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Until his death in 1985, Jean-Marie Loret believed that he was the only son of Adolf Hitler. There is now renewed attention to evidence from France and Germany that apparently lends some credence to his claim.
Loret collected information from two studies; one conducted by the University of Heidelberg in 1981 and another conducted by a handwriting analyst that showed Loret's blood type and handwriting, respectively, were similar to the Nazi Germany dictator who died childless in 1945 at age 56.
The evidence is inconclusive but Loret's story itself was riveting enough to warrant some investigation. The French newspaper Le Pointe published an account last week of Loret's story, as he told Parisian lawyer Francois Gibault in 1979.
Le Pointe retells Gibault's reaction to Loret's claim:
"Master, I am the son of Hitler! Tell me what I should do," Gibault told Le Pointe.
According to Le Pointe, the "Paris lawyer, does not believe his ears. The man before him is rather large, speaks perfect French without an accent, and is not a crackpot. His inspiring story is no less true."
Loret claimed that his mother, Lobojoie Charlotte, met Hitler in 1914, when he was a corporal in the German army and she was 16. She described Hitler as "attentive and friendly." She and Hitler would take walks in the countryside, although conversation often was complicated by their language barrier. Yet, despite their differences, after an inebriated night in June 1917, little Jean-Marie was born in March 1918, according to Loret.
Neither Loret nor the rest of his mother's family knew of the circumstances of his birth until the early 1950s when she confessed to her son that Hitler was his father. She had given her only son up for adoption in 1930 but stayed in touch with him, according to Loret.
After this realization, according to LePointe, Loret began his journey to find out if the story was true, researching with a near-manic determination. He enlisted geneticists, handwriting experts and historians. He wrote a book, "Your Father's Name Was Hitler," that details that journey. It will now be republished to include the new studies that Loret believed confirmed his claim.