Was Hitler Jewish?
Meanwhile, let us turn our attention to the conspiracy about Hitler’s alleged Jewish heritage.
The claim that that Hitler had Jewish blood was given credence by his lawyer Hans Frank who was executed for war crimes in 1946. In his memoirs published posthumously, the lawyer claimed he was asked by Hitler to probe his ancestry to find any Jewish link after a nephew threatened to expose Hitler’s Jewish blood, at a time of the fuhrer’s meteoric rise. Frank claimed he found evidence that Hitler’s paternal grandfather was Jewish, but many have punctured holes through the claim since.
The mystery really surrounds Hitler’s paternal grandmother Maria Anna Schicklgruber, who had a child out of wedlock. Alois Hitler, the father of Adolf Hitler, was born in 1837 when his mother (42 at that time) was working as a cook at the home of the Frankenbergers – a Jewish family from the Austrian city of Graz.
Frank claimed that the Frankenbergers paid maintenance to the mother until the child reached the age of 14, and this was verified by him through letter exchanges between Hitler’s grandmother and the Frankerbergers.
More questions than answers
Besides, the threat letters allegedly received by Hitler from his nephew were also never recovered.
Hitler got his family name from one Johann Georg Hiedler, who his grandmother married five years after giving birth to her illegitimate son. Alois Hitler was adopted by Johann’s brother, Johann Nepomuk Hiedler after his mother died in 1847.
Frank had said that Hitler claimed his paternal grandfather was not Jewish but that his grandmother and the man she married later (according to Hitler, his biological grandfather) lied to the Jewish employers that the son was theirs to receive maintenance payments since the family was poor.
Hitler said he heard this from his grandmother and father. But he could not have heard this from his grandmother who died before he was born, taking the secret of his ancestry to the grave with herself.
So, what if Hitler was part Jewish? These unproven rumours gained sway during World War II. Some say it was floated by the Nazis to “explain their defeat”. Others say Hitler persecuted and killed millions of Jews because he felt shame about his lineage.
However, these conspiracy theories are viewed with skepticism by mainstream historians.