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In the Media

article imageHitler, 23, fled to Liverpool to avoid service in Austrian army

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By JohnThomas Didymus
Nov 26, 2011 in World
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Liverpool - A new book by Mike Unger, claims a 23 year old Adolf Hitler fled to Liverpool from Germany to avoid service in the Austrian army before World War I, living in a flat in Toxteth, Liverpool, with his married half-brother Alois from Nov. 1912 to April 1913.
The flat was destroyed by German Luftwaffe bombers in World war II.
Mike Unger, author of the book "The Hitlers of Liverpool," according to How-do.com, is the former editor of the Manchester Evening and the Liverpool Post and Echo.
His book claims that Hitler spent five months in Liverpool wandering around the city and sightseeing. One of his favorite haunts was the Poste House pub where he drank beer. Daily Mail reports Hitler was very fascinated by Tower Bridge. He bribed attendants to allow him into the engine room to see the machinery at work.
Unger's story, that Adolf Hitler lived in Liverpool before the First World War, is based largely on the memoirs of Bridget Dowling, wife of Alois, Hitler's half-brother. Bridget Dowling's book was written in the 1930s during Hitler's rise to power. The book titled "My Brother-in-Law" was rejected by publishers who felt the writer was only trying to make money from Hitler's name.
Mike Unger first heard about the story of Hitler living in Liverpool in the 1970s, and in 1979, he edited Bridget's book "The Memoirs of Bridget Hitler," which, besides the story of Adolf's five months stay in Liverpool, also tells the story of the family's emigration to America. Unger took interest in the story and investigated it more closely. Unger is convinced there is evidence in support of the story.
In the book, Bridget Hitler (nee: Dowling), Irish-born, tells the story of how she met Hitler's half-brother Alois in Dublin where he worked as a waiter. She eloped with him to London where they got married before later settling in Liverpool. The couple had their only child William Patrick on March 12, 1911, while they lived in a three bedroom flat at 102 Upper Stanhope Street, Toxteth, Liverpool.
Adolph Hitler  born April 20  1889
Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive)
Adolph Hitler, born April 20, 1889
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According to Bridget's story, Alois, a "chronic gambler," made a big win in 1912 and decided to invest in safety-razor business and wished that his brother-in-law, husband of his sister Angela, would join him in Liverpool to start the business. He sent travel money to Angela's husband in Germany but it was Adolf Hitler who got hold of the money and traveled to Liverpool. Alois, according to Bridget, was very upset about this because he never got on well with Adolf Hitler who, at that time, was an almost destitute part-time laborer in Vienna.
Alois suspected that Adolf came to Liverpool only to avoid conscription for military service. Bridget, in her memoir, wrote that Alois told her:
"He’s just a good for nothing...Adolf has been hiding from the military authorities, consequently from the police, for the last 18 months. That’s why he came here to me. He had no choice."
According to Bridget, in her recollection of Adolf's stay with her family in Liverpool, between 1911 and 1912:
"Adolf took everything we did for granted and I’m sure would have remained indefinitely if he had had the slightest encouragement. After the first few weeks he would often come and sit in my cosy little kitchen playing with my two-year-old baby, while I was preparing our meals...He said he was looking for a job, but since he knew only a few words of English and never left early in the morning, it was always my opinion that he just wandered about Liverpool."
The relationship between the two brothers deteriorated as time went on until finally, in April 1913, Alois bought a train ticket and put Adolf on a train and sent him back to Germany.
The story is coming under scrutiny. BBC plans to show a documentary on Monday to investigate whether the story is history or fiction. Actor Paul McGann will interview Mike Unger. Historian Professor McDonough, says there is evidence that Hitler was not in Liverpool in the five months from November 1912 to April 1913, but that he was actually in Vienna. He will be giving a critical review of the book on BBC.
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