IMAGINE Adolf Hitler had been living in hiding on the South Coast of New South Wales for almost 30 years after World War Two.
That is what Canberra author Craig Cormick has done in his latest satirical novel, Uncle Adolf.
The book is set in 1982, during the Falklands War, and Adolf Hitler has been living anonymously in the town of Eden where he busies himself waging small wars with his neighbours, the local council and police.
He is also expecting the Argentineans to win the war and call for his help to establish a Fourth Reich, with all the old Nazis who are hiding in South America.
But things invariably don’t go as he has planned.
Craig Cormick, who has published over 20 books of fiction and non-fiction and won numerous awards, said he wrote the book because he felt a need to break down the sometimes impenetrable darkness of evil by satirising it.
“If you take a leader like Hitler and remove him from his power base and place him in a small coastal town in 1980s Australia, you are more likely to get a crackpot with illusions of grandeur,” Cormick said.
“Strip away the armies and the thugs who helped him come to power and supported him there, and you see an obsessive old man with a need to cause trouble.
“In the book he has befriended a young local boy and with his help he has built a bunker under his garage where he plays out the great battles of World War Two, to make them turn out differently, and he also is developing weapons of minor destruction for his battles against the town’s officials, which culminates in a re-enactment of the escape from the bunker in Berlin.”
Many books begin by the author asking, ‘what if...?’, and this book began by asking, What if Hitler had escaped Germany and ended up living in a small coastal community in Australia in the 1980s. What might happen then?
Craig Cormick’s writing awards include a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and an ACT Book of the Year Award.