the reference to the Porges family, click here]
It has become customary to judge National Socialism,
the Third Reich, Greater Germany--or however one prefers to address
this political fabrication so neglected by Salvation--solely by
the years of its decline, by the abundance of its committed atrocities,
and by the profusion of destruction that it caused in its early--but
even more so in its final stages.
Yet, such judgment adds up to
nothing less than to inferring the life of an organism from its
final agony ; and it entails the attempt at depicting the death-throes
of a wild beast as the actual cause of the outrages which it has
ventured upon from the beginning.
In reality, though, the origins
of the Third Reich differ from its end as completely as is imaginable.
All the way from the more or less controversial legitimacy of its
beginning it advanced irresistibly to its undeniably rightful decline ;
and its passing through countless most heterogeneous states as well
as its incessant evolution contain not one moment of stagnation--not
even one moment of shuddering before its inescapable doom.
Its origins, of course, were as unsuitable to generate
speculations about the enormity of the consequences it was to bring
about, as its horrifying end is unsuitable to allow for drawing
conclusions to the actual wretchedness of its beginnings.
one refrains from starting with Adam and Eve (or rather their Nordic
pendants Ask and Embla) as Adolf Hitler himself was fond of doing
in many of his speeches, and if one respectively turns to the documented
facts instead, the story begins with a certain Maria Schickelgruber,
age 42, the unmarried daughter of farmer Johann Schickelgruber of
homestead No.1 in Strones, a village in Austria's Waldviertel region,
and his wife Theresia, née Pfeisinger, a farmer's daughter
On June 7, 1837, in house No.13 in Strones (where
she served the farmer Trummelschlager as a hand-maid) said Maria
Schickelgruber gave birth to a male infant whose father remained
unknown : a boy that was christened Alois--Alois Schickelgruber,
the father of Adolf Hitler.
This event took place in the Northern parts of
Lower Austria, thus in a region of which popular judgment from old
holds not exactly the best of views, as is evident, for example,
from local place-names such as the hamlet Gaunersdorf [Scoundrel
Village] or in a still prevailing proverb that portrays the aura
of some other local settlements:
Oberleis, Au und Püra
schaut's Elend füra.
Gaunersdorf* --which upon the residents' petition
had its name changed to a somewhat more eccentric Gaweinstal*
[Gawein's Vale] during the Third Reich--had, to be sure, as little
to do with any scoundrels as with Gawein ; it derived its name merely
from the time-defaced Old High-German name of a former feudal
And the Elend [poverty] which allegedly "peeks forth" ["schaut
in Püra, Au and Oberleis, is nothing but an old word for the
remainders of certain "foreign"edifices--Elend originally signifying
"foreign"-- to wit : crumbled bricks, rubble and decayed walls of
some Roman forts that had been advanced as observation posts far
beyond the Danube river into the land of the Quades and Markomans.
These forts had served the purpose of informing by firesigns the
legions stationed on the Danube limes such as the X. Gemina Pia
Fidelis and the XIV. Gemina Martia Victrix of occurring enemy movements.
But the days when the Imperium had stretched thus far were long
gone and lay even further behind than their derelicts lay distant
from Strones and Dietreichs.
Yet, an aura of disdain, negligence,
and sadness unquestionably still lingers in these parts.
* Note :
The village of Gaweinstal, where I live in, changed its name from
Gaunersdorf to Gaweinstal in the year of 1917, long before anybody
knew about Hitler. Hitler, at this time, was a soldier fighting
on the German side in WWI and completely unknown to the public.
Here is an excerpt of the webpage of www.gaweinstal.at :
„Am 11. Juni 1917 findet schließlich, aufgrund
der oftmaligen falschen Auslegung (Dorf der Gauner), die Umbenennung in "Gaweinstal" statt.“
The reason for the change of the name had nothing to do with ideology,
but simply was done because the first word of the old name “Gauner” means
something like racketeer. The very old and original name was “Gunestorf”,
village of “Guni” who was the founder of the village. The name later
turned from Gunestorf to Gaunersdorf over the centuries.
Gerhard Hickl (12/01/2008)
Be this as it may, the Führer's origin remains
more or less shrouded in darkness, as it is not possible to trace
any further than to those dates and individuals mentioned above,
at least not with any certainty.
Even the village Strones, the scene
of this fateful childbirth exists no longer--Adolf Hitler ordered
it destroyed when the adjoining military training facility of Döllersheim
was expanded ; and this is even all the more peculiar since the village
had been located at the outermost perimeter of this facility and
could have been spared with only minimal effort.
