They Saved Hitler’s Brain was the title of an unintentionally hilarious (in spots) movie. The only surprising footnote is that (to our knowledge) the Hitler-brainsave concept never became an actual urban legend. Which brings us to the Daily Mail breathlessly slugging that DNA Tests Reveal ‘Hitler Was Descended From The Jews He Hated.’
Somewhere in the ’50s a gossip magazine (Confidential?) ran a cover story regarding Hitler‘s Jewish heritage. The ‘proof’ was a doctored grave that was a tease for a front-loaded carny switch. But the magazines had to be restocked after selling out.
The Mail story goes that a historian and a journalist traced 39 of Hitler‘s relatives using DNA. One alleged relative from Austria was reported to have a gene that is “commonly found in the Berbers of Morocco, in Algeria, Libya and Tunisia.” While the story has the imprimatur of scientific respectability, it’s apparently been released without peer review. So the breaking news is that (pending further review) one of 39 of Hitler’s supposed relatives (through saliva) had an unknown percent of ethnicity from somewhere along the Northern Africa-middle east arc.
Which could easily ‘prove’ that Hitler had more in common with Carthaginian Hannibal than with Jewish Einstein. Go back a few thousand years and we all came from Mama Africa.
It has to be a very slow day in the news before a city editor unearths a fill-story like this. If they really wanted to sell papers (or blog eyes) they would have run a “DNA Proves Hitler was Full-Blood Martian” slug.