a pre-teen, I could well identify with some of the nuances plaguing a 13-year old girl. But the historical significance of it was quite wasted on me at that point. Later, when I watched Schindler’s List, it touched a chord, but I never explored it further.
However, once I started planning my visit to Auschwitz this summer (yes, I am on a two-week vacation to Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Krakow and Berlin), I simply had to delve deeper on the subject. So despite all the negative publicity of the book, I picked up Mein Kampfe just to get inside the head of the man himself. Yes, it is an extremely biased portrayal, yes, it’s a tedious task to get through the pages and yes, the language only makes it tougher. But hey, it’s not called Mein Kamfe for no reason!
So on one hand, while I prodded through the book, on the other, I was struggling with my own mind, until, until, until I discovered the magic of the Ultimate Long Island Ice Tea during Happy Hours on a weekday!
Nine drinks later, the struggle seemed to ease off, the vision became a bit blurred and the judgment was hazy…