Paddy Hitler, Max Mosley and the dilemma of Nazi children - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Paddy Hitler, Max Mosley and the dilemma of Nazi children

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March 31, 2008
Paddy Hitler, Max Mosley and the dilemma of Nazi children

As the son of a concentration camp survivor I have wondered what it must be like to be the child of a leading Nazi.

How does one resolve the painful conflicts that such a relationship produces?

Not long ago my mother met with Hilde Schramm, the daughter of Albert Speer, their meeting being featured in a radio programme. My mother thought her a good woman who had struggled to put right her father's crimes in the best way she could.

But nevertheless, my mother decided not to confront her directly about Speer. Why? Because Mum felt it would not be fair. The issue was bound to be so difficult for Schramm. "After all, he was her Daddy".

In today's paper there was the fascinating (if sordid) story of Max Mosley, Oswald's son, and his Nazi sex games. Both Nicholas and Max Mosley have striven so hard to consign their family history to the past. Yet it is clearly still there in Max's case, and strongly so.

Here's a review of ten Nazi children.

Gudrun Himmler: No conflict for the daughter of Heinrich Himmler. She remains, basically, a Nazi. Since 1951 she has been a member of Stille Hilfe, an organisation supporting arrested, condemned or fugitive former SS-members in states of distress. For decades she has been their prominent symbol.

Katrin Himmler: Himmler's great niece, on the other hand, regards Uncle Heinrich as a mass murderer. She worries about what she is going to tell her child about the family. Why? Because she is married to a Jew who survived in the Warsaw ghetto and then went to live in Israel.

Hilde Schramm: The daughter of Hitler's architect has become a bohemian figure, a Green politician, and a brave and outspoken leader of efforts to return works of art stolen by the Nazis. She simultaneously retains affection for her father with an abhorrence for Nazi crimes, including his. This dual stance is made possible to some extent by the lack of clarity still existing about Speer's exact role and knowledge about the Final Solution. Obviously however, Speer knew much more than he admitted.

Max Rufus Mosley: The son of Oswald Mosley was his father's supporter and aide in the 1960s when Oswald had made European federalism his cause. He later was involved in the Tory party, before becoming a Labour donor in the mid 1990s. He keeps talk of the Mosley political past to a minimum and has become successful instead in the world of motor racing.

Paddy Hitler: Adolf Hitler did not have a son, but he did have a nephew, Paddy. Paddy, the son of Hitler's brother Alois, lived in Liverpool as a young boy. In 1933 he moved to Germany, trying to be a car salesman and cash in on his family name. Things didn't work out and he moved to the US, denouncing his Uncle and serving in the US Navy in the war. Finally he settled in Long Island where he had three sons, including Brian Hitler. I am not making this up.

Nicholas Mosley: Oswald Mosley was married twice. Yet while Diana Mosley, Max's mother was a fascist supporter, Nicholas's mother Cynthia was not. She was alive during Oswald's Labour years. Her son Nicholas is a successful novelist and an outspoken critic of his father and his politics.

Romano Mussolini: The third son of Benito was a successful jazz pianist. So successful in fact that he became one of the top players in Europe in the 1960s, his albums winning critical acclaim and prizes. He started under a pseudonym, Roman Full, but later played under his own name. He claimed that his father had been misunderstood - that he was not an anti-Semite or as ruthless as he was portrayed.

Martin Bormann Jr: Bormann's son was an ardent Nazi as a child, but gradually came face to face with Nazi crimes, recording with horror an incident in which Himmler's family showed him a lightshade made of human skin. He became a Priest and tours the world denouncing the crimes of the Nazis.

Alessandra Mussolini: Roman's daughter is more fascist than jazz pianist. The Mussolini family has had its revenge on democracy with Alessandra's election to the European Parliament. Or perhaps it's the other way round. Benito's grandaughter has grown up into a fully fledged neo-fascist leader. She has gone through a complex legal process to allow her children to attach the name Mussolini to their father's surname. Bet they are all eternally grateful.

Albert Speer: Hilde turned to politics while her brother chose the alternative route, picking up his father's architectural legacy. He has been fabulously successful in this alternative career, despite bearing such a controversial name.

Posted by Times Online on March 31, 2008 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Email this post
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