Adolf Hitler may have owed more to the 'subhuman' races he tried to exterminate than to his 'Aryan' compatriots, according to new finding published in Belgium this week.
In research for the Flemish-language magazine Knack, journalist Jean-Paul Mulders traced Hitler's living relatives in the Fuhrer's native Austria, as well as the United States.
"The results of this study are surprising," said Ronny Decorte, a geneticist interviewed by Knack. "Hitler would not have been happy."
Geneticists identify groups of chromosomes called haplogroups, 'genetic fingerprints' that define populations.
According to Mulders, Hitler's dominant haplogroup, E1b1b, is relatively rare in Western Europe - but strongest in some 25 percent of Greeks and Sicilians, who apparently acquired the genes from Africa: Between 50 percent and 80 percent of North Africans share Hitler's dominant group, which is especially prevalent among in the Berber tribes of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, and Somalis.
More surprising still, perhaps, is that Hitler's second most dominant haplogroup is the most common in Ashkenazi Jews.
"The findings are fascinating if you look at them in terms of the Nazi worldview, which ascribed such an extreme priority to notions of blood and race," Decorte said.
Knack said it would now petition Russian government archives to release a human jawbone wrapped in a blood-soaked cloth, retrieved from a Berlin bunker where Hitler is thought to have committed suicide and believed to have belonged to the Fuhrer, who dreamed of engineering a Nazi superman.
"For modern science, there are no more races, Decorte said." This pure type of 'superman' and the [Nazi] breeding programs to perfect 'purity' were sheer fabrication."