Books Letters from Elsewhere

Letters from Elsewhere: David Klein

I am very keen to know, Herr Hitler: did you ever study Genealogy?

Letters from Elsewhere

Hindsight leads me to think that today’s guest is either exceptionally brave or plain stupid. But it’s only 1940. David Klein doesn’t know what we know today.

Letter from David Klein – war journalist – to Adolf Hitler 1940
(translated from the original German to English)

Lieber Herr Hitler!

I understand that the racial policy of Nazi Germany is based on a specific racist doctrine asserting the superiority of the Aryan race, based on scientific legitimacy.

I am very keen to know, Herr Hitler:  did you ever study Genealogy?

Having recently returned from Germany, I am very interested in your family background.  I understand that your father, Alois, was born in 1837 but was registered as an illegitimate child with no father’s name listed. I know that your grandmother, Maria Schicklgruber (‘sump digger’ in English), worked in the home of a wealthy Jewish family, so could it be that a son in that household got your grandmother pregnant?

In case you didn’t see it in 1933, the London Daily Mirror published a picture of a gravestone in a Jewish cemetery in Bucharest inscribed with some Hebrew characters and the name Hitler. Now I come to think of it, you must have heard this story because clearly you were worried enough to change the Nazi law defining Jewishness to exclude Jesus Christ and yourself! Re the former: you obviously didn’t want to alienate the good Christian society by even suggesting that their Lord could have been ‘tainted’ in any way by not being of Aryan descent. Was Jesus Christ then not born Jewish? What of Joseph and Mary, his parents? 

This leads me to ask: if Christ’s birth-religion is denied in Nazi law, what of your own? Since returning to England, I have attempted to study your Nazi law on this very topic but am confused. According to your rules, who exactly is defined as a Jew? Just the other day I read in a Nazi paper that anything from full Jewish background to 18 Jewish blood defines a Jew;  other German papers, apparently in total panic, urged 116 Jewish blood. Finally, I read that the decision was made for three or four Jewish grandparents to define Jewishness; two or one rendered a person a Mischlinge (someone with both Aryan and Jewish blood.)  Can I repeat that Herr Hitler?  One Jewish grandparent renders a person a Mischlinge.  When will you, yourself, then, be reporting for the next train to the nearest ghetto or concentration camp?

Yours most sincerely,

David Klein

LamplightNote from Olga Swan, May 2016

In 2010, the British paper The Daily Telegraph reported that a study had been conducted in which saliva samples were collected from 39 of Hitler’s known relatives to test their DNA origins and found that Hitler may have had Jewish origins. The paper reported: “A chromosome called Haplogroup E1b1b1 which showed up in [the Hitler] samples is rare in Western Europe and is most commonly found in the Berbers of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia as well as among Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews … Haplogroup E1b1b1, which accounts for approximately 18 to 20 per cent of Ashkenazi and 8.6 per cent to 30 per cent of Sephardic Y-chromosomes, appears to be one of the major founding lineages of the Jewish population.

About Olga Swan’s books

VichyssoiseVichyssoise – Book 2 in the David Klein war-reporter series, set in Vichy France, now available to buy from wherever you live:

Lamplight – Book 1 in the David Klein war-reporter series – now available to buy from wherever you live:

3rd Degree Murder available to buy:

Or check out Olga’s amazon page:

Also, check out Gillian’s amazon page for her children’s literature. A great gift for them:

Read her weekly Sunday blog about life in France, and her occasional Wednesday blog about international writing:


By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

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