The Tea I Left Behind

Saturday, 31 March 1900 - Dublin, Ireland

I am staying at the beautiful Shelbourne Hotel overlooking St. Stephen’s Green here in Dublin. The hotel was opened in 1824 by Martin Burke. He named his hotel after William, the 2nd Earl of Shelbourne and Prime Minister of Britain (1782-83) in an effort to woo genteel customers. The register already looks like a Who’s Who of celebrities and heads of states.

Shelbourne Hotel overlooking St. Stephen's Green
I was asked to record Room 112 in particular. In 1922 Michael Collin’s will use this meeting room to draft the Constitution of the future Irish Republic. I think they may have chosen the Shelborne because during the coming Uprising of 1916, they opened their doors to the wounded and served as a hospital for both sides.

I had a bit of a shock this morning though. One of the servers, looked about 18, asked me if I would care for more tea in a German accent. I asked the fellow where he was from.

My server
“Linz, Austria.”

“How did you wind up in Dublin?”

“I ran away from home.” He scowled. “It was hell. My father beat me; my stepmother ignored me. She dotes on her little darling Adolf. Spoiled brat!”

“Doesn’t sound like a happy family life,” I agreed. “I think I would have run away, too.”

It was then the head waiter snapped his fingers. “Hitler! More tea at this table.” The boy scurried off leaving me feeling some what discombobulated.

Alois Hitler, Sr.
(as mean as he looks)
I knew Hitler is not a common name. Alois Schicklgruber, son of Maria Schicklgruber and...well, historians are still debating over who his father was. Johann Georg Hiedler was his stepfather. At 39 Alois asked permission to use his stepfather’s name and changed the spelling to Hitler. Alois married Anna Glasl-Hörer but had children with his two mistresses who he eventually married, including his cousin Klara with whom he had Adolf. (Sounds like a bad soap opera.)

There are a few records of other Hitlers not related to Adolf even though Hiedler is the more common spelling. Surely this lad isn’t related to THE Adolf Hitler. I pulled out my computer I have disguised as a pocket Bible and proceeded to “read the Good Book,” checking my historic records.

Oh my word! Apparently Alois’ eldest son, Alois Jr. is currently working at the Shelbourne as an apprentice waiter and...this isn’t good...will be arrested for theft soon and sent to jail for five months. Best watch my valuables, eh?

Alois Hitler, Jr.
Future not looking wonderful for Alois; he’s a chip of the old block it appears. He will be arrested on other occasions. He will meet a nice Irish girl named Bridget, elope to London, have a son in Liverpool and then desert them for a gambling trip in Europe and marry another lady in Germany, while still married to Bridget. Fortunately Alois Jr. will stay out of politics, only using his brother’s power to acquire the position of barkeep to the storm troopers at his tavern.

Bridget and their son William Patrick will carry on without Alois. In 1939 the two will go on a lecture tour to America speaking against Adolf, and be stranded there with the outbreak of World War II. Just as well, their digs back in Liverpool were destroyed in the Blitz. William will join the U.S. Navy and change his last name to Stuart-Houston. This Hitler will have a much more stable family life, raising four boys. None of them will have children.

William Patrick Hitler Stuart-Houston
I stared at the tea Adolf Hitler’s brother had poured me, feeling slightly nauseous. I know the Third Reich and the Holocaust are not Alois Jr’s fault. He played no part in them. However he did nothing to oppose his brother like his son had, but took advantage of Adolf's position for his own profit.

I left the tea without drinking it. I think I’ll have breakfast at that restaurant with the Irish name across the street from now on.

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