How and why it got started, and why it’s not true
By Carolyn Yeager, March 2011
copyright 2011 Carolyn Yeager
The rumor that Adolf Hitler was the grandson of a Rothschild seems to have been hatched in the mind of a crypto-Jewish propagandist working in the United States’ first unified intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Not long after, a former high Nazi official, waiting for his execution, “confessed” to discovering a “Jewish grandfather” in Hitler’s background. These fabrications have been thoroughly debunked, and the true story of Hitler’s family background is told below.
Background information about Walter Langer and the OSS
The OSS was formed at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, from advice given to him by Canadian/British spymaster William Stephenson, aka “Intrepid,” who had been conducting British intelligence in the western hemisphere since 1939. Roosevelt asked William J. Donovan to draft a plan for an intelligence service. Donovan had functioned as an informal emissary to Britain for Roosevelt during 1940-41, assigned to gauge Britain's ability to succeed against Germany. In this role, he met with directors of Britain's intelligence services, and even with Winston Churchill. Donovan was appointed as the "Coordinator of Information" in July 1941. In June 1942, the OSS was established by Presidential military order. Its job was to collect and analyze strategic information required by and useful to the Joint Chiefs, and to conduct special operations not assigned to other agencies.* Since the FBI, the Army and Navy jealously guarded their areas of responsibility, the reach of the OSS was limited to what it could find in the way of new opportunities for espionage that weren’t already being served by the former-named departments. *Italics used throughout are my added emphasis - cy
William L. Langer was recruited during the war to work for the new OSS. Taking leave from his position as head of the History Dept. at Harvard Univ., he became head of the Research and Analysis Section of the OSS. He must have had something to do with bringing his brother Walter into his section, since Walter’s main accomplishment was a psychological analysis of Adolf Hitler.
Walter Langer was a psychoanalyst with a PhD but not an M.D.; he was the first person admitted to the American Psychiatric Association without a medical degree. Imagine that! The brothers were the sons of German immigrants to the U.S. No religion is ever given for either, increasing the likelihood the family was Jewish but did not want to advertise that fact. Langer is a common Ashkanazi Jewish and German name. For instance, there is a Rabbi Samuel Langer, well known on the U.S. east coast who died in 1969, and David Langer, a Jewish soldier in the Polish Army whose picture was taken in 1929.
At the end of the war, William was appointed special assistant for intelligence analysis to the U.S. Secretary of State, James F. Byrnes. In 1950, William Langer organized the office of National Estimates in the newly established Central Intelligence Agency [CIA], the successor of the OSS. He returned to Harvard in the 1950’s, but from 1961 to 1977 he served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board [from the Kennedy through Ford administrations]. In his book Diplomacy of Imperialism , he argued against a “genocide” of the Armenians on the grounds their revolutionary leaders provoked the Turks into it.1
Left: William L. Langer Right: Walter C. Langer in retirement. Look at the schnoz on both these brothers.
Langer’s “Psychological Profile of Adolf Hitler”
Walter was given the task by Donovan in 1943 of preparing a brief psychological and psychoanalytical profile of Hitler. But Langer wanted to do something more monumental. Without the opportunity to meet or speak with Hitler himself, Langer turned to disgruntled ex-National Socialists and others who had fallen out with Hitler, and to his tribal animosity for the Third Reich and knowledge of psycho-babble. For example, he wrote in his Preface:
The material available for such an analysis is extremely scant and spotty. Fortunately, we have at our disposal a number of informants who knew Hitler well and who have been willing to cooperate to the best of their abilities.
Reading this profile, it becomes obvious it can only have been written by a Jew. The peculiar hatred, bias and ridicule are of the type that only Jews express against their enemies. Donovan must have been disappointed and considered the report useless since it was full of inaccuracies and full-blown lies … a work of fantasy and Freudian psycho-speak, liberally layered with overt sexual imagery and speculations. With no basis whatsoever, Langer writes:
… a number of informants have commented on [Hitler’s] delight in witnessing strip-tease and nude dancing numbers on the stage. On such occasions he can never see enough to satisfy him even though he uses opera glasses in order to observe more closely. Strip-tease artists are frequently invited to the Brown House, in Munich, to perform in private and there is evidence that he often invites girls to Berchtesgaden for the purpose of exhibiting their bodies. On his walls are numerous pictures of obscene nudes which conceal nothing and he takes particular delight in looking through a collection of pornographic pictures which Hoffmann has made for him. […] In addition to the eyes, the anal region has also become highly sexualised and both faeces and buttocks become sexual objects. Due to early toilet training, certain inhibitions have been set up which prevent their direct expression. […] We may, therefore, regard Hitler's perversion as a compromise between psychotic tendencies to eat faeces and drink urine on the one hand, and to live a normal socially adjusted life on the other. The compromise is not, however, satisfactory to either side of his nature and the struggle between these two diverse tendencies continues to rage unconsciously.
