My Friend Hitler

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Waga Tomo Hitler (わが友ヒットラー) or My Friend Hitler is a 1968 play written and produced by Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. Published in book form on October 13, 1968, the play was first produced on stage the following year and ran January 18–31, 1969. In one of these productions, Mishima himself played Adolf Hitler.

Inspiration[edit]

Mishima was inspired by the assassination of Ernst Roehm in Night of the Long Knives and was intrigued by Hitler’s political genius. However, more of his influence for Hitler’s character came from one of his other plays[which?]. Since Mishima's other play Sado Koshaku fujin (Madame de Sade) stars an all-female cast, he wanted My Friend Hitler to be an all-male cast. According to Mishima himself he wanted to refute criticism claiming that he could not portray both genders.[1]

About the Play[edit]

The play is written in third person. The four characters are Adolf Hitler, Gustav Krupp, Gregor Strasser and Ernst Röhm (from whose text the play's title is taken). The play takes place over the summer of 1934 at the Berlin chancellery. The reviews and critiques of the play vary, as some call it anti-fascist[2] while others claim that it preaches fascism.[3]

Plot[edit]

The play begins with Hitler giving a speech to the people of Germany, during which his two friends Krupp and Röhm come in to watch the speech. They talk to each other and discuss the "iron bouquet" Krupp metaphorically used to set into motion great advancements in human history, including shaping Hitler into a better leader.

Later in the play, Strasser enters the scene. He has a bad relationship with Röhm. Krupp describes their relationship as that of a "cat and dog". Strasser then argues that the war profits need to be returned to the country. Röhm gets mad, calling him a socialist. After the speech is finished, Hitler returns to the group awaiting him and gets their reports about the peoples' reaction to the speech, all of them telling him it was outstanding, even calling Hitler an artist.

Hitler then talks to Röhm alone about how they were so close to each other, but now that he is so busy running the country and doesn't have the time anymore to talk about the "good old days" with one of his trusted friends. Hitler then decides to get away from his political life for the day. And so Röhm decides to train Hitler on everything he needs to know about being a military leader.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mishima, Yukio (2011). My Friend Hitler and Other Plays by Yukio Mishima. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 112–113pp pages. ISBN 9780231126335.
  2. ^ Kim A. Адольф, кому ты друг? Archived 2012-07-17 at Archive.today‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
  3. ^ Great Soviet Encyclopedia see [1]