In 1876, that is to say 3 years after his wedding to Anna Glassl, Alois Schicklgruber (29) changed his surname to Hitler. The couple had no children and in 1880 they were divorced.
Three years later Alois married Franziska Matzelsberger. They had two children: Alois and Angela. Franziska died in 1884, the year after Angela was born.
Alois Hitler married for the third and final time in 1885. His new wife was a second-cousin called Klara Pölzl. They married after obtaining special dispensation from the Roman Catholic Church.
The couple had 6 children: Gustav (died in his 2nd year), Ida (died in her 2nd year), Otto (died in his first year), Adolf (1889-1945), Edmund (died in his 6th year), and Paula (1896-1960).
The Schicklgrubers who variously used the surnames Hitler, Hiedler, and Hüttler are of the parish of Döllersheim in the north of Austria not far from the Czech border.
In 1942 the people of Döllersheim were ordered to leave the area and disperse. This was in order that the parish could become part of a large military encampment.
It was from this conveniently situated military base that the German invasion of Czechoslovakia was launched.
Other parishes in the area were in like fashion abandoned in the years between 1938 and 1942. Most buildings including the cottages, businesses, schools and farms, and also the public records were destroyed.
Recently I visited the ghost town of Döllersheim - the ancestral home of the parents of Adolf Hitler, German Workers Party member nr. 555.
The burgers of Döllersheim, including the Schicklgrubers, Hietlers, Hüttlers and Hitlers prayed in St. Peter's Parish Church in Döllersheim over the centuries and there performed their rituals and confessions.
A lot of good it did them.
Post Scriptum -
Adolf Hitler renounced his Austrian citizenship so he could fight for Germany in WWl in preference to Austria. Born at Braunau on the border of the two countries he saw Germany as his destiny - but only after he failed his entrance examinations in the subject of art at Vienna University. His childhood ambition was to become a famous artist. The best he could achieve was painting picture postcards of buildings in Vienna city centre, such as theaters and opera houses.
He never renounced his Religion and his best selling book written in prison following the failed Munich putsch was never placed on the Vatican's banned books list. Hitler himself was never excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church who owed a great debt to Hitler's ally Mussolini for giving them their own sovereign territory.
|Döllersheim Parish Church prior to 1942|
|Döllersheim Parish Church today|
|Sign dating the original building to the 12th century|
|Döllersheim Parish School|
|Graves in Döllersheim|
|Döllersheim Graveyard and the Church of St. Peter.|
|The road to Döllersheim|
This post is linked to Inspired Sunday