No kidding! And even worse—all from rumor, hearsay and Langer’s own sick Jewish mind. It descends into pornography for many pages, almost half the report. What of any value can have been gained thereby for the OSS?
Showing how Langer went way beyond the task that was assigned to him, the following passage is reminiscent of some other writings from that time [such as Germany Must Perish! by American Jew Theodore Kaufman] that sought to condemn the German nation as a whole for massive evil, and along with it, the entire “civilized world.”
It was not only Hitler, the madman, who created German madness, but German madness which created Hitler. Having created him as its spokesman and leader, it has been carried along by his momentum, perhaps far beyond the point where it was originally prepared to go. Nevertheless, it continues to follow his lead in spite of the fact that it must be obvious to all intelligent people now that his path leads to inevitable destruction. From a scientific point of view, therefore, we are forced to consider Hitler, the Fuehrer, not as a personal devil, wicked as his actions and philosophy may be, but as the expression of a state of mind existing in millions of people, not only in Germany but, to a smaller degree, in all civilized countries. To remove Hitler may be a necessary first step, but it would not be the cure. It would be analogous to curing an ulcer without treating the underlying disease. If similar eruptions are to be prevented in the future, we cannot content ourselves with simply removing the overt manifestations of the disease. On the contrary, we must ferret out and seek to correct the underlying factors which produced the unwelcome phenomenon. We must discover the psychological streams which nourish this destructive state of mind in order that we may divert them into channels which will permit a further evolution of our form of civilization.
“Our form of civilization” meaning Jewish-American form of civilization? This is exactly what they know we need to do to Jews in order to save ourselves … to “ferret out the underlying factors” that are bringing about our destruction. In this OSS profile, there was no mention of a Jewish grandfather for Hitler. But the idea must have been forming to Langer, because toward the end of the “psychological analysis” section of his report, he suddenly invents “Jewish Godparents” for Hitler. His tendency to speculate on pet theories is working overtime when he writes:
We know that he had very little money when he left Linz, certainly not enough to live on for almost an entire year while he spent his time in painting. Since the date of his mother's death has been so universally distorted (? don’t know what he means by this; the date was always Dec. 1907-cy), it would seem that efforts were being made to cover something which happened during this intervening year. My guess would be that he lived with his Jewish godparents 2 who supported him while he was preparing work for the Academy. When he failed to be admitted at the end of a year, they put him out and made him go to work. There is one bit of evidence for this hypothesis. Hanisch 3, in his book, mentions in passing that when they were particularly destitute he went with Hitler to visit a well-to-do Jew whom Hitler said was his father. The wealthy Jew would have nothing to do with him and sent him on his way again. There is scarcely a possibility that Hitler's father was a Jew, but Hanisch might easily have understood him to say father when he said godfather. This would certainly make much more sense and would indicate that Hitler had contact with his godparents before the visit and that they were fed up with him and would help him no further.
The Rothschild story appears …
In 1972, Langer published a lengthier, revised version of his profile in book form, titled The Mind of Adolf Hitler: The Secret Wartime Report. It contained a forward by brother William, and an afterword by the “psychoanalytic historian” Robert G.L. Waite. In the book, Langer adds some new allusions to Jewish superiority in speaking of Adolf’s father:
Alois’ intelligence and behavior were beyond what can be expected from an Austrian family of peasants and more suitable to a linage of highly educated Jews.
