Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Documentary Review: Hitler's Family: In the Shadow of the Dictator (2006)

This is an interesting documentary, because generally not much is known about Hitler's family.  This was by design.  Hitler for the most part wanted the public to only see him.  I had heard rumors Hitler was part Jewish.  However such is not the case.  However, Hitler worried someone might discover he had Jewish blood.  This was on of his greatest fears.  However, there was mental illness in Hitler's family.  His second cousin became a victim of Hitler's euthanasia program for person with mental illness.  His younger sister, Paula, wanted to marry a doctor who was on of those charged with killing mentally ill patients.  Rather than allow the marriage, Hitler had the doctor shipped to the Easter Front where he was captured and died as a POW.  Hitler had three nephews.  Of one he was proud.  Heinz served in the war, and went missing in Russia.  His nephew William (both Heinz and William were from his brother Alois, by two different wives; he was married to both at the same time.) was in England before the war, but returned to Germany to take part in the advantages of your uncle being dictator.  He was an uncouth youth, who used vulgar language with women.  He didn't like work, but threatened his uncle to expose the family secrets if he wasn't provided for.  His uncle complied.  Hitler must of thought William had information about Jewish heritage, but William was talking about the bigamy of his father.  His half-sister Angela used the influence afforded by her relationship to take over the properties of others, who then had to flea.  Another nephew fled with his mother to the United States before the war.  He was used in anti Hitler propaganda, and joined the military.  However, after the war the name Hitler was not an advantage, so he changed his name several times, and his children keep their identity hidden.  Lastly Hitler's niece, Geli, under the control of her uncle (and a rumored incestuous affair) committed suicide.  The suicide was blamed on Hitler.  However there is no real evidence of an illicit relationship.
Quite the family.

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