He's my ancestor – so he couldn't have been so bad!

A French plumber is claiming he is Hitler’s grandson:

Hitler was a gentle lover. That’s the word from Philippe Loret, a retired French plumber who claims to be the Nazi leader’s only grandson thanks to a “tipsy evening” between Loret’s grandmother and a then 28-year-old Hitler. Loret said he was 16 when his father told him about the hateful, mustached side of his family tree, but although he’s kept his genealogy quiet until now, Loret is “strangely unperturbed” by his heritage, says The Daily Mail. “What Hitler did to the Jews was wrong,” he says. “But some of the things Hitler did were admirable….He built the country up with roads and highways.”

Philippe has two portraits of Hitler hanging on his wall.  He claims that Hitler is “family” and this is why his portraits grace his home. Given his choice of home decor, his hair style, his mustache (an actual “Hitler mustache” would be too obvious) and even his dog, a German shepherd, I would say that Philippe has built his persona (at least in part) on his alleged connections with the late fuhrer.
This reminds me of an American man who claims to be descended from Genghis Khan. According to peopledaily.com:

Tom Robinson had long wondered about his family tree. He never suspected its roots might lie in the Mongolian steppe.
The Florida accountant knew that his great, great-grandfather had come to the United States from England but beyond that his research drew a blank. So he turned to the burgeoning field of “bioarchaeology,” having his DNA tested to see what it revealed about his origins.
He was in for a surprise. According to a British geneticist who pioneered the research, Robinson appears to be a direct descendant of Genghis Khan, the Mongol warrior who conquered vast tracts of Asia and Europe in the 13th century…
Robinson thinks his forebear, whose name has long been a byword for violence and cruelty, has had a bad press.
“In addition to being a conqueror, he was a great administrator,” said Robinson, who has been reading up on Genghis Khan. “Their system of governance was fairly sophisticated.”

So a man who was responsible for the death of millions, the razing of entire cities and the rape and torture of countless thousands, all of a sudden suffers from “bad press” – just because Robinson has discovered he is descended from the man.
Perhaps Loret and Robinson should form a club: The Descendants of Evil Men Organizational Network – or DEMON for short.

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15 Responses to He's my ancestor – so he couldn't have been so bad!

  1. Georgia Resident says:

    Well, Stalin’s grandson has pretty much spent all his time suing anyone in Russia who dares speak ill of the great man, so it’s not like this is without precedent. And Stalin wasn’t even a particularly great family man, by most accounts.

  2. Nyk says:

    Hitler was no more evil than the Allies. My own opinion is that he was actually the lesser evil – especially from my own point of view as a Eastern European who still has to live with the less pleasant consequences of that accursed victory of the Allies.
    And Hitler was a human being – a rather deranged one, true – but with at least some redeeming qualities. I believe it is worth looking at those qualities, if nothing else but to subvert the dominant narrative that history is a progression towards the Good and the Noble, with Liberalism and Equality between all humans triumphant at the end of the road.
    I very much understand where you’re coming from. If someone were out to get me for simply being who I was, I would also view that person as the embodiment of the Devil. But Jews should also understand where the descendants and relatives of the victims of the killing fields and gulags are coming from, too.
    In the end, innocent lives would have been lost no matter who had won WWII. The real turning point of humanity towards Evil (or at least the latest, following Cromwell’s English Revolution and, more notably, the American and French Revolutions) was earlier in the 20th century, when the Central Powers lost WWI and the American Revolution was exported by force to the European lands. It all went downhill from there.

  3. johann says:

    Hitler and his nazi’s were to the Jews what Israel is to the Palestinians, what the Apartheid regime was to black people, and what the ANC is to white South Africans. Power does that to people.

    • SFG says:

      Um, yeah…except that the Afrikaners and Israelis didn’t have giant piles of baby shoes they would redistribute from all the babies they’d gassed.
      As for the ANC, they don’t have the technology…but it’s moving in that direction.
      Jay, you might enjoy the articles in Tablet about Venezuelan and South African Jews. Read between the lines, and even if you don’t, it’s a nice story.

  4. Georgia Resident says:

    “Hitler and his Nazis were to the Jews what…the Apartheid regime was to black people”
    Well, except that the apartheid regime didn’t round up and kill lots of blacks. In fact, there was a rather dramatic expansion of the black population under apartheid. But to judge from Malema’s popularity, many of the blacks of South Africa want to make the white minority the “Jews” to their “Nazis”.

  5. Half Sigma says:

    It’s more exciting to have an IMPORTANT ancestor than to be a big nobody.

  6. Jehu says:

    A love, or at least a somewhat above room temperature warm feeling for one’s ancestors is a pretty natural thing. Most people feel it to some degree. The proper response, IMO to ancestor affection for ancestors that you consider particularly evil is to simply ignore it.

  7. countenance says:

    People are worked up that they’re descended from various high ranking GNSWP party officials?
    I thought we were supposed to reject genetic determinism as an example of “Nazi evil.”

    • SFG says:

      I’m with the Sig. Being descended from a famous person, even an evil one, is more exciting.
      BTW, when reading the bit about the guy descended from Genghis Khan, did anyone think of the Hitchhiker’s Guide routine about Gabriel Prosser?

  8. lowlywhisper says:

    DNA testing? Might solve the Frankenberger or Schicklgruber question. Bobby Fisher comes to mind. Some blowback there from mixed marriages. Obama comes to mind as well, what with him “solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race.” Or, http://stuffeurasianslike.wordpress.com/ .
    Seems to me that in order to have ‘people’, one has to pick sides in these mixed marriages. Or, maybe it’s just something I’ve mistakenly picked up on.

  9. destructure says:

    Pardon the reductio ad absurdum argument, but should this man hate his alleged ancestor and, by extension, himself as well? I realize you didn’t say that but isn’t that what some would prefer? I’m not unsympathetic to what I presume to be your point of view. I understand it and I think it’s normal, natural and healthy. But I also think its normal, natural and healthy for this man to take pride in his alleged ancestors regardless of what one of them may have done or what others think about it.

  10. destructure says:

    Another thought. There have been plenty of people who have claimed to be famous or the children of someone famous after they’ve gotten older There was a guy in Texas who claimed to be the real life Jesse James. And, of course, everyone remembers Anastasia. Anastasia was shown not to be true but the jury is still out on J. Frank Dalton’s claims that he was the real Jesse James .
    Regardless, without DNA we’ll never know about this guy. Maybe this guy is just making it up and maybe his dad really told him that. Maybe his dad was making it up and maybe his grandmother really told his dad that. Who knows? But assuming all this is true, can you imagine the conversation when his grandmother told his dad that? “By the way, son…”

  11. If I found out Hitler were my ancestor, I seriously doubt I’d warm up to the guy. But I’d probably find it fascinating, and I would wonder exactly what traits we had in common. How did he become who he was, and how did I become who I am?
    But I do have rogues in my family gallery–religious terrorists, in fact. Back in the early 17th century they became involved with a guy named “Guy,” who turned out to be a bit of a gunpowder enthusiast, and nearly changed English history for the worse (or for the better, if you’re looking at it from say, Mel Gibson’s persepective).

  12. bob says:

    Being descended from Genghis Khan is not that big an “achievement” – per Wiki, lots of people are:
    mapping of Y chromosmes in Asia, showing a prevalence of 1/500 of all males being directly related to him.

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