Interview with Hitler's sister on 5th June 1946

    Original copy of this document supplied by: -----

    Modern Military Records (NWCTM)

    Textual Archives Services Section

    National Archives and Records Administration

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    Below is a transcript of the 5th June 1946 interview with Paula Hitler (Records of the Army Staff (G2), Record Group 319 IRR XE575580). This interview has been written in English and I do not know if an original German record of the meeting was kept. Note that the original document was of very poor legibility, hence the following transcription has been done in order to make it easier to read. Note that whilst the spelling has been anglicised, the date order is in the original (American) format. I have put notes in italic script to draw attention to any obvious errors in the text. Who made these errors is open to question, but it seems unlikely that Paula would have called her half - brother Alois, her step - brother out of ignorance of the difference between the two terms. The translation from the original German to English shows a very literal interpretation, for example the sentence, "We have been 4 brothers and sisters" is pure German grammar. I do not think that this slightly imperfect translation will have materially altered the content of the report even though it has affected its readability to some extent.

    The nature of the relationship between Adolf (he was christened, 'Adolfus' and was known in the family as, 'Adi') and his younger sister Paula, is one that history has, up to the present time largely ignored. It cannot be just be co-incidence that Paula took the surname 'Wolf' and Adolf used the name, 'Wolf' to denote his various headquarters during the war, e.g. 'The Wolf's Lair'.

    It must be admitted that this document is of only slight relevance to the story of Oradour, but I have included it for interest as it has been quoted from in the, Postscript of, In a Ruined State. If you have an interest in this corner of history, see also the 1945 interview.

Personality Report     Berchtesgaden June 5, 1946 (Note the non-military date order used here and throughout this document. Normally the US army follows the British date order of Date-Month-Year in its internal documents: see the inverview of 12 July 1945

Agent: C - 1o

Case: Mrs. Paula Wolf, or Paula Hitler, sister of the late Adolf Hitler (her name was spelled Wolff in the interview of 12 July 1945)

Address: Alpenwirtschaft Vorderorand, Gemeinde Königsee (Kreis Berchtesgaden)

Particulars: Investigation ordered by Lt. Bronfen

Report: 1. Born Rauschergut, Gemeinde Fischelham, Kreis Lambach (Oberoesterreich) on November 21, 1896 (quoted as 21 January 1896 on her gravestone in Berchtesgaden)

2. Education: Volksschule and Lyzeum Linz

3. Party - membership before 1933: none

4. Party - membership during the Nazi regime: none

5. Party - membership today: none

6. Yesterday the undersigned was visiting Mrs. Paula Wolf in the Alpenwirtschaft Vorderbrand and got the following information from Mrs. Wolf concerning her life:

"I adopted my name Paula Wolf many years ago to avoid the interest of the public which was unwelcome to me. I am in possession of a passport with the name of Paula Wolf with the erroneously registered date of birth November 21, 1896. In fact I was born 8 months earlier. Until today I was not interested in a correction of the date of my birth, moreover it has never been necessary. (on her gravestone, the date of birth is quoted as 21 January 1896)

I was born at the Rauschergut in Hafeld, Gemeinde Fischelham (upper Austria), which belonged to my father, the retired Custom - House - Officer Alois Hitler. It was a small property of approximately 50 Joch (the Joch, the word means, "Yoke", was a unit of area of about an Acre in size and was derived from the amount of land an Ox could plough in a day). My parents sold the farm however when I was only 2 - 3 years old since my father could not manage the farm on account of his age of nearly 60 years. I was the youngest child out of the second marriage of my father (there is an error here as she was the youngest child of her father's third, not second marriage, the first being childless). We have been 4 brothers and sisters. Of the altogether 8 children of my father out of his first and second marriage (actually the second and third), 4 died young of infant diseases. My step - brother Alois (he was her half - brother, not step - brother), who is living in Hamburg as far as I know, was the eldest, next came my sister Angela (another error, as Angela was Paula's half - sister, and full - sister to Alois) and at last my brother Adolf, born April 20, 1889 in Braunau. I liked my brother (Adolf) best of all my brothers and sisters (again she does not differentiate between half and full kin) in spite of the difference in age.

Our father was Waldviertier (a name given to a poor area and those living there) from Lower Austria. He was frequently transferred as Custom - House - Officer, at last he was employed in Passau, Braunau and Linz and he retired in Linz, 58 years old. Probably my father married for the second time in Braunau. My mother was 23 years his junior. Also she came from Waldviertel. Her parents have been the farmers Polzl in Spital near Veitra, where my mother was born on August 12, 1860. She had six brothers and sisters. I cannot remember anything of my father's first wife.

The married life of my parents was a very happy one, in spite of their very unlike characters. My father, who was of great harshness in the education of his children and who only spoiled me as the pet of the family, was the absolute type of the old Austrian official, conservative and loyal to his emperor to the skin. My mother, however, was a very soft and tender person, the compensatory element between the almost too harsh father and the very lively children who perhaps were somewhat difficult to train. If there were ever quarrel or difference of opinion between my parents it was always on account of the children.

