Maria Schicklgruber

Maria Schicklgruber

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Maria Anna Schicklgruber (15 April 1795 – 7 January 1847) was Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

's paternal grandmother.

Family


Maria was born in the village of Strones in the Waldviertel
Waldviertel
The Waldviertel is the northwestern region of the Austrian state Lower Austria. It is bounded to the south by the Danube, to the southwest by Upper Austria, to the northwest and the north by the Czech Republic and to the east by the Manhartsberg , which is the survey point dividing Waldviertel...

 area. She was the daughter of Theresia Pfeisinger (7 September 1769 – 11 November 1821), and farmer Johannes Schicklgruber (29 May 1764 – 12 November 1847). Maria was Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

; what is known about her is based on church and other public records.

Maria was one of 11 children, only six of whom survived infancy. Her early life was that of a poor peasant child in a rural forested area, in the northwest part of Lower Austria
Lower Austria
Lower Austria is the northeasternmost state of the nine states in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria since 1986 is Sankt Pölten, the most recently designated capital town in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria had formerly been Vienna, even though Vienna is not officially part of Lower Austria...

, northwest of Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

.

Maria's mother died in 1821 when Maria was 26. She received an inheritance of 74.25 gulden
Austro-Hungarian gulden
The Gulden or forint was the currency of the Austrian Empire and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1754 and 1892 when it was replaced by the Krone/korona as part of the introduction of the gold standard. In Austria, the Gulden was initially divided into 60 Kreuzer, and in Hungary, the...

, which she left invested in the Orphans' Fund until 1838. By that time it had more than doubled to 165 gulden. At that time, a breeding pig cost 4 gulden, a cow 10-12 gulden and an entire inn 500 gulden. Werner Maser  wrote she was a "thrifty, reserved, and exceptionally shrewd peasantwoman."

Other than saving her inheritance, which indicates she was not destitute during that period of her life, little is known about Maria's life until she was over 40.

The Birth of Alois


In 1837 she was 42 years old, and still single, when her first and only child was born. She named the boy Alois
Alois Hitler
Alois Hitler was an Austrian civil servant who was the father of Adolf Hitler.-Early life:...

. Maser notes that she refused to reveal who the child's father was, so the priest baptized him Alois Schicklgruber and entered "illegitimate" in place of the father's name on the baptismal register. Historians have discussed three candidates for the father of Alois:
  1. Salomon Mayer Rothschild, who in his lifetime was the stepfather and later legally declared as the birth father. (inconsistent with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alois_Hitler and must be reviewed)
  2. Johann Nepomuk Hiedler
    Johann Nepomuk Hiedler
    Johann Nepomuk Hiedler, also known as Johann Nepomuk Hüttler , was a maternal great-grandfather and possibly also the paternal grandfather of Adolf Hitler....

    , Georg's brother and Alois's step-uncle, who raised Alois through adolescence and later willed him a considerable portion of his life savings but who (if he was the real father) never found it expedient to admit it publicly.
  3. Leopold Frankenberger, rumored (according to Hans Frank
    Hans Frank
    Hans Michael Frank was a German lawyer who worked for the Nazi party during the 1920s and 1930s and later became a high-ranking official in Nazi Germany...

    ) to have fathered Alois when Alois' mother Maria supposedly worked as maid in the household of a Jewish family named Frankenberger in Graz, Austria.


At the time of his birth, she was living with a Strones village family by the name of Trummelschlager. Herr and Frau Trummelschlager were listed as godparents to Alois.

Maria soon took up residence with her father at house #22 in Strones. After an unknown period, the three Schicklgrubers were joined by Johann Georg Hiedler
Johann Georg Hiedler
Johann Georg Hiedler was born to Martin Hiedler and Anna Maria Göschl . He was considered the officially accepted paternal grandfather of Adolf Hitler by the Third Reich...

, an itinerant journeyman
Journeyman
A journeyman is someone who completed an apprenticeship and was fully educated in a trade or craft, but not yet a master. To become a master, a journeyman had to submit a master work piece to a guild for evaluation and be admitted to the guild as a master....

 miller. On 10 May 1842, five years after Alois was born, Maria Anna Schicklgruber married Johann Georg Hiedler in the nearby village of Döllersheim
Döllersheim
Döllersheim was, since the mid 19th century, an Austrian municipality in the Waldviertel, the northwestern part of Lower Austria near the border with Bohemia. It included the hamlet of Strones, where Alois Hitler, the father of Adolf Hitler, was born to Maria Schicklgruber in 1837. Strones was very...

