Adolf Hitler – a name that infuses terror and brings the horrid memories of the holocaust of World War II was an average man. But just like everyone, he had his own bag of secrets and untold truths that would have probably stayed hidden had not the historians all over the world dug up those facts that made him what he was! This post brings to you 20 such facts that may leave you in a dilemma. So, here are 20 interesting facts about Adolf Hitler:
Adolf Hitler Facts: 1-10
1. Adolf Hitler was born in Austria’s Braunau Am Inn on an Easter Saturday. The date was evening of April 20, 1889. So, Hitler was by birth not a German. His exact time of birth was 6:30 PM.
2. The name ‘Hitler’ is often used interchangeably with Hutler, Huttler, Hietler and Hiedler. The term Hitler literally means “small holder”. This point directly points to our next point about Hitler’s family.
3. Hitler’s family belonged to a generation of peasant family in Waldviertel. They were actually small holders in Waldviertel, which is located at Lower Austria’s northwestern part. It had a reputation of being a very poor area and shared border with Bohemia. People living in Waldviertel had the reputation of being very unwelcoming, dour and hardnosed.
4. Adolf Hitler was born in a town that lay on the frontier of German and Austrian Empires. Though Hitler was by birth an Austrian, he became loyal to Germans at a very early stage in life and developed a strong hatred for the Austrian Empire and eventually went on to reject the Hapsburg Empire. Hapsburg Empire was actually multinational and Hitler didn’t like that.
5. Hitler’s actual name would have been Adolf Schicklgruber because his father’s actual name was Alois Schicklgruber. However, Alois actually changed his last name to Hitler 13 years before Adolf was born. This change in last name actually took place in year 1876. Adolf Hitler later in his life said that of all things his father did, the only thing that really made Adolf happy was this decision to change the last name. Till date it is not clear why Alois changed the last name.
6. Adolf Hitler’s father Alois Hitler (Schicklgruber) was an illegit son of Maria Anna Schicklgruber who gave birth to Alois at the age of 42. This fact is interesting because women generally reach menopause at the age of 40. Historians believe that Alois’ father or Adolf’s grandfather was a man named Johann Georg Hiedler to whom Maria Anna Schicklgruber married 5 years after Alois was born.
7. Alois was married three times. On the first occasion he married a woman who was way older to him and later he married two other women who were so young that they could have been Alois’ daughters. Adolf Hitler was born to Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl. Klara, who lived from 1860 to 1907, was the eldest of the three siblings who survived out of 11 children born. According to historians, Alois (Adolf’s father) and Klara (Adolf’s mother) were actually second cousins and hence, they had to get permission from the government to get married to each other.
8. Hitler’s father died in 1903 because of pleural hemorrhage. Hitler was only 14 years old when his father died. In 1907 his mother dies of breast cancer. Hitler was 18 years old when his mother died.
9. Historians say that Hitler’s father was an irritable father, masterful, distant and stern by nature. As a husband, Hitler’s father was domineering, despotic and oppressive by nature. Because of his character, Hitler’s mother used to address his father as Uncle long after they were married.
10. Death of his father did not really affect Hitler much. However, his mother’s death shattered him completely. A Jewish physician named Dr. Bloch used to take care of Hitler’s mother and after her death, Dr. Bloch said that in his 50-year long career, Hitler was the only young man he saw was broken to such extent with grief. His grief was so profound that till his last days in bunker, Hitler kept a photograph of his mother in his pocket.
Adolf Hitler Facts: 11-20
11. Hitler’s three older siblings died when they were infants. Their names were Otto, Ida and Gustav. Hitler had two younger siblings too. Edmund was his younger brother and died in 1900 because of measles. Hitler was only 11 years old when he lost Edmund. Paula was Hitler’s sister who survived all the way up to adulthood.
12. Hitler always wanted to become an Artist but his father dreamed of a carrier of Civil Servant for Hitler. Hitler tried to pursue his dream and applied at Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna in years 1907 and 1908 but was rejected.
13. Hitler used to hate school when he was an adolescent. Later he said that the only teacher he liked in his school was Dr. Potsch. Dr. Potsch used to teach history and according to Hitler, his tales of German history and heroism of German soldiers influenced Hitler to such an extent that he developed anti-Hapsburg feeling and turned him into an emotionally strong German Nationalist.
14. Carl Jung analyzed Hitler’s handwriting in 1937 and came to a conclusion that he had very strong feminine instincts.
15. Johannes Blaschke (1881 – 1959) was Hitler’s dentist. He reported that hated visiting dentist. Dental exams were more like a phobia to him. Johannes reported that Hitler suffered from gum diseases, abscess and extremely bad breath.
16. According to some historians, Hitler suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
17. Hitler’s mother and father were Catholic. Hitler was religious too but according to Joseph Goebbels, Hitler nurtured strong anti-Christian views. According to Goebbels, Hitler strongly believed that Christianity was feeble and meek and he considered Muslims and Japanese to have superior religions.
18. Hitler was a tad shorter than 5′ 10” and weighed 155 pounds. This weight is however not accurate because Hitler never took off his clothes during medical examination.
19. Hitler was never a vegetarian but turned into one after the autopsy of his ex-girlfriend (who was also his half-niece), Geli Raubal. She shot herself in heart.
20. For a brief time Hitler lived in homeless shelter after his mother Klara died and after he was rejected by the Academy of Fine Arts for the second time.
1. Fuchs, Thomas 2000. A Concise Biography of Adolf Hitler. New York, NY: Berkley Books.
2. Gunkel, Christoph. “Medicating a Madman: A Sober Look at Hitler’s Health.” Spiegel Online. February 4, 2010. Accessed: September 16, 2012.
3. Hall, Allan. “As He Took Over Europe and Slaughtered Millions, There Was Only One Thing Hitler Feared: Going to the Dentist.” Mail Online. December 10, 2009. Accessed: September 16, 2012.
4. Kershaw, Ian. 1998. Hitler: A Biography. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.