It was especially my brother Adolf, who challenged my father to extreme harshness and who got his sound thrashing every day. He was a scrubby little rogue, and all attempts of his father to thrash him for his rudeness and to cause him to love the profession of an official of the estate were in vain. How often on the other hand did my mother caress him and try to obtain with her kindness, were the father could not succeed with harshness!

Of my other brothers and sisters I especially remember my stepsister Angela as a beautiful girl. Also she was watched by my father very harshly. He was examining every wooer with the strict demand that only a civil servant was allowed to marry her. Really in 1903 she married the Revenue officer Leo Raubal in Linz, who died very young in 1910. After his death my sister with her 3 children went on to live in Linz for a short time. Then she removed to Vienna. Later on she married the university professor Hammitzsch in Dresden. They had no children. I visited my sister in Dresden twice, but until today I have not got any news from her. I guess that she has found a refuge somewhere in Upper Austria.

In the beginning of January 1903 my father died of heart failure. He was carried home dead from his morning pint. Four years later on December 21, 1907, far too early for me and my brother Adolf, for we were both sincerely fond of my mother, my mother died too. Both are buried on the churchyard of Leonding near Linz. During this time my mother was severely ill we were most unhappy. Assisting me, my brother Adolf spoiled my mother during this time of her life with overflowing tenderness. He was indefatigable in his care for her, wanted to comply with any desire she could possible have and did all to demonstrate his great love for her. Her last desire was accomplished; she was buried beside the father. We accompanied her on her last way from Linz to Leonding, where she was buried on December 23, 1907.

Of those last years we lived together with my mother I especially remember the cheerfulness of my brother and his extraordinary interest for history, geography, architecture, painting and music. At school he was nothing less than a show boy, came home with bad school reports and admonitions. At home every day he was sitting for hours on the beautiful Heitzmann grand piano, my mother had given him. This extraordinary interest for music, especially for Wagner and Listz, remained with him for all his life. Particularly strong was even at that time already his interest for the theatre and especially for the opera. I can remember that he was visiting the opera house 13 times to hear "Die Gotterdammerung". His Christmas present for his mother has always been a theatre ticket. He was also pursuing aquarelle - painting (watercolour painting) already during his school years, but more seriously in Vienna and later in Munich. Very often he used to give lectures on themes concerning history and policy to my mother and to me in a rhetorical way.

A few days after my mother's death my brother moved to Vienna. I remained in our flat in Linz, where my mother's sister was keeping house. In the few letters I got from my brother from Vienna - in the meantime I had become pupil of the Lyzeum - he was recommending certain books to me and gave well-meaning advice. I remember that he once sent me the book "Don Quichote" (Don Quixote) from Vienna, which - as he meant - would particularly enjoy me. Naturally he was the great brother for me, but I submitted to his authority only with inner resistance. In fact we were brother and sister, who did frequently quarrel, but were fond of each other, and yet often spoiled each other's pleasure of living together. A last attempt of my aunt in 1908 to persuade him to take up the career of an official was in vain. From that time he ceased to write letters to us. I did not hear from him for years, when at last in 1921 I saw him again in Vienna. In the meantime I had moved to Vienna myself. But what occurrences of the time had meanwhile passed over Europe, war and the years after the war with their exorbitant suffering! Only then I was told by my brother, that in 1913 he had moved from Vienna to Munich and that he had taken up aquarelle - painting entirely. I had the impression that he was successful. He told me of his wonderful adventures of war - comradeship, of his injury, and his blindness in the war hospital Pasewalk. At that time he was already leader of the NSDAP. I can I admit that I can remember this meeting with my brother always as a great and happy event. Living alone and in modest conditions in Vienna, I happened to meet my brother I had imagined lost through the war, who was showing his love for me and giving me presents, which meant exorbitant luxury for me! It were few but happy days we spent together in Vienna. He went back to Munich while I stayed in Vienna and earned my living as secretary in an insignificant office.

On account of the separation a close living together with my brother was impossible. It was the same with us as with most families. As soon as the parents are dead, the children withdraw from one another. Not I, but my step-sister Angela kept house for my brother in House Wachenfeld, which later on became the "Berghof".

When my brother became more and more active and the name "Hitler" was known in Vienna, I had difficulties to such an extent, that I was at last dismissed from my position. At that time I changed my name to "Wolf". I went to Munich and described my difficult position of life to my brother. With full understanding he assured me that he would provide for me in future. He did so until his death and at first transferred the sum of 250 Mk, later on since 1938 - the sum of 500 Mk to me. Moreover I got a present of 3000 Mk every Christmas.

Not only with my brother but also with my step-sister Angela I met very seldom, since my sister was living in Dresden. I only came to Berchtesgaden at different times invited by my brother and was rarely spending more to 8 - 14 days in the Berghof. This was one of the rare opportunities for me to see my brother.

So I could witness the years of rise and power of my brother only from afar. I was much too fond of Vienna to leave it. My relationship with my brother remained as affectionate as it was unto his death, but I have never been very ambitious for myself and never appeared at official fetes. I was often told in Vienna that I did never show off but always did just the opposite.

