There were rumors that Hitler was one-quarter Jewish and that his grandmother, Maria Schicklgruber, became pregnant while working as a servant in a Jewish household. The implications of these rumors were politically explosive for the proponent of a racist and antisemitic ideology. Opponents tried to prove that Hitler had Jewish or Czech ancestors. Although these rumors were never confirmed, for Hitler they were reason enough to conceal his origins. According to Robert G. L. Waite in The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler, Hitler made it illegal for German women to work in Jewish households, and after the “Anschluss” (annexation) of Austria, Hitler turned his father’s hometown into an artillery practice area. Waite says that Hitler’s insecurities in this regard may have been more important than whether Judaic ancestry could have been proven by his peers.
Other elected national leaders have also gone out of their way to conceal their origins.