‘Bridget Dowling (pictured) was born in Dublin on this day in 1891. She is noteworthy in history because she married the brother of Adolf Hitler. Alois Hitler met Bridget when she was 19 and impressed her by telling her he was a wealthy hotel owner. In fact he was working as a waiter in Dublin, but still managed to win Bridget’s heart. Bridget’s father was against the relationship because Alois had no prospects. In 1910, the young couple ran off to London and got married. Bridget’s father threatened to charge Alois with kidnapping, but finally backed down after Bridget pleaded with him to accept her new husband. The newlyweds settled in Toxteth, Liverpool and had a baby boy, William Patrick Hitler. In 1914, Alois went to Germany to try and become a successful businessman. Bridget refused to travel with him as by now he had become violent towards her and she feared for the safety of her son.

Alois’ business plans were immediately disrupted by the outbreak of World War One. He decided to abandon his young family back in England and stay in Germany. Alois married again and was found guilty of bigamy. He was let off when Bridget intervened and the two were divorced. Bridget moved to London and raised her son on her own. She opened her house up to lodgers to make enough money to survive. By the early 1940s, William Hitler was a grown man in his early thirties. He had not seen his father since he was a toddler. However, he saw the potential of cashing in on his surname.

His uncle, Adolf Hitler, was becoming one of the world’s leading figures having become the leading politician in Germany. William and his mother moved to America, where William worked as a public speaker and lecturer on his famous uncle. However, Hitler’s Nazi Germany then started the Second World War, and millions of men were killed at their hands. Bridget and William were now ashamed of their family name and changed it to Stuart-Houston. The mother and son lived out the rest of their lives in America.

Bridget once claimed that Adolf Hitler had lived with her and her husband in Liverpool for a short time in 1912-13. She wrote a book, ‘My Brother-in-Law Adolf’ that described her relationship with her husband and brother-in-law. Bridget claimed she was the one who advised Hitler to trim the edges of his moustache off, giving him the iconic look we are all familiar with. However, expert historians have rubbished Bridget’s claims that Hitler had ever stayed in England. There is apparent evidence that he was in Vienna at the time Bridget claims he was staying with her and his brother in Liverpool. They accuse Bridget of making the whole story up, in order to sell copies of her book and cash in on her infamous relative.’

A local newspaper here in this part of Dublin (‘The Echo’ newspaper) published an article, by Donal Bergin, in November, 1999, in relation to Mrs Hitler (!)

‘Adolf Hitler, the monster who tried to wipe out an entire race of people off the face of the earth, had a sister-in-law who was born in Tallaght.
Bridget Elizabeth Dowling..married Hitler’s half-brother Alois
(pictured) in London in 1910. He was a waiter and she was a cook in a Dublin hotel where she met him at a staff dance. Though an unfortunate accident of marriage, the convent girl became the sister-in-law of the man who would become Nazi Fuehrer of Germany and later bring the world to its knees.

When she was 17, the young cook eloped to London with Alois who was twice jailed for theft. “Nowadays it is a bit embarrassing to be Mrs Hitler, but the people who know me don’t mind,” Bridget Hitler, who was born in Kilnamanagh, once said. The devout Catholic later said: “It seems funny for an obscure little Irish girl like I was to get mixed up in all these International affairs. I was plain Bridget Dowling of Dublin when I met Alois who was a waiter. I was 17 and had just left a convent, and it was very romantic. When I went to the hotel staff dance I met him,” she said, long before she claimed to have met the “handsome stranger” at the Dublin Horse Show.

Adolf and Alois shared the same father but had different mothers. Disliked by Adolf, historians state Alois was a hapless good-for-nothing.
Bridget claimed he was a waiter in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, but it is claimed he worked in the old Royal Hibernian Hotel on Dawson Street.

“He fairly won my heart with his sugary talk and foreign ways. My father – rest his soul – was a real Irishman. He would not hear or tell of a wedding to a foreigner. Alois and I used to meet every afternoon in the museum and plan to elope,” she said in a prewar interview with the Daily Express in London. Mrs Hitler revealed : “Four months later when Alois had saved enough money, we went to England on the night boat and came to London.
I wrote to my mother and said I would not return until we got permission to marry. She talked my father around and he gave us his consent.”

