Message to Adolf
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|Message to Adolf|
Cover to the first volume of "Adolf" from the "Osamu Tezuka Manga Complete Works" collection.
|Adorufu ni Tsugu
|Written by||Osamu Tezuka|
|Original run||January 6, 1983 – May 30, 1985|
Message to Adolf, known in Japan as Adolf ni Tsugu (アドルフに告ぐ Adorufu ni Tsugu?, literally: "Reporting to Adolf") and known in earlier English versions as Adolf, is a manga series made by Osamu Tezuka. The story is set before World War II and is centered on three men with the name Adolf. Adolf Kamil is an Ashkenazi Jew living in Japan. His best friend Adolf Kaufmann is of both Japanese and German descent. The third Adolf is Adolf Hitler, the dictator of Germany. Adolf also features Sohei Toge, a Japanese reporter. Vertical, Inc. currently publishes the series in English with Kumar Sivasubramanian as the translator, and Viz Media formerly published the series in English.
The story of Adolf begins in 1936 as Japanese reporter Sohei Toge travels to Berlin to cover the Berlin Olympic Games. Upon arriving, he finds that his younger brother, who has been studying in Germany as an international student, has been murdered. Furthermore, all traces of information regarding his younger brother's study in Germany has vanished. It was as if he had never existed. Investigating the matter, it is later learned that his murder is connected to a document he mailed to Japan with information regarding Adolf Hitler. This information is crucial to the Third Reich as it contains proof that Adolf Hitler has Jewish blood.
A member of the Nazi Party living in Japan named Wolfgang Kaufmann is ordered to find the documents. He expects his son, Adolf Kaufmann, to become a strong supporter of Adolf Hitler. However, Adolf Kaufmann has no interest in Nazi Germany as it would mean the killing of his good friend, Adolf Kamil, who is Jewish.
As events progress, the lives of the three Adolfs intertwine and become more and more tangled as Sohei Toge searches for his brother's murderer.
Did Adolf Hitler have Jewish ancestry?
This rumor plays a central role in this story. It concerns one of the most frequently asked question about Hitler's ancestry. During the Nuremberg Trials, Hans Frank, a Nazi awaiting the gallows, made the claim that he had found evidence that Hitler's father Alois was an illegitimate child of Hitler's paternal grandmother, Maria Anna Schicklgruber and a teenage son of her Jewish employer Leopold Frankenberger, when she worked as a cook for the Frankenberger family in Graz, Austria. Given that all Jews had been expelled from the province of Styria (which includes Graz) in the 15th century and were not allowed to return until the 1860s, there is no evidence of a Frankenberger family living in Graz at that time. Scholars such as Ian Kershaw and Brigitte Hamann dismiss the Frankenberger hypothesis (which had only Frank's speculation to support it) as baseless. Frank's story contains several inaccuracies and contradictions, such as he said "The fact that Adolf Hitler had no Jewish blood in his veins, had, from what has been his whole manner so blatant that it needs no further word", also the statement Frank had said that Maria Schicklgruber came from "Leonding near Linz", when in fact she came from the hamlet of Strones, near the village of Döllersheim. Rosenbaum suggests that Frank, who though he had turned against Nazism after 1945 remained an anti-Semitic fanatic, made the claim that Hitler had Jewish ancestry as way of proving that Hitler was a Jew and not an Aryan.
- Sohei Toge (峠 草平 Tōge Sōhei?): A Japanese reporter sent to Germany to cover the 1936 Olympics only to find his younger brother murdered. He then proceeds to investigate who killed his brother and why, leading him into a dangerous web of espionage during World War II. He was born and raised in Niihari, Ibaraki (now Tsuchiura).
- Isao Toge (峠 勲 Tōge Isao?): A Japanese international student studying in Germany. When he discovers a shocking secret, he is brutally murdered.
- Adolf Kaufmann (アドルフ・カウフマン Adorufu Kaufuman?): A half-Japanese, half-German boy living in Kobe and who has no real interest in the Nazi Party at first, but later joined Sicherheitsdienst, then Gestapo.
- Wolfgang Kaufmann (ヴォルフガング・カウフマン Vorufugangu Kaufuman?): Adolf Kaufmann's father and a strong follower of Adolf Hitler. He works for the German Consulate General in Kobe.
- Yukie Kaufmann (由季江・カウフマン Yukie Kaufuman?): Wolfgang's wife and mother to Adolf. She is unaware of what her husband is doing for the Nazi Party.
- Adolf Kamil (アドルフ・カミル Adorufu Kamiru?): A Jewish-German boy who considers himself Japanese, and who accidentally learns the secret behind Adolf Hitler's ancestry.
- Isaac Kamil: Adolf Kamil's father and a Jewish man who seeks to actively help other Jews around the world. He was murdered by Adolf Kaufmann while in Germany.
- Acetylene Lamp: A member of the Nazi Party and the Far East Chief of German Intelligence.
- Adolf Hitler: The German dictator himself.
- Richard Sorge: A Communist Russian spy who existed outside of fiction and plays a prominent role towards the end of the story.
- Eliza Gerd Hymer (エリザ・ゲルトハイマー Eriza Gerudo Haimā?): A Chinese Jewish girl living in Germany. She escapes and leaves her family to live with her fiance Adolf Kamil. Kaufmann rapes her. Kamil's mother was killed by an American h-bomb plane. Today, Eliza is the widow of Adolf Kamil and lives in Israel.
Adolf was published in English by Cadence Books and VIZ Media. The English manga is flipped to read left to right to conform to Western practice. The newer two volume release of Adolf from Vertical, Inc. is also flipped and is published under the title Message to Adolf. The manga has also been published in Brazil by Conrad Editora, in France by Tonkam, in Germany by Carlsen Verlag, in Italy by Hazard, in Spain by Planeta DeAgostini and in the Netherlands by Xtra.
Volumes of English translations, in order:
- Adolf: A Tale of the Twentieth Century
- Adolf: An Exile in Japan
- Adolf: The Half-Aryan
- Adolf: Days of Infamy
- Adolf: 1945 and All That Remains
Appearances in Other Media
- "Message to Adolf." Vertical, Inc. Retrieved on February 3, 2013.
- Jewish Virtual Library.org
- Joel Hahn. "Kodansha Manga Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- "Loja Conrad - Adolf - Vol. 1" (in Portuguese). Conrad Editora. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
- "L'Histoire des trois Adolf (de luxe) - Manga - Editions Tonkam" (in French). Tonkam. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
- "Adolf, Band 1" (in German). Carlsen Verlag. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
- "La storia dei tre Adolf vol. 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
- "Adolf Integral nº1 a 5" (in Spanish). Planeta DeAgostini. Retrieved 2012-09-11.