Hitler's Nephew to FDR: Can I Fight for US?

William Patrick Hitler's letter published online
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 2, 2012 3:45 PM CDT
In this 1943 photo, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt speaks in Washington.   (AP Photo/Robert Clover, File)

(Newser) – Adolf Hitler's nephew was determined to fight in World War II—against his uncle. William Patrick Hitler fled Germany for New York in 1939, and in 1942 sought Franklin D. Roosevelt's permission to join the US military; he wrote that his "difficult and singular situation" could be resolved by the president alone. He had been rejected from the military in 1940, USA Today reports.

In the letter, published on the website Letters of Note, the younger Hitler notes that he is "the nephew and only descendant of the ill-famed Chancellor and Leader of Germany who today so despotically seeks to enslave the free and Christian peoples of the globe." "All my relatives and friends soon will be marching for freedom and decency under the Stars and Stripes," he notes, asking to join "the struggle against tyranny and oppression." After J. Edgar Hoover investigated and cleared him, he joined the Navy in 1944 and served for three years before getting injured. (Read more Adolf Hitler stories.)

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