London: 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
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."