Heinz Hitler in a uniform during the war
14 March 1920|
|Died||21 February 1942
Moscow, Soviet Union
|Years of service||1939-1942|
|Awards||Iron Cross 2nd Class|
|Relations||Alois Hitler, Jr. (father)
William Patrick Hitler (half-brother)
Adolf Hitler (half-uncle)
Heinrich Hitler (nickname Heinz; 14 March 1920 – 21 February 1942) was the son of Alois Hitler, Jr. and his second wife Hedwig Heidemann and the nephew of Adolf Hitler. When World War II began, he joined the Wehrmacht and served on the Eastern Front, where he was captured and died in prison in 1942.
Unlike his half-brother William Patrick Hitler, Heinz was a Nazi. He attended an elite Nazi military academy, the National Political Institutes of Education (Napola) in Ballenstedt/Saxony-Anhalt. Aspiring to be an officer, Heinz joined the Wehrmacht as a signals subofficer with the 23rd Potsdamer Artillery Regiment in 1941, and he participated in the invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa. On January 10, 1942, he was ordered to collect radio equipment from an army post. He never came back; he was captured by Soviet forces and sent to the Moscow military prison Butyrka, where he died, aged 21, after several days of interrogation and torture.
Former classmate Hans-Wolf Werner describes how he benefitted from his uncle's famous family name:
"One of the lads had a car. They tore through Magdeburg without a license. The police stopped them and he showed his ID "Heinz Hitler" [and] the police just saluted and let them drive on (laughs)."
- Maser, Von Werner (1971). Adolf Hitler: Legende, Mythos, Wirklichkeit (in German). München & Esslingen: Welsermühl, Wels. p. 60 &447.
- Vermeeren, Marc (2007). De jeugd van Adolf Hitler 1889-1985 en zijn familie en voorouders (in Dutch). Soesterberg: Uitgeverij Aspekt. ISBN 90-5911-606-2.
- Oliver Halmburger (director), Thomas Staehler (director), Timothy Ryback (consultant), and Florian Beierl (consultant) (2005). Familie Hitler. Im Schatten des Diktators (documentary film) (in German). München: Loopfilm GmBH and Mainz: ZDF-History.