Dodging Shells with the Friendly Syrian Rebels Who Love Football and Adolf Hitler

Strangely, each visitor harbours a deep-seated, urgent need to share his eerie fascination with Adolf Hitler the moment he finds out I’m German. “Adolf Hitler, strong man. Adolf Hitler, very good man. Ah, Germany! Adolf Hitler. Do you like Adolf Hitler?”

I try to dissuade them. No, no. Hitler was a bad man. Very bad. Unfortunately I speak no Arabic, and the debate soon falters. Comparing Hitler with Bashar al-Assad seems to provoke the desired effect, but it never lasts long. “Hitler not good?” they ask, disappointment all over their faces.

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