August 24, 2010

Hitler's "Jewish and African" roots

I'm not going to honor with the link all the stories circulating in a number of newspapers about Hitler being supposedly of "Jewish or African" origin because he belonged to haplogroup E1b1b1.

This comes from a study of men believed to share patrilineal origin with Hitler.

It is difficult to see how much of the hype is due to the original geneticists or to the "journalists" who report on the work.

These "Jewish and African" roots are supposedly due to the fact that Hitler belonged to haplogroup E1b1b1. But, without further information about the subclade in which Hitler belonged to, there is no reason to think that he was of Jewish or African ancestry. He could just as well be of Greek or Albanian patrilineal ancestry. But, I guess that "Hitler's Greek or Albanian roots" doesn't have the same zing that his "Jewish and African roots" does.

What do we know? That Hitler may have had distant Y-chromosome E1b1b1 cousins that wouldn't be considered Aryan in Nazi Germany. But, this would be true no matter what haplogroup he had (except I, perhaps).

If the researchers had found evidence of a recent "non-Aryan" ancestor that would disqualify Hitler from possessing Aryan status according to his race laws, then that would be an interesting and ironic discovery. Or, if they had found that he belonged to a subclade such as E-M81 (found in Berbers and other north Africans) that has most plausibly introgressed into Europe in historical times.

However, the available public evidence is that Hitler may have belonged to a haplogroup that isn't as common in Germany as e.g., in the Balkans, just as some people from the Balkans belong to haplogroups that are more common in Germany, or some Jews belong to haplogroups that are more common in Europe, and so on.


Dean said...

If Hitler did in fact partially descend from ancient Greeks (via Latins who were mixed with Greeks from the Roman era or who were Latinised Greeks?), how ironic would it be in that he and subsequent Nordic supremacists believed that ancient Greeks, and/or Spartans in particular, were descended from ancient "Nordic" blond people, when the reverse is more plausible, even in low numbers among modern Germans?

There is a comedic element in that the hero of the white supremacists has been officially knocked off of his pedestal.

Indian said...

Well the question is, does it matter? This because Germans never have been Aryans. Aryans were the Sanskrit speaking branch of Indo-Europeans and have got not much to do with Germans or Germanics.
Aryans were closer related to ancient Greeks linguistically.

Real Aryans are from Northern India or at least the descendants of the Arya's.

Love your blog Dienekes.

Kepler said...


Sure the haplogroup just shows a very distant past, but the very simple fact he had such an uncommon group points to the fact chances are that there are many other leaves out there that were mingled with Jewish and any other ethnic group.

Just imagine a huge graph with ten thousand nodes. We just happen to walk one path that took us to E1b1b1. Do you think it is a coincidence and all the rest are I or R1a/R1b? Definitely not.

What we are talking here about is that races are nothing but rather fuzzy clusters. You can draw all your 2D charts, they won't give a glimpse at how mixed everybody, including those "in the middle of the cluster" are. And chances are big that Hitler was not even in the middle of any cluster you may have plotted here lately for Germanic people.

princenuadha said...

Mostly just illogical junk being posted. Based on the available data this does not challenge hitlers claim to being Germanic. (The Nordic thing is just not correct). Nothing has shown him to have a recent ancestor outside the Germanic lands. His haplogroup has been established in his homeland for a while, has been distributed throughout it, and should be considered a marker for past genetic exchanges that constitute his people (Austrian or what have you).

I don't know what the point of all this "ironic" crap is. Obviously he can be evil without being ironic and idiotic. Maybe its just that people are trying to once again challenge the idea of race and say that were all mixed, appreciate diversity, blah blah blah...

Anonymous said...

Hello dear Dienekes,

I would merely like to point out, that the MERE notion of Hitler being of Greek/Grecian decent, is EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE to the Greek people and in particular to those hundreds of thousands of Greeks and their descendants who died in WWII fighting against German Nazism and Italian Facism, as well as to those who died during the triple occupation.

It is also extremely offensive to the Greek Jews, some 40,000 of whom perished during the holocaust.

