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An Unforgivable Name
June 6, 2008 9:40 AM   Subscribe

"'Uncle Adolf' referred to William Patrick as 'my loathsome nephew'." Willy Hitler, the son of Adolf Hitler's half-brother Alois Hitler, Jr., is one member of Hitler's extended family, although he wasn't easy to track down. After WWII, he changed his name and tried to live a private, secret life in the United States. Now, his three sons, relatives of Hitler living normal, regular American lives, have decided to never marry and let their family line die with them.

More information about Willy Hitler and his family can be found in The Last of the Hitlers, by David Gardner (the reporter who tracked down the Hitler family), and these PDF files, from the FBI.
posted by Ms. Saint (79 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I just don't like the Hitlers. Never have, never will.
posted by monospace at 9:50 AM on June 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


I guess we know where they stand on the nurture/nature debate.
posted by wabashbdw at 9:52 AM on June 6, 2008


You know who else.... oh, wait.

Never mind.
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:57 AM on June 6, 2008 [13 favorites]


From reading the FBI files, he seems like a good guy dealt a bad hand by the simple misfortune of a last name, who tried to "make up" for it by signing up to fight for the UK, US, and Canada during WW II. Poor guy. I wish him and his family peace.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:58 AM on June 6, 2008


Yes, well, good guy except for the blackmail.
posted by etaoin at 9:59 AM on June 6, 2008


...had decided in a remarkable pact not to have children themselves in order that Adolf Hitler's genes would die with them.

I'm not a particularly big fan of children, myself. But I find this incredibly sad. That they would feel the need to make a decision which will affect the rest of their lives based on their relation to someone they likely never even met.
posted by quin at 10:01 AM on June 6, 2008 [9 favorites]


Hitler, now zere was a painter.
posted by Jofus at 10:02 AM on June 6, 2008


Oh like it even matters.
posted by wfrgms at 10:03 AM on June 6, 2008


Wow. You think it sucks to have that awkward sex talk with your kids? This poor guy's got it rough: "So, boys, the good news is that your great uncle is world famous; the bad news... Well, get comfortable. The bad news is going to take awhile."
posted by sdodd at 10:03 AM on June 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm going to forward this post to Bush.
posted by mazola at 10:03 AM on June 6, 2008 [18 favorites]


"...and I don't want you hanging around that Hitler kid."
posted by bondcliff at 10:08 AM on June 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


Hitler, now zere was a painter .

(In all seriousness, a friend of mine who works in a framing shop some years ago received an assignment to mount and frame a pencil sketch of a nature scene that was believed to be the work of Hitler. The sketch itself was pleasant and unremarkable. But it did kind of give me chills to look at it. My friend said the framing and mounting was pretty strange for him...because of its historical value, he was afraid he might damage it somehow, and just touching it made him very uncomfortable, due to the obvious associations.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:10 AM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


...tells the story of the brothers, and their bizarre pact with each other never to have children in order to sever the bloodline of their infamous relative.

Yeah, because nothing fights Nazi ideology more than the belief that there are evil bloodlines that must be expunged.
posted by dgaicun at 10:17 AM on June 6, 2008 [105 favorites]


I'm going to forward this post to Bush.

And his daughters! And his brother as well, don't forget - they're running around marrying and giving birth and carrying on like they intend to pass on those genes.
posted by WalterMitty at 10:19 AM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess that's the final solution to that problem.
posted by gimonca at 10:19 AM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


have decided to never marry...

I think this guys are mixed up about babies and storks and stuff. I don't see what marriage has to do with anything here. Snip, snip, snip maybe. Marriage?
posted by rokusan at 10:24 AM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the last link, it's also mentioned that the brothers won't be marrying either. I agree with quin, this is truly sad. Talk about sins of the father great-uncle.

In another case, it looks like sometimes the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, as the adage goes.
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:26 AM on June 6, 2008




I'm not a particularly big fan of children, myself. But I find this incredibly sad. That they would feel the need to make a decision which will affect the rest of their lives based on their relation to someone they likely never even met.

