Here's What The Relatives Of Adolf Hitler Are Doing Today

Note: A previous version of this article stated Adolf Hitler's grandfather was theorized to be Johann Georg Hiedler, but we've corrected it to say it's suspected his biological grandfather was a Jewish man named Leopold Frankenberger.

What's in a name? Letters. And numbers if you're Elon Musk's son. But it can also contain shame, especially if your last name is Hitler. That now-anathema family name would have been Schicklgruber if Adolf's father, Alois Schicklgruber, hadn't changed it to Hitler, the name of his mother's husband, in January 1877, (per Thought Co. and History) 10 years before Adolf darkened the world's doorstep. Adolf the artificial Hitler would go on to make a name for himself as Nazi Germany's genocidal leader and implement a system of selective child-rearing based on racial "purity." He basically envisioned women as pious brood mares who would populate the world with blue-eyed, blond-haired Aryans.

Ironically, if Hitler knew the roots of his own family tree, he might have taken an ax to it. History writes that his father may have been the son of an unwed maid, Maria Schicklgruber, and a member of the Jewish family she worked for named Leopold Frankenberger. Belgian researchers conducted a DNA analysis on Hitler's jawbone and found evidence of Jewish and African ancestry. He never had children of his own, and his surviving relatives became ashamed of the family name.

A rose by any other name still wouldn't call itself Hitler

Adolf Hitler had seven siblings, two of whom were born to another mother, according to ThoughtCo. Three of his full siblings died in infancy, and only his half-siblings, Angela and Alois, Jr., had any documented children. Angela became a mother of three, one of whom took their own life in 1931. The other two died in 1977 and 1993. Alois, whose surname was changed from Matzelsberger to Hitler, had a son named William. Born in Liverpool in 1911, William found himself at odds with his uncle. Per Business Insider, Hitler considered William "loathsome."

Apparently, the feeling was mutual because William moved to the U.S., joined the Navy, and fought the Nazis in WWII. In 1946, he changed his surname to Hiller. The Times of Israel writes that he later changed his name a second time, becoming William Stuart-Houston. He fathered four boys: Alexander, Brian, Louis and Howard. Only Howard planned to have children, but he died in a car accident in 1989.

Alexander told the German press that one of the secret Hitlers fell in love with a Jewish woman and got engaged to her. She ultimately declined to marry him. Alexander declined to say why or which brother was involved. Meanwhile, the brothers have tried to divorce themselves from their uncle's heinous legacy. Alexander said they considered authoring a memoir but decided against it: "We won't do it, not for all the money in the world."