Monday, January 21, 2013

I knew Adolf Hitler

File:Queensbridge Houses.jpg

Names Son for Hitler, But Sees No Handicap
New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Feb 9, 1943. pg. 14, 1 pgs
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Abstract (Document Summary)
There's another baby, the seventh in nine years, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Mittel, at 27-37 First Street, Astoria, Queens, and he has been named Adolf Hitler.


I remember Adolf from when I was a boy. Now he was also known as "Teddy" because after the uproar Mr. Mittel changed the name from Adolf Hitler to Theodore Roosevelt, but he was always Adolf to me.

We lived at 40-08 Twelfth Street, apartment 1D in Queensbridge and I think it was one or two floors above us that the Mittel's had their suite, two apartments cojoined to accomodate their numbers. My mom always warned me to stay away from Teddy, because he was sick and his dad had named him Adolf Hitler.

I remember an image (we're talking fifty plus years now) of one of Teddy's sisters standing on the staircase, pregnant. I remember asking my mom how that could be if the girl wasn't married and my mom saying a very shocking thing about Mr. Mittel.

I have a recollection of being pinned against the mailboxes in the building entrance by Adolf, his bony fingers around my neck, his face red his eyes bulging and me struggling to break free, then someone coming and pulling him off of me. I don't recall what precipitated the attempted strangulation but I do remember that terrifying few moments.

Story had it that Adolf killed a candy store man near Ravenswood Projects and got caught. I don't know if he was executed or not.

I remember his dad always walking around Queensbridge with a bunch of fancy cameras strapped around his shoulders. His dad reminded me then of a fatter version of Bathless Groggins.

Yep, I knew Adolf Hitler