I would hazard a guess that it's probably not about the actual bloodline, and any fear of some reincarnated Hilter 2.0 being born somewhere down the line. These guys have probably had to deal with fear and a huge burden their whole lives, and they don't want to have to pass down that to their children, who would also have to live in shame of their true last name.

And yes, it is sad. I pity these poor bastards. They most likely haven't stayed single out of choice. Once you meet a nice girl, how the hell do you break it to her that you're a Hitler?? Probably easier to just not try...
posted by BobFrapples at 10:28 AM on June 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


That's the fear when you're an adopted child. One day you'll get the bug to look up your biological parents, and they'll send you the info, and you'll open the package, and be like, Hm. Dad was named Sheldon Hitler.

DAD WAS NAMED SHELDON HITLER?!?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:28 AM on June 6, 2008 [9 favorites]


If the evilness of Adolf Hitler is related to his particular unique genetic make up and Adolf Hitlers DNA was a unique mix of both his parents DNA and these guys only inherit some part of the genes of one of Adolf Hitlers parents that means that the evilness of these guys' DNA is extremely tenuous.
posted by jouke at 10:29 AM on June 6, 2008


He should change his name to something benign, like Gillooly or Buttafuoco.
posted by mattbucher at 10:29 AM on June 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


You people comparing Bush to Hitler are ridiculous.
posted by tadellin at 10:34 AM on June 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


posted by mattbucher He should change his name to something benign, like Gillooly or Buttafuoco.

I'd suggest "Godwin". That way, if anyone asked about his family or name change, he could say, "This discussion has been Godwinned."
posted by optovox at 10:34 AM on June 6, 2008 [6 favorites]


Indeed. At least Hitler was competent.
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:35 AM on June 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


tadellin: That's what we do as humans, we compare things to see where they are relative to each other.

Perhaps you meant equate?
posted by ODiV at 10:40 AM on June 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


etaoin: Yes, well, good guy except for the blackmail.

I think I can give him a pass for blackmailing Adolf Hitler. But just this one time.
posted by spiderwire at 10:44 AM on June 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


Sorry. I'm being irritable this week. Ignore my snark please, tadellin.
posted by ODiV at 10:45 AM on June 6, 2008


Now, his three sons, relatives of Hitler living normal, regular American lives, have decided to never marry and let their family line die with them

This is actually not true. There was an article a while back where one of the sons, anonymously, said that was total B.S.
posted by delmoi at 10:47 AM on June 6, 2008


During the period of the nazis in Germany, and also in the US, evil, or those things considered bad, were believed contained in the blood. A few drops of black book (10%) made you a non-white; now we believe that it is the genes that get passed on that may help to make us what we are. There is a slight and sad irony in this: Hitler wanted to wipe out "Jewish blood." The descendants want to end genetic inheritance. Thus a few people with Hitler connection will die out as did some 6 million people with Jewish connection. Those Jews died because, assimilated or not, converted to another religion or not, they were "Jewish by blood." Hitler's descendants live now in a time when
we know that there is no "Hitler gene" they might pass on, yet so guilty in mind are they that they want to end any connection of their name, their heritage, to the present.
posted by Postroad at 10:50 AM on June 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Were these sons mentioned in The Boys from Brazil? I don't remember it in detail.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:51 AM on June 6, 2008


one of the sons, anonymously

Heh
posted by DU at 10:55 AM on June 6, 2008




This is actually not true. There was an article a while back where one of the sons, anonymously, said that was total B.S.
posted by delmoi at 1:47 PM on June 6 [+] [!]


I would be happy if it weren't true. Like the commentators above, I find the idea of anyone taking such an important decision because of the sins of their relatives to be sad. I realise that it's not realistic for them to reveal their names, but that is because of the irrational hatred of other people - all the more irrational and ironic, since they are hated for being genetically related to a man who is hated for saying genetics mattered to your character.
posted by jb at 10:59 AM on June 6, 2008


Relieved to hear that the sons did not decide to never have children (I hope it's true). Of course genes are not the end-all -- I firmly believe that any healthy baby can become a decent human being if raised well. But Hitler was not some sort of uniquely uber-ultra-evil monster either, I'm sure people of much deeper intrinsic evilness walk amongst us (they still go into politics) -- he just happened to be in a time and place where he could carry out his evilness to its fullest extent.
posted by phliar at 11:00 AM on June 6, 2008


The eldest of these sons holds an even more remarkable secret; he was named after his despotic uncle.

