Bridget Dowling

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Bridget Dowling
Offering information about the
British War Relief Society, 1941
Bridget Elizabeth Dowling

(1891-07-03)3 July 1891[a]
Dublin, Ireland
Died18 November 1969(1969-11-18) (aged 78)
Long Island, New York, U.S.
SpouseAlois Hitler Jr.
ChildrenWilliam Patrick Hitler
RelativesThomas Dowling, Brother

Bridget Elizabeth Hitler, née Dowling (alternative Brigid Elisabeth, or Cissie[2]) (3 July 1891[3][4] – 18 November 1969[5]), was Adolf Hitler's sister-in-law via her marriage to Alois Hitler, Jr. She was the mother of Alois Hitler's son William Patrick Hitler. She was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland.



In 1909, Bridget and her father, William Dowling, attended the Dublin Horse Show where they met Alois Hitler junior, who claimed to be a wealthy hotelier touring Europe when, in fact, he was a poor kitchen porter at Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel.[6][7] Alois courted Bridget at various Dublin locales and soon they were discussing marriage. On 3 June 1910, the couple eloped to London,[8] living in Charing Cross Road for a while. Her father threatened to charge Alois with kidnapping but accepted the marriage after Bridget pleaded with him.

Early married life[edit]

The couple settled at 102 Upper Stanhope Street, a boarding house kept by the John family, in Toxteth, Liverpool and, in 1911 they had their only child, William Patrick Hitler. The house was destroyed in the last German air raid of the Liverpool Blitz on 10 January 1942.


Alois went to Germany in 1914 to establish himself in business but these plans were interrupted by the outbreak of World War I. Bridget refused to go with him, as he had become violent and started beating their son. Alois decided to abandon his family. He returned to Germany, remarried bigamously, and sent word after the war that he was dead. His deception was later discovered, and he was charged with bigamy by the German authorities in 1924. He escaped conviction due to Bridget's intervention. Bridget raised her son alone with no support from her husband from whom she was eventually divorced (although as a Roman Catholic she was religiously opposed to divorce). She set up a home in Highgate, North London, and took in lodgers to make ends meet.

Emigration and claims[edit]

In 1939, Bridget joined her son on a tour of the United States where he was invited to lecture on his infamous uncle. They decided to stay and Bridget wrote a manuscript, My Brother-in-Law Adolf, in which she claimed that her famous brother-in-law had moved to Liverpool to live with Bridget and Alois from November 1912 to April 1913 to dodge conscription in his native Austria. She claims that she introduced Adolf to astrology and that she advised him to trim off the edges of his moustache.

Adolf Hitler's stay in Liverpool has corroboration from the biographer and friend of British Intelligence chief, Sir William Stephenson, in his book A Man Called Intrepid. Sir William was chief of British Security Coordination (BSC). Biographer William Stevenson states:  "Hitler's little-known sojourn in England between November 1912 and April 1913 is authenticated by BSC documents.”[9]

1912 to mid-1913 has been described as Hitler's 'missing year'. During that period he had been living in homeless men's hostels in Vienna. In his book Hitler, A Life, the historian Peter Longerich confirms that "Indeed, there is hardly any reliable evidence about Hitler's life for the period 1910 to 1913."[10] The opening sentence of Chapter 4 of Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf states: "In the spring of 1912 I came at last to Munich".[11] ("Im Frühjahr 1912 kam ich endgültig nach München.") But Hitler's statement is proven to be false. A Munich police record shows that Hitler moved from Vienna to Munich, aged twenty-four, arriving on Sunday, 25 May 1913.[12]

The question of whether Hitler visited his British relatives in Liverpool is unresolved. Some historians dismiss Bridget's manuscript as being a fabrication written in an attempt to cash in on her famous relationship. However, in his book The Hitlers Of Liverpool, Michael Unger quotes the Canadian historian, Professor Alan Cassels, who wrote "The Merseyside details are certainly circumstantially credible"... "I'm inclined to believe his sister-in-law".[13] Brigitte Hamann and Hans Mommsen say that the few sources from Vienna during this period are "questionable throughout".[14] Professor Robert Waite disputes her claim that Adolf Hitler stayed with her as well as some other claims in her book in the appendix to his book The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler. According to David Gardner, Bridget's daughter-in-law has said Bridget admitted to her that the book was fanciful.[citation needed] The story of Adolf Hitler's visit to Liverpool has remained popular, however, and was the subject of Beryl Bainbridge's 1978 novel Young Adolf and Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's notorious 1989 comic The New Adventures of Hitler.