Already in my youth and also in later years I used to spend my holidays at my aunt in Spital, the home - place of my mother I was so very fond of because of its beauty and its magnificent woods. My Aunt Theres Schmid had always been like a mother to me since my mother dies far too early. I was deeply sorry when I heard that my cousin Marie Koppensteiner has been misplaced with her family by the Russians. I nearly lose courage to go on living after all disaster I experienced since more than a year.

In 1941 / 42 I had bought a little house in Weiten in the Wachau with the assistance of my brother. It was an old villa I had furnished simply and comfortably. I did this without the help of an architect. This house was robbed and expropriated by the Russians. I still possess a small apartment consisting of two rooms in Vienna which is occupied by Americans. My intention to go back to Vienna can scarcely be realised at present.

I was in my house in Lower - Austria when in the middle of April 1945 I was fetched by two SS - Men in a motor car. Both SS - Men declared that they had an order to call for me. I had made preparations for my departure, had packed up all in trunks, chests, and boxes, which were fetched off by a truck on the next day, and went with some small luggage to Berchtesgaden. All my big luggage was brought to the hotel Berchtesgadener Hof. When the Americans were about to enter Berchtesgaden I was brought to the Dietrich - Eckardhutte, where I was permitted to remain until December 1945.

Christmas 1945 I spent already in my present lodgings Alpenwirtschaft Worderbrand. The family of the lessee Franz Beer, living there already since 1921 is treating me very kindly. I like to be here and try to help by working in the kitchen.

At present I have no troubles in pecuniary respect, since I could take with me about 10,000 Mk of my savings. I deposited this money at the Bayerische Hypothoken und Wechselbank at Berchtesgaden. But at present I do not earn money nor am I in possession of a fortune. I intend to live as long as possible from my savings. For my small room and board I pay 6 Mk per day to the family Beer.

Unfortunately I lost all my luggage secured at the Berchtesgadener Hof. All I possess of clothing and linen was in the small suitcase I could bring here.

I can dispose of my bank account sine I was not a member of the Party or any Party organisation. The policy of my brother, his ideas and terms were no reason for me to enter the Party. It has never been the wish of my brother. But if it had been his wish I would have entered the Party to please him.

I do not believe that my brother ordered the crime committed to innumerable human beings in the concentration - camps or that he even knew of these crimes. It may be possible however, that the hard years during his youth in Vienna caused his anti-Jewish attitude. He was starving severely in Vienna and he believed that his failure in painting was only due to the fact that trade in works of art was in Jewish hands.

Closing remarks of the Agent.

If further investigations prove that the declarations of Mrs. Paula Wolf are true there can be no doubt in her sincerity, at least as far as she is describing her own life and her relationship to her brother. Unworthy of belief, however, is her declaration that she did never know anything about the innumerable crimes which were committed during the government of her brother and under his immediate responsibility, and that she was never told of these crimes. She also insisted on the fact that she never noticed his threat to destroy the Jews in Europe and to crush all his enemies in his speeches which were transferred by radio over the whole world and also to Vienna! And what a contrast of this Adolf Hitler who according to her own declarations was radiant with kindness with the brutal man he really was! The tactics to have been unaware of all what happened during 12 years of Nazi terror are only too well known and unable to convince even an unprejudiced man.

This woman is not in the least denying the fact that she was extremely fond of her brother whose death, by the way she does not doubt. The likeness to her brother in appearance, look and physiognomy is striking and intensifies the longer one is in her presence. I could bring her a typewriter ribbon she needed for her small Erika typewriter. After answering my questions dilatorily in the beginning she was later on talking freely and with increasing confidence. There was a certain charm in her modesty and her simple manner of speaking. The surroundings, the terrace of the Alpenwirtschaft with its unique view over the land of Berchtesgaden made a strong impression on the agent. But this woman must not be allowed to become the protectress of the mountain in which the sole of her brother is only lying dormant to rise again to new life and to new crimes against human nature. Reporters desiring for sensational news are not to work their way up the mountain to cable into the world with charming stories the Hitler - Myth which will inevitable arise. Too many German authors would greedily snatch at such news to offer an immortal hero of the type of Barbarrosa to youth always longing for romanticism. What enrichment for the gallery of heroes of German history, for the academical youth for spur and emulation!

And what a chance for skilfully camouflaged militarists like Doctor Lenz, Laufen who is president of the district of the OSU is making provoking speeches with the theme: Germany as a bastion against communism in east and west, or translated into good German: "Get strong for a revenge - war against Russia and against the communistic France!"

No, it must not come to that! The suffering of innumerable human beings in concentration camps and penitentiaries the sacrifice of life of comrades of the European and last not least of the German underground - movements, all what was done by Allies Forces to suppress Nazism, all would be in vain! No vindictiveness against a lonely, at least with regard to her actions guiltless woman. But get her away from publicity. She could become a germ cell for a new disaster, maybe against her own wishes. One thing is certain: the American, who visited her and declared that the question who is to blame for all what happened since 12 years war and crimes, destruction and death, can only be answered by future generations, will not remain the only one. Many people, Americans and other, will come and bear a share to show Hitler as what he has never been: a kind man and a great Leader.


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© Michael Williams: November 2003, revised March 2010