Okay, that just makes no sense whatsoever when taken in context with the rest of the article.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:00 AM on June 6, 2008


Indeed. At least Hitler was competent.

Not to mention democratically elected!
posted by chuq at 11:08 AM on June 6, 2008


Thinking of Hitler as a human being for a moment reminds me of the only worthwhile part of Max, of which I, unfortunately, can't find a video clip: John Cusack as Hitler's art dealer helping him handle a poor reception by saying, "Come on, Hitler, let me buy you a lemonade!"

LEMONADE.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:11 AM on June 6, 2008


I dunno; I envision someone named Willy Hitler as wearing both the Adolf mustache and a helicopter beanie.

Related: Who would you want in your werewolf movie? (skip ahead to 6:10).
posted by Servo5678 at 11:27 AM on June 6, 2008


You know, if you were William Hitler, I just could not imagine actually going by "Willy." For some reason that doesn't make your name friendlier.

I'm waiting to hear there's a Timmy Hitler and a Skippy Hitler too.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:27 AM on June 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


You know, I read through the articles, and I don't remember any reference to William Hitler going by the name "Willy."


Maybe he prefers Bill.
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:28 AM on June 6, 2008


The eldest of these sons holds an even more remarkable secret; he was named after his despotic uncle. So an Adolf Hitler lives on to this day in a forgotten corner of America. Alexander Adolf Hitler understands the enduring fascination with his great-uncle but, like his mother, he doesn't want his life overturned, and possibly endangered, by revealing his true identity.


If these guys are so embarrassed by their family connection, what DO that? seriously? Didn't someone have a 'WTF we doing?' moment when that name was suggested?
posted by eatdonuts at 11:30 AM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


At least Hitler was competent
Yup, that Operation Barbarossa went really well.*

* thank goodness
posted by pointystick at 11:34 AM on June 6, 2008


I'm waiting to hear there's a Timmy Hitler and a Skippy Hitler too.

I know, it's like Ted Hitler
posted by mdn at 11:47 AM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


tadellin wrote:


You people comparing Bush to Hitler are ridiculous.


You're right tadellin, you can't compare the two. The world had the ability to stop Hitler's terror.
posted by any major dude at 11:52 AM on June 6, 2008


all the more irrational and ironic, since they are hated for being genetically related to a man who is hated for saying genetics mattered to your character.

I don't want to play devil's advocate here, but Hitler is hated for going well beyond saying that genetics matter to your character. I think there's plenty of evidence to show that genetics does have quite a bit to do with the kind of person you are. As does your environment.

This shouldn't be interpreted as an endorsement for anything close to eugenics. I think phliar expresses the sensible position perfectly. If Hitler's nephews have taken a vow to end their bloodline because of the crimes of their uncle, that really is sad since it was much more than Hitler's genes that enabled him to commit genocide.
posted by Loudmax at 11:52 AM on June 6, 2008


etaoin: Yes, well, good guy except for the blackmail.

I think I can give him a pass for blackmailing Adolf Hitler. But just this one time.


I'd give him a high five. Blackmailing Hitler? Awesome and very bold.

A few drops of black book (10%) made you a non-white;

At least, judging by the current political climate, we seem to have progressed to some sort of much more liberal/weird 50% "one drop rule."
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:52 AM on June 6, 2008


I would like to hereby declare Yeti's Law, which states:

"As a forum discussion about Hitler grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving George W. Bush approaches one."
posted by yeti at 12:29 PM on June 6, 2008 [9 favorites]



You people comparing Bush to Hitler are ridiculous.

You're right tadellin, you can't compare the two. The world had the ability to stop Hitler's terror.
posted by any major dude at 2:52 PM on June 6 [+] [!]


