Gruß aus Döllersheim (2013/2014)


In 1938, shortly after the Anschluss, the calm, immersed in the green forests of Lower Austrian Waldviertel, village of Döllersheim, together with several other nearby settlements, was completely evacuated. On Führer’s order, this sylvan terrain was turned into a military training ground of Wehrmacht, where the forces of the Reich were supposed to practice before the outburst of the war in Poland in the following year.

Located on a slight hill, the village that surrounded a small parish church of St. Peter and Paul, was razed to the ground. One of the many similar stories of Europe that was slowly heading towards the biggest conflict in the history of mankind. Döllersheim itself had already suffered from two earlier cathastrophes (both connected to religious unsettlements): in 1427 it was burned down during the Hussite Wars, and in 1620 it wasdestroyed again – shortly before the battle of White Mountain during the Thirty Years’ War. After the Second World War, the area of the military training ground, together with the ruins of Döllersheim, was seized by the Red Army, to be finally handed over to the Austrian Forces.

In this vicinity, marked with constant decay, in 1837, in a small village of Strones, a son to an unmarried peasant – Maria Anna – was Born, named Alois Schicklgruber. For there was no catholic church in Strones, the young Alois was baptized in the nearby Döllersheim. Five years later, his mother married Johann Georg Hiedler, whom Schicklgruber would acknowledge as his father, and, at the age of 40, would take over his surname, altering only slightly its spelling (Hitler). At the age of 51, in Braunau am Inn, this despotic man begot, with one of his relatives, Klara Pötzl, his third son, Adolf. This is only one version of this controversial story that scholars have been dealing with for years. Hans Frank enriched this narration with a significant detail: there were gossips, that Maria Anna Schicklgruber gave birth to Alois in Graz with a son of her employer, 19-year old Jew, Leopold Frankenberger, as the father. Maria was burried in the parish cemetery in Döllersheim.