Adolf Hitler has been remembered as the most despicable political leader and war criminal in modern history. Hitler rose to power in Germany as the leader of what became the Nazi movement. He was a brilliant speaker and was particularly good at persuading people to adopt a specific idea. This allowed him to demand control of the entire country and ruthlessly attempt to exterminate the Jewish population. Hitler has been regarded as such a truly evil person by virtually everyone so much that the very word ‘Hitler’ brings about feelings of hatred and disgust. The word has been used to describe or compare truly evil and horrific things.
But Adolf was a person like the rest of us, with a family, a history and a childhood. There is never any mention of his relatives and their lives before or after World War II. The sad reality is that because of the horrible crimes against humanity that Adolf committed, any member of the Hitler family had to live with this terrible stain upon their family name. But there are indeed some amazing things that are truly unbelievable about other members of the Hitler family. These people have their own stories that deserve to be told, so here are 15 shocking things you never knew about this infamous family!
15. Pact to End The Bloodline
The last of any known relatives of Adolf Hitler didn’t exactly sign their names in blood or anything, but they have reportedly discussed and agreed upon the need to put an end to the Hitler bloodline. The fact that a human being could be so poorly regarded by history that any relation to him, no matter how diluted would forever be seen as a curse is pretty intense! But with no children among themselves, it seems that this may be by design. The fact that Hitler had no children of his own doesn’t seem to be enough for the remaining family members. Any blood connection to the man is too much of a burden to bear in their opinion. Extreme perhaps, but just further proof as to how vile Adolf Hitler was as a human being.
14. Jewish Ancestry
These days, DNA analysis shows all kinds of interesting genetic ingredients in all kinds of people that we never knew were there! Hitler’s primary concern in his quest for world domination was to exterminate the imperfect and create a perfect society. He believed that the Aryan (Caucasian) race was the master race and superior to all others. The irony in all of this is that Hitler himself is believed to have been the descendant of Jewish ancestors! You don’t have to go too far back to find Jewish ancestry either, as it was his alleged biological grandfather that was a Jew. In addition to this, Hitler also may have had (much further back) African ancestry as well. Of course, Hitler believed himself and others like him to be superior to both Jews and Africans. He would clearly dispute any of these claims, were he alive today.
13. Adolf Beat His Sister Paula
Paula always led a pretty simple life. Adolf apparently didn’t think too much of Paula’s intelligence though referring to her and their half sister as “stupid geese.” It has been reported that Adolf was very strict with his sister and took up a great deal of the paternal slack when their father died. It seems that he took it too far, allegedly slapping her on multiple occasions. While he obviously felt connected to Paula, he only saw her once or twice a year. She always spoke fondly of him though and never believed that he was capable of committing the horrible crimes of the holocaust. But his abuse toward her in their youth is something that only foreshadowed the future behavior he would show as the ruthless dictator of Germany.
12. His Sister Was Never a Nazi
Hitler’s sister Paula was not a political person. She did not seek to rise through the Nazi party and work along with her brother. Truthfully, Adolf probably felt that she wasn’t capable of such grand work. But it may shock you to learn that Paula never even joined the Nazi party! She worked as a secretary at a hospital during World War II and maintained a very low profile. She rarely saw her brother and wasn’t even really on his radar. Paula was questioned extensively after the war and it was quickly verified that she had committed no crimes. That’s not to say that being the sister of Adolf Hitler makes life easy. She went by the name Paula Wolf instead of Hitler to avoid as much public scrutiny as possible.
11. Nephew Fought For the US in War
Adolf Hitler’s nephew, William Patrick Hitler was born in England in 1911. He was reported to have tried to profit from his uncle’s name during his rise to power, but when Adolf demanded that he renounce his British citizenship, he fled Germany and immigrated to the United States. Interestingly, William requested special permission to enlist during World War II in the United States Navy! He proudly served for the American’s during the war, making it an interesting bit to brag about for the United States to get to say that they had Hitler’s own nephew fighting against him! He stayed in the United States and raised four children after the war and was even interviewed about his disdain for his uncle multiple times, where he spoke openly about hating Adolf.
10. Living Ancestors Changed Their Names
The Hitler name has become universally regarded as evil and virtually no one wants to be associated with the name. Even now more than 70 years after the end of the war, the name is just as hated as ever. For this reason, his sister Paula even went by the name Paula Wolf after the war. Also after the war, William Patrick Hitler returned to the United States and changed the family name to “Stuart-Houston.” William’s sons are still alive and live quiet lives under the name “Stuart-Houston” to this day. Stuart-Houston may be a tribute to the Nazi author Houston Stewart Chamberlain (or perhaps not), but the story of William Patrick Hitler is fascinating and full of reasons why the Hitler name was so difficult to bear when living in England and the United States.
9. Hitler’s Mother and Father Were Second Cousins
Hitler’s father Alois was considerably older than his mother Klara (more than 20 years older). In fact, he actually had been married two times previously and had six children from his first marriage. Alois hired his second cousin Klara (who was just 16), in 1876. In fact, Alois had been married twice before he married Klara in 1885. They got married in a very small ceremony and then had six children of their own! Of course, he had children from other marriages too, that Adolf would grow to think of as brothers and sisters as well. Hitler’s father did not spend a whole lot of time or effort with his family, as this was of little interest to him. Alois was more interested in beekeeping, though he wasn’t particularly good at the craft.
