The main objective of this research paper is to evaluate if Adolf Hitler had a Jewish heritage. Referencing from the early available evidences and primary sources, this article incorporates the secondary sources to unfold the truth behind this mystery. Looking at the culture of Nazi philosophy and the dictator instilled during this reign, Jewish heritage has been spelled from a new dimension. According to Bank and Julie, Hitler is defined as “The world War two that joined the Nazi Party in 1919 and became the leader by 1921”1. While exploring Ann Frank in her diary excerpts; the Jewish legacy is trailed through a route of despair by the early war and rulings characterized with dictatorship. With a controversial heritage (many claims that Hitler was not a Jew) that is eventually connected to his death, Adolf Hitler instills a matter of disputes through his religious views.
Jewish heritage of Adolf Hitler
In Ann Frank Diary (1945 to 1951), the rumors of Hitler’s heritage are centered on his father Alois2. Various related stories are documented in the archives. Some strongly insists that his father was a Jewish that had made his first appearance in Paris before the Second World War began. The story is otherwise revealed by the nephew of Hitler; William, who got annoyed after some conflicts with his uncle thereby spilling the “truth” about the true heritage. In a documentary available in Jewish Heritage museum, there is hardly any clear and direct evidence that appears to uproot this leader from the culture that he strongly upholds and based on which he had risen to be one of the strongest dictatorial leader. However, this ambiguity in trace of origin does not come as a surprise for a leader that could turn any evidence as he pleased. David Irving is one of the ancient historians that have hardly been able to unearth any evidence despite his early devotion to his investigation while Hitler was still early in reign. He is strongly convinced that this ambiguity is caused by elimination of any evidence that could unfold Hitler’s true heritage3.
Tracing Hitler to the Jewish heritage
Adolf Hitler was Austrian born German politician. He was the leader of the National Socialist Workers Party, chancellor of Germany from 1933-1945 and the head of state from the years 1934-19454. Hitler played a significant role in the rise fascism in Europe, World War II and the Holocaust. The leader is famous for his anti-Semite campaign, which portrayed his hatred for the Jewish people.
Over the years, since the death of Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader, his ancestry has been questioned and subject of intense controversy. Suggestions have been made that Hitler was of Jewish and African decent; ethic groups he detested and considered subhuman. To determine the ancestry of Adolf Hitler and quell some of the controversies in the media some individuals have gone to great lengths to investigate his lineage using the latest technology available today.
What still remains is the ever circumstantial evidence. Ironically, more investigation to unearth the truth appears to be concealing the true explanation on Hitler’s paternity. Tracing the history back to 1838, it is documented that Maria Schilgruber fell pregnant during this year prompting her to be sent back to Strones village which was her home. This is followed by birth of Alois (the father to Hitler) in an illegitimate way. Basically, Alois is “believed” to be sired by a Jewish heir from Graz family5. While making the entry to the birth registry book, the father’s space is left blank. This registry has however been unsuccessfully located and what is available in the Jewish Heritage Museum is a manuscript resembling what was “believed” to have been used as a birth register.
As claimed by Hans; Hitlers attorney, a series of letters were exchanged between Maria and this Jewish “father”. These letters clearly proved that the correspondent had assumed the paternity of Alois. However, this issue is further complicated by the fact that not historic archive has documented any of these letters. Furthermore, there is clear evidence that Maria had lived in Graz (a different town) by the time of Alois conception. There is also evidence to clearly show that financial compensations were received hence this was to act as a price for remaining silent. This makes sense based on the fact under the strict social rules6; the father could hardly be named based on the fact that employer-servant relationship was not allowed by the conception time.
After the death of Alois mother in the year 1852, this orphan is taken to the younger brother of his foster father Nepomuk Johanh; a farmer that is successfully raising his own son. This documentary flows through to 1868 when an “illegitimate son” is born (Alois 'Hikler'). The parish priest now amends Alois 'Hikler' baptismal name following the request by Nepomuk Hiedler. This is backed by the testimony of three associates that are illiterate to the effect that the foster father was the biological father of Alois.
The cause of altering the birth trace is highlighted in the Paris registry titled ‘remarks’. This is the change that provokes questioning based on the fact that the alteration required four witnesses. To further complicate the issue, the birth records prove that the available witnesses were youths by the time when Maria died. For the priest, his arrival at Dollershein had not been earlier than before the death of the alleged father. Therefore, simply accepting the words from Nepomuck is questionable.
Years before Hitler had risen to reign; William Patrick Hitler (Alois cousin) wrote a letter threatening to reveal “The embarrassing secrets behind Hitler family tree” in the book by Brenda Haugen.7 The claim by William was dismissed because they were not supported.
