Assef hails from a wealthy Afghan family: Unlike most Afghans, he is blond-haired, the product of his German mother. No doubt taking after his mother's political beliefs, Assef admires Adolf Hitler, and he believes Hitler had the right idea exterminating the Jews; he also believes that the ruling Pashtuns should kill off the lowly Hazaras in his own country. His family hobnobs with Afghan royalty, and they are friends with Amir's own powerful father, Baba. Assef's family owns land and "an Afghan restaurant and two jewelry stores" in Australia. Assef is big for his age, and he uses this advantage to bully younger children, including Amir and particularly Hassan, a Hazara. Assef believes sodomizing Hassan is nothing more than "teaching a lesson to a disrespectful donkey." When the Russians take over the country, Assef learns to hate them, and he joins the Taliban in order to use their brutality as a means to continue his own violent ways. Assef has progressed from a wealthy street bully to a murderous Taliban leader who only answers to a small number of men of higher rank. He is in his element: killing Hazaras and other minorities he feels are unworthy of living in his homeland.