As stated in previous posts, there were twelve important questions about Hitler that needed to be answered in my historical novel, In the Mouth of the Lion. They were:
- Did Hitler have supernatural powers?
- Who killed Geli Raubal, Hitler’s niece?
- Why was Geli Raubal killed?
- How did her murderer get away with it?
- Who is the newest candidate for Hitler’s mystery grandfather?
- Why did Hitler want to eliminate Jews?
- Why did Hitler attack Russia?
- Why did he destroy his father’s home town?
- Did Hitler really have “Jewish blood?”
- What was the connection between Geli’s death and the Holocaust?
- Was Hitler insane?
- What was Hitler’s greatest fear?
Hitler’s father, Alois Schicklgruber, was born out of wedlock (not at all a rarity in the Waldviertel, the Arkansas of Austria) to Maria Schicklgruber, a household servant in Strones, Austria. When Alois was five, Maria married Johann Georg Hiedler (“JGH”). The latter, now Alois’s stepfather, became the primary and most likely candidate for Adolf Hitler’s mystery grandfather.
A few years later, about 1847, when he was nine or ten, Alois was sent to live with his stepfather’s brother, Johann Nepomuk Hiedler (“JNH”). Alois later inherited a substantial share of JNH’s estate. Because of this, many people believe it was JNH who actually fathered Alois.
Johann Georg Hiedler’s name was belatedly inscribed as father on Alois’s birth certificate as a result of Alois’s request for legitimization in 1876, long after both Maria and Johann had died. The legitimization was necessary in order for Alois to inherit his legacy from the estate of his putative uncle, JNH. Alois then changed his surname to Hiedler, as requested by the uncle’s will, but used the variant spelling, Hitler.
Two other men were rumored to be Hitler’s grandfather. According to one such rumor, Maria Schicklgruber was employed by a Jewish family in Graz named Frankenberg and became pregnant by the son, Leopold Frankenberg. This was unlikely, since all Jews had been expelled from that area centuries previously. A similar rumor stated that Maria worked for a Baron Rothschild in Vienna at the time she became pregnant. Neither rumor is considered by scholars to be of any validity.
There is a fifth possibility for the mystery grandfather. He has even been identified as having lived in the Waldviertel, the same area as Maria at the time she became pregnant. His name is revealed in In the Mouth of the Lion.
Who do you think was Hitler’s mystery grandfather? Do you think his ancestry is of any relevance to the Holocaust? Do you think “Heil Schicklgruber” would have had the same panache as “Heil Hitler?”
AFTERWORD: It should perhaps be noted that the legitimization process resulted in Alois’s marriage to Adolf’s mother, Klara Poelzl, being between cousins, sufficiently consanguineous to require a papal dispensation. It should also be mentioned that Hitler had a long term affair with Geli Raubal, his half-sister’s daughter, until her unfortunate “suicide.” See In the Mouth of the Lion, for the true story of how she died.