After his death in 1945, Adolf Hitler left a number of family members behind — and some believe he may have secretly had children of his own.
It’s hard to believe that a man as monstrous as Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people during the Holocaust and World War II, was born to a mother and a father just like everyone else and he had siblings, cousins, and nephews as so many of us do.
In all, the story of Adolf Hitler’s family is a complicated one. Though Hitler himself had no known children — and his own marriage to Eva Braun lasted just 45 minutes before they died by suicide as Soviet troops closed in on Berlin in 1945 — he came from a sprawling, tangled family tree.
Hitler’s father, Alois, was married three times. He had two children with his second wife, Alois Jr. and Angela, and two with his third wife Adolf and Paula. While neither Hitler nor Paula had any children, Alois Jr. and Angela did.
Alois Jr. married an Irish woman named Bridget and had a son name William. He later left his Irish family for Germany – where he married again and had another son, Heinrich, or Heinz.
Though Heinz became a Nazi and died in 1942 in Soviet captivity, William became a thorn in his famous uncle’s side. He wrote critical articles and even tried to blackmail Hitler into getting him a good job by threatening to claim that the family had Jewish heritage. Hitler called William his “loathsome nephew” and once allegedly declared “I didn’t become Chancellor for the benefit of my family, no one is going to climb on my back.”
Angela, Adolf Hitler’s favorite sibling, also had three children of her own: Leo, Geli, and Elfriede. Though Geli died under mysterious circumstances and without children — she allegedly had an affair with her infamous half-uncle before she apparently took her own life at the age of 23 in 1931 — Leo and Elfriede both had children of their own.
As such, a handful of Hitler’s descendants are still alive today. Some we know about — and some who may remain anonymous forever.