It seems Adolf Hitler may have "unwittingly married a Jew" when he wed Eva Braun in 1945, according to a U.K. documentary series.
On the latest episode of Channel 4's "Dead Famous DNA,"
a team of forensic scientists analyzes the genetic material in a strand of hair reportedly found on an E.B.-monogrammed hairbrush at Hitler's Bavarian home at the end of World War II.
The team found that the brush "contained the hair of someone who could have had Jewish ancestry," specifically Ashkenazi Jew ancestry.
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"Eighty percent of the world’s Jewish population is Ashkenazi, descended from medieval Jews who lived in central Europe, having first settled in The Rhineland," Channel 4 reported. "In the nineteenth century, many Ashkenazi Jews in Germany converted to Catholicism, so Eva Braun is highly unlikely to have known her ancestry and — despite research he instigated into Braun’s race — neither would Hitler."
Hitler met Braun in 1929 when she was just 17 and he was 40. They didn’t marry, however, until April 29, 1945, just hours before committing suicide together in the dictator's Berlin bunker.
The brush, which has been authenticated by experts, was reportedly taken from Hitler's Berghof home in the summer of 1945 by a U.S. Army captain who then sold it to a relics dealer. That dealer later turned the brush over to a hair dealer, where Mark Evans, host of "Dead Famous DNA," and Channel 4 recently purchased eight strands for $2,000.
"This is a thought-provoking outcome — I never dreamt that I would find such a potentially extraordinary and profound result," Evans told Channel 4. "Racism and fascism — ideas that one racial group is superior to another — made a mockery of by studying dead famous DNA."
According to "Eva Braun: Life With Hitler," a book by German historian Heike B. Görtemaker, Hitler did investigate his bride's roots before marrying her.
"Hitler had her family investigated for Jewish taint," The New York Times noted
. He reportedly determined that Braun was of pure Aryan descent.
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