Paula Hitler

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Paula Hitler (born January 21, 1896 in Hafeld , † June 1, 1960 in Berchtesgaden ; between 1936 and 1956 Paula Wolff ) was the sister of Adolf Hitler and next to this the only child from the marriage of Alois and Klara Hitler who survived childhood .

Childhood and youth

Paula Hitler was the last of the six children of Klara and Alois Hitler to be born. Three children of the family, Gustav, Ida and Otto, had died before Paula was born; her brother Edmund died when she was four years old. Her half-siblings Alois junior also lived in the house . and Angela , the children from her father's second marriage. According to her half-nephew William Patrick Hitler , Paula and Adolf did not get along very well when they were children. There should have been some upsets and jealousies , especially since Alois jun. often slapped on the sister's side.

Paula went to elementary school in Leonding and was considered a hardworking, quiet and reserved student. Her father died a few weeks before her seventh birthday.

In 1907 her mother was at home as a care case after a serious breast cancer operation. When she was eleven, Paula helped with the household as best she could. Her 18-year-old brother Adolf was applying to the art academy in Vienna at the time. After his mother's death towards the end of the same year, Josef Mayrhofer became the guardian of Paula and Adolf. Her half-sister Angela Raubal (née Hitler, later married Hammitzsch) took Paula in, Adolf went back to Vienna. The orphans Paula and Adolf Hitler stand up to their 24th year of life an orphan's pension (her mother was wife of an official, " kk inch upper Offizial Widow"), amounting to a total of 50 crowns monthly. The Upper Austrian Salary Act stipulated that the orphan's pension should only be paid to those children who are in education. Adolf, who pretended to study art in Vienna, received a portion of the orphan's pension.

In May 1911, Paula finally received the full orphan's pension, as her brother submitted a declaration to the kk district court Leopoldstadt that he could now earn his own living. At that time Paula was living with her half-sister Angela and their three children Leo , Geli and Elfriede. Angela had been a widow since 1910 and suffered financial problems from the early and sudden death of her 31-year-old husband. Because of his few years as a civil servant, she hardly received a widow's pension. Paula now went to the Lyceum in Linz, a high school for girls, where she learned to write typewriter with the aim of becoming a secretary.

Professional background

From 1920 to 1930 Paula Hitler worked as a clerk at the Bundesländer-Versicherung in Praterstrasse in Vienna.

In 1920 she got a visit from her brother. The siblings had not had any contact since the mother's death in 1907. In April 1923 Paula Hitler traveled abroad for the first time, she visited Munich, where her brother was now a prominent figure and leader of the NSDAP. After the Hitler-Ludendorff putsch , unlike her half-sister Angela and their children, she did not visit her brother during his imprisonment in Landsberg . The relationship between the siblings was rather distant; Paula Hitler did not consider moving to Munich. In 1929, Hitler instructed his niece, Geli Raubal, who lived with him, to invite the entire Hitler family to the Nazi party rally in Nuremberg. On his instructions, none of his relatives were allowed to join the NSDAP. In contrast to Göring, who installed his relatives in offices, Hitler's relatives did not receive any official functions or offices in the Reich, and the "Führer" kept his relatives strictly away.

Life during National Socialism

On August 2, 1930, the Bundesländer-Versicherung quit its job, according to its own statement, "because it became known who my brother was". Paula Hitler lived in the 18th district of Vienna.

In the summer of 1934, Paula Hitler went to the Waldviertel to visit her aunt Therese Schmidt, her mother's sister. In July 1934, illegal National Socialists called for an uprising, Engelbert Dollfuss was shot by Otto Planetta , member of the 89th SS Standard, in the Federal Chancellery , the Austrian Legion gathered in Bavaria to carry out a putsch in Austria. A search of the house of Schmidt's relatives, Hitler's relatives, is recorded in an official note from the security director for the federal state of Lower Austria: The officers found four rifles, 45 rounds of ammunition, five SA equipment and various Nazi propaganda material buried in the ground. Paula Hitler was present and criticized the police officers' actions as "acts of terrorism by the government", which she repeated in a later testimony to the Gmünd district authority. Because of the discovery of weapons, Hitler's nephew Anton Schmidt was arrested for six weeks.