Bridget Elizabeth Dowling married Alois Hitler in Marleybone registry office, London on June 3rd, 1910. She was aged 18 and he was 27.
After the wedding, Bridget recalled she
“..took him straight back to Dublin to meet the family, and then we went to Liverpool”. She continued : “He got a job in a restaurant as a waiter and then became an agent for a razor firm. Willie, our only child, was born in March 1911. My husband used to talk about his family. He told me of his younger brother, Adolf, who was a dreamy sort of lad and was studying architecture when we were married.”

But Alois left her early in 1914 and returned to the continent. Her parents moved to Liverpool around that time, where her father died – “I was in a very poor way when he went to the war (and left me) with three-year-old Willie on my hands. My mother and I did the best we could,” she recalled. In the 1930s, her son, William Patrick (pictured), became a car salesman in Nazi Germany after mother and son allegedly tried to blackmail Adolf over his brother’s bigamy. After Alois deserted Bridget and their three-year-old son, he bigamously remarried. He escaped jail because Bridget agreed to separation. William Patrick later said his mother felt “very bitter” about many things. He was “sent” to Liverpool to live with his Irish grandparents after Alois left.

While she was born and lived in Tallaght, it is believed Mrs Bridget Hitler-to-be also lived in Clondalkin where her mother’s family lived.
William Dowling, a farm labourer from Kilnamanagh, was her father, and her mother was Bridget Reynolds Jnr from Ballymount and, earlier, Kilnamanagh.
Mrs Hitler’s parents were conservative Catholics, she has written, while her brother, Thomas J Dowling served in the RAF from 1923 to 1926.
Bridget’s marriage to Hitler’s brother was unspoken of in the area.
“That was hidden. The next generation weren’t told much about it,” said a source. ‘The Echo’ has also found that her family probably lived for a few years in a cottage in Cookstown townland, the ruins of which still stand today. The cottage was leased to a man that this reporter believes to have been her father, by Andrew Cullen Tynan, the father of the famous poet Katharine Tynan. Interestingly, the only Irish person who is named in Bridget Hitler’s distrusted memoirs is a ‘Mr Tyna’, who was described as a neighbour. Bridget claimed in 1941 that hanging would have been too good for her brother-in-law, Adolf, but the French had claimed she was in the payroll of the Nazi’s.

According to a 1938 article unearthed by Patrick Maguire, a Dublin historian, a Paris paper claimed the ‘cook’ received 300 marks a month from the Nazi’s ; It claimed nobody wanted a cook who was Hitler’s sister-in-law. She had come a long way since being swept off her feet by the handsome foreigner.
Obviously short of cash, Mrs Hitler made news after she appeared before a London Police court in January 1939 for failing to pay over £9 in rates.
The court accepted her offer to pay within six weeks. She said she was expecting money from Germany, but did not say from whom. The money never appeared –
“So there was nothing for it but to take the devil by his tail up the hill and go to court,” Mrs Hitler said. A resident since the early 30’s of Priory Gardens, Highgate, London, she then said she took in boarders while her son worked in a Berlin brewery. Six months prior to the outbreak of the Second World War in Europe, Mrs Hitler and her son went to America where the authorities quizzed them. She went to work for the British War Relief Society opposite Tiffany’s jewellers on Fifth Avenue in New York in 1941 where she “proudly” wore an ‘Aid Britain’ brooch.

Bridget’s memoirs were discovered, unfinished and halfway through a sentence, in the manuscript division of the New York Public Library in the 1970’s. They include a claim that Adolf Hitler stayed in Liverpool in 1912 and 1913. Last year, her daughter-in-law said the memoir “was all made up”.
Mrs Hitler’s mother could not write when Bridget Elizabeth Dowling was born and she also called herself Eliza and marked her ‘X’ on the birth cert.
Why she called herself Eliza is a mystery, but there were many other Bridget Dowling namesakes in the nearby districts when she gave birth. Mrs Hitler was the only Bridget Dowling registered born in 1891 whose father’s name was William, and her birth cert date matches her gravestone date. Thirty years after her death, Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, Arthur Mitchell, is anxious to hear from any surviving relatives. He said he is co-writing a book on Hitler, and believes relatives may have old personal letters from Mrs Hitler which may be of historical value – “I have no mention of embarrassing the Dowling..I imagine some relatives might tell you to go to hell with that,” Professor Mitchell said. And he added: “If she did have any relatives it wouldn’t be unusual if she wrote to letters saying ‘I was in Germany and met Adolf Hitler’.

