Everyone has clashes with family members from time to time, but can you imagine going to war to fight against your uncle? What must those Thanksgiving dinners have been like? While we all know THE Hitler—he was only one person in a larger family. Adolph Hitler had a half-brother named Alois, who spent some time in England where he fathered a son named Willy (William). While he lived in England, William was well aware of his uncle—he was also aware that the reputation of their shared surname was not always positive. Adolph referred to William as “my loathsome nephew” and William wrote an article entitled, “Why I hate my Uncle.”
Did you know?
- William (Willy) Hitler was the son of Alois Hitler (Adolf’s half-brother) and Bridget Dowling who met and married in England.
- As Adolf rose to power, William traveled to Hitler to get a job in his uncle’s regime. The two clashed, and fearing for his life, William chose to leave rather than surrender his passport.
- William gained some measure of fame writing articles about his uncle, and he even went on a speaking tour with his mother in the U.S. that was organized by William Randolph Hearst.
- William wanted to join the Allied fight against his uncle Adolf, but the British and U.S. Armed Forces rejected him out of concern that he might be a spy.
- Frustrated, William wrote President Roosevelt asking to join the fight, and was given permission after a review by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
- After what must have been an incredible investigation and review process, William Hitler was approved to join the U.S. Navy.
- William served three years as a Pharmacist’s Mate and was discharged in 1947, receiving a Purple Heart for wounds he received while performing his duties.
- Retiring to the U.S. after the war, William built a life in Long Island. He opened a blood testing clinic, married, and had four sons.
- Tired of the infamy of the Hitler name, William later changed his family name to Stuart-Houston.
- William died in 1987 and was survived by three of his four sons who continue to live in the area.
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