In 1936 Paula Hitler attended the Olympic Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen . According to her testimony, her brother ordered her to live incognito at this point; she should give up the surname Hitler for her own protection and call herself Wolff . Later, at the Bayreuth Wagner Festival , she was present as Paula Wolff ; Hitler didn't mention that she is his sister. After Austria's annexation in 1938, Paula Wolff witnessed Hitler's speech on Heldenplatz in Vienna .

Only Henry Picker mentions an engagement to a Jew concluded in Vienna , to the displeasure of Hitler (possibly only “discredited” as such) . Newly discovered interrogations of the former Soviet Ministry for State Security show that she became engaged to Erwin Jekelius , one of the main people responsible for the National Socialist euthanasia program in Austria. Jekelius was responsible for the murder of more than 4,000 disabled people. When she asked her brother to agree to the planned marriage, he refused: the dictator wanted to determine for himself who was allowed to approach his family and who was not. Hitler had the doctor arrested, who had to sign an obligation to cut the connection. Jekelius was sent to the Eastern Front and was taken prisoner by the Soviets in 1945, where he perished in 1952.

After 1938 Paula lived alone at Gersthoferstraße 36/3 in Vienna. Here she had already taken the surname Wolff . Nevertheless, the former family doctor of the Hitler family, Eduard Bloch , managed to locate this apartment. Bloch came with the request that she intercede for him with her brother that he would be granted access to his property again, which was supposed to help him with his emigration abroad. He knocked on Paula Wolff's door, but received no answer. A neighbor told him that Ms. Wolff did not receive anyone unannounced.

Whether Adolf Hitler, as is claimed in some places, financially supported his sister before 1933 cannot be proven with certainty. According to her own statement, he gave her 250 schillings a month from 1930  , and finally 500 Reichsmarks (RM) from 1938. Her brother also gave her an additional 3,000 RM for Christmas. Adolf's interest in the sister only increased after he had a falling out in 1938 with his half-sister Angela , who lived on the Berghof. An indication of this would be Paula's presence at the Bayreuth Festival in 1939.

post war period

Personal offenses or party membership could not be proven in repeated interrogations by the US Army. After the war, the atrocities of the National Socialists were reported in radio, newspapers and books. In June 1945, while in custody by American occupation forces, she said: “I do not believe that my brother ordered the crimes committed by countless people in the concentration camps - or that he even knew about these crimes. I have to talk about him well, he's my brother. He can no longer defend himself. ”A fundamental confirmation of these statements can be found in the surviving fragments of a conversation with Paula Hitler recorded in 1958 by the British documentary filmmaker Peter Morley .

Paula Wolff was finally released and initially returned to Vienna, where she worked in an art shop. On December 1, 1952, she moved into a 16 m² one-room apartment in Berchtesgaden as a welfare recipient , where she lived until her death. She died of cancer on June 1, 1960. Paula Hitler was buried in the mountain cemetery near Berchtesgaden / Schönau . The grave was dissolved around 2009.

Inheritance disputes

The siblings were not mentioned by name in Adolf Hitler's will. In contrast to the will of May 1938, in which he had allocated them an annual pension of RM 12,000, he now thought that the siblings would still have a livelihood for a good middle-class life.

In its judgment of October 15, 1948, the Munich Chamber I decided that the inheritance should go to the Bavarian state:

“On the basis of the law on liberation from National Socialism and militarism of March 5, 1946 , the Spruchkammer [...] against Adolf Hitler, b. April 20, 1889 in Braunau am Inn, former Chancellor of the Reich following the oral hearing: 1. The estate of Adolf Hitler located in Bavaria is confiscated in full. 2. The costs of the proceedings are burdened with the estate. [...] Claims have only been made by Hitler's sister, Mrs. Paula Wolff in Berchtesgaden, through her defense lawyer, Rudolf Müller in Berchtesgaden [...] When the entire property was confiscated, the Chamber was guided by the fact that the bereaved were not in need is. "