Personally as a non-Jewish Greek and as a vir militaris, I am sorry to say that your mere suggestion of Greek ancestry for Hitler DISGUSTS me to no end.

I consider this article to be, at best, quite inappropriate.

With best regards

Marnie said...

Είναι θάλασσα.

kszysiu said...


You have to remember that Hitler share common ancestor with some monkey or other mammal!!!!

"Hitler have DNA of the rat” !!!

Your dog is related to Hitler !!!!!

John said...

When combined with the persistent rumors that Adolf's father Alois was the illegitimate son of the Jew who employed his mother, then a conclusion of a relatively recent Jewish descent on the Y chromosome becomes more plausible. We must also realize that Hitler had the birth records destroyed of the church where his father was christened.

pconroy said...

One question, is’nt it E1b1b and not E1b1b1??

From the original Knack article – translated by Google

Startling is that the haplogroup E1b1b Hitler appears to belong, with little common in Germany and Western Europe. This “genetic fingerprint” is much more common in the south at 25 percent of Greeks and Sicilians, and a whopping 50 to 80 percent of North Africans. Haplogroup E1b1b comes frequently to the Berbers and also in Somalia (> 80%). More striking still is the haplogroup of Hitler’s second most common haplogroup in the Ashkenazi Jews.

Bruce Wilson said...

Dienekes, I'm trying to puzzle this one out - like pconroy above, I went back to the original Knack article.

What troubles me is that Mulders seems to claim that E1B1B is the 2nd most common Ashkenazi haplogroup but that's not true - E1B1B1, which has the additional M35 mutation, is.

Am I missing something here ? It seems to me that finding E1B1B rather than E1B1B1 would tend to reduce, not increase, the likelihood that Hitler had a Jewish grandfather.

Responding to what John said, above - John, the Schicklgruber/Frankenberger claim was debunked over over a decade ago by British historian Ian Kershaw, who notes that 1) no Jewish family by the name of Frankenberger lived in Graz at the time Maria Schicklgruber became pregnant, 2) there's no evidence she ever worked in or lived in Graz, 3) Jews had been expelled from Styria, the province Graz is in, during the 15th Century and weren't allowed back in until the 1860s. Hitler's father was born in 1837.

Dienekes said...

I don't think there's any point in wasting any more effort on this story until more information is available. Fine-scale haplogroup typing and a Y-STR haplotype would suffice to determine the type of Y-chromosome involved and whether it has any geographical-ethnic affiliations. Science is done with evidence and publicatio, and unless the scientists involved present their evidence to the scientific community and the public and not to the media, there is no reason to dwell any more on the subject.

Bruce Wilson said...

Well, I agree with you that we're not discussing science here - but my concerns are different.

I study religion, politics, and propaganda, and without going into detail there's huge propaganda value, for certain political movements, in putting out the meme that Hitler was partly Jewish.

Here's a reference point, an article I did for a publication of the Jewish Forward:

We don't have enough information, yes. In terms of the numbers Mulders threw out - "25 percent of Greeks and Sicilians, and a whopping 50 to 80 percent of North Africans" the specific gene Mulders refers to might be either E1B1B or its subclade E1B1B1 (and maybe other E1B1B subclades for all I know.)

But if Mulders found E1B1B1 it seems strange to me that he didn't just come out and say it.

Steve said...

One fact that has been largely overlooked in the general hubbub concerning Hitler's origins is that Vermuelen (the geneticist involved) appears to have demonstrated conclusively that Hitler's father Alois was indeed the son of Johann Georg Hiedler, the putative father and eventual husband of Maria Schicklgruber. Since the Long Island relatives are a Y chromosome "match" for the ones in the Waldviertel of Austria, the only possible conclusion is that Adolf Hitler's grandfather was indeed Johann. This solves a long standing historical puzzle.