I was trying to snark about the blackmailing business. Somewhere a couple of years ago, I read a lengthy story about Willy (and he did go by that name). He had lived on Long Island for quite a while. He sounded like a bit of a fool who tried to redeem himself, if I recall correctly.

And I saw that swell guy Pat Buchanan on the tube last night, explaining why World War II was the "unnecessary war"--quoting Churchill and almost making sense until he got to the part about how Hitler would have stopped somewhere in France and the British could have just ignored him. Hitler would have been satisfied with that, the Holocaust wouldn't have happened (all this is what Pat says), the Russians wouldn't have gained power, etc. Win win, you see, all the way around. The Holocaust thus is the fault of the West.
posted by etaoin at 12:29 PM on June 6, 2008


Couldn't they just change the name back to Schicklegruber?
posted by SweetJesus at 12:34 PM on June 6, 2008


And I saw that swell guy Pat Buchanan on the tube last night, explaining why World War II was the "unnecessary war"--quoting Churchill and almost making sense until he got to the part about how Hitler would have stopped somewhere in France and the British could have just ignored him.

I can think of a few reason why Pat Buchanan wouldn't have a problem with that, and none of them have to do with avoiding a World War.
posted by middleclasstool at 1:06 PM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Who'd have thought there'd be such enmity on a thread about Hitlers?
posted by psmealey at 1:08 PM on June 6, 2008


Whenever I say that I never want kids because I really fucking hate children with a passion I am just met with a very awkward cold silence. I don't feel sorry for these kids. At least they have a reason for not breeding that people will accept.
posted by srboisvert at 1:10 PM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh darling, your father and I met this very nice Jewish boy, at least I think he was Jewish, he was very interested in Jews anyway. Anyway, darling, long story short, he's going to be up at the beach house at the cookout this Saturday, his name is Sheldon, and he’s got this funny little moustache, but these dreamy eyes. Anyway, the important part, he’s single!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:19 PM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hitler? I hardly know 'er! [**ducking thrown rotting vegetables**]
posted by not_on_display at 1:21 PM on June 6, 2008


Hell, I'd vote for one of these guys for president.

There is nothing more American than having a racist uncle who makes you feel vaguely ashamed at family reunions and such.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:34 PM on June 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


I have kept a pledge not to reveal the name adopted by the Hitler family in New York, nor the town where they live.

Well, y'know, when you tell us that the mother lives on Long Island, when her husband died, how many sons she had, when one of them died in a road accident and the fact that none of the four sons had any kids, it shouldn't be hard for a professional to figure out.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:46 PM on June 6, 2008




...I mean, from the Sky.
posted by RakDaddy at 2:09 PM on June 6, 2008


That Telegraph article was pure bullshit.

The faint lilt of German folk music floated through the open window of the dark-wood alpine bungalow as I walked down the short path to the front door.


Really?

Maybe they've cleaned up their act since 2001/2002 when this crap all started being peddled.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 2:41 PM on June 6, 2008


Meatbomb's Law: The volume of Hitler media is in fixed proportion to all other media, regardless of the rate of growth in media overall.

Commentary: The commonly observed phenomena of increased levels of Hitler media is only a natural result in the growth of media generally, i.e. "WTF? Why all the Hitler?" "Same as it ever was."
posted by Meatbomb at 3:01 PM on June 6, 2008


I can't imagine being Hitler's relative and not making a mad spectacle out of it. Fuck anonymity, I'd wear a pink swastika eyepatch and threaten people with my genocide powered vril gun while keeping my wallet stuffed through corporate speaking gigs.
posted by bunnytricks at 3:53 PM on June 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


in one of the PDF files from the FBI, containing for whatever reason a nearly complete copy of an entire day's newspaper, scroll to page 30 to see an ad for the movie The Great Dictator! Awesome bit of irony!
posted by kuppajava at 4:31 PM on June 6, 2008


I'm surprised no one has yet said: I'd Hitler that!
posted by bwg at 4:59 PM on June 6, 2008


I've seen this six year old article on more than one site today. Interesting.
posted by First Post at 5:04 PM on June 6, 2008


Not that interesting. I once watched an FPP of mine and found the time from Metafilter posting to Digg submission was about 20 minutes. Didn't make the Digg front page, but there were no cahoots on my part.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:33 PM on June 6, 2008


Well, y'know, when you tell us that the mother lives on Long Island, when her husband died, how many sons she had, when one of them died in a road accident and the fact that none of the four sons had any kids, it shouldn't be hard for a professional to figure out.

