Cover by Mimi Stuart
Infinity Publishing, 2007
The Madman & His Mistress
“They are after me, Doc,” he kept telling the doctor. He even changed his name. His real name was Reinhold Hanisch.
In Dr. Siegel’s opinion, Hanisch was not paranoid. But why would the National Socialists be after a penniless, happy-go-lucky tramp? Hanisch had told him why: During the cold winter back in 1910, Hanisch had befriended Adolf Hitler. Night after night, the two men had stood in line at Vienna’s Meidlinger Asylum for the Homeless waiting for a bed. In the mornings they had to vacate the place. When they did not get in again at night, they slept on a bench in the park or under the bridge.
Twenty-eight years later, Hitler, Vienna’s street rat, had become the big boss in neighboring Germany, getting ready to march into Austria. Yet no one seemed to know about Hitler’s shady past. In Germany, Hitler paraded as the unknown savior, cloaked in mystery, sent by God. Hanisch was certain that the big boss wanted to keep it that way; that is why Hitler was after him; he wanted to silence him.
Back in 1910, Hanisch had shared his bread with young Hitler, a pale and friendless homeless person with blistered feet, sitting for hours staring into space, building castles in the air. Hanisch, a long-time tramp and well versed in the tricks of a hobo’s life, was fishing for more reliable quarters than the Asylum and probed young Hitler about his trade.
“I’m a painter,” Hitler told him.
“There must be plenty of jobs for painters,” Hanisch replied in hopeful anticipation.
“Not one of those,” Hitler bristled with contempt. “I’m an Academician and an Artist.”
1 Hitler searched four years to track down Hanisch. “Hitler, eine Biographie” by Joachim Fest, p. 83
2 Ibid. p. 41