"Why I Hate My Uncle," by William Hitler (Look magazine, 1939)

A copy of Look Magazine from July 4, 1939 will cost you $950, because it has a a six-page photo-illustrated feature by William P. Hitler, called "Why I Hate My Uncle."

William Patrick Hitler was born in Liverpool in the UK in 1911. His father was Adolf Hitler’s brother Alois Hitler. William moved to Germany in 1933 in an attempt to benefit from his uncle’s position of power. It appears William, who was familiar with Adolf’s family background, was an embarrassing thorn in Adolf’s side during the 1930s. Moving to the United States in 1939, William served in the US Navy in World War II. After the war, William Hitler changed his last name to Stuart-Houston.

Look’s article is written by William and reveals what it was like to be Adolf Hitler’s nephew. Here are some excerpts:

  • “Being very close to my father at the time, he (Adolf Hitler) autographed this picture for me. We had cakes and whipped cream, Hitler’s favorite desert. I was struck by his intensity, his feminine gestures. There was dandruff on his coat.”
  • “When I visited Berlin in 1931, the family was in trouble. Geli Raubal, the daughter of Hitler’s and my father’s sister, had committed suicide. Everyone knew that Hitler and she had long been intimate and that she had been expecting a child – a fact that enraged Hitler. His revolver was found by her body.”
  • “I published some articles on my uncle when I returned to England and was forthwith summoned back to Berlin and taken with my father and aunt to Hitler’s hotel. He was furious. Pacing up and down, wild-eyed and tearful, he made me promise to retract my articles and threatened to kill himself if anything else were written on his private life.”
  • “This is Hitler’s new Berchtesgaden home which I first saw in 1936. I drove there with friends and was shown into the garden. Hitler was entertaining some very beautiful women at tea. When he saw us he strode up, slashing a whip as he walked and taking the tops off the flowers. He took that occasion to warn me to never again mention that I was his nephew. Then he returned to his guests still viciously cracking his whip.”
  • “I shall never forget the last time he sent for me. He was in a brutal temper when I arrived. Walking back and forth, brandishing his horsehide whip, he shouted insults at my head as if he were delivering a political oration.”

The July 4, 1939 issue of Look Magazine is scarce with just the single copy listed for sale on AbeBooks. It is offered by Rare Non Fiction, a seller located in British Columbia, Canada.

Look was a rival to Life Magazine, and was published between 1937 and 1971. Prominently featuring eye-catching photography and well known people, Look employed Stanley Kubrick as a staff photographer from 1946 to 1951.

Originally priced at 10 cents, this copy features Hollywood film stars Hedy Lamarr and Robert Taylor on the cover, and also has articles on America’s most wanted criminals, nurses, and horse racing. It is comfortably the most expensive copy of Look listed for sale on AbeBooks.

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