Dienekes is exactly correct in that an identification of E1b1b is nearly useless in identifying Hitler's paternal lineage and background. It would not be at all surprising to discover that he was V13, since the Waldviertel borders on the Danube and that is a well-known migrational corridor out of the Balkans to the remainder of Europe. Other origins are less likely. (I have serious doubts that Hitler's family was Somalian in origin, for example.)

The failure to publish the subclade would appear to be a deliberate attempt to create a better story on the part of the investigator. He has also, perhaps inadvertently, established that Hitler's line was from the Waldviertel and not one descended from a Jewish family in the same region.

Of course, if the subclade turned out to be V22, then it could suggest that the Hitler male line was descended from a cryptic Jewish family. There is just no way to know at this point. We can only hope that the geneticist involved will release the actual subclade at some point.

Antoine1706 said...

"Dienekes is exactly correct in that an identification of E1b1b is nearly useless in identifying Hitler's paternal lineage and background. It would not be at all surprising to discover that he was V13, since the Waldviertel borders on the Danube and that is a well-known migrational corridor out of the Balkans to the remainder of Europe. Other origins are less likely. (I have serious doubts that Hitler's family was Somalian in origin, for example.)"

It does not matter the subclades E-M78,E-V13, E-M81 etc he belonged to. By the way even E-V13 is still closer to any other E1b1b subclades than to R1b or I for example...

What is important is that his E1b1b paternel ancestor still lived for sure in Africa "only" 18 000 year ago, that is 40 000 years after the "out of africa" migration ! So even if his autosomal profile was without any doubt fully european, claiming an "Aryan" ancestry with such an haplogroup would have been nevertheless been difficult under the nazi rule...

lkdjf said...
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Mst.Mst said...

No Dienekes, it is not about science here and you are wrong. Hitler based his regime on theories that people of Aryan race are supreme. Now, it does not matter if his ancestor came from Africa 10 000 ago or 22 000 ago. It matters that on that chromosome in the overall he is 'more similar to' a Northern African/Middle Eastern/Ethiopian male than to a Norwegian male and this is the bullet. He is, according to his race theory, the scum of this world. Again, the overall similarity is more important on a 'race' level than 'an individual subclade'. It is about his _race_ not about science, 'race' as he understood it is not at all about science.

PS. If this is posted twice I'm sorry, the sign-in process here is confusing to me.

Unknown said...

It is clear that the tracing of Hitler's haplotype to E1b1b makes a mockery of Hitler's race views. It is the best indictment of the trash ideology he infected his nation with.

That said this urge to identify Hitler as Jewish without specifying what subclade he came from is pointless. Jewish is not a phenotype, only a religious classification. It may interest you to know that only 20% of the Jewish belong to E1b1b. Another 20%may be traced to haplotype J, which is found in various frequencies from the Levant to the Horn of Africa. (15% of Ethiopians for example.)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mst.Mst said...

Nazis used blond hair and blue eyes as a purity 'marker' for day-to-day purposes. They were usually not that into details. Even when deporting to camps they often used their 'common sense'. And blond hair is prevalent in Afronesians, who have a different mutation than Europeans. If one goes after phenotype one will assume Hegdehog and Echidna are closely related.

The ultimate way of inferring relatedness is full DNA sequencing, of course. Haplogroups and most current autosomal comparisons are estimates. SNPs are good for disease research.

Furthermore there is deep misunderstanding of what Y DNA haplogroup _can_ tell. Something like G2a3b1a1a2a2a3b1a1a2a _can_ mean all people with this chain of mutations had a common ancestor 200 years ago. It _depends_ . The deeper you go the more accurate you get.

It still means Hitler could have had a Berber great-great-grandfather. We cannot tell. Really his haplogroup at this level of detail means little.

Unknown said...

You must be easily offended

Unknown said...

What if Akhnaten also had the haplogroup E1b1b1 .... this would make sense on a spiritual level, since both Akhnaten and Hitler were spiritually aligned with the sun. Ultimately, our DNA is the manifestation of our consciousness.
According to a lot of researchers all over the world, Hitler was not the bad guy, the Zionists were and still are: implementing the New World Order dictatorship. It's all over the internet, also many books on this topic.