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18 June 2014
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Myths and Legends
Your Story: Adolf Hitler - did he visit Liverpool during 1912-13?

Hitler Family Origins

Alois snr, the natural father of both boys, was born on 7 June 1837 to Maria Anna Schickelgruber, a forty-two year old unmarried daughter of Johann Schickelgruber from the village of Strones in Lower Austria. The entry made that same day in the baptismal register of Dollerscheim parish, shows that the baby was christened Alois Schickelgruber. The space in the register for the father's name was left blank and despite much speculation has remained a mystery ever since.

In 1842, Maria Shickelgruber married a journeyman miller named Johann Georg Hiedler. The marriage lasted only five years as Maria died in 1847. Young Alois was taken in by his step-father's brother, who raised him like his own son. Why this was so is unclear, but Johann Georg may have returned to his travels to support himself.

At eighteen, Alois entered the Austrian civil service and by 1875 he had risen to the position of customs inspector in Braunau am Inn. The following year he had cause to have his name changed. It would not appear to be due to his illegitimacy, as he had never attempted to conceal it, rather, it may have been due to a legacy from his heir-less adopted father Johann Nepomuk Hiedler that required Alois to legally take the family name.

As a consequence his birth records were altered to read Johann Georg Hiedler as the name of his father, despite the fact he had been dead for nearly 20 years. In fact, it was misspelled as “Johann Georg Hitler” in the process. The parish priest was also persuaded to strike out Schickelgruber and to change “out of wedlock” to “within wedlock” There was also marginal note: “The under signed confirm that Georg Hitler, registered as the father, who is well known to the under signed witnesses, admits to being the father of the child Alois as stated by the child's mother, Anna Schickelgruber, and has requested the entry of his name in the present baptismal register”. Three illiterate witnesses added their marks to the statement. The statement was clearly false, but his natural parents were no longer around to object. From January 1877 Alois Schickelgruber called himself Alois Hitler.

Words: M W Royden

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