A new psychological study released in German last month and getting a quick American translation draws the startling connection between Adolf Hitler’s bloody reign as a violent genocidal dictator and a youth spent indulging in violent board games such as checkers, go and especially the ultraviolent first person strategy game, chess.
“There’s no doubt Adolf Hitler was a very naughty despot,” says “The Crowning of a Dictator” author Heinrich Merkwuerdigleib, “and it is becoming more apparent that the depths of his depravity come from his addiction to chess.”
Hitler was not a popular boy throughout his years as a young student. He used to come home from school and spend hours in his room, playing chess. Childhood friend Holger Vater remarked, “Hitler always used to talk about playing people like they were chess pieces. It was clear that he was losing touch between what was a game and what was reality. He always muttered about how he’d wipe the board with the mongrels.”
But in the rough and tumble world of early 20th Century German high school, no one noticed Hitler’s comments, except to pick on him, until he joined the high school chess club. Vater explained, “He got heavily involved in the chessboard mafia throughout high school. That’s what we called the chess geeks. They always wore jackboots and khakis everywhere. They threatened to capture us en passant every once in awhile, but we never took them seriously.”
Hitler finally found a place where he belonged. Fellow chessboard mafia member Ruprecht Luege explained, “Hitler’s fellow chess geeks even called him ‘der Koenig,’ German for “The King.’ From there, it was only a small step towards lusting after the ultimate title, ‘der Fuehrer’ (The Leader).”
Although Hitler’s early chessplaying years helped him develop a taste for blood, drawn from years of desensitization caused from capturing enemy pieces ruthlessly, an examination of the early Hitler also provides clues to the cause of his eventual downfall. “Hitler’s weakness was obvious from the start,” says fellow chessboard mafia member Franz Schach. “There’s nothing little Adolf enjoyed more than playing multiple games of chess at once, with as many opponents as he could find. Of course, this got him into trouble later in the war, when he tried to play two games at once with the Allied forces and the Soviet forces.”
But by then it was too late. Chess had made genocide a viable option, whether it be the opposing forces of black, or millions of Jews. Hitler met his lifelong friend, Goebbels, in the mid 1930s. Between the two of them, the planned revenge on those who they believed persecuted them; the Allied forces who enforced harsh reparations on Germany after World War I and the Jewish bankers they believed controlled the world’s money. In filmstrips Goebbels and Hitler made before invading Poland, they boast, “This is the real thing. Blitzkrieg opening. Man, this is going to be just like a Ruy Lopez variation. We’ll show them the true meaning of Scholar’s mate.”
The moral is clear. Dangerous board games such as chess and checkers must be regulated for our children’s safety. If chess could produce a genocidal maniac such as Adolf Hitler, we must guard against such immersive games falling into the hands of our children, lest they become desensitized to the violence so prevalent on a chess board.
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