. Maria was 47, her new husband was 50.

Maser suggests that if Hiedler had been the biological father of Maria's son Alois the couple would have acknowledged it when they married. There was a church procedure for such things, but Alois remained officially born out of wedlock during their lifetimes. Maser asserts Johann Georg Hiedler was not Alois' biological father (and hence not Adolf Hitler's grandfather) as Alois later claimed, but there is no proof either way. The question became important when Hitler began to seek power, and one of Nazism's principles was that to be considered a "Aryan" one had to have a documented ancestry
Ahnenpass
The Ahnenpaß documented the Aryan lineage of citizens of Nazi Germany. It was one of the forms of the Aryan certificate ....

 (see Alois Hitler
Alois Hitler
Alois Hitler was an Austrian civil servant who was the father of Adolf Hitler.-Early life:...

).

Some time after Maria was married (but no more than five years later) Alois was sent to live with Johann Georg's brother, Johann Nepomuk Hiedler
Johann Nepomuk Hiedler
Johann Nepomuk Hiedler, also known as Johann Nepomuk Hüttler , was a maternal great-grandfather and possibly also the paternal grandfather of Adolf Hitler....

, who had a modest but prosperous farm in the village of Spital
Weitra
Weitra is a small town in the district of Gmünd in the Austrian state of Lower Austria. It is located within the rural Waldviertel region on the upper Lužnice river, near the border with the Czech Republic. The municipality consists of the Katastralgemeinden Brühl, Großwolfgers, Oberwindhag,...

. Maria and Johann Georg then moved to Klein-Motten. The reason why Alois was sent away is not known. There is some speculation that Johann Nepomuk may have been Alois' biological father.

Maria died during the sixth year of her marriage, at the age of 52 in Klein-Motten where she was living with her husband in the home of kin, the Sillip family. She died of "consumption
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 resulting from pectoral (thoracic) dropsy" in 1847. She was buried at the parish church in Döllersheim
Döllersheim
Döllersheim was, since the mid 19th century, an Austrian municipality in the Waldviertel, the northwestern part of Lower Austria near the border with Bohemia. It included the hamlet of Strones, where Alois Hitler, the father of Adolf Hitler, was born to Maria Schicklgruber in 1837. Strones was very...

.

After the Nazi annexing
Anschluss
The Anschluss , also known as the ', was the occupation and annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938....

 of Austria in 1938, a search failed to find her grave so she was given an "Honor Grave" next to the church wall. This grave was tended by local Hitler Youth
Hitler Youth
The Hitler Youth was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It existed from 1922 to 1945. The HJ was the second oldest paramilitary Nazi group, founded one year after its adult counterpart, the Sturmabteilung...

groups. In 1942, this area became part of an artillery training area and the local inhabitants were moved out. Military training continued under the Soviets after 1945, and also under the Austrian Army until about 1985, by which time most of the towns and villages were in ruins. The church at Döllersheim is now preserved and undergoing reconstruction. The cemetery is being tended, but there is no grave marker there now for Maria Schicklgruber.

Some Schicklgrubers remain in Waldviertel. One of this extended clan, "Aloisia V" aged 49, died in 1940, in a Nazi gas chamber in Austria.

Other reading

  • Marc Vermeeren, "De jeugd van Adolf Hitler 1889-1907 en zijn familie en voorouders". Soesterberg, 2007, 420 blz. Uitgeverij Aspekt. ISBN = 978-90-5911-606-1
  • Bullock, Alan Hitler: A Study in Tyranny 1953 ISBN 0-06-092020-3
  • Fest, Joachim C. Hitler Verlag Ullstein, 1973 ISBN 0-15-141650-8
  • Kershaw, Ian Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris W W Norton, 1999 ISBN 0-393-04671-0
  • Maser, Werner Hitler: Legend, Myth and Reality Penguin Books Ltd 1973 ISBN 0-06-012831-3
  • Smith, Bradley F. Adolf Hitler: His Family, Childhood and Youth Hoover Institution, 1967 ISBN 978-0817916220