Like this page?
Send it to a friend!
By Paul Coslett
The story of Hitler’s Scouse nephew William Patrick Hitler is the subject of a new play about to transfer to the West End.
The life story of Adolf Hitler’s Liverpool born nephew is the subject of a play about to move to London’s West End.
William Hitler grew up in Toxteth in the early 20th century living at 102 Upper Stanhope Street.
The play Little Willy by Mark Kassen opened at the Ohio Theater in New York in March 2006. It tells the story of William Patrick Hitler’s life and his attempts to cash in on the noteriety of his uncle. After success in New York the production is planning to move to London next year.
William Patrick Hitler
William’s father Alois Hitler, the half-brother of Adolf had married an Irish girl called Bridget Dowling. Alois and Bridget had met at a horse fair in Ireland before eloping to London and marrying and finally settled in Liverpool.
The Liverpool branch of the Hitler family ran different businesses including a boarding house and a restaurant. The couple had one child, William Patrick Hitler born on March 12th 1911.
Once his uncle rose to power in Germany, William moved to the country and basked in the female adulation that came from having such a famous uncle. Hitler never had much time for William and eventually he moved to the United States to go on a lecture tour organised by William Randolph Hearst. When war broke out he stayed in the USA joining the US Navy in 1944.
The Poste House where Hitler is said to have drank
A recurring story, that has never been proved either way, is that Adolf Hitler visited Liverpool in 1912. At the time he was practically destitute and working as a part time labourer in Vienna.
Adolf Hitler in Liverpool
Local legend has it that Hitler drank in the Poste House pub in Cumberland Street. The evidence for Hitler’s visit comes from the writings of William’s mother Bridget who moved to the USA too. She wrote that her famous brother-in-law had moved to Liverpool and lived with her and Alois from November 1912 to April 1913. There is no other evidence for the visit, which many historians dismiss as a ploy by Bridget to make money from the infamous family name.
Hitler's half-brother Alois
The family home on Upper Stanhope Street where Adolf Hitler is reputed to have stayed was destroyed by the Luftwaffe in 1942, the last street in Liverpool to be bombed in the Second World War.
After the war William Patrick Hitler changed his surname and lived in relative obscurity up to his death in 1987. He was buried alongside his mother in Long Island cemetery. He had four sons Howard, Alexander Adolf, Louis and Brian. Howard died in a car crash in 1989, the three surviving sons have no children.
last updated: 26/02/2008 at 12:10