This is prologue to his theory of a Rothschild paternity, admitting even as he puts it forth that it lacks credibility:
There are some people who seriously doubt that Johann Georg Hiedler was the father of Alois. Thyssen and Koehler, for example, claim that [Austrian] Chancellor Dollfuss had ordered the Austrian police to conduct a thorough investigation into the Hitler family. As a result of this investigation a secret document was prepared that proved that Maria Anna Schicklgruber was living in Vienna at the time she conceived. At that time she was employed as a servant in the home of Baron Rothschild. As soon as the family discovered her pregnancy she was sent back to her home in Spital where Alois was born. If it is true that one of the Rothschilds is the real father of Alois Hitler, it would make Adolf a quarter Jew. According to these sources, Adolf Hitler knew of the existence of this document and the incriminating evidence it contained. In order to obtain it he precipitated events in Austria and initiated the assassination of Dollfuss. According to this story, he failed to obtain the document at that time since Dollfuss had secreted it and had told Schuschnigg of its whereabouts so that in the event of his death the independence of Austria would remain assured. Several stories of this general character are in circulation.4
First, the “secret document” has never been seen, and no doubt never existed. The best one can find on anti-Hitler conspiracy sites is that it is “now in the hands of the British Secret Service.” And, of course, they’re not releasing it.
Second, the political putsch attempt by Austrian National Socialists, not under Hitler’s control in any way, that occurred in Vienna in 1934 was not instigated by Hitler; in fact, he was displeased by the attempt and the bad impression it created.
Third, Dollfuss may have searched into Hitler’s family line, but the Baron Rothschild part is totally unbelievable. There are no records showing Maria Anna Schickelgruber registered as a domestic servant in Vienna, ever, something that was required at the time. Langer admits this is just one of several “stories,” i.e. rumors, in circulation. He concludes that “it is sounder not to base our reconstruction on such slim evidence but to seek firmer foundations.” Yet he repeats these baseless rumors for the very purpose of keeping such rumors alive.
Robert G.L. Waite, who wrote the afterword for Langer’s book, was a Canadian self-styled “psychohistorian,” with a specialty in Adolf Hitler, who authored his own psycho-bio, Adolf Hitler: The Psychopathic God, published in 1977. Waite, who gained his psychiatric ‘insight’ from the extended treatment he received for depression he suffered since his university days, and was known for stubbornness and acting out emotionally in public, found Langer’s theories provocative, even if wrong. He wrote: "But even when Langer is mistaken and his guesses prove incorrect, he is often on the right track."
Consider his hint that Hitler's grandfather might have been a Jew. There is no reason to believe the unlikely story told by Langer's informant that Hitler's grandmother Maria Anna Schicklgruber, a peasant woman in her forties from the Waldvietral of rural Austria, had had an intimate liason with a Baron Rothschild in Vienna.
Above: Family resemblance? Not a bit, yet some imagine it. This photo comparison is found on Internet sites as evidence of Hitler’s Rothschild lineage!
…and the Frankenberger story
In place of Langer’s failed rumors, Waite posits another false story of a different “Jewish grandfather” that had also been “circulating” for years, to wit that Hitler's paternal grandmother had been working as a cook in the household of a Jewish man named Leopold Frankenberger before she gave birth to Hitler's father out of wedlock.
But Hitler had worried that he might be blackmailed over a Jewish grandfather and ordered his private lawyer, Hans Frank, to investigate his paternal lineage. Frank told the Fuehrer that his grandmother had become pregnant while working as a domestic servant in a Jewish household in Graz.
The facts of this matter are in dispute - and a very lengthy dispute it has been. The point of overriding psychological and historical importance is not whether it is true that Hitler had a Jewish grandfather, but whether he believed that it might be true.
Waite then lies when he writes: "He did so believe and the fact shaped both his personality and his public policy."
No, Hitler did not believe it, and in fact Hans Frank’s entire story is false, an invention made up in the mind of a condemned man under pressure to “clear his conscience.” There was no blackmail letter from Hitler’s nephew Patrick and there was no Frankenberger family living in Graz.
The American Jewish psychologist G. M. Gilbert was sent to Europe as a military intelligence officer and was appointed prison psychologist for the German prisoners. He later wrote in his book Nuremberg Diary on p.19: “He [Hans Frank] and Albert Speer were the only defendants to show any true remorse for their war crimes …” He should also have said they were the only two who spoke ill of Adolf Hitler in retrospect, the former in hopes to clear himself before God, the latter in hopes to clear his reputation before his new earthly rulers.
