Saturday, November 2, 2013

More on the Passau Hitler Legend

My last posting on this story about Adolf Hitler nearly drowning as a boy in Passau indicated it was the final word, but I have received an e-mail from Dr Herbert Wurster of the Catholic Diocese Archives in Passau with the following additional information:

Dear Mr. Fouse, 
my colleague Dr. Andreas Jakob, city archivist of Erlangen, has informed me of 
your questions. I am sorry that I have not been able to answer earlier. You will 
know that German archives are not really in the centre of public funding ... 
For questions concerning the military history of Passau during the long 19th 
century, in your case the "Garnisonslazarett", cf. 
Hettinger Ulrich: Passau als Garnisonstadt (!) im 19. Jahrhundert (Augsburg: 
Wißner 1994). 
Opposite the Kapuzinerstr. is "Altstadtschule", not Nikolaschule. Being at home 
right now when I'm writing I cannot check Hettinger on the exact location of the 
military hospital. 
Dr. Jacob has transferred my information on the case to you? I have checked 
things again and found this more recent information: The writer Joseph 
Berlinger, living at Regensburg, has produced a radio feature: Wenn "Adi" Hitler 
1894 ertrunken wäre. Die Legende einer fatalen Lebensrettung. It was on the air 
through Bayerischer Rundfunk, 14./15.01.2012. Upon this, there was a new version 
of the story in our papers: Ein böser Bub, in: Passauer Neue Presse 28.01.2012, 
p. 22. According to this, the Kühberger boy chucked Hitler into the river and 
the boy was saved by a Capuccin monk passing the scene. 
Yours sincerely 
Dr. Herbert W. Wurster -----


Based on the above, I have gone back and checked my photos of the school which has undergone several 
name changes. According to Dr Wurster, the Altstadtschule is distinct from the Nikolaschule on 
Nikolastrasse. Here is the photo of the school where the military garrison hospital was located in the late 
19th century:

Now here are a couple of enlarged photos of the building as seen from the opposite bank of 
the Inn River and show its location in relation to Passau's major landmark, the St Stephan 

This would place the school on the opposite side of the cathedral than I originally thought.

This perspective would place the school more or less opposite the Kapuzinerstrasse building on the opposite side of the Inn River where young Hitler lived as indicated by Dr Wurster. The present-day address is Ort 1.
Ort 1, D-94032 Passau, Germany
Arrow indicating Ort 1.

I wish I had had the luxury of still being in Passau, but at this point, I am relying on photos to pinpoint the exact location of the former military garrison hospital where this incident allegedly happened. I may have to write back to Dr Wurster, but it appears he has clarified the point for me.

Update: The below photo clearly shows both buildings as indicated by the arrows. The school is on the upper side of the Inn River while the Hitler House is the red building on the lower side. The Innstadt brewery is slightly to the left of the Hitler House where you see the smokestack.

If you understand German, you can access the radio broadcast referenced by Dr Wurster that discusses the legend.