8. Four Siblings Died During Childhood
Adolf’s mother and father had a total of six children together, but surprisingly, it was only Adolf and his sister Paula, that lived to adulthood. Remarkably, four of his siblings died during childhood. Illnesses during childhood plagued the Hitler family and unfortunately, two of Adolf’s older siblings, Gustav and Ida, died of diphtheria before he was born as very young children. Otto, was another brother that died of hydrocephalus while still an infant. Edmund Hitler, another brother of Adolf died at age six in 1900. Childhood illness and mortality rates were much higher in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Hitlers were raised as a Catholic family, which have historically been known to have many children. But even considering the time, having four of six children die in infancy or early childhood was rare and crushing.
7. May Have Had a Son
History has regarded Adolf Hitler as having died childless in 1945. But one story has surfaced over the years that has been studied at length by researchers that indicates Hitler may have had an illegitimate son. In 1914, when Hitler was in the German Army, he met a French girl and courted her over the next few years. Her name was Lobojoie Charlotte and after a night of drinking in 1917, the two allegedly conceived a child whose name was Jean-Marie Loret. Loret worked for years to research and try to find a way to prove the story, which is very plausible. There have been conflicting reports about the truth in this claim, but it sure does make for good gossip! Loret never knew about the potential connection until 1948, just before his mother’s death.
6. Austrian (Not German) Family
If you think of Hitler, you immediately think of Germany. His sense of German nationalistic pride and his quest for power was idyllic. But with who he is and was, he is a stain on the country for sure, but amazingly, Adolf Hitler himself was actually not born in Germany! Hitler was born and raised in Austria. He actually lived in Austria until he was 24, when in poverty (having run through his inheritance from his mother), he moved to Munich, Germany. Hitler soon became highly involved politically and the rest is certainly very well-known and tragic history. But the notion that Adolf himself was purely the product of Germany is absolutely false! The Austrians surely do not wish to claim him, but the Germans certainly do not have to either.
5. Raised in a Catholic Home
Hitler was not known for his religious convictions. In fact, he remarked on multiple occasions that he intended to dismantle the churches after he won the war. While it was not practical to take on Catholicism, the Roman Catholic Church was on his radar as an obstacle to the perfect society in which he envisioned. But surprisingly, Hitler was actually born into, baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church as a youth! His mother was a devout Catholic and insisted upon raising her children as such as well. Adolf attended a Catholic school and was even an altar server as a boy. He claimed to never be fully invested in the faith and once he was of legal age to leave home, he never returned to church again. But his roots were very Catholic, even if they did not take hold.
4. Was Only Married to Eva Braun One Day
Hitler’s love life was not his main ambition, but that doesn’t mean that he did not have one. Most people know that Hitler was married to Eva Braun, but most people don’t realize that they were only married for one day. While it is very true that Eva Braun had been his companion for some time, they were unmarried and had no children. Braun was more than 20 years younger than Hitler, but was completely and totally dedicated to him. It was reported that she even attempted to kill herself twice early in their relationship to get more of his attention. But the day before they committed suicide in 1945 when in hiding, they said their wedding vows and became married. She was only 33 years of age at the time of her death.
3. Social Worker Nephew
Hitler’s American nephew (one of them) is Alexander Adolf Stuart-Houston, who is alive and well, living alone as a retired social worker. He lives a quiet life, but counseled Vietnam War veterans as part of his work. He was no doubt a good and decent man that led a quiet life, perhaps purposely. It does seem to be kind of a bad decision for his father William to give him the middle name ‘Adolf,’ especially considering that he allegedly hated his uncle. But nevertheless, Alexander has lived with the knowledge that he is a nephew of Adolf Hitler and has kept the information as quiet as possible. Once people find out who he is, they automatically begin to see him a little differently, which is all the more reason why the remaining family members do not wish to have children.
2. Carried Mom’s Picture
Adolf was never particularly happy with his father. He did not care much for the man and likely had little difficulty with his death as a young man. But the death of his mother was a completely different story. Adolf took great care of his mother after his father’s death and catered to her every need until her death. He had an incredibly difficult time grieving when his mother passed and this tragedy likely stuck with him throughout his life. Interestingly, Adolf never stopped carrying a picture of his mother for the rest of his life. Even to his own death, Adolf Hitler carried a picture of his mother with him. This sentimentality is a uniquely human quality of a man that has come to be regarded as a monster.
1. Father Adopted the Name ‘Hitler’
Adolf Hitler’s father Alois was not originally named Hitler. He was actually born to an unwed mother named Maria Schickelgruber. His illegitimate father was Leopold Frankenberger (who you already know was a Jew), but Alois took on the name of the man his mother married, Johann Georg Hiedler. Hiedler would later change to the pronunciation and spelling “Hitler” and the rest is history. It would be interesting to learn how Hiedler became Hitler. Of course, Adolf remarked at one point that taking the Hitler name was the greatest thing his father ever did (remember that he didn’t think much of his father). It is a good thing that he did, because somehow, the name Adolf Shickelgruber or Frankenberger doesn’t seem to evoke as much fear and a sense of power as Hitler.