Hitler's older brother was in fact younger and died early, historian says

Why Is Mein Kampf Controversial?

VIENNA, May 30 (Reuters) - A brother of Hitler's who was thought to be older was actually younger and died within days, raising questions about how his death might have affected the future leader of Nazi Germany, a historian said in comments published on Monday.

Hitler is widely thought to have been the fourth of six siblings, but records from Braunau am Inn, the northern Austrian town where he was born, show that he was in fact the third, according to findings by the historian Florian Kotanko, reported by the newspaper Oberoesterreichische Nachrichten.

Otto Hitler, a brother of Adolf Hitler's thought to have been the last sibling born before him, was actually born three years after, on June 17, 1892. He died six days later of hydrocephalus, a swelling of the brain, according to the report.

"The conclusions of many Hitler biographers about the mental development of Adolf Hitler, who allegedly received special attention from his mother Klara as the only surviving child after the deaths of three siblings, are no longer tenable," Kotanko was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

"How was the three-year-old Adolf Hitler confronted with the birth and death of a brother?" Kotanko said. Among other open questions, he said, is whether Hitler had been aware of his brother's condition and how it might have affected him.

Photos of Hitler's house, which was seized by Austria:

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Hitler's older brother was in fact younger and died early, historian says
Author Anna Rosmus, an anti-semitism tracker whose life was depicted in the movie The Nasty Girl, posing on railroad track in front of house where Adolf Hilter lived at the age of 5. (Photo by Terry Smith/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Flowers are pictured in front of the house in which Adolf Hitler was born in the northern Austrian city of Braunau am Inn September 24, 2012. A suggestion to turn the Austrian house where Adolf Hitler was born into normal residential space has triggered a debate about how best to use an empty property still laden with historic baggage decades after World War Two ended. The man who became Nazi dictator was born in the house in Braunau on the Inn, a town near Salzburg on the German border, in April 1889. His family lived there only three years, but his link to the three-storey building has left an indelible mark. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler (AUSTRIA - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS)
NUREMBERG, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 04: A watercolor painting signed A Hitler, is on display at an auction house on February 4, 2016 in Nuremberg, Germany. A total of 29 watercolors and drawings attributed to the Adolf Hitler, will be auctioned off at the Weidler auction house on February 6, 2016. PHOTOGRAPH BY DPA / Barcroft Media UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W www.barcroftmedia.com USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W www.barcroftusa.com Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W www.barcroftindia.com (Photo credit should read Picture-Alliance / Barcroft Medi / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) View of the street with the birth house of Adolf Hitler - Photographer: Wolff & Tritschler- 16/1939Vintage property of ullstein bild (Photo by Wolff & Tritschler/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

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