Above: Hans Frank in confinement, 1945
HITLER’S TRUE GENEALOGY
These are the principal blood relatives of Adolf Hitler:
Maria Schicklgruber, paternal grandmother
Johann Georg Hiedler, presumed, official paternal grandfather
Johann Nepomuk Hüttler, real paternal grandfather and maternal great-grandfather
Johann Baptist Põlzl, maternal grandfather
Klara Hitler, mother
Alois Hitler, father
Paula Hitler, sister
Alois Hitler, Jr., half-brother (by his father’s 2nd wife)
Angela Hitler Raubal, half-sister (by father’s 2nd wife)
Geli Raubal, niece (through his half-sister Angela)
Leo Raubal Jr, nephew (through his half-sister Angela)
William Patrick Hitler, nephew (through his half-brother Alois, Jr)
Below is an accurate genealogic chart from Familypedia.com. The only addition that needs to be made is to link Maria Anna Schicklgruber and Johann Nepomuk Hüttler as having an extra-marital liason which resulted in the child Alois Schicklgruber in 1837 (see Werner Maser, below). But in all other aspects, it conforms to the research done and accepted by all historians and genealogists. There are no Jews or Jewish connections at all.
Werner Maser, a German historian and author of several serious books on Hitler, was described in his obituary in the London Times as “one of the first German historians to treat the Nazi period as a field of academic research.”5
This is borne out in his exceedingly thorough job of tracing Adolf Hitler’s family background and lineage in his book, Hitler: Legend, Myth and Reality, published in German in 1971, in English in 1973. He concludes that Hitler’s paternal grandfather was Johann Nepomuk Hüttler, a German farmer living in Spital, in the Waldviertel region in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
This book and the information it contains has been available for 40 years, yet conspiracy theorists who want to believe Hitler was a Rothschild or simply a part-Jew ignore it. Maser’s investigation included personal trips to look through church and baptismal records, interviewing relatives, heirs, school-fellows and childhood friends. In the attic of one of Hitler’s cousins, he discovered material which biographers had been seeking for half a century, including large numbers of letter and notes in Hitler’s own hand.
FINDINGS OF WERNER MASER
1. It is undisputed that Adolf Hitler was born to Alois Hitler and Klara Pölzl. Alois, however, was born Schicklgruber because his mother, Maria Anna Schicklgruber was unmarried. [Not an unusual occurrence in Austrian villages at that time.]
2. Maria Anna Schicklgruber was not a poor housemaid who worked for wealthy Jewish families. The daughter of Johann Schicklgruber, a prosperous farmer in possession of a well-appointed farm in the village of Strones, and Theresia Pfseisinger, she was born in 1795 and is described by Maser as a thrifty, reserved and exceptionally shrewd peasant woman. She gives every appearance of having been strong-minded, a trait that was passed down to her son Alois and her grandson, Adolf.
3. Maria Anna Schicklgruber’s brother, Jakob, purchased the family farm from his father for 3000 gulden when the father was only 53 years old. Maria’s mother, Theresia, had just inherited 210 gulden from her father’s total estate of 1054 gulden, so the parents felt prosperous enough to retire. To put the value of 3000 gulden in perspective: a cow at that time could be purchased for 10 to 12 gulden; a brood sow cost 4 gulden; a bed w/bedding was 2 gulden; an inn with stabling could be had for 450 to 500 gulden. As you can see, 3000 gulden was a substantial amount.
4. Maria Anna, at the age of 26, inherited 74.25 gulden at the death of her mother in 1821. She kept this sum in the Orphans’ Fund until 1838, earning 5% interest. By then, it had increased to 165 gulden, over double the original amount. Her son was not born until June 1837 when she was 42 yrs. old.
