Hitler's Irish Nephew

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HitlerWilliam Patrick Stuart-Houston (né Hitler; 12 March 1911 – 14 July 1987) was the half-nephew of Adolf Hitler. William Patrick was the son of Alois Hitler - Adolf Hitler's half brother, and his Irish wife Bridget Dowling and was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England.

His mother Bridget Dowling, met Alois when he was a waiter in the Shelbourne Hotel in 1909; in 1910 they eloped to London, where they married. William Patrick was born the following year.

The story goes that the young Bridget Dowling spotted a dashing foreigner at the Dublin Horse Show. The handsome stranger in the Homburg hat at the RDS was none other than Alois Hitler, brother of the future leader of the Third Reich. Bridget, an innocent 17-year-old was just out of convent school, and said later: "I cannot deny that this stranger with his fine foreign manners made a great impression.'

Romance blossomed and the pair went on dates to Dublin's National Gallery. Alois, the older half-brother of Adolf Hitler, made out he was a grand hotelier who was on a European tour studying the business in various countries. Bridget's family disapproved of the match. Their opposition to the relationship was proved right when they found out that Mr Hitler was not in fact a wealthy hotelier but a waiter in the Shelbourne Hotel.

In the 1930s William Patrick Hitler lived in Germany.  Paddy Hitler showed himself to be an opportunist. He travelled over to Germany to exploit his connections after Hitler became Chancellor. The pair had a stormy relationship, but uncle Adolf found Paddy work in a bank. He later became a car salesman for Opel. He began to copy his uncle's mannerisms, including the Fuhrer's pose with crossed arms. He even grew a similar moustache.

Hitler's nephewPaddy Hitler was in demand at society dinner parties in Germany. Adolf described him as his "loathsome nephew''. Patrick was reported to have made veiled threats to expose Adolf's Jewish ancestry, and demanded a more senior job. Hitler demanded that he become a German citizen if he wanted a top job. Fearing a trap, Patrick then fled Germany in a hurry. Back in England he wrote an article for Look magazine, "Why I hate my Uncle''. The Hitler name may have opened doors for Paddy in Berlin, but it wasn't flavour of the month in England as war broke out.

However, by 1939 he and his mother had moved to the United States where he became a critic of his uncle. Paddy turned his colourful background into a sort of travelling freak show. He gave lectures, warning America that his uncle was a madman surrounded by "sexual perverts''.

Adolf Hitler's nephew served in the US Navy in World War Two. William P. Hitler was sworn in on March 6, 1944 and went on to serve for three years as a pharmacist's mate receiving a Purple Heart medal for a wound he suffered. He received a shrapnel wound in the leg.

Having cashed in on the Hitler name before and during World War Two, Bridget and Paddy then decided to drop out of public view completely. They vanished and assumed new identities as the Stuart-Houston family. They lived on Long Island, where Patrick ran a blood-analysis laboratory. Patrick married a German woman Phyllis and they had four sons. Although Patrick kept his identity secret until shortly before his death. He was still alive in 1977; but nothing further is known of him after that date.

Bridget Dowling Hitler died in 1969 at the age of 78. Her son Patrick is buried beside her, having died suddenly in 1987. Their grave on Long Island offers no clues to their background. His sons Louis and Brian run a local landscaping business, while the oldest brother Alex is a former social worker. Hitler's last surviving relatives quietly decline interviews about their notorious grand-uncle.

book titleWilliam Patrick’s story so fascinated British journalist David Gardner that he spent years attempting to find the last relative to bear the Hitler name. Gardner found that William Patrick died before the search started, but that his four sons had established a pact that, in order for Adolf Hitler’s genes to die with them, none of them would have children. He discovered too that the eldest son, Alex, also has a middle name.... Adolf! And that the family insist Adolf Hitler did visit Liverpool (and Ireland) before the First World War – a trip previously discounted by historians. The book, The Last of the Hitlers, contains previously unpublished FBI files and interviews with the surviving blood relatives, and is not just a history of the family, it is also the story of Gardner’s dedicated search.

This book is on the shelf in Ballymun Library and you can email the branch at ballymunlibrary@dublincity.ie if you would like to read it and we will send it on to a collection branch. Please include your email address and library card number and highlight your pick up branch for collection. Find out more about our new call and collect service.


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