Hitler Youth

I was a pretty cute kid. You'd never guess that I had blood on my hands.
I was a pretty cute kid. You’d never guess that I had blood on my hands.

When I was in third grade, Mom and Dad sent me to day camp. It was two five-day weeks of fun and games in the woods near southwestern Oklahoma’s Fort Sill military reservation. Two important memories stand out… 1) the girl in our clowder lost her grip on the rope swing over the creek, falling short and spraining her ankle, and 2)  I left my half-eaten Hostess DingDong by my sleeping bag on the last night (the only night we got to camp out), awakening to find it covered in ants.

But no telling of my day camp experience would be complete without the story of the play we put on for our parents on the last day, in which I starred as Adolf Hitler, and in which I order two executions. Yes, I was eight and I was Hitler.

The scene begins with me pacing back and forth impatiently. I turn to my assistant and tersely say in my best German accent, “Bring me ze papers.”

A lackey enters from offstage with some papers in his hand.

“Those are not ze papers! Executioner, shoot him!”

The assistant draws his gun and kills the lackey.

I begin pacing back and forth again, even more impatiently. “Bring me ze papers!”

Again, someone comes from offstage with another handful of papers.

“Those are not ze papers! Executioner, shoot him!”

Finally I am pacing back and forth in an extremely agitated state.


A man enters from offstage with a roll of toilet paper. I grab the roll and excitedly leap in the air…

“Ya! Zat is ze papers! Zat is ze papers!”

Laughter and polite applause from our parents.

Triumph of the Will
Triumph of the Will


  1. Barron, in his debut role as der Fuhrer, keeps us guessing ’till the bitter end in this tightly-rolled tale.

  2. I wondered why your tastes in clothing always ran toward brown and jackboots. And there IS a lot of piano wire in the darkroom. Just saying.

Comments are closed.