By Ismail Veli…….
Hitler a name associated with racism, dictatorship war mongering, but above all with genocide. He was responsible for the largest war in the history of mankind, and the only war in history that saw humans butchered in a style akin to production style plans. World War 2 cost the lives of over 55 million people across the globe. Even naming a child after him is illegal and frankly why would anyone want to give their child a name that will invite derision, abuse and possible attacks from the public. But this article is not about Hitler, its about his nephew, an individual few, if anyone evens thinks about. An innocent man who was simply unfortunate enough to be the nephew of Hitler. William Patrick ”Willy” later Stuart Houston may have been Hitlers nephew but his allegiance was to the US and the Allies that beat Hitlers Nazi Germany and he played his part in fighting against his uncles brutal and genocidal regime.
William’s father Alois Hitler Jnr was Hitlers brother. William was born in Liverpool, Lancashire in the UK in 1911. He moved to Germany for a while but eventually migrated to the United States. The flat they lived in Liverpool was subsequently destroyed in the German blitz of Liverpool on 10 January 1942. To have a surname ‘Hitler’ during WW2 was unfortunate, but the fact that he was the nephew caused immense strain on William who at the same time had a half brother named Heinze. His half brother Heinze was born in Germany and was a Nazi supporter, but met his fate on the Eastern front in 1943. He died while a prisoner of war at the hands of the Russians. His father eventually married bigamously to a German woman while still married to Williams mother Bridget Dowling who was Irish. Alois abandoned his wife Bridget and son when he was only 3 years old. He even went as far as to ask a friend to inform Bridget that he was dead. Alois was eventually found out and charged with bigamy by the German authorities only to be saved by Bridget who intervened on his behalf. She refused to allow her son William to visit his father however until he was 18. In 1929 just after his 18th birthday William went to Germany to meet his father who took him to Nazi rallies to see his uncle Adolf Hitler rousing his supporters to fever pitch excitement. Adolf Hitler gave his nephew William a signed photo of himself. William returned to the UK however and due to his family background wrote a few articles about the Nazi rallies and his uncle in terms that met with Adolph’s disapproval. His comments describing Hitler as ”wild eyed” and ”tearful” infuriated Hitler. Sadly despite his articles condemning the Nazi’s his family association was not pleasing to the British government. He was sacked from his job in 1932 and became unwanted in the UK. He refused to change his name as he believed he had done nothing wrong.
The immense pressure forced him to emigrate to Germany, but his reports were not well received there. Possibly concerned for his safety, William was sent back to the UK by his father. His subsequent article in the 1939 edition of Look Magazine stating ”Why I hate my uncle,”is one of the sources revealing his thoughts on his uncles activities. There was speculation that William blackmailed his uncle Adolf that he would reveal information claiming that he
was half Jewish. This however has not been substantiated by anything concrete, therefore it falls in the area of speculation. One thing is certain however, the Fuhrer was not pleased with William, who received a letter from Adolf Hitler denying that they were relatives.
In the meantime on his return to the UK he found that his name was sufficient for the British armed forces to reject his application to join. In February 1939 he decided to go to the USA with his mother. Unable to return back to the UK due to the start of WW2 he lobbied actively to be allowed into the American armed forces. He was refused, again due to his family ties. A strange twist of fate occurred when he introduced himself at the nearest draft office. The recruiting officer’s response was ”Glad to see you Hitler. My name’s Hess.” This was in reference to Hitlers deputy Rudolph Hess. But unlike William the recruiting officer was not related to Hess.
When Japan attacked the USA at Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941, William thought he finally had a chance to be accepted. He applied to join the armed forces in 1942. This time he wrote a direct appeal to President Roosevelt. This prompted the President to investigate William Hitlers background and after intensive scrutiny the FBI director J.Edgar.Hoover found William to be clear of any Nazi connections. Finally after a long struggle he was sworn into the US navy on 6th March 1943. Due to an injury he suffered in 1947 he was given an honourable discharge and awarded the purple heart for his services. This particular medal is given to soldiers who were either killed or wounded while serving in the military. He was also awarded a WW2 Victory Medal. This was issued to members of the armed forces who served on active duty or in the reserves between 7 December 1941 to 31 December 1946.
In the aftermath of his discharge and having learned the genocide of the concentration camps by his uncle he finally decided that his name was too much of a burden to carry and changed his name to Stuart Houston. He established a small family business in New York, married Phyllis Jean Jaques and together they had 4 sons. Alexander, Louis, Howard and Brian. William died. on 14 July 1987 at the age of 76 and was buried at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in New York. Sadly his son Howard died 2 years later in 1989 in a car accident. None of the brothers had any children therefore the 3 surviving brothers are the last of Adolf Hitlers paternal bloodline. A rumour has it that they swore not have children so as to end the Hitler bloodline, but the family denied this, its a strange coincidence however that 4 siblings have not a single child between them.