But it was demolished,
leveled, "eradicated" in the very fashion the Führer had pledged
to do with the cities of his enemies : shot to smithereens by artillery
fire, leaving behind a mere moonscape.
And although its residents
were each given new homes someplace else, Siedlungsraum and an album
with photographs of the vanished community, it is gone nevertheless--vanished
like the knowledge of Adolf Hitler's true origins.
Yet, there were already more than enough to crowd
around him as worshippers and to staff the ranks of his party, of
his Schutzstaffeln and his Sturmabteilungen for dear profit's sake.
And among those, to be sure, were not only people with as brief
an ascendance as the Führer himself, but also the descendants
of families with family-trees whose magnitude easily outreached
the would-be-"thousand-yearhood" of the Reich.
True nobility, it seems, has just as little or
nothing to do with range of ancestry as does ignobility, and for
this reason all the genealogical research rendered so fashionable
by the Third Reich led to as few real results as those dubious Kämmerer-
[chamberlain's] and Maltese-investigations practiced from old.
parents of that illegitimate Alois's mother, for example, were preceded
by simple farmers and farmers' daughters, with names like Pfeisinger
and Schickelgruber, Hamberger and Reitterer, Sillip and Leidenfrost,
Assfall and Ledermüller, of whom, however, no one any longer
can say whether, and if, what qualities they may have once possessed ;
and, ultimately, how long this had gone on, is of no interest to
us, nor, for all we care, even if it goes back in that fashion to
the dawn of time.
In any case they remain mere Pfeisingers and Assfalls,
Ledermüllers and Schickelgrubers, and it makes no difference
whatsoever to us whether they resided on homestead No.1 or No.13
in Spital or Strones, in Refing or Rotfahrn, in Raabs or in Waldteich,
the county of the Earl of Lamberg.
They were--only so much is certain--serfs
to the Stift Zwettl or to the Johanniter-Kommende Mailberg and to
the earls of Noirquermes or Althan, or, earlier, to the Kuenringers
or to some, by now completely forgotten secondary vassals of the
Kuenringers to whom they were to surrender such and such many bushels
of grain each year, this or that hen and several threescores of
eggs, and whom they had to serve with compulsory labor.
And as with
these country folk it was with the townsfolk, too, were they burghers
or even patricians : craftsmen and merchants followed upon craftsmen
and merchants, doctors and magistrates upon doctors and magistrates,
be their names now Reichlin or Schertlin, Welzer or Holzschuer.
Hence, be all that as it may--ultimately they were nothing more
than farmers and small-lot-owners : i.e. Hüttlers or Hitlers.
Even with the noblest of families, nobility seldom extends back
more than a mere handful of generations, and one discovers--or would
discover, if one still could--the never-ceasing succession of farmers
and Hüttlers and small lot-owners, just as with anybody else.
The gap between us and those Germanic warriors and heroes, noblemen
and gods, from whom all of us allegedly descend, can no longer be
If, for example, the nearly almighty counts of Flanders
and Namur--these off springs of Charles de Magne and Hildegarde
of France, the Mahaut de Bourbon and Margarethe of Constantinople,
those crusaders and victors of the Sporen battle--originally named
themselves after the simple hill-castle or motte of Dampierre, built
by one of their forgotten vassals named Petrus upon an artificial
hill for himself and his family ; and if the later dukes of Lothringia
and the Holy Roman Emperors of the German Nation ultimately descended
only from the later ever so modest court of Richwinestein or Reichenstein,
erected by their official ancestor Richwin of Verdun, on the Roer
river in the Ardennes... if all this is so: what, then, are we to
think of all the minor families!
Today, cattle grazes around the
Tourist Bed & Breakfast w/ Garden Restaurant and the Agricultural
Distillery of Reichenstein ; and on the spot where the now long-destructed
donjon of Dompierre once stood, nothing remains aside from two hemispherically
trimmed box-trees: symbolizing, as it were, the bosom of the all-birth-giving
Earth--which eventually takes everything back into her womb.
Thus, Adolf Hitler, just like anyone else, really
needed not be overly proud of his rural origin--nor, for that matter,
to be ashamed of it, either.
For, it is after all clear that most
families are of no nobler descent than the Führer's. But hardly
anyone is also much ignobler than his neighbor--which is to say :
neither much better than those numberless who allowed themselves
to be unconditionally pushed and ordered around by Hitler, nor considerably
worse than all those generals and other dignitaries who first had
the cheek to accept all sorts of posts and decorations from that
Bohemian private and who later would betray and attempt to assassinate
Just as trivial and normal as they was that illegitimate child
who, in time, was to become the father of the Führer.
is precisely why later there were attempts made--for good or bad
intentions--to fabricate a considerably more exciting ancestry for
Thus, it was claimed that Maria Schickelgruber's
son was fathered by none less than a member of the Rothschild family
for whom she had been in service.
