Monday, April 24, 2006

I remember Munich....

While staying at the hotel, I looked in the phone book for Hitlers, Schicklegrubers, Goerings, Gobbelses, Himmlers, etc.

To no avail.

Evidently nobody in Munich wanted an infamous name, even if they weren't imagine my surprise when I read this:

The Long Island landscaper peeked out the door. It was another visitor arriving with a notebook, a press pass and the H-word on his lips, another journalist asking about his great-uncle Adolf.

The visitor asked the landscaper about his father, who was born William Patrick Hitler, son of Alois Hitler Jr., who was Adolf Hitler's half-brother (they shared the same father). Alois called his son Willy. The Führer called Willy "my loathsome nephew."

Willy Hitler was born in 1911 in Liverpool, and in his early years occasionally sought to take advantage of his last name, in England, Germany and then America, where he moved in 1939. After World War II, though, he decided to change the name and moved from New York City out to Patchogue on Long Island. He raised four sons — Alexander, Louis, Howard and Brian — before he died in 1987 at age 76.

I grew up within miles of Hitlers.

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