The story is set before World War II and is centered on three men with the name Adolf. Adolf Kamil (アドルフ・カミル) is an Ashkenazi Jew living in Japan. His best friend Adolf Kaufmann (アドルフ・カウフマン) is of both Japanese and German descent. The third Adolf is Adolf Hitler (アドルフ・ヒトラー), the dictator of Germany.
Adolf also features Sohei Toge (峠草平 Tōge Sōhei), a Japanese reporter.
The story of Adolf begins in 1936 as Japanese reporter Sohei Toge travels to Berlin to cover the Berlin Olympic Games. Upon arriving, he finds that his younger brother, who has been studying in Germany as an international student, has been murdered. Furthermore, all traces of information regarding his younger brother's study in Germany has vanished. It was as if he had never existed. Investigating the matter, it is later learned that his murder is connected to a document he mailed to Japan with information regarding Adolf Hitler. This information is crucial to the Third Reich as it contains proof that Adolf Hitler has Jewish blood.
A member of the Nazi Party living in Japan named Wolfgang Kaufmann is ordered to find the documents. He expects his son, Adolf Kaufmann, to become a strong supporter of Adolf Hitler. However, Adolf Kaufmann has no interest in Nazi Germany as it would mean the killing of his good friend, Adolf Kamil, who is Jewish.
As events progress, the lives of the three Adolfs intertwine and become more and more tangled as Sohei Toge searches for his brother's murderer.
Was Adolf Hitler really Jewish?
This rumor plays a central role in this story. It concerns one of the most frequently asked question about Hitler's background. During the Nuremberg Trials, Hans Frank, a Nazi awaiting the gallows, made the claim that he had found evidence that Hitler's father Alois was an illegitimate child of Hitler's paternal grandmother, Maria Anna Schicklgruber and a teenage son of her Jewish employer Leopold Frankenberger, when she worked as a cook for the Frankenberger family in Graz, Austria. Simon Wiesenthal asserted that this was not true.
- Sohei Toge: A Japanese reporter sent to Germany to cover the 1936 Olympics only to find his younger brother murdered. He then proceeds to investigate who killed his brother and why, leading him into a dangerous web of espionage during World War II.
- Isao Toge: A Japanese international student studying in Germany. When he discovers a shocking secret, he is brutally murdered.
- Adolf Kaufmann: A half-Japanese, half-German boy living in Kobe and who has no real interest in the Nazi Party at first, but later joined Sicherheitsdienst, then Gestapo.
- Wolfgang Kaufmann: Adolf Kaufmann's father and a strong follower of Adolf Hitler. He works for the German Consulate General in Kobe.
- Yukie Kaufmann: Wolfgang's wife and mother to Adolf. She is unaware of what her husband is doing for the Nazi Party.
- Adolf Kamil: A Jewish-German boy who considers himself Japanese, and who accidentally learns the secret behind Adolf Hitler's ancestry.
- Isaac Kamil: Adolf Kamil's father and a Jewish man who seeks to actively help other Jews around the world. He was murdered by Adolf Kaufmann while in Germany.
- Acetylene Lamp: A member of the Nazi Party and the Far East Chief of German Intelligence.
- Adolf Hitler: The German dictator himself.
- Richard Sorge: A Communist Russian spy who existed outside of fiction and plays a prominent role towards the end of the story.
Volumes of English translations, in order:
- Adolf: A Tale of the Twentieth Century
- Adolf: An Exile in Japan
- Adolf: The Half-Aryan
- Adolf: Days of Infamy
- Adolf: 1945 and All That Remains
- Adolf manga at TezukaOsamu@World
- The Comics Get Serious review of the English release of Adolf at RationalMagic.comko:아돌프에게 고한다