German Names

This article says it is lillegal to name a baby something offensive in Germany, such as Hitler. I assume this applies to first names. However, can people in Germany still have the name Hitler for their last name? Are there any Hitlers left? How common was this name before the war? How about now (if any)?

Here’s an article about how the descendents of Hitler changed their name.

Thanks for the link, but that only seems to address the Hitler family that Adolf Hitler was a part of, not Hilters of no relation. Did every Hitler in Germany change their name?

Wow…now THAT’S a story!

Sounds like a Hollywood film, or TV Series to me!
Back to the OP…Germany has had name registry laws for a long time…you cannot just name your child Kid Rock or Prince Michael or Dweezil…they consider it unfair to the child.

In Austria there actually exists an Adolf Hittler (with double-t). Though, I’m not sure if he is still alive, he was quite old when TV made a small interview with the guy some years ago. He is (or was) not a Nazi but just didn’t want to change his name.

Naming of children in Germany isn’t really that easy sometimes (if you want the child to have a unusual name). The authoroties have lists with “legal” names. So offensive names are illegal and also names that will affect the childs well-being negatively. So it was ruled that it is illegal to name a child “Winnetou” (the american Indian from the Karl May stories - maybe unknown outside Germany?) or “Windsbraut” (bride of the wind). So also names like “Harmony” or “Charisma” might be illegal here. But I’m not sure about this last point.

Concernig the name “Hitler”. Searching the German phonebook gives no entries for “Hitler” but some 34 entries of “Hittler”. I don’t think it is illegal to be called “Hitler” for one’s last name but probably all Hitlers left changed their names (or at least have secret phonenumbers now).

Oops - we posted at the same time and I didn’t see this.
I don’t believe Hitler was ever that common of a name - like Schmidt or Muller etc.
And I think I am safe in assuming whatever few remained after the war most certainly rushed to the government offices and quickly became Schmidt and Muller.

I believe Hitler is/was a less common variant of the name Heidler, which as far as I can tell, is still pretty common.

I did once know a Hitler; he was a doctor, and Jewish, and very sensitive about his name. The name probably doesn’t stand out quite as much in a German-speaking country as it does in England, however.

There was a comedy film called “An Everlasting Piece” where one character relates the story of a German family who moved to Northern Ireland. Their name was Hitler, so they changed it to Shitler. (It was a funny movie.)

Obligatory Monty Python link.