If true, the child's father could only have been
Baron Anselm von Rothschild, Member of the House of Lords for Life
(that is, until his earthly departure on July 27, 1874).
time of Alois Schickelgruber's birth, this Anselm would have been
at the height of his manhood ; a fact which--as his presumable grandson
later would somewhat pleonastically express it--certainly made the
supposed impregnation of an Aryan folk-comrade an unproblematic
issue for him.
And if one furthermore considers the Jews' nearly
unlimited sensuousness (as irrefutably established by the National
Socialists!) such an act could easily have been credited to him.
Not likely credited to him, however, can be the circumstance that
for the execution of his lusty design --or accident!-- he would not
have found a woman more attractive than a forty-two year-old backwoods
Assuming such a set of circumstances, it seems to
us, would be thinking in terms too provincial --if not too nationalistic--after
all ; and consequently the Lifetime Member of the House of Lords
can de facto be ruled out as the Führer's grandfather.
Much rather, it appears, this entire story is a
mere variant of a different legend (or, more precisely, a local
rumor), according to which one of Hitler's relatives was employed
as a humble cook with the Rothschilds at a time when the Führer
had already become Reichs-Chancellor, and who supposedly from this
humble yet comfortable position took to badmouthing him.
wives of the now deceased Rothschild brothers Alphonse and Louis --i.e.,
the alleged employers of that cook-servant-- never made any mention
of such a fact ; a fact which, after all, would not have been completely
without implications for their husbands. And
besides: the circumstance that such stories out of principle seem
to be dealing with no lesser a house than the Rothschilds, the fact
that any other super-rich families such as the Foulds and Montefiores,
the Thorschs and Porges, the Portheims and Mayers are apparently
regarded too minor already to sustain such theories, shows the fallibility
of these reports.
Surely, these rumors aimed at showing how
Hitler's larger family was altogether much more respectable than
their offspring himself ; that they sought no benefits from him,
and that they even wanted nothing to do with him whatsoever.
course, one case where this is true is that of a half-brother of
the Führer, a certain Alois Hitler, who quietly continued to
run a small restaurant on Wittenberg Square in Berlin whilst Adolf
Hitler was already busily at work with the expansion of Germany
in the nearby Reichskanzlei.
And just as little benefit did one
of Hitler's nephews, a Gottfried Hitler, reap from his uncle : he
fell on March 5, 1942 in the field ; his name is still engraved on
a war memorial in the home village of the Hitlers, Spital, while
any other traces of the Hitler family were carefully purged--including
their graves which were removed from the local cemetery.
At any rate, when the Rothschild-story fell through,
the need for a more humble non-Aryan grandfather of the Führer
arose, and he was eventually made out in the son of a certain Frankenberger
family of Graz, where Maria Schickelgruber had also been in service.
In that petty shopkeeper-environment, so the story goes, she was
impregnated by that impassioned young Israelite and then cast off
to her native village, Strones, where she was delivered of Alois
Schickelgruber, for whom the old Frankenberger supposedly paid alimonies
for a full fourteen years.
But in respect to this particular story,
no credible evidence has been brought forth, either. And just as
uncertain is it finally whether Alois Schickelgruber was not really
the child of that traveling miller-journeyman Georg Hiedler whom
Maria Schickelgruber officially named as father of her baby son
on the occasion of his baptism and whom she eventually married on
May 10, 1842 --that is, nearly five years after the birth of her
illegitimate son. It remains without consequenc, too, that this
merrily journeying journeyman's brother, Johann Hiedler, a farmer
in Spital near Weitra, induced the parish priest of Döllersheim--where
Georg Hiedler and Maria Schickelgruber had been married-- to change
the name of Alois Schickelgruber (then aged 40) to Alois Hittler
To this end he supplied three witnesses from his family
who testified that Alois Schickelgruber was really Hiedler's son.
But, for one, things had happened four decades ago, of course.
secondly, it is not overly likely that either one of these witnesses
had actually borne the candle for the young lovers in those bygone
To cut a long story short : Alois Hittler must have
had some father somewhere, but in no case was he a legitimate child.
