One of the most well known events of the 1900s, if not the most well known, was when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime began to take over the world and start what he believed would become one thousand years of Nazi rule. Many people will never forget the countless terrible things that the German leader did to millions of innocent lives. However, what most people are not familiar with where Hitler came from, and who his family was.
Who were the few who had to grow up and know this terrible tyrant before he became the man the world would soon know? Most people do not know is the relationship Adolf Hitler had with his parents, or that he even had brothers and sisters. Both of his parents died before Hitler was even able to turn twenty years old. Four of his five siblings died before Hitler reached twelve years old. For most of his life, Hitler tried to keep his family heritage a secret from the public. Later in his life he would even be blackmailed by his own nephew threatening to tell the world secrets about Adolf’s heritage.
Adolf Hitler tried as best he could to prevent this type of information from going public. It all began in the Braunau-am-Inn, Austria, in 1889, when Adolf Hitler was born. All of his older siblings: Gustav, Ida, and Otto, had all died in infancy. At the age of three, Hitler’s family moved to Passau, German. After that, Hitler’s brother, Edmund, would be born in the year 1894. Then in 1896, his sister, Paula (the only sibling of Hitler’s to make it to adulthood), was born.
As a child Hitler was a good student and he was very outgoing. Unfortunately, in the year 1900, Edmund died of measles. As a result, Hitler’s personality changed. He went from being the outgoing, good student, to a detached, sullen boy. He even stated later in life, “I do not see why man should not be just as cruel as nature” (Brainy Quote).
Hitler’s childhood was not one that would be remembered as a happy one. His father abused him and his mother constantly, and because of this Hitler grew a closer relationship with his mother. He said, “I loved my mother, but I respected my father” (Hitler’s Family). In 1903, Hitler’s father, Alois, died suddenly, but worst of all was when Hitler’s mother died in 1907. Hitler was told by the doctor that she had advanced breast cancer and there was nothing much to do.
This emotional childhood is what started the change in personality that created who Hitler would be. As Hitler got older he did not become any better of a person than one would expect. He was considered controlling to his sister and his two half siblings. In his early adult years he even fell in love with his half-niece, Angela Raubal. Many people could not understand the nature of the relationship for obvious reasons.
For two years Angela lived in the same house as Hitler and other relatives. However, in 1931, Hitler is told that Angela had committed suicide. He searches for something, but she did not even leave him a note saying goodbye. This would cause him to go into a depression for months. One of his famous quotes was, “I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few” (Brainy Quotes). These drastic events in Hitler’s life had caused him to become the bitter, evil man that everyone knows.
He would even interrupt in the love life of his sister Paula. Paula had been in love doctor Erwin Jekelius who sent people to the gas chambers. “Hitler became so upset that he sent Erwin to the Eastern Front, and was later captured and died in Russian captivity” (Hitler’s Family). The emotional trauma Hitler received would eventually lead to the corruption that his heart would have. In Hitler’s later years, some of his family would try to get even with him.
His nephew, William Stuart was asked by Hitler to take a high ranked job and give up his British citizenship. He expected a trap so he threatened to reveal to the public that Hitler had Jewish heritage. Instead he went back to Germany until he had a lecture that made him travel to the United States. He would then stay there and actually fight World War II on the side of the Americans. The story goes that when William signed up, the recruiting officer said, “Glad to see you, Hitler. My name is Hess” (Wikipedia).
On the other hand, Hitler’s other nephew, Heinz Hitler, was dedicated to fighting on the side of his uncle. He went to camp and was trained to become a Nazi soldier. He demanded that he was given no special treatment. When war broke out Heinz went to fight, and went missing. His father said, “It’s one thing if I know he died for his country, but I don’t know if he is even dead” (Hitler’s Family). In fact, Heinz was captured by the Soviets and died in captivity.
The difference in how Hitler’s relatives viewed him is quite astonishing. Some fought for his name while others fought to wipe it from history. There are so many things about Hitler’s family that people are not aware of because that is what Hitler aimed for. Even to this day there are people living in this world, including the United States, who are relatives of the evil dictator, Adolf Hitler. Hitler even destroyed his father’s hometown so that the evidence of his heritage would be erased.
Most of relatives that are living today try to hide from publicity in the hopes that they can just have the family name die out. Some even live everyday in fear that someone will try to get revenge for the things that were done by a result of their famous relative.