Crumbling Empires

Written by Arthur Miao

On a semi-warm morning in Prussia on July 17, 1942, Hitler looked at himself in the mirror. His mustache, he thought, brought out the ferocious look in his eyes. He was a force to be reckoned with, and today was the beginning of his grand plan. Now that his army had swept through half of Europe with little resistance, he would invade the Soviet Union. The smirk on his face said it all for his overflowing confidence. But he had overestimated his Nazi wave in the face of Soviet Union will and an expert knowledge of successful combat within a frigid, cold climate. Many of his men froze to death in the foreign lands of the Soviet Union, and Hitler grew impatient.

“How useless of you all! I promised my nation this would be over in three weeks and now Germans are dying! I command you to take down Stalingrad in fourteen days or all of you, I mean all of you, will wish I had killed you just now.”

“But Führer, we are losing. Even if we had two weeks, we wouldn’t win. It is simply not possible.” A young general had spoken up.

Hitler turned around with fury, his eyes expressing shreds of madness. He pulled out his gun and shot the general in the face. “Two weeks, or else. Dismissed.”

The young general’s words stuck with his leader as he looked down at the mangled face on the floor. Those words would grow and fester throughout his night’s sleep, so that when he woke up he was both exhausted and ill at ease. Hitler had had a dream. He dreamt of himself standing in the middle of Stalingrad, flames burning around him and his army marching towards the city hall. It was everything he had wanted, and it had happened so vividly in front of him. Then a deep voice struck him out of nowhere: “Adolf Hitler, is this what you truly want?” Hitler was intoxicated by the view of the burning Stalingrad, and mumbled: “Yes, this is everything I’ve ever wanted.”

Then the voice said: “Very well. To gain what you want the most, you must lose what you love.” Hitler shouted without even thinking: “I want to do it!” Then everything faded to black.

The next morning, Hitler was awoken by a knock on the door from his assistant: “Führer, our spy has detected a strong explosion in the lower level arsenal in Stalingrad, and the possible casualties will be catastrophic to the Soviet army!”

“Wonderful! We will launch attack at night; give the orders out right n…” Before Hitler could finish the sentence, another officer came in behind the other and said: “Führer, I have terrible news. Your wife is dead. Shot gun to the head. My deepest condolences.” He was too afraid to make eye contact with his commander.

Hitler was suddenly back in his mind’s midnight terror, but this time, he was wide awake.

Before Hitler could grieve his wife, a third officer burst into the room behind the others. “Führer, the Americans and the British have assembled a force that has already claimed half of the Polish territory. What is the order, Führer?”

“Take Stalingrad! The order does not change!” Hitler shouted.

As instructed, Hitler’s troops stalked their prey in the night time. He stood in his office and watched as his formidable army took down walls and marched into Stalingrad. The fire burnt up so high that it could be seen from miles away. Hitler was pleased, and prepared himself to head back to Berlin for a celebration the next day.

He slept soundly in the knowledge of his prowess that night. But the next morning, another knock on the door woke him up. When Hitler was about to yell, his number-one counsellor came in screaming: “Fuhrer, the allied nation has conquered Munich! The empire has fallen! We must flee!”

Hitler stood up and looked outside the window: Stalingrad was still burning from the night before. His army was still looting the civilians. What madness had driven his dream to take root in reality?

Furious, he sent everyone away to flee for their own worthless souls and shut himself up for hours.

That night, a gun fired in the Führer’s office. Hitler’s finger was on the trigger and a bullet was buried in his head.

Published by haringeyunchained

Haringey Unchained is a collective of students aiming to show case the creative talent of Haringey Sixth Form College in Tottenham, London. We think that through the promotion of our creative thoughts, we can educate our community, bringing to the foreground the critical and creative consciousness of a vibrant school in a deprived part of London. We are endeavouring to provide this blog as a platform for our community, giving the space to those whose work otherwise might not be seen or read. Being that the cuffs are off, we are able to express through our photography, art, short fiction and poetry, what’s really on our minds. We are free.

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