Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Could Adolf Hitler have had a Jewish grandparent?

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.

  1. 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.

  1. Is it possible that Hitler had a Jewish grandparent?

Of course, it is possible.  But, again, highly unlikely/beyond reasonable doubt.

  1. 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.

  1. 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?

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * 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 lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors 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. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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