• Adolf and Eva: Love and War airs on SBS Sunday 8 April 2018. (SBS)
It’s a lineage you wouldn’t wish on anyone, but one man who claimed to be Hitler’s son is said to have eventually accepted it with pride.
By
Jim Mitchell

6 Apr 2018 - 11:38 AM  UPDATED 6 Apr 2018 - 4:01 PM

The idea of Adolf Hitler having sired offspring is as disturbing as it is intriguing. His relationship with mistress and eventual wife Eva Braun (chronicled in docudrama Adolf and Eva: Love and War) didn’t produce children, but a claim that he sired a son with a young French woman during the First World War has persisted for years.

But whether the claim is bona fide or questionable, pride, shame, and unscrupulousness has come to light in those with Hitler’s lineage.

 

Who could ever be proud to be a descendant of Hitler?

“Master, I’m Hitler’s son, tell me what to do.”

What would you do if you thought you were the offspring of history’s most hated man? Jean-Marie Loret asked the question of his lawyer François Gibault in 1979.

"[He] was a bit lost and did not know whether he wanted to be publicly recognised as Hitler's son, or to erase all that completely,” said Gibault.

 

Loret had been floored by his mother’s claim on her deathbed in the early 1950s that he was the result of a fling between her and a young Adolf Hitler.

Charlotte Lobjoie, Loret’s mother, was just 16-years-old when Hitler, a soldier fighting during the First World War in northern Picardy, France, arrived in her small village of Fournes-en-Weppes, for respite.

“One day I was cutting hay with other women, when we saw a German soldier on the other side of the street,” Loret’s mother reportedly told him.

“He had a sketch pad and seemed to be drawing. All the women found this interesting, and were curious to know what he was drawing.

“I was designated to approach him.”

Hitler is said to have arrived in the town in June 1917. Loret was supposedly conceived one drunken evening, and born in March 1918.

His mother’s recollections gave a chilling insight in to what could have been a front row seat to a rehearsal for the enraged speeches Hitler would become famous.

“When your father was around, which was very rarely, he liked to take me for walks in the countryside,” she told Loret.

“But these walks usually ended badly. In fact, your father, inspired by nature, launched into speeches which I did not really understand.

“He did not speak French, but solely ranted in German, talking to an imaginary audience.”

Loret, who in a bizarre twist battled the Germans during WW2 and became a member of the French Resistance, reportedly lived some 20 years in denial of his supposed parentage saying:

“In order not to get depressed, I worked non-stop, never took a holiday, and had no hobbies.”

 

The evidence

Loret was determined to find out the truth. In 2012, French magazine Le Point published compelling evidence that appeared to corroborate his claims.

A comparison of Loret and Hitler’s handwriting showed they were similar, and a University of Heidelberg analysis found that they shared the same blood type. German army papers indicated that, while Hitler never acknowledged his illegitimate son, he sent officers in Wehrmacht uniforms to deliver envelopes of cash to Lobjoie and remained in contact.

Traces of Hitler’s renown as an artist also appeared to add weight to the claim, with Loret finding in his mother’s attic artwork said to be signed “Adolf Hitler”. And Loret’s son Philippe Loret believes a painting bearing Hitler’s signature is that of Lobjoie.

 

In early 2012, another piece of sensational evidence appearing to confirm Loret as the son of Hitler was released, a diary entry of British soldier Leonard Wilkes who claimed to have met Lobjoie during WW2.

Dated September 30, 1944, it said: “An interesting day today. Visited the house where Hitler stayed as a corporal in the last war, saw the woman who had a baby by him and she told us that the baby, a son, was now fighting in the French army against the Germans.”

Philippe Loret claims that Hitler made sure Jean-Marie was well cared for after his mother abandoned him as a baby to be looked after by his grandparents, with an adoption brokered with a rich local family. He says he has confirmation from the daughter of SS Chief Heinrich Himmler, thought to be Gudrun Burwitz, that Jean-Marie was indeed Hitler’s son.

“She believed I was Hitler’s grandson, because she had heard of him having a French son living in France from her own circle,” he told The Daily Mail. “This means that his inner circle knew about him having a secret son.”

Then, there was the striking resemblance to Hitler of Jean-Marie Loret, who died in 1985 at 67, four years after releasing his memoirs Your Father’s Name Was Hitler.

After years of torment, Philippe Loret claims Jean-Marie came to be proud that Hitler was, supposedly, his father.

“By the time my father told us about Hitler being his father, he was proud of being Hitler’s son. He had trouble accepting it at first. He didn’t like this fact, but gradually he came to terms with it,” he said. “My father did not need to defend him. He was proud of being Hitler’s son.”

 

A pact to end the Hitler bloodline?

Three brothers with unequivocal blood ties to Hitler have distanced themselves as much as possible, reportedly making an unofficial pact to end the Hitler bloodline.

Louis, Brian and Alexander Stuart-Houston are the great-nephews of Adolf Hitler, their father his wily nephew and nemesis William Patrick Hitler. They have attempted to escape attention, living an unassuming life in Patchogue, Long Island, New York, and have remained unmarried and childless.

“A source close to the family told me when I first discovered their assumed identity that the sons had made a pact to ensure the Hitler gene dies out with them,” wrote journalist David Gardner in The Daily Mail.

 

A fourth brother, Howard, died in 1989 and had confided in his childhood friend Joe Sirhan of the family’s shocking history.

“The whole secrecy thing fell into place; why they were so guarded. They kept to themselves,” Sirhan told Gardner. “There are some whackos in the world, and they’re afraid of that. That was always the big deal, they were afraid of someone coming and evening up the score with any kind of Hitler.

“They had nothing to do with their great uncle but they’ve been handcuffed to him. The whole family is handcuffed to each other over this.”

But while Hitler relatives on the other side of the Atlantic may fear their lineage being revealed, some allegedly have no scruples in possibly profiting from Hitler’s estate (including proceeds from Mein Kampf) as writer Timothy Ryback found in a 2000 investigation for The New Yorker.

Ryback claimed that one Austrian relative said he’d have “absolutely no reservations” in doing so.

“The Jews have got their compensation," he reports the man as saying. “And now the slave labourers have got theirs. It is time for us to get ours.”

“I had no sense of regret from them,” Ryback says of the descendants he interviewed. “Rather, it was more of fear and terror of what might happen if they came forward.”

For a deeper look into the private world of Hitler, Adolf and Eva: Love and War airs Sunday 8 April on SBS at 8:30pm. 

Earlier that night SBS is also screening Hunting The Nazi Gold Train from 8:30pm. Both shows will also be made available at SBS On Demand.

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