Which ultimately renders the matter rather insignificant whether
all those Hitlers, Hiedlers, Hüttlers, Hydlers, and all their
relatives--those Haubners and Kollers, Capellers and Lauterbecks--can
actually be traced back to the 15th century, as was later triumphantly
And just as little does it matter if they actually resided
in Walterschlag, Stierberg, Reinpolten, Mannshalm, Kühbach,
or some other god-awful corner of the Waldviertel.
nor Adolf Hitler, however, had any Jewish features about them, although --to
the great amusement of some political opponents-- their family-tree
did list several Pollacks.
But even these, alas, had not been Jews
but rather Christian farmers in Ober-Windhag.
The Hitlers were,
at any rate, vulgarily Aryan.
And there can hardly be any doubt
as to the Führer's lineage from some slightly slavicized Lower-Austria
petit-bourgeois--perhaps not unlike one of those Pollacks whose
name certainly derived from nothing but their origin in the Polakei
[Poland]. Hindenburg's epithet of the "Bohemian private" alludes
to this very background.
Of course, do not many of our best families hail
from Lower Austria and are marked by a distinctly Bohemian streak?
Georg and Maria Hiedler lived under the most destitute
of conditions at Strones ; they are said to have used nothing better
than a fodder-trough for a bed.
Thus, although Hitler's assertions
of his parents proletarian background (stated and maintained for
propagandistic reasons many times over in later years) were untrue
as we are about to see, they were indeed justified in regard to
Alois Schickelgruber, howbeit, soon came to live
in more regular circumstances after his mother died of consumption
He was then taken in by his then-uncle-in-law, the farmer
Johann Hiedler in Spital near Weitra, where he was apprenticed as
a cobbler while his presumptive father, the vagrant Georg Hiedler,
continued to live (or rather, vegetate) in Strones, Klein-Motten,
and, eventually, resettled in Spital.
By 1855, however, Alois Schickelgruber
had already abandoned cobblery and had joined the Royal Fiscal Force.
And since he distinguished himself by conscientiousness and eagerness --qualities
certainly not inherited from the slovenly work-shirker Georg Hiedler-- he
began to make a career in the customs force. In due time he would
rise to the position of a Zollamtsoberoffizial (to use the complicated
nomenclatura of Austro-Hungarian administration, which provided
a several-hundred-page directory of such awkward titles for official
use and which, in later days, had no scruples of affixing a Georg
Trakl with the title of a Militärmedikamentenakzessist!)
marriage and inheritance, Alois Schickelgruber eventually acquired
Along with that, however, he was a typical Deutschnationaler,
a Pan-German nationalist, which is to say that --just like most Austrians
at the time-- he was opposed not only to Austria's separation from
the German motherland but also opposed to supra-national (i.e.,
anti-national) tendencies, to conservatism, and to the submissivereligiosity
of the reigning dynasty.
This peculiar nationalism, furthermore,
included most notably a general fondness for singing clubs, beer-houses
and waitresses (in short: wine, song and women, predilections all
of which Alois Schickelgruber shared wholeheartedly), as well as--particularly
on those long provincial winter nights--enthusiasm for the Pan-German
Reichsrat MP Georg von Schönerer.
Said Schönerer, too, hailed from the Hitler
region; that is, before dedicating himself to the idiocy of politics
he was an estate owner in the Waldviertel region.
father raved about him much the same way other estate owners from
the Waldviertel --Weitra, to be exact-- were later to rave about
Alois Hitler's son, probably because they were simply accustomed
to seeing the then-settled vagabond Georg Hiedler as well as the
alleged offspring from his menage with Maria Schickelgruber around
For although the chief of the large family clan
that owned Weitra held the most remarkable titles, he still became
such an ardent follower of the Führer that he--when in 1945
interned at the American correction camp Glasenbach near Salzburg--was
put in charge of tending the pigs...; from which time on he was
generally referred to as Eumaios.
We, of course, think such mockery ill-advised.
For if National Socialism had any halfway redeeming quality at all,
it was not only that of mentally orienting all its followers towards
the same main goal, but that of practically eliminating all differences
in social rank and status between them....
Fiscal Officer Alois Schickelgruber was married
three times, and while he may have had extramarital offsprings on
the side, his first marriage remained childless.
from his--by the way, much older--first wife, he entered into matrimony
with one of his Teutonic ideals, namely a young waitress by the
name of Franziska Matzelsberger with whom he had maintained a previous
relationship and with whom he begat three children : a son Alois,
born before the marriage of his parents, whom we have already encountered
in the restaurant-keeper from the Berlin Wittenberg Square.
Alois, in turn, would wed a woman from Ireland with whom he had
a variety of children--among them a son William Patrick Hitler who
later made himself a name through mysterious allusions to his family's
alleged Jewish origin.)