5. She refused to reveal the name of her child’s father, even though the priest wanted her to do so. Thus, the child could only be given her name. This strong-willed woman did marry, in 1842—five years after the birth of her son—a man named Johann Georg Hiedler of the village of Spital. If he were the father of Alois, Maria Anna would certainly have named him such when they married and legitimized her son, but she did not. That entry was made in the baptismal register at Döllersheim where they married, but not until ten years after her death! The one responsible for it was Hiedler’s younger brother, Johann Nepomuk Hüttler, in whose household young Alois went to live at the age of 5 years, after his mother’s marriage to Hiedler.6
6. So … we have Maria Anna Schicklgruber Heidler’s illegitimate son Alois going to live in the household of his new stepfather’s brother—his ‘uncle.’ Maser explains it this way: Hiedler, at this time 50 years old and never before married, may have resented and/or been irritated by the presence of a young child who was not his. But more likely, Johann Nepomuk, a much younger 35 years old, who was married at the time Alois was conceived, could now welcome his son, as ‘nephew,’ into his family without his wife becoming suspicious.
7. All reports are, according to Maser, that Alois was happy in his ‘uncle’s’ home where he had ‘cousins’ and a more lively family life than he experienced living with his 47-year-old mother and her new husband.
8. Maria Anna Hiedler died in 1847 at the age of only 52. Alois did not, on his own initiative, seek legal legitimacy. His birth status did not hamper his career, in which he rose to what was considered the very respectable position of a Customs official; nor did it appear to trouble him personally. He was known as a tolerant, modern thinker, not particularly religious. His second wife Franziska Matzelsberger had a son born out of wedlock when he married her and he accepted this son in his household. It wasn’t until sometime between 1874 and 1876 that he changed his name to Hitler. Hitler is almost identical in sound to Hüttler.
9. It was in 1876 that Franz Schicklgruber, administrator of his sister Maria Anna’s estate, made over to his nephew Alois 230 gulden. It was now that Alois signed his name “Hitler,” spelling it just slightly differently than Hüttler. Maser comments that the Schicklgruber family was no doubt proud of how well Alois had done for himself and saw to it that he got the bulk of the inheritance of his mother.
10. Rothschild and Frankenberger Jew paternity is ruled out on the grounds of there being no evidence Maria Anna Schicklgruber ever worked for a Jewish family in Graz or Vienna.
11. The Jew Frankenberger story: Hans Frank, who became Govenor General of Poland from 1939 to 1945, is responsible for the false story, with the help of an American army chaplain Sixtus O’Conner, written before Frank was put to death by the Nuremberg IMT [International Military Tribunal]. He concocted a story that Maria Anna Schicklgruber worked as a cook in the household of a Jewish family in Graz, Austria at the time she gave birth to her son. In his ‘report,’ this family had a 19 yr-old son. [Remember, MAS was 42 years old, a fact of which Hans Frank was probably ignorant.] Further, he said the family, named Frankenberger, paid a maintenance allowance to Maria Anna for 14 years [which makes Jews look responsible and honorable]. But the story is false from start to finish. Some of the main reasons are:
A) From the end of the 15th Century until a decade after Maria Anna died, no Jews lived in Graz. They had been expelled by Emperor Maximilian I in 1496 from the province of Styria, which included Graz. In 1781, under Joseph II, they were allowed to re-enter, but only for a few weeks at a time, during Lent and at the Feast of St. Giles to the annual Fairs, after paying a fixed sum. Two years later, these rights were again curtailed, and it remained enforced until 1860 that no Jews whatsoever could even enter the province.
B) No resident by the name of Frankenberger is listed as having lived in Graz at that time.
C) Records from 1821 to 1838 pertaining to Maria Anna’s money in the Orphans’ Fund showed no change of address in 1836 or ’37. Moreover, as a subject of the “Lordship of Ottenstein” she could not have absented herself for any length of time without it being noted.
D) Frank wrote in his report that Adolf Hitler told him in a conversation that he knew there were no Jews in his family because he had talked with his father and grandmother about it. But Hitler could not have said that—his grandmother had been dead since before he was born! This shows that Hans Frank’s story is made up out of whole cloth—including the part about “investigating the matter for Hitler.”
12. The Rothschild in Vienna story: This is debunked for the same reasons. Maria Anna Schicklgruber did not visit or live in Vienna, and there is no record of who these Rothschilds were, their address or other necessary information.
13, Patrick Hitler: Another rumor of an alleged newspaper article in the Paris-Soir in which Hitler’s nephew [by his half-brother Alois, Jr.], Patrick, described his uncle Adolf as the grandson of a Graz Jew called Frankenreither. Maser dug up this issue of that defunct newspaper while on a trip to Paris and found it carried two pages and six illustrations of Patrick Hitler’s story, but no allusion whatsoever to any Jewish antecedents.