After the war, Bridget and her son settled in Long Island, New York under the assumed name of Stuart-Houston. She died there on 18 November 1969 and is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram, Long Island alongside her son, who died on 14 July 1987.

The family of Bridget Dowling remained a mystery until the Irish censuses for 1901 and 1911 were digitised and released online.[15] The names of the family members, including Bridget, are given in the 1901 census under the name William Dowling of Flemings Place, near Mespil Road, Dublin. The family later moved to Denzille Street,[16] Dublin, now named Fenian Street.[17] Bridget's name is not included with the Dowling family on the 1911 census. Instead, she appears as "Cissie Hitler" on the 1911 England and Wales Census, shown with husband "Anton Hitler" and son "William Hitler" at 102 Upper Stanhope Street, Liverpool.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Social Security Death Index for Brigid Dowling confirms her birth date to be 3 July 1891. She was living at 67 Silver Street, Patchogue, Suffolk, New York 11772, at the time of her death in November 1969.[1]
  1. ^ Ogens, Matthew (18 October 2014). Meet the Hitlers (Motion picture). United States. Event occurs at 20 minutes 31 seconds.
  2. ^ a b "We Found Adolf Hitler's Liverpudlian Half-Brother In The 1911 Census | Blog". Findmypast – Genealogy, Ancestry, History blog from Findmypast.
  3. ^ Gardner, David C. (2001). The Last of the Hitlers. BMM. p. 131. ISBN 0954154401.
  4. ^ Wolfgang Zdral (pp. 134, 262 and Appendix) suggests 3 July 1891.
  5. ^ Zdral, Wolfgang (2005). Die Hitlers. Campus Verlag GmbH. pp. 262, Appendix.[ISBN missing]
  6. ^ Frank Hayes (27 December 2015). "The strange tale of the Irish Hitlers – the connection between Bridget Hitler and the Nazi leader". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Richard E. Grant's Hotel Secrets – The Shelbourne Dublin". YouTube. 18 January 2013. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Bridget Dowling Hitler (Dublin) Page 1". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  9. ^ William Stevenson, A Man Called Intrepid, 1976, Harcourt, pp. 120–121  ISBN 0151567956
  10. ^ Peter Longerich, Hitler, A Life, 2019, Oxford University Press, p. 27
  11. ^ Mein Kampf, Chapter IV, Munich.
  12. ^ Bob Carruthers, Private Hitler's War: 1914–1919, 2014, Pen & Sword Military, pp. 6–7. ISBN 978-1473822764 
  13. ^ Michael Unger, The Hitlers Of Liverpool, 2011, Bluecoat Press, p. 5.[ISBN missing]
  14. ^ Brigitte Hamann, Hans Mommsen, Hitler's Vienna: A Portrait of the Tyrant As a Young Man, 2010, Tauris Parke, p.183.
  15. ^ "National Archives: Census of Ireland 1901". National Archives of Ireland. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  16. ^ "The census return of 1911 records the name as "Denzille Street"".
  17. ^ "National Archives: Census of Ireland 1911". National Archives of Ireland. Retrieved 18 July 2017.


  • Vermeeren, Marc (2007). De jeugd van Adolf Hitler, 1889-1907: en zijn familie en voorouders [The youth of Adolf Hitler, 1889–1907: and his family and ancestors] (in Dutch). Soesterberg: Uitgeverij Aspekt. ISBN 978-9059116061

External links[edit]