The Schickelgrubers also had a daughter,
But Franziska Matzelsberger died young, and now Alois Schickelgruber
married for the third time; this time his presumable --or at least
purported-- niece, Klara Pölzl, then twenty-five.
Klara Pölzl was the daughter of farmer Johann
Pölzl of Spital, No.37 ; a half-foundered farmstead on the slopes
on the Northern village limits which neighbored (and still neighbors)
the house No.36 whence Georg and Johann Hiedler emanated.
very house No.36, Klara Pölzl's mother, too, happened to come,
for her name was Johanna Hüttler, and she was the daughter
of Johann Hüttler or Hiedler.
Johann himself, however, was
son to the farmer Martin Hiedler (also from Spital No.36) and to
Maria Göschl of Walterschlag.
Thus in short : If Alois Schickelgruber
was indeed the son of Georg Hiedler, Klara Pölzl was Johann
Hiedler's granddaughter, or, as we said above, his niece.
reason they necessitated a churchly dispensation to be married.
Above all, though, Klara Pölzl's mother, Johanna
Pölzl, née Hüttler, demanded that her son-in-law
have his name changed from Schickelgruber to Hüttler ; albeit
not because she disliked the name Schickelgruber, but to indicate
publicly that the inheritance which Klara Pölzl in turn was
about to enter upon was a Hüttler inheritance.
this matter so important that she even included a clause to this
effect in her will; and this is also the reason why Johann Hiedler
with his three witnesses later called at the Döllersheim priest_s,
petitioning for his nephew's name-change in the registry rolls.
The priest --since Johann Hiedler's vagrant brother was named Hiedler
and the bride's mother Hüttler-- choose the happy medium and
renamed the customs officer Alois Schickelgruber into Alois Hittler,
which name his later-famous son would then gradually slur into Hitler.
These events in the dark Waldviertel may seem minuscule
enough -- especially since what happened was nothing more than some
peasant woman stamping the provenance of her heritage with her birth-name.
Yet, in time they would assume global significance. For the people
of Germany would not -- or at least not after overcoming some serious
inhibitions of taste!-- have readily taken to shouting "Heil Schickelgruber!".
Because they could shout "Heil Hitler!" instead, though, the National
Socialist movement gained unprecedented momentum.
At any rate, Adolf Hitle r--even if indeed he hadn't
been a real Hitler from his father's side-- now became something
like a real Hitler : not only by way of the name-change through the
Döllersheim cleric, but also through his father's third marriage
and thus at least from his grandmother's side.
For Alois Hittler's
wedlock with Klara Pölzl begat six children, four of which
died early, but two survived : One daughter Paula, later to be married
under the name of Wolf (she and her half-sister, Angela, could indeed
have served as cooks with the Rothschilds), and a son, born April
20, 1889 in Braunau on the Inn (where the customs officer was then
posted) : the Führer- and Reichs-Chancellor-to-be.
With all this said : Is it now conceivable, though,
that an astronomer, astrologer, or prophet of the stature of Nostradamus--whose
thoughts were devoted to the revolutions of the stars and whose
visions concerned the fates of kings and countries and the world
in its entirety --is it conceivable that Nostradamus himself could
actually have predicted that very child-birth in the pettiest of
all spheres and have distinguished its resulting events as predestined?
If this were so, then the fact that legions of members of the highest
society (as long as they were not "Jewishly related," that is),
packs of decommissioned career officers and the lot of all those
otherwise untalented and unsuccessful would eventually flock to
the ranks of the Hitlerians almost seems excusable.
After all : perfidy,
brutality and murder as means for advancement in life come all too
easy to those who are otherwise complete failures.
The verses, at
any rate, which are believed to make reference to these events --in
translation and with a preliminary commentary-- read thus :
On the Rhine of the Noric Alps, that is, the
a powerful man shall be born from base folk,
will come too late to truly fulfil his mission.
he fight for Sarmatia, that is Poland, and Pannonia, that is Hungary --thus,
the so-called Ostraum--
and in the end it will not be known
what will have become of him,
his end will be veiled in darkness
and shrouded in shadowy mysteries.
Do these verses indeed speak of Adolf Hitler? In
French they read thus:
Auprès du Rhine des
Naistra un Grand des gens trop tard venu,
Qui défendra Saurome et Pannonique,
Qu'on ne saura qu'il sera devenu.
Translated by Thomas G. Ringmayr
Published in Southern Humanities Review, 1998
(special thanks to Tony Osborne)