Assef is the antagonist and epitome of evil in the novel. His mother is German, he carries brass knuckles, and is known for his torturous ways. He likes to intimidate Amir. As war breaks out in Afghanistan, Assef proclaims his support for Hitler’s tactics and thinks ethnic cleansing (genocide, really) should be used to purge the country of the Hazaras. Remember, Afghanistan has a number of tribes, and Amir’s friend, Hassan, is a Hazara. Just as Assef breaks out his brass knuckles during a confrontation with Amir, Hassan wields his sling shot to lob a rock at Assef’s eye. Chapter 5 foreshadows how wicked Assef truly is and where his political allegiances will fall.