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Döllersheim was, since the mid 19th century, an Austrian municipality in the Waldviertel, the northwestern part of Lower Austria near the border with Bohemia. It included the hamlet of Strones, where Alois Hitler, the father of Adolf Hitler, was born to Maria Schicklgruber in 1837.[1][2] Strones was very small at the time of Alois' birth and did not even have church with a baptismal registry.[1] According, Maria went to the Döllersheim parish to record the birth with the local priest, who duly entered the information on the baptism registry. The same registry was updated some 39 years later when, in 1876, Alois was legitimated and his surname was duly changed to Hitler.[3]

After the 1938 Anschluss which incorporated Austria into Nazi Germany ("Großdeutsches Reich"), Hitler ordered Döllersheim and several neighbouring villages to be evacuated in favour of a large proving ground operated by the Wehrmacht, even though (or perhaps because) it contained the grave of his paternal grandmother Maria. German troops forcibly resettled the villagers before bombing their houses as part of training exercises.[3] In World War II the facility was the site of several prisoner-of-war camps including the Oflag XVII-A near the former village of Edelbach. During the military occupation of Austria it was seized by the Soviet Army.

Today the area of Döllersheim is a Katastralgemeinde of the Pölla municipality. It is still an active training area operated by the Austrian Armed Forces, while the ruins of the former parish church and graveyard can be visited.

Coordinates: 48°37′N 15°19′E / 48.617°N 15.317°E / 48.617; 15.317


  1. ^ a b Alois was illegitimate. Adolf himself was born in Braunau am Inn in 1889, the fourth child of the marriage of Alois and Klara Hitler, whose family was from nearby Spital, Weitra. Kershaw, chapter 1. There is no evidence that any member of the Hitler family was born in Döllersheim, although it is possible that Maria and Alois' stepfather Johann Georg Hiedler may have been married there some five years after Alois' birth.
  2. ^ Although the majority of the inhabitants was ethnically Austrian, there was no country named "Austria" at the time; politically, Austria since 1867 was subsumed within the Cisleithanian crown lands of the Austro-Hungarian empire ruled by the House of Habsburg.
  3. ^ a b See generally Kershaw chapter 1 and Toland chapter 1.

Reference Works

  • Kershaw, Ian (1999). Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0-393-04671-0 ("Kershaw")|0-393-04671-0 ("Kershaw")]].  
  • Toland, John (1976). Adolf Hitler. New York: Doubleday & Company. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0-385-03724-4 ("Toland")|0-385-03724-4 ("Toland")]].  

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