Arriving in Onitsha, Dalrymple heads for the market. In the stationery, school textbook and chapbook section, he leafs through a pamphlet entitled The Complete Story and Trial of Adolf Hitler.
On its pink cover is a faded picture of an angry-looking Hitler in Lederhose sitting on a garden wall, with the caption: ‘This is the picture of Adolf Hitler, the strong man who believed in action and retaliation.‘
The pamphlet is in the form of a play,
which the author recommends for use in schools.
The opening scene takes place at
the ‘German National Hall‘, where ‘General‘ Hitler gives a Press conference. ‘Fellow countrymen and women,‘ he says, ‘I, General Hitler, have decided to call this important meeting today being October 1913 just to explain to you the recent events hanging about.‘
then complains that a German aircraft was forced by British agents to land in Liberia.
The general also complains that
the elder son of the British ambassador to Germany ‘mercilessly beat a German Lady‘ without even a letter of apology.
The reporters ask General Hitler
about Germany’s military strength.
Herr General answers:
‘Germany have Army, Navy and Air force of over 100,000,000 strong men and over 50,000,000 Police men and in addition to all this, all German citizens are trained to serve as soldiers‘.
In the next scene,
the British leader ‘Mr Wilson Church-hill‘ admits that the ambassador’s son hit the German Lady, but says it was in self-defence.
The climax of the play is Hitler’s trial for war crimes.
Dalrymple gives the pamplet to his driver, to seek his opinion.
‘This was a bold man,’ he said, after reading that Hitler murdered 6m Jews because Jewish civilians killed 10 Germans and nearly poisoned three others.
Later, Dalrymple picks up a copy of the National Concord newspaper, and comes across an article headed Hitler in Passing.
‘One sometimes prays,‘ writes the author, ‘for a Hitler here, who would make black people start seeing themselves as being a race for once superior to any other, who would zoom to all America, Russia and South Africa military installations where all cruise missiles would be turned into specie of rats that carries Lassa Fever. The point is, there is a fearful underestimation of ourselves this way.‘