Nearly everyone has that one asshole family member who drags down the family name with their ignorance, ineptitude, and generally being the worst your DNA has to offer. But while you might like to call your deadbeat anti-vaxxer cousin the “Hitler of shithead relatives,” you should know that there once was an actual Hitler of shithead relatives — and no, not that one, either. In a quirky twist of fate, the Universe saddled even that goose-stepping genocidal maniac with a slimy, opportunistic, clingy black sheep to ruin his Christmases: Adolf’s “loathsome nephew,” Willy Hitler.
He opted for the “reverse Hitler” mustache.
William Patrick Hitler was born in Liverpool, Britishland to Bridget Dowling and Alois Hitler Jr., international scoundrel and half-brother of Adolf. In 1909, Bridget met Alois Jr., who was posing as a wealthy hotelier in Dublin (he was actually a waiter). The pair fell in love and eloped only months later. In 1911, Bridget gave birth to her only son, William, though his father preferred calling him Willy. It was a fun, happy household — until Alois ran out of money, abandoned his family, and faked his own death to blitzkrieg through the single ladies of Germany. Eventually, this led to him marrying again and getting thrown in prison for bigamy.
Left without his father, William and his mother struggled back in England. Any job opportunities he could find seemed to vanish into thin air the moment people found out his last name. But there was one place where being a Hitler was your ticket to success: Nazi Germany. So William said goodbye to his mother, left his conscience in his old bedroom, and went over to Uncle Adolf’s lair to mooch. Not wanting him to crash on the Eagle’s Nest couch, his bestest best uncle eventually got him a gig at the German national bank. That was only his day job, though. By the 1930s, Willy Hitler had found his true calling: professional name-dropper.
Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-2001-0706-501 / Mensing / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Better than joining the family business.
On the strength of his last name alone, Willy gained access to all the parties, women, and cocktail shrimp Berlin had to offer. It was wild. Gaggles of Hitler groupies lined up for the chance to get their Aryan mitts on Willy’s little willy. On the family side, however, things weren’t going too great. Dissatisfied with his crappy job at the bank, Willy asked Uncle Adolf to help him get a better grip on those evil coattails of his. It was around this time that the fuhrer starting referring to Willy as “my loathsome nephew” and accusing him of trying to “climb on my back.”
When Willy became tired of his underwhelming nepotism, he and his famous last name started shopping around for more lucrative work. He was quickly offered a job at a film company and the Opel car company. But when he threatened to strike out on his own, Ol’ Adolf forbade it, wishing to keep the most incompetent Hitler close by his side where he could keep an eye on him. He offered his nephew a simple choice: renounce his British citizenship in return for a high-paying government job or GTFO. It’s clear which one he would have preferred, but Adolf forgot that a Hitler never fucks off when people want him to.
Adam Jones, Ph.D./Wiki Commons
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William’s counteroffer was simple. Either the fuhrer would give him whatever he goddamn well wanted, or he’d reveal the dark secret of the Hitler family: that ol’ Adolf might have a Jewish grandfather. He may have been such an entitled douchebag that he could have guest starred on Entourage, but we’ll say this: Willy had balls.
Hitler countered by suggesting that maybe, just maybe, it was time for Willy to go back home before he was accidentally tied to a post and executed by the Gestapo. Willy obliged. But if Willy thought being a Hitler in Britain was bad in 1933, by 1939, having that last name was outright dangerous. But that was nothing a press tour couldn’t change, right?
Unfortunately, not even his charm blitzkrieg could sway the British people. Willy even published an article titled “Why I Hate My Uncle,” but by 1939, hating Hitler wasn’t exactly a hot take. William, now accompanied by his mother, moved to the U.S. and held a lecture tour wherein he regaled audiences with his tales of life under Hitler’s horrific regime (he presumably left out all of the nepotism, free lunches, and poonscapades). His mother, meanwhile, had her own tall tales about a young Hitler coming to live with the family for a couple of months, whereupon she introduced him to astrology and, no shit, advised him to cut his mustache short.
When war was finally declared between the U.S. and Germany, William seized one last shot at power and sweet, delicious fame. He wrote to FDR and asked to join the armed forces. Unbelievably, he was accepted, but only after what we can only imagine was the world’s most thorough background check. He served in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman until his discharge in 1947, having been awarded a Purple Heart — which sadly means that Nazis shot more Hitlers than the Allies ever did.
And then Willy disappeared. It wasn’t until 1998 that author David Gardner discovered that he had changed his name to Stuart-Houston, because Hitlers love being the whitest white people possible. With a new name and a clean slate, he married and moved to the sleepy village of Patchogue on Long Island, where he started his own business, a blood testing lab (so not straying too far from the family obsession after all). He also fathered four sons, none of whom had children of their own, thus bringing House Hitler to its quiet conclusion.
William Stuart-Houston / Willy Hitler died peacefully in 1987, having lived the American dream for much longer than he ever rode the Nazi gravy train. We don’t know about you, but we’re kinda coming around to the ballsy, party-happy, self-promoting narcissistic Hitler who tried to blackmail history’s greatest monster and wound up becoming more American than apple pie. More importantly, Willy’s story shows us that ambition isn’t always a good thing. After all, what did the lazy deadbeat Hitler ever do to anyone?
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