Summer of My German Soldier

by Bette Greene

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Who does Anton compare Patty's father to?

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In the story, Anton compares Patty's father to Adolph Hitler after he witnesses Patty's beating at her father's hands.

In discussing Harry Bergen, Patty's father, Anton theorizes that a 'man who is incapable of humor is capable of cruelty.' He imagines that, if Hitler, had had the self-awareness to step back and to 'observe the absurdity of his own behavior,' the world might not have been blighted by the effects of his cruelty.

Further expanding on the connection between power and cruelty, Anton asserts that the main difference between Harry Bergen and Adolph Hitler may be the 'degrees of power' held by both men. Basically, compared to Hitler, Harry Bergen is able to inflict his cruelty on fewer people due to his lower level of influence. From his vantage point, Anton also thinks that both men seem to have a predilection towards violence. He jokes that he doesn't know why this is the case, maintaining that the only questions he likes to raise appear to be those that are unanswerable. Anton's words highlight his own sense of humor, which further endears him to Patty.

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