Romano Lukas Hitler, a man who claims to be Adolf Hitler’s last surviving relative in a fantastical tale, has been accused of sexual misconduct in Germany.
But is he really Hitler’s last surviving kin, bearing his name? Some people dispute the claim, saying it doesn’t match what is known about Adolf Hitler’s family tree.
Hitler does have nephews who live in New York, although they changed their last name to Stuart-Houston. Unlike them, Romano Hitler has been very outspoken about his alleged family ties to one of the most evil and notorious dictators the world has ever seen.
“After me there will be no more Hitlers,” he said, according to Express. “That’s it, shame must have an end. The name is like a cross to bear and I wish that on nobody.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Romano Lukas Hitler Was Accused of Kissing a Teenage Girl
Romano Lukas Hitler, 69, was convicted of pedophilia stemming from an incident in which he kissed a 13-year-old girl, according to Mirror.
The girl’s father complained to police. “I had put a garage up for sale and Hitler answered the advert. But when he turned up he didn’t seem to have much interest in the garage, only in Ania. He lured her to his flat with sweets, brought her clothes and plastic flowers and even offered to marry her,” the German language publication Bild reported the father said.
Romano claimed he was innocent and it had been a harmless greeting but the judge disagreed. Romano Lukas Hitler lives in the East German city of Goerlitz. “I wanted to spend… free time with her. They were just harmless welcome kisses,” he told Bild.
Bild reports that the judge Ulrich Schettgen found that Hitler “kissed” the girl “against her will on the neck and cheeks.”
2. Romano Hitler Claims That His Ties to Hitler Stem From a Younger Brother of Hitler’s Dad Alois
Romano Hitler’s claims have circulated for years. In 2015, he told the German website MOPO24 that his father was the grandson of Adolf Hitler’s father Alois’s younger brother (got that straight?) To boil it down, reports Express, he claims that his grandfather was the dictator’s uncle.
Romano alleges that his parents settled in Slovakia after fleeing East Germany during its Communist era, and he was raised in a monastery and adopted into a Polish family. He claims that he’s lost jobs because of his name and has artwork of Adolf Hitler on his wall.
But did Hitler’s father even have a younger brother? According to Express, the story of the Hitler family doesn’t match Romano’s tale. Adolf’s father Alois was his mother Maria Schicklgruber’s only child, and she gave birth to him at age 42 illegitimately. The father of Alois is disputed, although Nazi Germany claimed it was a man named Johann Georg Hiedler. Georg had a brother named Johann Nepomuk Hiedler who helped raise Alois, Express reported. The bottom line is that Adolf Hitler’s father’s paternity has never been certain, clouded by his illegitimate birth.
Bild wrote that Romano Hitler has been unable to prove his familial claims, although he clearly uses the surname on legal documents. The Bild called the man Romano claims to be descended from “a previously unknown younger brother of the father of the Nazi dictator.”
Hitler’s mother was named Klara Pözl Hitler. She was the cousin of Adolf’s father Alois. Alois had two other wives before Adolf’s mother. One of those marriages produced no children. His second wife Franziska “Fanni” Matzelsberger gave birth to two children with Alois named Alois Jr., and Angela Hitler.
Adolf had full siblings but all died in childhood except for his sister Paula, who had no children. According to ThoughtCo., Angela married Leo Raubal and had three children, Leo, Geli, and Elfriede. Leo died in 1977, Geli in 1931, and Elfriede in 1993, ThoughtCo. reports.
There are great nephews alive from this line. Elfriede Hitler Hochegger gave birth to a son named Heiner and Peter Raubal is the child of Leo. They are still alive, according to ThoughtCo. However, it’s been reported that both Heiner and Peter also opted to never have children. Thus, the Hitler bloodline may be close to coming to its end.
You can see Hitler’s family tree here.
3. Hitler Has Three Nephews Who Live in New York
The New York brothers have led quiet lives under a different name. There were four of them, but one died in a car accident.
That brother was an Internal Revenue Service investigator Howard Stuart-Houston who died in a car crash at age 32-years-old and lived in Patchogue in New York State, according to UK Mirror, which added that the other brothers are Alex, Louis and Brian. The latter two run a landscaping company together and the first brother counsels war veterans, Mirror reports. One of the brothers was once engaged to a Jewish woman but she called it off.
David Gardner, a British journalist, has claimed the surviving brothers made a pact to never have children in a quest to end the bloodline. “They didn’t sign a pact, but what they did is, they talked amongst themselves, talked about the burden they’ve had in the background of their lives, and decided that none of them would marry, none of them would have children. And that’s…a pact they’ve kept to this day,” Gardner claimed, according to Times of Israel. Alex is a Republican who dislikes President Donald Trump, the article explained, and he denied there was such a pact.
Howard’s father was William Patrick Hitler, who was the son of Alois Hitler, Adolf’s half-brother. Alois had moved to Ireland and married a local girl before World War I, and then settled in Liverpool, England.
William Patrick has a colorful story. He lived in Germany for a time but left for the U.S. in 1939, where, the Mirror reports, he gave speeches titled “Why I Hate My Uncle Adolf” and fought the Japanese with the U.S. Navy.
4. Romano Speaks Broken German & Has the Tattoo of a Lion on His Head
According to Bild, Romano Lukas Hitler doesn’t even speak good German.
He speaks Polish and “broken German.”
He has a tattoo of a lion on his head and calls Adolf Hitler “my terrible grand cousin.” Bild explained that Hitler has been a German citizen since the 1970s, worked on a barge and was periodically on welfare and homeless.
As an aside, there was a French man named Jean-Marie Loret who claimed he was the child of Hitler and a French woman. But the claim was disputed by DNA tests, according to IMDB.
5. A Documentary Explored What It’s Like to Be Named Hitler
The documentary, Meet the Hitlers, examines the lives of people who have the surname Hitler. Director Matt Ogens told Vice he was inspired to create the documentary because he had a college friend whose last name was Hitler, and it was odd to get Christmas cards from him.
He told Vice that, just like anyone else, the people with the name Hitler are not all good or bad. “There are good people with that name in the film and not so good people with that name in the film,” Ogen told Vice.
One man featured in the documentary is named Jean Hitler, is in his 80s, and kept the name because it was a family name so he didn’t feel he should be forced to change it. Romano Hitler is listed as being featured in that documentary.