Hitler’s alleged Jewish blood, an old conspiracy theory

Comments by Sergei Lavrov, in an interview with an Italian media, generated controversy and a diplomatic dispute with Israel, resurrecting rumors about the identity of Hitler’s paternal grandfather.

The Russian Foreign Minister’s suggestion that Adolf Hilter had Jewish blood is just the latest version of a conspiracy theory that explores the void in the Nazi dictator’s genealogy.

Sergei Lavrov’s remarks this weekend, in an interview with Italian media, which sparked controversy and a diplomatic row with Israel, resurrected rumors about the identity of Hitler’s paternal grandfather.

Hitler’s father, Alois, was an illegitimate son whose father was unknown, Austrian historian Roman Sandgruber told AFP.

Sandgruber, who last year published the first biography of Alois Hitler, explained that the rumors began to circulate in the 1920s, when Adolf Hitler began his rise to power.

The theory was strengthened by its political opponents when Hitler took power in Germany in 1933.

After World War II, memories of the Nazi war criminal Hans Frank, who ruled over occupied Poland during the war, breathed new life into these versions.

In his memoirs, published after his 1946 execution for war crimes, Frank said he secretly investigated Hitler’s ancestors at the request of the Nazi leader himself, who claimed he was being blackmailed by a nephew.

Frank said he discovered that at the time, Hitler’s grandmother, Maria Anna Schicklgruber, was working as a cook for the Jewish Frankenberger family in the Austrian city of Graz.

Her boss paid alimony to her son Alois until he turned 14, according to Frank, who clarified that, according to Hitler, his grandmother and future husband let the Jew think he was the child’s father out of financial interest.

Historians, however, remain skeptical.

There is no solid evidence to support this version of Frank, according to Sandgruber. One of the inconsistencies, for example, is that, at the time, Jews did not have the right to live in Graz.

But then who was Hitler’s grandfather?

“This is an unanswered question,” wrote historian Ofer Aderet in the Israeli daily Haaretz.

Aderet recalled that some people cited the version of Hitler’s Jewish origins to justify his defeat in the war.

Others say the shame of this past led the dictator to persecute the Jews.

“The bottom line is that there is no historical evidence for any of this,” Aderet said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid condemned Lavrov’s statements on Monday, saying they were “unforgivable and outrageous”. Israel has summoned the Russian ambassador to explain Lavrov’s statement.

On Tuesday, Zelensky also commented on the matter.

“How can you say such a thing on the eve of the date that marks the victory over Nazism [May 9, 1945]. These words mean that Russia’s first diplomat is accusing the Jewish people of Nazi crimes. There are no words.”, said Zelensky.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last Sunday in an interview with Italian channel Canal4 that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Adolf Hitler share “Hebrew origins”.

Source: With Agencies


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