Adolf Hitler was born in 20 April 1889, in upper Austria. He was the fourth child to Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl. At the age of three Hitler’s family moved to Kapuzinerstrasse in Passau, Germany. Hitler had a challenging childhood because his father abused him physically. To rebel against his father who was a great supporter of the Austrian government, Hitler became an ardent reader of material on German Nationalism8. He was very disruptive in schools and was expelled from a couple of times.
After his father died in 1905, Hitler lived a Bohemian life in Vienna receiving financial support from orphans benefits and his mother. Soon after, Hitler’s mother died in the year 1907, from breast cancer at the age of 47years. His mother’s death was quit challenging for Hitler. A court ordered Hitler to surrender his orphans benefit to his sister Paula and he had to struggle to survive. He survived by selling paintings and lived in shelter for the homeless due to his meager income. While living at the shelter, one of the residents sold his paintings without his consent. This resulted in a massive disagreement that uncovered Hitler’s true picture of cruelty. This cruelty is also emphasized on by Wiesel in an interview with Oprah. Wiesel states that; “With Hitler, it is obvious to say that a he was a criminal syndicate agent through to the end”.9
Vienna was largely a Jewish community, with even orthodox Jewish from Pogroms, Russia. In his work Hitler states that he first become an anti-Semite while living in Vienna. However, Hitler’s childhood friend, August Kubizeks, made claims that Hitler was a confirmed anti-Semite before he left Linz. The reliability of August’s claims was not conformed because he is the only one who portrays Hitler as an anti-Semite at a very tender age. Hitler’s hatred for the Jewish community did not become apparent until later because he used to dine with Jewish merchants to market his paintings.
What the historians hold
Historians in the 1950 believed that Adolf Hitler was of Jewish ancestry although there was no supporting evidence to the claims. In the 1990s, historians disputed the claims that Hitler was of Jewish ancestry because of documentation showing that all Jews were expelled from Ganz in the fifteenth century.
Recently some authors with great interest in the ancestry of Hitler undertook studies to find out his ancestry by carrying out DNA tests on his living ancestors and comparing the results with a bone discovered at the location Hitler committed Suicide10. The results although inconclusive reveal that Hitler might be of both African and Jewish Heritage. This is quite a huge irony because Hitler had great dislike for people of Jewish and African descent.
Although over the years, many claims have been made into the question of whether Adolf Hitler has Jewish heritage or not, to date the subject still remains controversial because of lack of substantial supporting evidence into the claims made. The ancestry of Hitler remains a mystery to date because there is no supporting evidence to confirm the claims that Hitler, who showed great hatred for the Jewish could belong to the same community he loathed so much when alive. The claim about the biological father of Hitler grandfather presents rather a convincing argument which could support the claims on Hitler Jewish heritage. However, the claims are still questionable because historians claim that all Jews were evicted from Ganz by the fifteenth Century. After all with these controversial investigations that hardly seems to reveal the truth, it may be possible for the man historically known as Hitler to be referred to as Adolf Frankenberger unless if this could have been perceived to be an embarrassment for the Jewish family name and Hitler himself.
Answers to Questions
1. The thesis of the paper is that Adolf Hitler has a controversial heritage controversial heritage, which ultimately led to his death; furthermore, he instills a matter of disputes through his religious views.
2. I found seven sources in analyzing Hitler’s heritage. Primary sources were three and they included Ann Frank Diary (2011), Rj Adams documentary (2007), and Oprah Magazine (2000). The rest of the sources, which are four, are all secondary sources.
3. The paper is unique in the sense that all the sources are reviewed proving that the heritage of Hitler is traced to a Jewish family called the Frankenberger. However, the claims are still questionable.
Bank, Richard & Julie, Gutin. Everything Jewish history and heritage book. (Everything Books, 2003). 305 p.
Frank, Ann. Diary Excerpts. (The Ann Frank Center USA, 2011). 2p.
Giblin, James. The life and death of Adolf Hitler. (New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002). 4-12.
Haugen, Brenda. Adolf Hitler: Dictator of Nazi Germany. (Minneapolis, Compass Point Books, 2006). 9-23
History in the Headlines (2010). Study Suggests Adolf Hitler Had Jewish and African Ancestors. 17th August 2011. http://www.history.com/news/2010/08/26/study-suggests-adolf-hitler-had-jewish-and-african-ancestors/
Rj, Adams. Ruins of Reich: Four-part series of the Rise and Fall of Hitler's Reich and its effect. (Third Reich Historian Creation, 2007).
The Oprah Magazine. (2000). Oprah Talks to Elie Wiesel. 1-9. 14th September 2011.