Leonard Sax's claim that Adolf Hitler's grandfather was Jewish is utter rubbish

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George L Gregory
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Leonard Sax's claim that Adolf Hitler's grandfather was Jewish is utter rubbish

Post by George L Gregory » 11 Feb 2021 22:23

In a paper published recently in the Journal of European Studies, American psychologist Dr. Leonard Sax asserted that he had disproved one of the primary arguments against the claim by Hans Frank — who served as governor-general of Poland during the Holocaust — that Hitler’s paternal grandmother, Maria Anna Schicklgruber, had been impregnated by a Jewish man while employed as a cook for the Frankenberger family in the city of Graz.

Most historians agree that there was no Jewish presence in Graz between the Jews’ expulsion from the Styria region in the late 15th century and the reestablishment of communal life in the 1860s. Citing archival evidence, Sax claimed that there had been a “small, now settled Jewish community” in Graz as of 1850 and that although there is no direct evidence of Jewish life there when Hitler’s father Alois was conceived in 1836, “the assertion that not a single Jew was living in Graz prior to 1856 cannot be sustained.”

A press release promoting Sax’s research went even further, claiming that his paper constituted “new evidence that Adolf Hitler’s grandfather was Jewish.” Sax is a psychologist and the author of books such as “Girls on the Edge” and “Why Gender Matters.”

“I argue that one factor driving his anti-Semitism was his intense need to prove that [he’s] not Jewish,” he said in a video interview posted on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEjNPGz ... =emb_title

Historians have long dismissed such claims. Asked about Sax’s findings, Sir Richard Evans, author of “The Third Reich Trilogy” and former president of Cambridge University’s Wolfson College, replied that “even if there were Jews living in Graz in the 1830s, at the time when Adolf Hitler’s father Alois was born, this does not prove anything at all about the identity of Hitler’s paternal grandfather.”

Frank’s memoirs are “notoriously unreliable,” Evans told The Times of Israel.

“There is no contemporary evidence that Hitler’s mother was ever in Graz, or that there was a Jewish family called Frankenberger living there. There was a family in Graz called Frankenreiter but it was not Jewish. No correspondence between Hitler’s father or paternal grandmother has ever been found. Nor is there any evidence for Frank’s claim that Hitler’s half-nephew knew about it and was blackmailing Hitler, as Frank claimed.”

“There is no contemporary evidence that Hitler’s mother was ever in Graz, or that there was a Jewish family called Frankenberger living there. There was a family in Graz called Frankenreiter but it was not Jewish. No correspondence between Hitler’s father or paternal grandmother has ever been found. Nor is there any evidence for Frank’s claim that Hitler’s half-nephew knew about it and was blackmailing Hitler, as Frank claimed.”

Many of these same arguments were made by British historian Ian Kershaw in his 1998 book “Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris.” In it, he noted that the “son of Leopold Frankenreiter and alleged father of the baby…for whom Frankenreiter was seemingly prepared to pay child support for thirteen years was ten years old at the time of Alois’s birth.”

“I have been thinking about the fact that neo-Nazis are offended by the suggestion that Hitler had a Jewish grandfather, because they hate Jews,” Sax told The Daily Mail in an article about his research.

“Jews are often offended by the suggestion that Hitler had a Jewish grandfather, because they hate Hitler. But now, as nearly a lifetime has passed since the end of the Third Reich, maybe we are free at last to ask — not what is offensive, or what is not offensive — but what is true? And what does it mean for our understanding of Adolf Hitler, and the Holocaust?”

But professional Holocaust historians remained skeptical.

“Hitler’s grandmother (from his father’s side) was not married, and thus, considering his destructive role and hideous actions, rumors and claims like that are almost natural,” Havi Dreifuss, a historian of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe at Tel Aviv University, told The Times of Israel. “Still, I am not sure if (or how much) [this discussion] is a contribution to the field and to our understanding of the Holocaust.”

According to Evans, speculations about Hitler’s ancestry have persisted for so long “because some people have found his deep and murderous anti-Semitism hard to explain unless there were personal motives behind it.

“This seems to be the motivation for Dr. Leonard Sax, a psychiatrist, not an historian, making his claims,” he said.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/historian ... ge-claims/

Is there any evidence of Sax's claim that there was a "eine kleine, nun angesiedelte Gemeinde" – "a small, now settled community" of Jews living in Graz before 1856?

Sax seems to think so when he published "Aus den Gemeinden von Burgenland: Revisiting the question of Adolf Hitler’s paternal grandfather".

https://sage.altmetric.com/details/63428715/news

Sax is a liar. Historians aren't relying on Preradovich's word. Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor expelled the Jews from that area.

German historian Brigitte Hamann in her book Hitler's Vienna wrote:
To be sure, around 1830 there were no Jews living in Graz. After the expulsion of the Jewish community around 1500 under Maximilian I, the Styrian estates successfully blocked new Jewish settlements. Under Joseph II, in the late eighteenth century, Jews were again allowed to visit Graz, but only during the market season and for no longer than twenty-four hours at a time. Not until the passing of the basic laws of 1849 were Jews finally allowed to settle in Styria. From 1856 on Graz’s Jewish community kept a community register.
I think Sax is just enjoying a bit of publicity.

ManfredV
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Re: Leonard Sax's claim that Adolf Hitler's grandfather was Jewish is utter rubbish

Post by ManfredV » 12 Feb 2021 11:27

Johann Georg Hiedler officially accepted his paternity twice: when Alois was baptised and later in a heritage matter. He also married Anna Schicklgruber when Alois was five.
When Alois changed his name to Hitler, Johann Georg Hiedler was dead but Alois brought three attestors who confirmed Johann Georg's paternity. Well probably Johann Georg's brother Johann Nepomuk also could be Alois' father. Alois grew up in Johann Nepomuk's house.
Brigitte Hamann and other historians researched and confirmed Hiedler paternity (officially Georg or maybe Nepomuk).
By the way: in those times many childs from poorer people were illegitimate because marriage was only possible with a certain income and property. Both Anna and Johann Georg were poor. Nepomuk had his own farm and was a little bit wealthy.
These never ending stories of a jewish grandfather are pure speculation without any evidence.

George L Gregory
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Re: Leonard Sax's claim that Adolf Hitler's grandfather was Jewish is utter rubbish

Post by George L Gregory » 12 Feb 2021 22:39

You're right in stating that illegitimacy was common enough back in the late 1800s in Austria (and elsewhere) that it caused no stigma to the Hitler family.
In lower Austria, illegitimacy was common and in some areas reached as high as forty percent. As late as 1903, the figure was twenty-four percent.
Sherree Owens Zalampas, Adolf Hitler A Psychological Interpretation of His Views on Architecture, Art, and Music, page 5.
Illegitimacy was quite common in the Austrian countryside and little stigma attached to Hitler's father.
Robert Edwin Herzstein, Adolf Hitler and the German Trauma, 1913-1945 An Interpretation of the Nazi Phenomenon, page 2.

There are plenty of other sources that are not even related to Hitler's family which refer to such high figures of illegitimacy in Austria during the late 1800s.

George L Gregory
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Re: Leonard Sax's claim that Adolf Hitler's grandfather was Jewish is utter rubbish

Post by George L Gregory » 12 Feb 2021 22:43

Does anyone have access to Sax's journal? I would like to read Sax's evidence about a small settled community of Jews existed prior to 1856 in Graz.

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