The rest of the Story

About three or four years ago, Paul Harvey told this rather odd story. I’ll let you decide if you believe it, but it has the ring of truth to it, to me. For the sake of brevity, I will leave out some details. Other details I have forgotten.

The story begins with a poor town clerk, whose wife has died. He invites his cousin to come live with him to help raise his kids. She does so, and they become a nice little family.

Over time, the two fall in love, and want to get married. Of course, this is against Church law, as they are related. The Bishop tells them that only Papal dispensation can make a marriage between them possible. The expense of this is too much for the clerk, but miraculously someone donates the money, the case is heard at the Vatican, and the dispensation granted.

The couple is married, and in addition to the original children, give birth to a son whom they name Adolph. Adolph Hitler.

And now you know… (I’m not going to say it.)

Now that might explain the missing testicle… :wink:

Only humans commit inhuman acts.

Here’s the link to the Mailbag item: Was Hitler a Christian?

As far as I am aware, Hitler’s parents were not Catholic, so the story sounds inherently bogus.

I’ve never heard the “Papal dispensation” story. Being Austrian (rather than Swiss or Northern German), the Schicklgrubers and Hitlers/Hiedlers were Catholic, not Evangelische/Lutheran.
Adolph’s father, Alois, was born out of wedlock, but Adolph was not (sort of). Alois was raised a Schicklgruber, although his mother married Johann Hiedler when he was a boy. As an adult, one of his Hiedler uncles urged him to change his name to Hiedler, but the clerk misspelled it as Hitler.

Alois (now) Hitler married Adolph’s mother (Klara Pölz, the granddaughter of the Hiedler uncle who urged the name change) when she was pregnant with Adolph. Since she was technically first-cousin-once-removed from Alois (although they were not blood relatives since Alois was “adopted” into the family–and that not formally), they got a dispensation from the Church to marry. I have seen Klara identified as the “niece” of Alois, but that would mean that she was the daughter of one of sons or daughters of Johann Hiedler and Maria Schicklgruber. Since the two references I have seen call her “the uncle’s granddaughter,” that does not seem to be the case. I don’t have a genealogy of Hitler and I can only note that up in the hills of nineteenth century Austria, it appears that they had an attitude toward sex and marriage that would have not been out of place in 1999 Malibu.

I have a hard time believing that they required any special Papal dispensation that would have required special legal fees. (Additionally, Alois, was pretty well off–though not rich–and could have afforded it.) That sort of dispensation is pretty easy to get under the circumstances. It might come with a “papal” tag on it, but it certainly did not actually need any special papal intervention.


Dex, I do believe Hitler’s parents were Catholic. As I noted in the Mailbag item, “He was baptized a Roman Catholic as an infant and was a communicant and altar boy in his youth.” If his parents weren’t Catholics, why would he have been baptized as one and served as an altar boy?

Live and learn… I had always assumed he was Lutheran. What I get for leaping to conclusions. Thanks for the clarification.