Perhaps one lesson that should be drawn from the life of William Patrick Hitler is that accident of birth or a relationship with a vile murderer, no matter how horrendous the crime does not make the rest of the family guilty. It’s a perfect example of the human desire to often blame the many for the crimes of a few. We are again witnessing in today’s world the growth of conflict, turmoil, refugees, and destruction on a large scale. History has shown time and again the destructive nature of prejudice. ignorance and preconceptions. This has led to untold misery and suffering against the innocent bystanders who simply find themselves caught up in conflicts not of their choosing. Are we destined to learn from the sad stories of people like William Hitler or will we allow our preconceptions to cloud the better side of our judgement? That I’m afraid is a question that human nature has so far failed to answer in any constructive manner. It seems we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past in perpetuity.
William Hitlers full letter to President Roosevelt. The contents and spelling have not been changed
March 3rd, 1942.
His Excellency Franklin D. Roosevelt.,
President of the United States of America.
The White House.,
Dear Mr. President:
May I take the liberty of encroaching on your valuable time and that of your staff at the White House? Mindful of the critical days the nation is now passing through, I do so only because the prerogative of your high office alone can decide my difficult and singular situation.
Permit me to outline as briefly as possible the circumstances of my position, the solution of which I feel could so easily be achieved should you feel moved to give your kind intercession and decision.
I am the nephew and only descendant of the ill-famed Chancellor and Leader of Germany who today so despotically seeks to enslave the free and Christian peoples of the globe.
Under your masterful leadership men of all creeds and nationalities are waging desperate war to determine, in the last analysis, whether they shall finally serve and live an ethical society under God or become enslaved by a devilish and pagan regime.
Everybody in the world today must answer to himself which cause they will serve. To free people of deep religious feeling there can be but one answer and one choice, that will sustain them always and to the bitter end.
I am one of many, but I can render service to this great cause and I have a life to give that it may, with the help of all, triumph in the end.
All my relatives and friends soon will be marching for freedom and decency under the Stars and Stripes. For this reason, Mr. President, I am respectfully submitting this petition to you to enquire as to whether I may be allowed to join them in their struggle against tyranny and oppression?
At present this is denied me because when I fled the Reich in 1939 I was a British subject. I came to America with my Irish mother principally to rejoin my relatives here. At the same time I was offered a contract to write and lecture in the United States, the pressure of which did not allow me the time to apply for admission under the quota. I had therefore, to come as a visitor.
I have attempted to join the British forces, but my success as a lecturer made me probably one of the best attended political speakers, with police frequently having to control the crowds clamouring for admission in Boston, Chicago and other cities. This elicited from British officials the rather negative invitation to carry on.
The British are an insular people and while they are kind and courteous, it is my impression, rightly or wrongly, that they could not in the long run feel overly cordial or sympathetic towards an individual bearing the name I do. The great expense the English legal procedure demands in changing my name, is only a possible solution not within my financial means. At the same time I have not been successful in determining whether the Canadian Army would facilitate my entrance into the armed forces. As things are at the present and lacking any official guidance, I find that to attempt to enlist as a nephew of Hitler is something that requires a strange sort of courage that I am unable to muster, bereft as I am of any classification or official support from any quarter.
As to my integrity, Mr. President, I can only say that it is a matter of record and it compares somewhat to the foresighted spirit with which you, by every ingenuity known to statecraft, wrested from the American Congress those weapons which are today the Nation’s great defense in this crisis. I can also reflect that in a time of great complacency and ignorance I tried to do those things which as a Christian I knew to be right. As a fugitive from the Gestapo I warned France through the press that Hitler would invade her that year. The people of England I warned by the same means that the so-called “solution” of Munich was a myth that would bring terrible consequences. On my arrival in America I at once informed the press that Hitler would loose his Frankenstein on civilization that year. Although nobody paid any attention to what I said, I continued to lecture and write in America. Now the time for writing and talking has passed and I am mindful only of the great debt my mother and I owe to the United States. More than anything else I would like to see active combat as soon as possible and thereby be accepted by my friends and comrades as one of them in this great struggle for liberty.
Your favorable decision on my appeal alone would ensure that continued benevolent spirit on the part of the American people, which today I feel so much a part of. I most respectfully assure you, Mr. President, that as in the past I would do my utmost in the future to be worthy of the great honour I am seeking through your kind aid, in the sure knowledge that my endeavors on behalf of the great principles of Democracy will at least bear favourable comparison to the activities of many individuals who for so long have been unworthy of the fine privilege of calling themselves Americans. May I therefore venture to hope, Mr. President, that in the turmoil of this vast conflict you will not be moved to reject my appeal for reasons which I am in no way responsible?
For me today there could be no greater honour, Mr. President, to have lived and to have been allowed to serve you, the deliverer of the American people from want, and no greater privelege then to have striven and had a small part in establishing the title you once will bear in posterity as the greatest Emancipator of suffering mankind in political history.
I would be most happy to give any additional information that might be required and I take the liberty of enclosing a circular containing details about myself.
Permit me, Mr. President, to express my heartfelt good wishes for your future health and happiness, coupled with the hope that you may soon lead all men who believe in decencey everywhere onward and upward to a glorious victory.
Very respectfully yours,
Source of Letter, from the Mail Online 2 August 2012.