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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chapter Seven: The Schicklgrubers of Austria

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

On June 7, 1837, in the tiny village of Strones in what is now Lower Austria, Maria Ann Schicklgruber, gave birth to a son, in the home of her employers Herr and Frau Trummelschlager.

There was no church in Strones, so they made their way to the neighbouring parish of Dollersheim, where the Catholic Maria had her son baptized, with the Trummelschlagers acting as godparents. It is recorded in the church registers that she refused to reveal who the child's father was, so the priest baptized him Alois Schicklgruber and entered "illegitimate" in place of the father's name, on the baptismal register*.

Maria and her son then went to live with her widowed father, where they would remain for the next five years.

Maria Ann Schicklgruber

Maria Ann Schicklgruber, was born on April 15, 1795, the daughter of Theresia Pfeisinger and Johannes Schicklgruber**. Her mother died when Maria was 26, and she was left with a small inheritance, which she put away and never spent. (1)

Her life was that of a peasant woman, already 42 when her son was born, and she had never married. Life at Strones was hardly conducive to a social life, as most people grew up and left.

When Maria was registering the birth of her son, parish records indicate that there was a man by the name of Johann Georg Hiedler, residing in the village of Dollersheim. He was a wandering miller who had travelled the countryside, from job to job, for many years. (2)

Serfdom had been abolished in Germany in 1789, but it would be several decades before the practice ended, and while it meant that peasants once tied to the land by law, were free to live where they wanted, it also resulted in many of them being virtually homeless.

Hiedler had been married once, and fathered a son; but both mother and child had passed away, so without ties, he continued to roam. Georg and Maria met, and on May 10, 1842, were married in Dollersheim. She was 47 and her new husband 50.

Georg and Maria Hiedler lived under the most destitute of conditions at Strones; and are said to have used nothing better than a fodder-trough for a bed. (2)

Soon into their marriage Maria became ill, and Georg, ever the wanderer, may not have felt up to caring for Alois, so he was sent to live with his uncle, Johann Nepomuk Hiedler, who had a modest but prosperous farm in the village of Spittal. Maria and Johann Georg then moved to Klein-Motten where they stayed with some of Maria's kin, the Sillips. She died of consumption on January 7, 1847, and was buried in Dollersheim in an unmarked grave*** which was never found.

There is some speculation that Nepomuk may have actually been the father of Alois, but the paternity**** has never been determined.

Chapter Seven Continued: Alois Schicklgruber-Hiedler


*The registry was updated in 1876, Alois was legitimated and his surname was changed to Hitler.

**There were several members of the Schicklgrubers still living when Adolf was Chancellor of Germany. One was "Aloisia V" , who was 49 and mentally ill, so to avoid embarrassment was sent to the gas chambers in 1940.(3)

***After the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938, she was given an "Honor Grave" next to the church wall, which was tended by local Hitler Youth groups.

****When Maria's grandson Adolf was seeking power, the question of lineage was important, so he officially made Georg his paternal grandfather.


1. The Life of Adolf Hitler, Southern Humanities Review, 1998, Translated by Thomas G. Ringmayr

2.Der Fhehrer, Hitler's Rise to Power, By: Konrad Heiden, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1944, Pg. 38

3. Hitler's Mentally Ill Cousin Killed In Nazi Gas Chamber, By: Kate Connolly, Daily Telegraph January 19, 2005

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