Johann Georg Hiedler

Johann Georg Hiedler (baptised 28 February 1792 – 9 February 1857) was considered the officially accepted paternal grandfather of Adolf Hitler by Nazi Germany. Whether Johann Georg was in fact Hitler's biological paternal grandfather is disputed by modern historians.[1]

Johann Georg Hiedler
Born(1792-02-28)28 February 1792
Died9 February 1857(1857-02-09) (aged 64)
Parent(s)Stefan Hiedler, Anna Maria Göschl
RelativesAdolf Hitler (grandson)


Hiedler was born to Martin Hiedler (1762–1829) and Anna Maria Göschl (1760–1854),[2] in Spital a part of Weitra Austria, and made his living as a wandering journeyman miller.[3] In 1824, he married his first wife but she died in childbirth five months later.

He married Maria Anna Schicklgruber in 1842, and became the legal stepfather to her illegitimate five-year-old son, Alois. It was later claimed Johann Georg had fathered Alois prior to his marriage to Maria, although Alois had been declared illegitimate on his birth certificate and baptism papers; the claim that Johann Georg was the true father of Alois was not made after the marriage of Maria and Johann Georg, or, indeed, even during the lifetime of either of them.

In 1877, twenty years after the death of Johann Georg and almost thirty years after the death of Maria, Alois was legally declared to have been Johann Georg's son. Johann Georg's younger brother, Johann Nepomuk Hiedler, engineered the plan to change Alois' surname to "Hitler" and to have Johann Georg declared the biological father of Alois in 1876. Johann Nepomuk collected three "witnesses" (his son-in-law and two others), who testified before a notary in Weitra that Johann Georg had several times stated in their presence that he was the actual father of Alois and wanted to make Alois his legitimate son and heir. The parish priest in Doellersheim, where the original birth certificate of Alois resided, altered the birth register. Alois was thirty-nine years old at the time and was well-known in the community as "Alois Shicklgruber."[4]

Accordingly, Johann Georg Hiedler is one of two people most cited by modern historians as having possibly been the actual paternal grandfather of Adolf Hitler. The other one is Johann Nepomuk Hiedler, the younger brother of Johann Georg.

In the 1950s, a claim surfaced that a Jew from Graz by the name of Leopold Frankenberger was Hitler's paternal grandfather, but modern historians have debunked this possibility, as Jews were expelled from Graz in the fifteenth century and were not permitted to return until the 1860s, several decades after Alois was born.[5]

See also



  1. See, e.g., Kershaw, p. 4.
  2. See, e.g., Adolf Hitler's online family tree at, Online Family Tree. Family trees can also be found in various Hitler biographies; see, e.g., Toland, pp. 10–11; Kershaw, p. 5.
  3. Toland, p. 4.
  4. Toland, pp. 4–5.
  5. See Toland, pp. 246–7; Kershaw, pp. 8–9. Toland's conclusion is based on the research of Nikolaus Preradovic, University of Graz, who examined the books of the Jewish congregation at Graz and who concluded that, prior to 1856, there had not been "one single Jew" in Graz since the fifteenth century. Kershaw concludes that, whoever Alois' father may have been, he was not a Jew from Graz.


  • Bullock, Alan (1953). Hitler: A Study in Tyranny. ISBN 0-06-092020-3.
  • Fest, Joachim C. (1973). Hitler. Verlag Ullstein. ISBN 0-15-141650-8.
  • Kershaw, Ian (1999). Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris. W W Norton. ISBN 0-393-04671-0.
  • Maser, Werner (1973). Hitler: Legend, Myth and Reality. Penguin Books Ltd. ISBN 0-06-012831-3.
  • Smith, Bradley F. (1967). Adolf Hitler: His Family, Childhood and Youth. Hoover Instituted. ISBN 0-8179-1622-9.
  • Toland, John (1976) Adolf Hitler. Garden City, New York: Doubleday. pp.10-11. ISBN 0-385-03724-4
  • Vermeeren, Marc (2007). De jeugd van Adolf Hitler 1889-1907 en zijn familie en voorouders (in Dutch). Soesterberg: Uitgeverij Aspekt. pp. 420 blz. ISBN 90-5911-606-2.
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