Thursday, April 1, 2010

William Patrick Hitler

William Patrick Hitler was the nephew of Adolf Hitler. Born to Adolf's half-brother Alois Hitler, Jr., and his first wife Bridget Dowling, William later moved to Germany and subsequently escaped, eventually going to the United States where he enlisted to fight in World War II.

William Patrick Hitler was born in Liverpool, the son of Alois Hitler, Jr., and his Irish-born wife Bridget Dowling. They had met in Dublin when Alois was living there in 1909, and eloped to Liverpool where William was born in 1911. Hitler's nephew is recalled by elderly former neighbours, and in Liverpool folklore variously as "Billy" or "Paddy" Hitler.

In 1914, Alois returned to Germany, but Bridget refused to join him. Unable to reconnect due to the outbreak of World War I, Alois abandoned the family, leaving William to be brought up by his mother. He remarried, bigamously, but re-established contact in the mid-1920s when he wrote to Bridget asking her to send William to Weimar Republic Germany for a visit. She finally agreed in 1929, when William was 18.

In 1933, William Patrick Hitler returned to Nazi Germany in an attempt to benefit from his uncle's rise to power. His uncle found him a job in a bank. Later, William Patrick worked at an Opel automobile factory, and later as a car salesman. Dissatisfied with these jobs, William Patrick persisted in asking his uncle, Hitler, for a better job, and there were rumors that he might sell embarrassing stories about the family to the newspapers if he did not receive one. Among these rumors would have been his father's bigamous marriage. In 1938, Adolf Hitler asked William to relinquish his British citizenship in exchange for a high-ranking job. Expecting a trap, William decided to flee Nazi Germany.

In 1939, Hitler and his mother went to the United States on a lecture tour on the invitation of the publisher William Randolph Hearst, and they were stranded there when World War II broke out. After making a special request to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hitler was cleared to join the U.S. Navy in 1944.

William Patrick Hitler served in the U.S. Navy as a Pharmacist's Mate until he was discharged in 1947. After leaving the Navy, William Patrick changed his last name to Stuart-Houston, married, and moved to Patchogue, Long Island, N.Y., where he and his wife became the parents of four sons. Stuart-Houston built upon his medical training to establish a business that analyzed blood samples for hospitals. His laboratory, which he called the Brookhaven Laboratories, was located in his home, a two-story clapboard house at 71 Silver Street, Patchogue.

Mr. Stuart-Houston was married to Phyllis Jean-Jacques. After their relationship had begun, William, Phyllis, and Bridget sought anonymity in the United States. William and Phyllis married in 1947, and they had their first son Alexander Adolf in 1949. They later had three more sons, Louis (b. 1951), Howard Ronald (b. 1957, d. 1989), and Brian William (1965).

William died on July 14, 1987 in Patchogue, New York, and his remains were buried alongside those of his mother, Bridget, at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram, New York. Phyllis died on November 2, 2004.

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