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Hitler's Father (ePub)

Hidden Letters – Why the Son Became a Dictator

Military > Biographies Military > Frontline eBooks > Frontline: WWII WWII > Hitler & the Third Reich

By Roman Sandgruber
Frontline Books
File Size: 80.4 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781399019286
Published: 30th September 2022


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The bundle of 31 letters, the pages of which had long yellowed with age, had lain hidden in the attic where they were found for over a century. Only when the razor-sharp script was examined further did historians discover just who had written them – and that person, Alois, was Adolf Hitler’s father.

Born Alois Schicklgruber on 7 June 1837, the identity of his biological father still undisclosed, Alois eventually became a civil servant in the Austrian customs service. At around the age of 40, Alois changed his family name from Schicklgruber to Hitler – his infamous son being born some eleven years later.

The contents of the re-discovered letters have allowed the renowned historian and author Roman Sandgruber to reassess the image that we have of Alois, offering the world a completely new and authentic impression of the man. In Hitler’s Father, Sandgruber re-examines Alois’ personality and how he significantly shaped the young Adolf.

The letters also shed further light onto the everyday life of the Hitler family as whole, a story which is often characterized by myths, inventions and assumptions. They have given the author the opportunity to recount the childhood and youth of the future dictator, painting a dramatic picture of the ‘Führer’ growing up.

These letters also help answer the question that is so often asked: How could a child from an Upper Austrian province, seemingly a failure and self-taught, rise to a position of such power? Indeed, Adolf Hitler’s father and ‘the province’ seemingly lay heavily on him until his suicide in the Führerbunker in 1945. The author examines how the young Hitler’s lowly upbringing may have affected him in the years that followed – years which shaped the history of the whole world.

I think if you want an insight into the development of Hitler, the book of letters written by his father, are a good place to start. An insight into the childhood as never before. Is this enough to understand a mad man? Not likely but it helps.

NetGalley, Jennifer DiCenzo

I've long wondered the familial background and parent figures in Hitler’s life for him to end up who he was and what he did. This book was fascinating and intriguing, intricately researched, perfect level of historical detail. A great read.

NetGalley, Jessica Mayhall

It was a fascinating and interesting read...This is certainly a really good book and if you are interested in finding out about what’s behind the mask, this book will help. The notes and bibliography at the back of this book are excellent, I didn’t realise so many books had been written on this subject previously.

Read the Full Review Here

The History Fella

The letters shed further light onto the everyday life of the Hitler family as a whole, a story which is generally characterized by myths, inventions, and assumptions.


Very interesting read. I knew very little about Alois Hitler. This book gave some insight into what type of man and father he was. Seeing the similarities between father and son in this situation is eerie. Could history have been different if Alois had been a kinder, better father or Adolf born evil?

NetGalley, Dani Hill

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Great book to find out about who Hitler was before he become most hated man in history.
I'm always interested in what makes people do what they do. I believe something must have happened somewhere for people to turn on others. In this book you learn about his past it doesn't read as book to honour him it's written with care for the lives lost under his evil regime.

NetGalley, Karen Bull

The author presents information which fills a gap in many interested readers’ analysis of one of the most analysed people of the 20th century, Adolf Hitler. Allowing armchair analysts to consider nature versus nurture, the book offers insights into Hitler’s father and perhaps raises even more questions about how someone like Hitler came to be the person he was, have the ideas he had and how he rose to such a position of influence and authority.

NetGalley, Louise Gray

About Roman Sandgruber

ROMAN SANDGRUBER is an Austrian historian and author who was born in Rohrbach in 1947. He studied history, German studies and economics at the University of Vienna from 1965 to 1971. From 1988, Sandgruber was a full professor at the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences at Johannes Kepler University. He was also a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and was chairman of the senate of the University of Linz from 1996 to 1998, as well as a member of the Austrian Commission of Historians from 1998 to 2003.

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