On any given day, there sure are a lot of birthdays. I was looking at the list of famous births today. It contained a wide array of people, with varying professions and claims to fame. Jessica Tandy; Susan Elizabeth Blow (pioneered kindergarten education); Paul Gaugin (painter); Dean Martin; The Grand Wizard of Wrestling; Tom Jones; Muammar Gaddafi; Prince (Rogers Nelson); and so many more.
But the one that stood out, for some reason, was Alois Hitler. He was the father of Adolf Hitler. Now, I guess I shouldn’t stand in judgment of anyone, but if one person’s life is a billboard for birth control, I don’t know what is.
His own life got a rough start. Alois Hitler was born Alois Schicklgruber in an area in Lower Austria. He was illegitimate…. born to a 42-year-old unmarried peasant. Her name was Maria Schicklgruber. (With no Dad around for Al…. they ended up living with her elderly father.)
Sometime later…. a guy named Johann Georg Hiedler moved in with the Schicklgrubers. He went on to marry Maria when Alois was five. They decided it best to ship off little Alois to Heidler’s brother. Alois learned shoemaking from a local cobbler-dude.
And…. He went on to work as a cobbler…. but around the time he was 18, he joined the frontier guards of the Austrian Finance Ministry.
At any rate, there is a lot of guessing about who Alois’ father might be. Which means, no one knows for sure the ancestry of Adolf.
But Alois was a piece of work. He married a woman, then had several affairs, a few illegitimate children, more affairs. I’ll tell you this much. It is pretty deep in the sordidness.
Without drudging through more names and details…. Alois ended up sleeping with a servant, named Klara Pölzl. He eventually married her, EVEN though she was, legally, a first cousin once removed. At any rate, they had kids, and the second one was Adolf.
Now if that isn’t all crazy genetics, my name isn’t Kevin. With a C. Cevin.
Anyway. There you have it. If Maria Schicklgruber and the mystery man… would have abstained, or had such a thing as a condom… or a pill….. one of the world’s greatest travesties would have been avoided… by two generations.
And that is what is amazing to me about all of this. This course of events which we all know as the evolution of time.
One little blip, on a night, nine months before June 7, 1837. If that one thing had gone differently, the entire course of the world would have changed. There would not have been a Holocaust, or even a second world war, perhaps. History would have been completely rewritten without the meeting of those two people on that night in 1836.
And so go our lives. Each affected by the next.
What will each one of us do today? And how might it effect the world to come?
We will have an effect. That is a certainty. Hopefully, we choose our actions wisely. Hopefully, those choices, are a charge for the good.
“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”
― John Lennon
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Life is not like water. Things in life don’t necessarily flow over the shortest possible route.”
― Haruki Murakami, 1Q84