alois hitler

The material was compiled by the Austrian historian Roman Sandgruber in the recently released book “Hitler’s father: how his son became a dictator”.

At the end of last month, on February 22, the Austrian historian Roman Sandgruber published the book “Hitler’s father: how his son became a dictator” (in free translation from German). In the work, Sandgruber reveals letters, hitherto unknown, written by Alois Hitler, father of the German dictator. The information is from DW International.

With the analysis of the missives, the historian argues how Alois played an important role in the psychological formation of his son – who was to become one of the greatest genocides in all history.

The letters

The letters in question, more than 30, were written by Alois and intended for builder Josef Radlegger after he bought his farm in Hafeld, Upper Austria.

Despite having no experience in agriculture, Adolf’s father “always wanted to be a better farmer than others”, explains the writer in an interview with DW.

Furthermore, the Austrian describes him as a mixture of self-taught, self-confident, and someone who grossly overestimated himself. Characteristics that can also be attributed to your Machiavellian child.

According to Roman, the documents came to his attention after Radlegger’s great-granddaughter gave him the missives five years ago.

Anti-Semitism comes from the cradle

In his life, before becoming Germany’s leader, Adolf already had an extensive relationship with the Jews. In his childhood, for example, he lived on a property in Urfahr, near the Danube River, which was owned by Jews, as the work explains.

In addition, in 1907, his mother, Klara Pölzl, when she was close to her deathbed, was treated by a Jewish doctor – who, during the Holocaust, sought refuge in America.

However, as Sandgruber concluded, the boy had been an anti-Semite since his youth. What disputes that the hatred he had for Jews was forged after he moved to Vienna, the country’s capital.

As a young man, in 1908, Hitler had moved there, where he tried to be an artist but ended up being denied a scholarship.

Like father, like son, but not that much

The historian reveals that Adolf had a specific feeling that made him revolt against his father: the profession. Roman says that Alois wanted his son to pursue a career in public service. “He (Adolf) wanted to be a free artist and not follow in his father’s footsteps”, says the researcher.

Despite this, they had many points in common, such as “contempt” for authority, in addition to being anti-clerical, although Hitler did not set aside the Roman Catholic Church, as Sandgruber explains.


Almost 76 years after the end of the Second World War, the publication of the book comes at a time when Germany still needs to get rid of about 29 legal or regulatory texts that are still in force in the country and that allude to the period when Hitler was in the power, as explained by Felix Klein, antisemitism commissioner of the German government, in an interview with AFP.

The material in Sandgruber’s book could be sufficient, she argues, for a potential new film about Hitler’s family origins.


  • Hitler, by Ian Kershaw (2010)
  • The young Hitler: Paul Hammer’s Führer formative years (2020)
  • My Fight Against Hitler, by Dietrich Von Hildebrand (2020)
  • The mind of Adolf Hitler, by Walter C. Langer (2018)

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