We always assumed that Hitler had no children, but there's new evidence that appears to show that the world's least popular man had sex with a French teenager and fathered a son back in 1918. The supposed son, a man named Jean-Marie Loret, wrote an autobiography back in 1981 called Your Father's Name Was Hitler, but he died four years later, at the age of 67, without ever being able to prove for certain it was true—though it seems unlikely that anyone would be rushing to falsely claim such a hated figure as their dad. But now, according to his lawyer, photographs and documents have been found that back up Loret's claim.
Loret's mother, Charlotte Lobjoie, gave birth to him in 1918 and gave him up for adoption. He didn't know anything about his father growing up, but in the early 1950s, his birth mother told him that she'd had a brief affair with Hitler when she was 16 and that he'd been conceived after they spent a "tipsy" evening together in 1917. At that point, Hitler was a young soldier fighting in World War I, and had been on leave when he hooked up with Lobjoie. She told her son about their first meeting:
I was cutting hay with other women, when we saw a German soldier on the other side of the street. He had a sketch pad and seemed to be drawing. All the women found this soldier interesting, and wanted to know what he was drawing. They picked me to try to approach him.
It's interesting to think that there was ever a time when Hitler appeared just like any young solider. Charlotte did approach him, and according to her they had a short, fairly miserable sounding relationship:
On the rare occasions your father was around, he liked to take me for walks in the countryside. But these walks usually ended badly. Your father, inspired by nature, launched into speeches I did not really understand.
Sounds about right. Nine months later, she had Jean-Marie. Hitler apparently refused to acknowledge he'd fathered the boy, but he did send Charlotte money, which seems like a tacit admission. Oddly, Jean-Marie grew up to fight the Germans in 1939, and later joined the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation, without ever knowing that his father was his ultimate enemy.
After his mother revealed his father's identity, Loret struggled to come to terms with it—as you might imagine. He said in his book, "In order not to get depressed, I worked tirelessly, never taking a vacation. For twenty years I didn't even go to a movie." God, that poor guy. Eventually, he started looking into whether he really was related to Hitler—even calling on a geneticist, a historian, and a handwriting analyst. And they all came to the conclusion: Hitler probably was Jean-Marie's father.
The new evidence which has surfaced after his death includes official army documents which show officers delivered envelopes of cash to Charlotte during the German occupation of France. There were also paintings signed "Adolf Hitler" found in her attic. If this new evidence can definitively prove paternity, Loret's kids would be eligible to receive royalties from Hitler's book, Mein Kampf. Though they must have complicated feelings about their lineage and especially about making it public. Being the only living descendants of one of history's most reviled men probably isn't something you'd be eager to brag about.
Proof That Hitler Had An Illegitimate Son? [LiveScience]