Half-nephew of the dictator How the little Hitler declared war on the big Hitler

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29th June 1941: Mrs Brigid Hitler, the wife of Adolf Hitler's stepbrother Alois, says goodbye to her son William Patrick Hitler outside the Astor Hotel in New York City. He is leaving to join the Canadian Airforce. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

The way William Patrick Hitler, the “Führer’s” half-nephew, planned to profit off his name was to first boast, then try to blackmail, and eventually wage a private battle against him.

source news: spiegel.de

The young Herr Hitler had problems with the German language. Clumsily, he tried to hit on a saleswoman at a company party of the Deutsches Familienkaufhaus in the Landwehrkasino at Berlin’s Bahnhof Zoo: “May I screw you?” Some bystanders giggled, others looked indignant. That’s how an acquaintance told it later.

Soon after, the same Hitler formulated a blackmail letter in polished German. He threatened his uncle that he would publish family secrets if he did not help him financially. The uncle raged, as his lawyer noted, at the request of “one of his most disgusting relatives.”

William Patrick Hitler, born in Liverpool in 1911, was not the only, but the most audacious member of a widely ramified clan that tried to capitalize on his family relationship with Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler. They are tricky relations, anything but orderly – you will find a genealogical chart below this text.

Half-nephew of the dictator How the little Hitler declared war on the big Hitler 1

The “Führer” had every reason to conceal the sloppy circumstances of his ancestors. Adolf’s father, born illegitimate as Alois Schicklgruber, producer unknown, was married three times. Adolf, born in Braunau, Austria, came from the third marriage; with his second wife Alois had fathered premaritally the son of the same name, the father of William Patrick, who was thus a half-nephew of the dictator.

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Adolf Hitler’s half-brother Alois, who had already served two prison terms for theft, had gone to England in 1905 and married the Irishwoman Bridget Dowling. He waited tables, ran a restaurant that soon went bankrupt, and traded haplessly in razor blades, which were just coming into fashion. Shortly before the outbreak of World War I, Alois returned to Germany in search of work and married a second time, in bigamy. The marriage with Bridget was divorced years later.

He tried to blackmail the uncle

In 1929, Adolf Hitler invited his half-brother to the fourth party congress of the NSDAP in Nuremberg; Alois asked his son William Patrick, who lived in London and whom he had not seen since 1913, to join him. Alois took the opportunity to ask the party leader, who was striving for power, for a job placement, but Adolf turned him down: It was impossible to give the family business assignments, he said. In 1934, Alois opened a restaurant on Wittenbergplatz in Berlin, and it quickly became a meeting place for party comrades.

William Patrick also stayed in Berlin after his uncle’s “seizure of power”. And had to make the experience that the name Hitler did not only provide advantages. When he was checked by SS men on the terrace of the Café Kranzler in June 1934 and identified himself as Hitler, an SS officer jammed him, saying that the name of the “Führer” should “not be misused for silly games,” and had him locked up for the night.

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At Adolf Hitler’s discreet hint, the half-nephew got a job at the Reichskreditbank. But the poorly paid accountant’s job did not suit him – whereupon he wrote the blackmailing letter to his uncle’s aide-de-camp that he wanted to “hand over confidential information about the Hitler family to the English press” in order to “improve my living conditions.

Surprisingly, Adolf Hitler passed over the blackmail attempt with leniency. the blackmail attempt with mildness. He knew that rumors about alleged Jewish ancestors were circulating. If “Hitler had Jewish blood in his veins,” noted his lawyer Hans Frank, later the infamous “governor general” in occupied Poland, he would have had “little legitimacy” to “be an anti-Semite.”

There was no truth in the gossip about a Jewish origin. Nevertheless, Hitler wanted to prevent embarrassing revelations, for example about his father’s dubious name change. After all, 19 years after the death of his stepfather Georg Hiedler, he had adopted his name with the changed spelling “Hitler. However, the biological father was probably Georg’s brother Nepomuk, who was also the grandfather of Hitler’s mother. In addition to the suspicion of incest, there was also the question of whether the “Führer” could have provided proof of his “Aryan heritage”.

To avoid quarrels with his nephew, the “Führer” got him a job at Opel – first at the factory in Rüsselsheim, then at a car dealer in Berlin. There, William Patrick flaunted the name Hitler because he wanted to increase his sales chances. But a customer, a Nazi loyal to the party, reported this to the police, who inquired at the Reich Chancellery. The powerful uncle had William Patrick fired.

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Half-nephew of the dictator How the little Hitler declared war on the big Hitler 2
Declaration of war: In America, little Hitler declared war on big Hitler. He launched a publicity campaign to educate the public in his host country about the viciousness of the German dictator, which he had by then also discovered, and in the illustrated magazine “Look”…

Little Hitler declared war on big Hitler

The nephew was bitter. As a member of the family, he had hoped for a great career and a comfortable life, but Adolf Hitler, unlike other dictators, was averse to any nepotism. Secretly, William Patrick Hitler left Germany in January 1939 and returned to his mother in London.

With visitor visas, Bridget Hitler and her son traveled to America on a steamer. They arrived in New York on March 30, 1939, and just one day later the “New York Times” quoted William Patrick as saying that Adolf Hitler had “the power to destroy European civilization and perhaps the whole world.”

Until then, the nephew had tried to gain professional advantages from his family name. And from now on used it to enlighten America and the rest of the world about the evilness of his uncle. The little Hitler declared war on the big Hitler. In July 1939, William Patrick published an article of several pages in the illustrated magazine “Look” under the headline “Why I hate my uncle”, garnished with pictures from his private photo album. Also for a lavish fee, he chatted about family matters in the French daily newspaper “Paris-Soir” in August 1939 under the title “My Uncle Adolf”.

source news: spiegel.de

Salih Demir

Salih Demir lives in Germany. He is interested in politics and economy. Germany editor of -ancient idea- fikrikadim.com

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