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Bridget Dowling

Bridget Dowling Hitler, offering British war relief information in 1941
Born Bridget Elizabeth Dowling
July 3, 1891(1891-07-03) (disputed)
Dublin, Ireland
Died November 18, 1969 (aged 78)
Long Island
Nationality Irish Republic of Ireland
Spouse(s) Alois Hitler, Jr.
Children William Patrick Hitler
Parents William Dowling (father)

Bridget Elizabeth Hitler, née Dowling (alternative Brigid) (3 July 1891[1][2] – 18 November 1969[3]) was Adolf Hitler's sister-in-law via her marriage to Alois Hitler, Jr. She was the mother of Alois Hitler's son William Patrick Hitler. She was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland.

Contents

Engagement

In 1909, she and her father, William Dowling, attended the Dublin Horse Show where they met Alois Hitler, Jr., who claimed to be a wealthy hotelier touring Europe when, in fact, he was a poor waiter at Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel. Alois courted Bridget at various Dublin locales and soon they were discussing marriage. On June 3, 1910, the couple eloped to London, living in Charing Cross Road for a while. Her father threatened to charge Alois with kidnapping but accepted the marriage after Bridget pleaded with him.

Early married life

The couple settled at 102 Upper Stanhope Street in Toxteth, Liverpool, and, in 1911 they had their only child, William Patrick Hitler. Ironically, the house was destroyed in the last German air raid of the Liverpool Blitz on January 10, 1942, and has remained a bomb site ever since.

Split

Alois went to Germany in 1914 to establish himself in business but these plans were interrupted by the outbreak of World War I. Bridget refused to go with him, as he had become violent and started beating their son. Alois decided to abandon his family, he remarried bigamously and sent word after the war that he was dead. He was charged with bigamy in 1924 but escaped conviction due to Bridget's intervention. Bridget raised her son alone with no support from her husband from whom she was eventually divorced (although as a Roman Catholic she was religiously opposed to divorce). She set up a home in Hornsey, North London, and took in lodgers to make ends meet.

Emigration and claims

In 1939, she joined her son on a tour of the United States where he was invited to lecture on his famous uncle. They decided to stay and Bridget wrote a manuscript, My Brother-in-Law Adolf, in which she claimed that her famous brother-in-law had moved to Liverpool to live with Bridget and Alois from November 1912 to April 1913 in order to dodge conscription in his native Austria. She claims that she introduced Adolf to astrology, and that she advised him to trim off the edges of his moustache.

She was unable to sell the manuscript and most historians dismiss the work as being a fabrication written in an attempt to cash in on her famous relation.

There is no evidence Hitler ever visited his relatives in Liverpool. Professor Robert Waite refutes her claims that Adolf Hitler had stayed with her as well as most of the rest of her book in the appendix to his book The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler. According to David Gardiner, Bridget's daughter-in-law has said Bridget admitted to her that the book was fanciful. The story of Adolf Hitler's visit to Liverpool has remained popular, however, and was the subject of Beryl Bainbridge's 1978 novel Young Adolf and Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's notorious 1989 comic The New Adventures of Hitler.

Post-war

After the war Bridget and her son settled in Long Island under the assumed name of Stuart-Houston. She died there on November 18, 1969 and is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram, Long Island alongside her son, who died on July 14, 1987.

Sources

  • Marc Vermeeren. "De jeugd van Adolf Hitler 1889-1907 en zijn familie en voorouders". Soesterberg, 2007, 420 blz. Uitgeverij Aspekt. ISBN 90-5911-606-2.

References

  1. ^ Gardner, David C. (2001). The Last of the Hitlers. BMM. pp. 131. ISBN 0-9541544-0-1.  
  2. ^ Bridget Dowling's date of birth is a matter of dispute. David C. Gardner found two women shearing that name (ant fathers' names). One of them was born on 3rd July 1891 and her mother was Elisabeth Reynolds; the other Bridget was born on 6th January 1891 and her mother was Esther Cullan- the latter is preferred by D. Gardner. Wolfgang Zdral (pages 134, 262 and Appendix) suggests 3rd July 1891.
  3. ^ Zdral, Wolfgang (2005). Die Hitlers. Campus Verlag GmbH. pp. 262, Appendix. ISBN 3-593-37457-9.  

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