At the end of the 1940s, the authorities did not know with absolute certainty whether and how Adolf Hitler had died: the interrogations of people did not constitute reliable evidence, reports circulated in newspapers that he lived abroad, and the FBI followed up on leads from citizens who reported After seeing Adolf Hitler in New York or Mexico, the Soviet secret service presented various fake photos of the corpses. In 1956, a decision by the Berchtesgaden District Court declared the time of death to be April 30, 1945 at 3:30 p.m. But now the Brauns had also asserted inheritance claims, for example on Hitler's apartment on Prinzregentenplatz in Munich. The question now was whether Adolf Hitler or his wife Eva had the later date of death, i. i.e. whose family would inherit whom. In 1957 the Berchtesgaden District Court ruled that Eva had died two minutes before her husband. The inheritance was fought for another three years.

Newspaper reports and reports had provided information about the National Socialist crimes in the post-war years. Although the name Hitler meanwhile stood for horror and unprecedented cruelty, Paula Wolff called herself Paula Hitler again from 1956 and signed documents again with her original name.

In a judgment of the Munich District Court on February 17, 1960, Paula Hitler was awarded two thirds of her brother's estate. However, she died a few months later, in June 1960, at the age of 64. The Free State of Bavaria was responsible as the administrator of the inheritance, as Hitler was registered with his residence there. For this reason, the copyrights to Hitler's Mein Kampf were transferred to the state of Bavaria , with the exception of the USA.

Estimates of Hitler's private fortune at the end of the war were 10 million Reichsmarks, some historians estimate the amount higher. The American allies confiscated the pictures that Hitler had planned for a gallery in Linz and returned some of them to their previous owners, and some of the works were handed over to the federal government. At Obersalzberg , the authorities had officially approved the looting of the farm, and later high collector prices were paid for Nazi memorabilia. During a house search of Anni Winter (Hitler's domestic help in Munich) the police found signed Hitler photos and other things, but Winter fought for the right to keep them as “private mementos” in court. Hitler's apartment on Prinzregentenplatz, which both Paula Hitler and the Braun family claimed, was awarded to the Free State of Bavaria.

After the death of Paula Hitler, the legacy passed to the two children of her half-sister Angela Hammitzsch , Leo Raubal (deceased 1977) and Elfriede Hochegger (deceased 1993), by a court order from the Berchtesgaden District Court on October 25, 1960 . In the end, Leo Raubal and Elfriede Hochegger or their relatives following in the line of succession did not litigate against the Free State of Bavaria, for example in order to obtain the copyrights or royalties to Mein Kampf .


  • Werner Maser : Forgery, poetry and truth about Hitler and Stalin. Olzog, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-7892-8134-4 .
  • Alfred Läpple: Paula Hitler - the sister, A life in the turn of the ages . Druffel & Vowinckel, July 2005.
  • Oliver Halmburger, Thomas Staehler: Hitler family. In the shadow of the dictator. Documentary. With the collaboration of Timothy Ryback and Florian Beierl. Oliver Halmburger Loopfilm, Munich and ZDF-History, Mainz 2005.
  • Wolfgang Zdral: Die Hitlers (The unknown family of the Führer). Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-593-37457-4 .
  • Isa Hochgerner: Paula's fight. Stage play, 2017.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See Hitler's cover name "Wolf", also in " Wolfsschanze ".
  2. Paula Hitler interrogation record of June 5, 1945, Agent C 10, Modern Military Records, 319 IRR XE575580, National Archives Maryland
  3. ^ Henry Picker: Hitler's table talks in the Führer Headquarters ; Munich (Goldmann) 1981, ISBN 3-442-11234-6 , p. 16.
  4. Paula Hitler interrogation record of June 5, 1945, Agent C 10, Modern Military Records, 319 IRR XE575580, National Archives Maryland
  5. ^ Spruchkammer Munich I, judgment of October 15, 1948, file number I-3568/48
  6. "Letter from the Bavarian Ministry of Finance to the author", in: Wolfgang Zdral: "Die Hitlers. The unknown family of the Führer ”, Lübbe Verlag, 2008, p. 236.
  7. Paulas Kampf by Isa Hochgerner Thomas Sessler Verlag Bühnen- und Musikverlag GmbH, accessed on November 1, 2017.