In her published memoirs, Adolf Hitler's sister-in-law Bridget Hitler, née Dowling, the Irish wife of his brother Alois, writes that he lived in Liverpool, England, between November 1912 and April 1913.

Is there any other evidence for this?

What evidence points in the other direction and suggests he was living not in Liverpool but somewhere else?

How likely is it that he did live in Liverpool?

  • 2
    Have you had a chance to follow up on the sources referenced in the Wikipedia article on Bridget Dowling? FWIW, that article states that "The question of whether Hitler visited his British relatives in Liverpool is unresolved."
    – njuffa
    Jul 16, 2023 at 18:11
  • Yes although only so far. I do not know whether there is any other source than William Stephenson for the alleged verification contained in the British Security Coordination documents, nor why the matter was in the remit of the BSC which was based in New York in the United States.
    – tell
    Jul 16, 2023 at 18:22
  • 1
    She claims [in the book My Brother-in-law Adolf, early 1940's] that she introduced Adolf to astrology and that she advised him to trim off the edges of his moustache. But pictures during WWI and his gun license of November 1921 File:Hitler 1921.jpg - Wikimedia Commons show him without a trimed moustache. So that claim at least is dubious. The same book is where the claim of the November 1912 to April 1913 stay in Liverpool comes from. Bridget Dowling Jul 16, 2023 at 18:55
  • Good point. And his moustache was even wider than in that 1921 photo when he was a young soldier, no earlier than August 1914. But was William Stephenson misled simply by a tall story told to market a book?
    – tell
    Jul 16, 2023 at 19:58
  • William Stephenson's Man Called Intrepid is a pretty unreliable source, IMNSHO. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stephenson#Disputes for a glimpse of the tip of the iceberg. Jul 16, 2023 at 20:19

1 Answer 1


What evidence points in the other direction

These claims were first made in the book My Brother-in-law Adolf, probably written in the early 1940's.

Bridget Dowling - Emigration and claims
She claims that she introduced Adolf to astrology and that she advised him to trim off the edges of his moustache.

But pictures during World War I and his gun license of November 1921 show him without a trimed moustache. (Hitler left the army on 1920-04-01, so the photo is probably from late 1919 / early 1920)

So that claim at least is dubious.

The same book is where the claim of the November 1912 to April 1913 stay in Liverpool comes from.

The relationship between the younger Adolf with his step-brother Alois junior was never very good.

Mit seinem Halbbruder Adolf schien sich Alois nie gut verstanden zu haben. Später berichtete er, Adolf sei von dessen Mutter Klara stets bevorzugt worden, wohingegen Alois manche Prügelstrafen des Vaters auch für Adolfs Streiche abbekommen habe.

Alois never seemed to get along well with his half-brother Adolf. He later reported that Adolf had always been favored by his mother Klara, whereas Alois had received some beatings from his father for Adolf's pranks.

Even in the 1930's there doesn't seem to have been any contact between the two.

Am 15. September 1937 eröffnete er in Berlin, Wittenbergplatz 3, das „Konditorei Cafe Alois“, das ein beliebter Treffpunkt für SA-Leute wurde. Seit der Machtergreifung des Halbbruders hatten Alois jun. und Adolf keinen bekannt gewordenen Kontakt mehr zueinander. In Mein Kampf wurde Alois jun. gänzlich verschwiegen, nur wenige wussten von Hitlers Halbbruder.

On September 15, 1937 he opened the "Confectionery Cafe Alois" in Berlin, Wittenbergplatz 3, which became a popular meeting place for SA men. Since the seizure of power by the half-brother, Alois jun. and Adolf no longer had any known contact with each other. In Mein Kampf, Alois jun. was completely ignored, only a few knew about Hitler's half-brother.

  • 1937-09-18, Freie Stimmen
  • Konditorei Cafe Alois, Wittenbergplatz 3

So the claim that Hitler, the younger, came for a 6 month visit in 1912/13 seems to me also to be dubious.

The earliest photo I could find this morning, with a realistic date, with a trimmed moustache is from 1922.

It is known that no photos exist from 1920-02-24 when the 25 points plan was announced.

(Deutschen Tag, Coburg)
1921-11-26 gun license
(image pre 1920-04-01)


  • What Bridget writes is that she saw a newspaper in Nov 1923 which had a photo of Adolf and that apart from his face having become more mature and somewhat fuller "there was no great change except for his moustache" and that "When Adolf had come to visit us in Liverpool his moustache had been of the handlebar type, rather full and soft. Long before that I had persuaded Alois to cut off the waxed points of his 'à la Kaiser'. When Adolf came, I set to work on him too and succeeded in getting him to trim it. Now I said that it had decreased still more, almost to a ridiculous degree".
    – tell
    Jul 22, 2023 at 12:32
  • Perhaps it was more handlebary in 1912 than in your left-hand-side photo taken in ?1915. I'm not saying it was, just that I don't think the moustache has completely destroyed Bridget's credibility. Are there any photos of Alois and in particular his top lip from between 1909 when he met Bridget and 1912?
    – tell
    Jul 22, 2023 at 12:35
  • @tell if you have a quote, why not add it to your question (including the year and the circumstances it was written)? Jul 22, 2023 at 12:53

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