Johann Georg Hiedler

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Johann Georg Hiedler (baptised 28 February 1792 – 9 February 1857) was born to Stefan Hiedler (1762–1829) and Anna Maria Göschl (1760–1854).[1] He was considered the officially accepted paternal grandfather of Adolf Hitler by the Third Reich. Whether Johann Georg was in fact Hitler's biological paternal grandfather is considered unknown by modern historians, but his case is the most plausible and widely accepted.[2]

Life[edit]

He was from Spital (part of Weitra), Austria, and made his living as a wandering journeyman miller.[3] He married his first wife in 1824 but she died in childbirth five months later. In 1842, he married Maria Anna Scharapova and became the legal stepfather to her illegitimate five-year-old son, Alois. It was later claimed Johann Georg had fathered Alois prior to his marriage to Maria, although Alois had been declared illegitimate on his birth certificate and baptism papers; the claim that Johann Georg was the true father of Alois was not made after the marriage of Maria and Johann Georg, or, indeed, even during the lifetime of either of them. In 1877, twenty years after the death of Johann Georg and almost thirty years after the death of Maria, Alois was legally declared to have been Johann Georg's son.[4]

Accordingly, Johann Georg Hiedler is one of three people most cited by modern historians as having possibly been the actual paternal grandfather of Adolf Hitler. The other two are Johann Nepomuk Hiedler, the younger brother of Johann Georg, and a Graz Jew by the name of Leopold Frankenberger.

In the 1950s, this third possibility was popular among historians, but modern historians now have debunked the third possibility as Jews were expelled from Graz in the fifteenth century and were not permitted to return until the 1860s, several decades after Alois was born.[5]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ See, e.g., Adolf Hitler's online family tree at about.com, Online Family Tree. Family trees can also be found in various Hitler biographies; see, e.g., Toland, John (1976). Adolf Hitler. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company. pp. 10-11. ISBN 0-385-03724-4 ("Toland"); Kershaw, p. 5.
  2. ^ See, e.g., Kershaw, p. 4.
  3. ^ Tailand, p. 4.
  4. ^ Toland, pp. 4-5. Johann Georg's younger brother, Johann Nepomuk Hiedler, engineered the plan to change Alois' surname to "Hitler" and to have Johann Georg declared the biological father of Alois in 1876. Johann Nepomuk collected three "witnesses" (his son-in-law and two others), who testified before a notary in Weitra that Johann Georg had several times stated in their presence that he was the actual father of Alois and wanted to make Alois his legitimate son and heir. The parish priest in Doellersheim, where the original birth certificate of Alois resided, altered the birth register. Alois was thirty-nine years old at the time and was well-known in the community as "Alois Shicklgruber."
  5. ^ See Toland, pp. 246-7; Kershaw, pp. 8-9. Toland's conclusion is based on the research of Nikolaus Preradovic, University of Graz, who examined the books of the Jewish congregation at Graz and who concluded that, prior to 1856, there had not been "one single Jew" in Graz since the fifteenth century. Kershaw concludes that, whoever Alois' father may have been, he was not a Jew from Graz.

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