‘Suddenly my father said, “Kids, I’ve got something to tell you. Your grandfather is Adolf Hitler,” ’ explains Philippe. ‘There was stunned silence as no one knew what to say.We didn’t know how to react.’
That was 40 years ago, yet there is a sense that Philippe, 56, still doesn’t know how to react. He has never spoken out about that conversation or the fact he may be the grandson of the most infamous dictator in history. A former plumber for the French air force, he has kept it a secret from all but his closest friends, never telling his colleagues or even his partner’s family.
This is the first time Philippe has talked publicly about his ancestry and he has agreed to do so only in the light of new evidence backing up his father’s story.