Bridget Elizabeth Dowling – Mrs Hitler – was born on this date , 3rd July, 128 years ago (1891). She died on the 18th November, 1969, aged 78, in Long Island, New York. Incidentally, her son, William Patrick, died suddenly in 1987, at 76 years of age. He is buried alongside his mother, but their graves give no clue to their close connection to one of the most evil men of the 20th century.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, December 1954.

Who Rules in Ireland? – The resident magistrate at the Civil Court where the men who were charged with attacking the British military barracks in Omagh are being ‘tried’, cleared the court of the public and pressmen on several occasions “at the behest of the British War Office, the ‘Irish Press’ newspaper reported. The ‘Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary’ definition of the word ‘behest’ is “command, charge”.

Incidentally, why didn’t the British-controlled ‘National Union of Journalists’ protest against the glaringly obvious implication in the magistrate’s statement that pressmen were to be removed “in the interests of security”? Can’t John Bull trust even his ‘Paper Wall’ now?

A Courtesy Call – Mr Cosgrave, the 26-County ‘Minister for External Affairs’, recently paid what newspapers call ‘a courtesy call’ on England’s Premier Churchill ; the Omagh Raid was mentioned, said British reporters – nobody actually said it, but the nicely-rounded impression was left that a reprimanded Cosgrave Junior apologised for such independent spirit in Irishmen.

Guests of the Nation – The jest of the nation at the moment is Mr Ernest Blythe’s contention that John Bull’s troops are guests of the nation! Mind you, Mr Blythe always was a pretty joker – he had a leading role in ‘Free State Follies’, the show that, according to newspapers, “displayed an excellent sense of execution..” Yes, indeed. 77 times.

(END of ‘Who Rules In Ireland’, ‘A Courtesy Call’ and ‘Guests of the Nation’ ; Next – ‘LEARN FROM OUR ENEMIES’ and ‘PHYSICAL FARCE MOVEMENT’, from the same source.)


Colm Keena reports on a new survey on low pay and talks to workers caught in the trap.

By Colm Keena.

From ‘Magill’ Magazine, May 1987.

In a recent recommendation concerning plastic workers in Longford, however, the Labour Court used the comparison with other employments as a basis for proposing a higher increase to low-paid workers than the company said it could afford or than had emerged from earlier conciliation by the Labour Court.

The 43 workers at the German-owned company, Fondermanns, were being paid £96.22 and were claiming an increase of £14 ; the union claimed the industry rate was £136. The company offered a total of £6.95 in three stages over a year but, at conciliation, it was proposed that the total three-phase increase should be £9. The Labour Court added a further £2 to the final phase, also extending the term of the proposed agreement by three months.

A forthcoming report from the ‘Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ (ICTU) on low pay in Ireland, carried out by John Blackwell, of UCD, is the first such study and, on the basis of data which he himself considers inadequate, Blackwell concludes that some 73,000 workers earn what he defines as “low pay”. He uses a number of methods to define what constitutes ‘low pay’, for example – the equivalent of the ‘Supplementary Welfare Allowance’, half of the average male industrial wage, two-thirds of the average male industrial wage, the bottom ten-per-cent of the earnings distribution and/or the lowest ‘decile’. It is this latter definition which he uses most frequently and, at mid-1985 prices, this gives an income of £114 per week… (MORE LATER.)


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1955.

‘The old man sat beside the fire, and eyed the rising flames,

his mind on nigh forgotten things, recalled familiar names.

Their faces flashed before him,

there were Seánie, Mick, and Bill,

and all who fought so bravely,

for Ireland, on the hill.

The nights they spent together,

beneath the starry skies,

or marching o’er the heather,

with wild hope in their eyes.

He saw them all before him,

the training and the drill,

and battles were re-fought again,

for Ireland, on the hill…


Thanks for reading, Sharon.

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
This entry was posted in History/Politics. and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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