Rumors, a known conspiracy theory, have resurfaced that the unmarried mother of Hitler’s father must have been impregnated by a Jew. The story came from a Nazi, executed at Nuremberg and has been widely discredited.
Twenty hours later, a Jerusalem tabloid published practically the same story but adding that the historian who “disproved” the first theory was (also) a Nazi. (Followed by dozens of mostly antisemitic reactions that are not moderated.) The new interest is sparked by a historian who wants the formerly-held implausible theory reexamined.
There are four meanings to the question if Hitler could have had a Jewish grandparent and I’m going to treat them one by one. The question sounds kind of tasteless but I don’t think that the answers need to be offensive.
- Is it likely that Hitler had a Jewish grandparent?
Historians point out how unlikely it is. There were no Jews around where his grandmother lived at the conception time for his father. It seems as likely as the fire in the Notre Dame having been caused by a UFO.
- Is it possible that Hitler had a Jewish grandparent?
Of course, it is possible. But, again, highly unlikely/beyond reasonable doubt.
- Could a Jewish grandparent of Hitler help explain his extreme antisemitism?
It has been speculated that this could be the case. That he would have been eager to kill Jews to prove he wasn’t one. Yet, that would mean that a large part of the Nazi top must have had a Jewish grandparent because Hitler’s antisemitism was nothing out of the ordinary. He was the head of state but not a top ideologist. And also Martin Luther had no Jewish ancestry. Their hatred for Gypsies, Poles, the physically and mentally handicapped, etc. also need no family tree explanation.
I understand the search for a rationale, but most importantly, there is neither rhyme nor reason for hatred of Jews. It’s as baseless as any idle gossip. That it’s embedded in Christianity and Islam helped the bigotry.
- Could it be great news if Hitler had a Jewish grandparent?
It depends whom you ask.
Antisemites: ambivalent. Great to say that the worst murderer in modern history was a Jew. But the idea that their greatest hero was ‘racially impure’ would be unpleasant. That’s possibly why we have one top Nazi claiming Hitler’s Jewish ancestry and another one the opposite.
Antizionists: yes. It helps to equate Zionism and Nazism — a popular pastime of antizionists. You see?! The Nazis only went after the Jews to help them steal Palestine from the natives. Never mind how preposterous that theory is, that the Jews are the natives, that Zionism started way before WW II and that local Muslims and colonial Christians didn’t want Jews around in Palestine, not the other way around, condemning Jews to the Holocaust’s deathtrap.
Antiracists/everyone else: no. No one is finally determined by heritage. For predicting one person’s morality, ethnicity is completely irrelevant.
Now you see why Orthodox rabbis go by the mother to determine Jewishness?
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. *
As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. *
If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M *
To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. *
Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people who don't deserve that. He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. *
Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust, and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. *
His most influential teachers (chronologically) are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. *
One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. *
He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. He loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. *
He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. *
He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. *
His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. *
To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. *
His newest books you may find here: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1