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Paula Hitler
Born Paula Hitler
January 21, 1896(1896-01-21)
Hafeld in Fischlham municipality, Austria
Died June 1, 1960 (aged 64)
Berchtesgaden, West Germany
Resting place Bergfriedhof in Bergfriedhof
Nationality Austrian
German
Parents Alois Hitler, Klara Hitler
Relatives Adolf Hitler (brother)

Paula Hitler (January 21, 1896 in Hafeld, Austria[1] – June 1, 1960 in Berchtesgaden) was the younger sister of Adolf Hitler and the last child of Alois Hitler and his third wife, Klara Pölzl. Paula was the only full sibling of Adolf Hitler to survive into adulthood.

Contents

Pre-war life

Paula was six years old when her father Alois, a retired customs official, died, and eleven when she lost her mother Klara, after which the Austrian government provided a small pension to Paula and Adolf. However, the amount was relatively meager and Adolf, who was by then old enough to support himself, agreed to sign his share over to her.

Paula later moved to Vienna where she worked as a secretary. She had no contact with her brother during the period comprising his difficult years as a painter in Vienna and later Munich, military service during World War I and early political activities back in Munich. She was delighted to meet him again in Vienna during the early 1920s, though she later claimed to have been privately distraught by his subsequent rising fame.

By her own account, after losing a job with a Vienna insurance company in 1930 when her employers found out who she was, Paula received financial support from her brother (which continued until his suicide in 1945), lived under the assumed family name Wolf at Hitler's request (this was a childhood nickname of his which he had also used during the 1920s for security purposes) and worked sporadically.

She later claimed to have seen her brother about once a year during the 1930s and early 1940s. She worked as a secretary in a military hospital for much of World War II.

Post-war life

There is some evidence Paula shared her brother's strong German nationalist beliefs, but she was not politically active and never joined the Nazi party.[2] During the closing days of the war, at the age of 49, she was driven to Berchtesgaden, Germany, apparently on the orders of Martin Bormann.

She was arrested by US intelligence officers in May 1945 and debriefed beginning later that year.[3] A transcript shows one of the agents remarking she bore a physical resemblance to her sibling. She told them the Russians had confiscated her house in Austria, the Americans had expropriated her Vienna apartment and she was taking English lessons.

She characterized her childhood relationship with Adolf as one of both constant bickering and strong affection. Paula said she could not bring herself to believe her brother had been responsible for the Holocaust. She also told them she had met Eva Braun only once. Paula was released from American custody and returned to Vienna where she lived on her savings for a time, then worked in an arts and crafts shop. In 1952, she moved to Berchtesgaden, Germany, reportedly living "in seclusion" in a two-room flat as Paula Wolff. During this time, she was looked after by former members of the SS and survivors of her brother's inner circle.[3]

In February 1959, she agreed to be interviewed by Peter Morley, a documentary producer for British television station Associated-Rediffusion. The resulting conversation was the only filmed interview she ever gave and was broadcast as part of a programme called Tyranny: The Years of Adolf Hitler. She talked mostly about Hitler's childhood.

Death and burial

She died on June 1, 1960 at the age of 64,[4] the last surviving member of Hitler's immediate family.

She was buried in the Bergfriedhof in Berchtesgaden/Schönau under the name Paula Hitler. In June 2005, the wooden grave marker and remains were reportedly removed and replaced with another burial, a common practice in German cemeteries after two or more decades have elapsed.

In May 2006 however, it was reported the grave marker had been returned to Paula's grave and a second, smaller, marker had been added, indicating another more recent burial in the same plot.[5]

Quotes

"His rapid rise in the world worried me. I must honestly confess that I would have preferred it if he had followed his original ambition and become an architect...It would have saved the world a lot of worries."[3]

"Although he had captured the public, who believed him their protector and friend, I knew what he wanted and I was worried not only for his physical safety but also about his sanity."

"The personal fate of my brother affected me very much. He was still my brother, no matter what happened. His end brought unspeakable sorrow to me, as his sister."[3]

References

  1. ^ Zdral, Wolfgang (2005). Die Hitlers. Campus Verlag GmbH. pp. 199. ISBN 3-593-37457-9. 
  2. ^ Interrogation II with Paula Hitler.
  3. ^ a b c d Interview with Paula Wolff
  4. ^ "Paula Hitler". Associated Press in Washington Post. June 3, 1960. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost_historical/access/209208842.html?dids=209208842:209208842&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=JUN+03%2C+1960&author=&pub=The+Washington+Post&desc=Paula+Hitler%2C+Adolf's+Kin&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2008-05-17. "Berchtesgaden, Germany (AP) Paula Hitler, sister of Adolph [sic] Hitler, died Wednesday, according to police." 
  5. ^ Third Reich in Ruins, Berchtesgaden (the 2nd burial is Cornelia Reif, Feb 2 1925 - June 3 2005)

Literature

  • Marc Vermeeren, "De jeugd van Adolf Hitler 1889-1907 en zijn familie en voorouders". Soesterberg, 2007, 420 blz. Uitgeverij Aspekt. ISBN 978-90-5911-606-1

External links








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