DNA has transformed our world. For law enforcement, it helps track killers and excludes suspects. In custody and child support cases, it helps identify paternity. As of this week, it also helps us redefine the famous and infamous of the modern age.
In 2009, scientists at the University of Connecticut analyzed DNA from a bullet pierced skull rumored to be that of German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler. The skull secretly preserved by the Soviet Secret Service was revealed to be that of a 40 year old woman and not the German dictator. As the DNA has intrigued millions, it has revealed something new about the late Austrian born German leader. Adolf Hitler may have descended from Jewish and African ancestors.
Belgian Customs Agent and Historian Marc Vermeeren and journalist Jean-Paul Mulders were instrumental in completing this investigation. These two traced 39 of the Nazi leader’s relatives living in Austria and the United States. Taking DNA samples of relatives from cigarette butts, letters and used papers, a number of relatives were tested.
The tests revealed chromosome Haplogroup E1b1b or Y-DNA, in the relatives’ saliva samples, which is rare in Germany, as well as Western Europe, the Daily Mail newspaper said. This chromosome is more commonly found in the people from Northern Africa, such as the Berbers of Morocco, and in Algeria, Libya and Tunisia and in Jewish communities, such as Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews,” Vermeeren revealed. The Haplogroup E1b1b1 chromosome, which accounts for approximately one fifth of Ashkenazi and between 9 to 30% of Sephardic Y-chromosomes, appears to be one of the major founding lineages of the Jewish population.
Knack published these findings which resulted from stringent laboratory conditions. The findings spur even more debate about the man, Hitler, who was a living enigma. Questions about Hitler having Jewish ancestry had surfaced in the past. Historians state that his father, Alois, was thought to be the illegitimate child of a maid, Maria Schickelgruber, and a Jewish man with the surname as Frankenberger.
Given Hitler’s position on racial purity and his persecution of Jewish people, these findings renew dicussions about race and cultural identity. This information may offer new perspectives on the study of a man, who sought to destroy one of the world’s oldest cultures.