Man's DNA Tests to 'Prove' Hitler and Himmler were Forebears
A Spanish university is conducting DNA tests on a 50-year-old electrician from Granada who is trying to prove he is a descendent of both Adolf Hitler and the Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler.
The man's claim is based on physical similarities and childhood memories. But the department of forensic medicine at the University of Granada has taken his theory seriously enough to do the DNA tests on both him and the exhumed remains of his father and grandparents, according to El Mundo newspaper.
The university forensic team has previously worked on other high-profile identifications, including bodies from unmarked civil war graves, and the remains of Christopher Colombus.
In an interview in El Mundo, the man, referred to only as Guillermo, claims to remember hearing cryptic family conversations in German as a child. A photograph of the Granada man shows a striking resemblance to a juxtaposed image of Himmler, whom he believes is his maternal grandfather. Guillermo also claims his father is the son of Hitler, born in 1931 of a relationship between the Führer and his supposed Austrian lover, Geli Raubal.
The campaign to uncover this putative family history is more than a personal quest, the man told El Mundo. Should DNA tests validate his claims, he hopes to demonstrate that high-ranking Nazis and their families did more than simply pass through Spain on route to havens in Latin American. New research suggests that many, indeed, stayed.
Spain gave more than 100 Nazi war criminals asylum and new identities at the end of the second world war, according to unclassified foreign ministry documents cited by the historian Paul Preston. The Blacklist, a 2003 book by a Spanish investigative journalist, José María Irujo, describes how the Franco regime and the Spanish Catholic church "pampered and protected" Nazi spies and industrialists during and after the second world war.