The property straddled two small roads on a forested private estate nestling into one of the bays tucked behind slivers of land protecting the New York coastline from the full impact of the Atlantic Ocean. - South shore of Long Island.

I knew William Patrick would not be answering the door. I had just been to visit his grave, a 20-minute drive away, at the closest Roman Catholic cemetery, where I was given the name and address of his widow, Phyllis. - Probably referring to Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury.

My inquiries to discover what had happened to him eventually led me to a small cemetery tucked beside a freeway in Long Island, where I found that Brigid and William Patrick shared the same grave. Sounds like Greenbriar cemetary in Uniondale, the Southern State Parkway runs behind it.

With these clues and the fact that they seem to live in a wealthy part of LI, I'd put my money on Oyster Bay as the Hitler's adopted hometown.
posted by dr_dank at 6:09 PM on June 6, 2008


This explains why I never see any signs for HITLER'S USED CARS or whatever...
posted by Ron Thanagar at 6:17 PM on June 6, 2008


Hitler at least had the good taste to kill himself.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:38 PM on June 6, 2008


I'd Hitler that!

"Oh, that's definitely a reset."
- cortex
posted by jessamyn at 6:54 PM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine being Hitler's relative and not making a mad spectacle out of it. Fuck anonymity, I'd wear a pink swastika eyepatch and threaten people with my genocide powered vril gun while keeping my wallet stuffed through corporate speaking gigs.

Right, but what would you do differently?
posted by spiderwire at 6:59 PM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wasn't it Hill Street Blues that had the standup comedian character Vic Hitler? Gotta love the '80s...
posted by lhauser at 8:36 PM on June 6, 2008


Right, but what would you do differently?

Well, my penis would no longer be merely named 'The Spear of Destiny,' but would be the crowning achievement of Nazi uroesoteric bioengineering.
posted by bunnytricks at 12:45 AM on June 7, 2008


A guy goes to the registry office and wants to know what it takes to change his name.
"Well", says the clerk, "this is rather tricky. You must have a pretty good reason why you want your name changed. What is your name?".
"My name is Adolf Shithead" says the guy.
"Well, sir, I think this is a pretty good reason for a name change. What would you like your new name to be?"
The guy says " Rudolph. I want to be named Rudolph Shithead. This Adolph thing reminds me of Hitler"!
posted by acrobat at 4:03 AM on June 7, 2008


"As a forum discussion about Hitler grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving George W. Bush approaches one."

No way! Hitler had a brain!
posted by acrobat at 4:12 AM on June 7, 2008


Well at least none of the Hitlers were caught on camera enjoying Nazi themed sex acts with 5 prostitutes like Max Mosley, head of Formula 1 racing's governing body and sun of infamous British facist and friend of Hitler's Sir Oswald Mosley.
posted by munchbunch at 5:32 AM on June 7, 2008


About, oh, seven years back, I discovered that a casual friend of mine was the grandson of the prominent Nazi party official who, during World War II, was probably directly responsible for ordering the deaths of my entire family, except for a few who had escaped to the U.S.

It was kind of weird.

The grandson was a nice guy. Worked as a crewman on replica nineteenth-century sailing vessels. I lost track of him when I moved away from Boston.
posted by kyrademon at 5:48 AM on June 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


"sun of infamous British facist"

this thread needs a spelling nazi.
posted by crazylegs at 10:51 AM on June 7, 2008


yes, too bad about the brothers deciding never to marry or reproduce, because then none of their dateless friends can complain "Even Hitler has a girlfriend!"
posted by LilBucner at 8:47 PM on June 8, 2008


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