A four-year-old boy saved by a priest from drowning in the icy waters of the River Inn in Germany in 1894 could have been Adolf Hitler,say historians.
According to a newspaper report,which has surfaced in a German archive,the child was plucked from the river in Passau in January 1894. It quoted Max Tremmel,a priest who become one of Europe’s most famous organists,that his predecessor Johann Kuehberger had rescued “the terrified Hitler”.
In fact,Father Tremmel told before his death in 1980 how Father Kuehberger,around the same age as Hitler,had seen the other boy struggling in the river and dived in to rescue him.
The story was never verified by the Nazi dictator during his lifetime.
But now,a small cutting from the Donauzeitung — Danube newspaper — of 1894 has been found in Passau. It says how a “young fellow” fell through the thin ice of the river in January of that year.
The report described how a “determined comrade” — the paper at the time was leftwing — went into the freezing water to save the child who would grow into mankind’s biggest monster,the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.
The near-drowning episode also featured in a German book called ‘Out of Passau — Leaving a City Hitler Called Home’,by Anna Elisabeth Rosmus.
She wrote,”The banks of the River Inn provided an idyllic setting for the children to play. In 1894,while playing tag with a group of other children,the way many children do in Passau to this day,Adolf fell into the river.
“The current was very strong and the water ice cold,flowing as it did straight from the mountains. Luckily for young Adolf,the son of the owner of the house where he lived was able to pull him out in time and so saved his life.”