Eduard Bloch, the Jewish doctor who treated Hitler’s mother.


Brigitte Hamann says her book  is based on a diary given to her by relatives of Dr. Eduard Bloch , who lived in Hitler’s home town of Linz in Austria. Hitler regarded him as an “edeljude” – a noble Jew – and never forgot the kindness he showed his mother Klara  when he treated her for breast cancer. She died in 1907 when Hitler was 18. Hamann, from Vienna, describes him as “quite a nice child…attentive to his mother”, according to her book Hitler’s Edeljude. “It has been said that Hitler’s hatred for Jews started during his childhood because Bloch couldn’t save his mother and that he charged too much for his visits,” she says. 
“That’s not true. Hitler was very attached to the old man and respected him. He even thanked him with two of his own painted postcards, which Bloch kept to document Hitler’s esteem.” Contact with Dr Bloch  stopped after Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933. “He always said that he felt that Hitler looked up at him. We know that Bloch was protected by the Gestapo  on Hitler’s orders, was able to keep his apartment, to get coupons for clothing and other things – the only Jew in Austria to do so.” “He could not understand it, how Hitler turned out,” said Hamann, “and remembered a modest, polite boy and with such a good mother.”
After he diagnosed Hitler’s mother he called him to his surgery. Dr Bloch told US agents: “Adolf Hitler’s reaction to this news was touching. His long, sallow face was contorted. Tears flowed from his eyes.
“Did his mother, he asked, have no chance? Only then did I realise the magnitude of the attachment that existed between mother and son. I explained that she did have a chance; but a small one.”Dr Bloch was allowed to travel to the US in 1941 and died there in 1945. 
Dr Bloch told  that all friends of the family know how Frau Hitler encouraged his boyish efforts to become an artist; at what cost to herself one may guess. Despite her poverty, she permitted him to reject a job which was offered in the Post office, so that he could continue his painting. She admired his water colors and his sketches of the countryside. Whether this was honest admiration or whether it was merely an effort to encourage his talent I do not know.
She did her best to raise her boy well. She saw that he was neat, clean ,and as well fed as her purse would permit. Whenever he came to my consultation room this strange boy would sit among the other patients, awaiting his turn. 
There was never anything seriously wrong. Possibly his tonsils would be inflamed. He would stand obedient and unflinching while I depressed his tongue and swabbed the trouble spots. Or, possibly, he would be suffering with a cold. I would treat him and send him on his way. Like any well-bred boy of fourteen or fifteen he would bow and thank me courteously. 
I, of course, know of the stomach trouble that beset him later in life largely as a result of bad diet while working as a common laborer in Vienna. I cannot understand the many references to his lung trouble as a youth. I was the only doctor treating him during the period in which he is supposed to have suffered from this. My records show nothing of the sort. To be sure, he didn’t have the rosy cheeks and the robust good health of most of the other youngsters; but at the same time he was not sickly.
Later Bloch tried to get favor to take life savings with them: … I knew that I could not see Adolf Hitler. Yet I felt that if I could get a message to him to would perhaps give us some help. If Hitler himself was inaccessible perhaps one of his sisters would aid us. Klara was the nearest: she lived in Vienna. Her husband had died and she lived alone in a modest apartment in a quiet residential district. Plans were made for my daughter, Gertrude, to make the trip to Vienna to see her. She went to the apartment, knocked, but got no answer. Yet she was sure that there was someone at home. 
She sought the aid of a neighbor. Frau Wolf – Paula Hitler – received no one, the neighbor said, except a few intimate friends. But this kind woman agreed to carry a message and report Frau Wolf’s reply. My daughter waited. Soon the answer came back. Frau Wolf sent greetings and would do whatever she could. By good fortune Hitler was in Vienna that night for one of his frequent but unheralded visits to the opera. Frau Wolf saw him and , I feel sure, gave him the message. But no exception was made in our case….  
Dr. Bloch, his wife Lilli, his daughter, and son-in-law and medical partner Dr. Franz Wren were allowed to emigrate to the United States just before Christmas in 1940. Interrogated by the Office of Strategic Services on his arrival. He landed in New York City but was no longer able to practice medicine as his medical degree from Austria-Hungary was not recognized. He died of stomach cancer in 1945 at age 73, barely a month after Hitler’s death. He is buried in Beth David Cemetery, Section D, Block 3, Elmont, New York.


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