Tagged: Hitler

Upper Stanhope Street, 1930s

Bridget and Patrick Hitler in America

I know Liverpool tourism officials are always on the lookout for interesting news stories yet the extraordinary claim that Martin Luther King?s ?I have a dream? speech was written at the Adelphi Hotel is quite staggering.
A guide to an event entitled “Liverpool Discovers”, contains a map of more than 20 locations where famous people were born along with places associated with celebrities and events in their lives. The guide proclaims: “Martin Luther King visited his supporters in Liverpool three times, and the first draft of his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech is alleged to be written on Adelphi Hotel headed notepaper.”
After ridicule in the national press, the claim was hastily withdrawn. Apparently, the information came from a member of the public and was published without checking. So what about another piece of history. Did Hitler come to Liverpool? Michael Unger, past editor of The Echo, has just published his book based on Bridget Hitler’s memoirs. Bridget was a seventeen year-old Irish girl when she met Alois, Hitler’s half-brother in Dublin. They eloped to Liverpool, where they rented 102 Upper Stanhope Street (in the top picture, the house is at the bottom right at the junction with Berkely Street. Upper Stanhope Street is the street joining up with Princes Avenue). Soon after, they had a boy, William Patrick.
In November 1912, a dishevelled draft dodger arrived at Lime Street station. From then until April 1913, he idled his time away until, notified of his father’s will being finalised (his father Alois had died in 1903), he returned to Austria much to Bridget and Alois’s relief. Later, in the 1930s, William Patrick travelled to Germany to reacquaint himself with his father and uncle – who welcomed him half-heartedly. Eventually, after pressure to become a German national, William Patrick fled to New York with his mother and became a minor celebrity giving talks about Uncle Adolf.
So is Hitler’s stay in Liverpool another piece of mythology? Well, in the 1970s, a hand-typed document, the memoirs of Bridget Hitler, was discovered in a New York library. The question is why would a rather naive Irish woman claim Hitler had stayed with them in Liverpool? Her memoirs were never published and it would be a rather pointless claim to make if untrue. She was, after all, living in America at that time and had no reason to distort her life in England. The claim has been refuted by a number of historians – but they cannot account for Hitler’s whereabouts at that time. Hitler was very careful to remove most of the references to his younger years – certainly any suggestion he was a draft dodger. Back in 1913, he was just an ordinary German citizen, who could travel unhindered around Europe without records being kept – so I go along with Michael Unger.
The subsequent history of the Hitler family in Long Island in America is equally fascinating – so why not buy the book (published by Bluecoat Press, of course) and make up your own mind.