COMMENTS AND OTHER FINDINGS BY WERNER MASER
1. Maser feels that Johann Nepomuk Hüttler and Alois decided on the change of name in compliance with the wishes of Maria Anna. The inheritance was given in the same year that Alois wrote his name as Hitler. The baptismal record continues to name Johann Georg Hiedler as Alois’ father, but Alois chose to spell the name as Hitler.
2. Klara Pölzl, Alois 3rd wife, mother of Adolf, was a granddaughter of Johann Nepomuk Hüttler and his wife Eva Maria [Decker], making her the niece of her husband Alois. She was considered his niece because Alois was a Schicklgruber and Klara was a Decker on the maternal side. Hüttler died in 1888, Adolf was born in 1889.
3. Adolf Hitler’s maternal grandfather was Johann Baptist Põlzl, a farmer living in Spital. His paternal grandfather was Johann Nepomuk Hüttler, also a Spital farmer. Maser says that there is a distinct family resemblance between all the relations in Spital who are descended from Hüttler, and some of them bear a strong resemblance to Adolf Hitler. Hitler visited Spital in 1905, 1906 and 1908, and several times when on leave during the First World War. He knew his relatives and a great deal about his family history.
The methods used by the Armenian nationalist groups to secure foreign intervention at this time were very well documented by the distinguished Harvard University diplomatic historian, the late William L. Langer, in Diplomacy of Imperialism (2d ed.; New York, 1956), on the basis of Armenian as well as Western reports, and without any use of Turkish sources. Thus he found in the British Parliamentary Papers (Turkey No. 10, 1879, nos. 45 and 62 and Turkey No. 7, 1880, no. 3) statements from the British ambassador in June and July, 1879, such as ‘The same intrigues are now being carried on in Asia Minor to establish an Armenian nationality and to bring about a state of things which may give rise to a Christian outcry and European interference’ (p. 153).
Langer reports (p. 157) that Revolutionary placards were being posted in the cities, and there were not a few cases of the blackmailing of wealthy Armenians, who were forced to contribute to the cause. Europeans in Turkey were agreed that the immediate aim of the agitators was to incite disorder, bring about inhuman reprisals, and so provoke the intervention of the powers. For that reason, it was said, they operated by preference in areas where the Armenians were in a hopeless minority, so that the reprisals would be certain.
Langer concluded (p. 163) that ‘Enough has been said above to make unnecessary any further reference here to the Hentchak and its program and methods. The leaders were quite prepared to have thousands of their fellow-countrymen massacred in order to force intervention by the European powers and in order to raise from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire a new Armenian socialist state.’
Langer states: “Mr. Herbert, the British chargé, appreciated the provocation to the Turks. Mr. Hume-Beaman, an expert on things oriental, roundly declared that every member of the Armenian committees should be hanged, and that the responsibilities for the massacres rested divided between these cowardly committees and the ‘braggart and ineffectual intervention of Europe’.” (Langer, pp. 324-325]
2. This is the first mention of “Jewish godparents.” They appear out of the blue as a “guess” by Langer. The intention is clearly to show Jews as good, compassionate and upstanding people who “saw through” the good-for-nothing Hitler—placing Jews in the superior position morally, financially and educationally.
3. One of Langer’s “informants” who was employed by Hitler in Vienna as an agent for selling his paintings. Their business relationship lasted for 8 months. At that time, Hitler took Hanisch to court for not turning over the money he owed Hitler. Hanisch was found guilty and spent a very short time in jail.
4. Walter C. Langer, The Mind of Adolf Hitler, Basic Books, 1972, pg.111-113.
5. In his book on the Nuremberg Tribunals, Trial of a Nation, Maser alleged that Hitler’s architect, Albert Speer, who was given only a prison sentence by the tribunal, made a secret deal with the chief American prosecutor Robert H. Jackson.
6. The father of Johann Georg Hiedler, born 1792 and Johann Nepomuk Hüttler, born 1807 was Martin Hiedler, born 1762. Johann Nepomuk chose to spell the name Hüttler, or perhaps it was an error by a priest or cleric.