the grave of Hitler’s parents

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This post is about a 19km walk from Linz to Alkoven. Mario and I walk past the former grave of Hitler’s parents, then I continue on my own.

When it was time to leave, Mario gave me some TLW stickers to put on the Caboose. Now, after more than 10,000km on the road, she was finally branded properly!

Hitler’s youth

Mario and I walked past the school where both Hitler and Wittgenstein had been students in the early 1900s. The building was now a budget hotel.

Then we made our way up some serpentine roads that led to Leonding, another city where young Hitler had spent a few years of his life. I was planning to go there because I had read an article about the grave of Hitler’s parents. It had existed in a graveyard in Leonding until 2012, when the decision was made to finally get rid of it.

When we got to the graveyard there was a lady cleaning a nearby grave. She didn’t seem to know much, but she told us to go to the funeral home at the eastern gate and ask there. The Hitler family had lived in that building for a while, she said.

nazis and ghosts

The owner of the funeral home seemed a bit annoyed when I inquired. “Look,” she said, “it’s just a building. Hitler spent some time here as a child, but that doesn’t mean he’s floating around as a ghost in here.”

She told us that tourists came to take pictures sometimes. Some of them were a bit rude, but most seemed to be just genuinely curious. Were there ever any outright nazis? I wanted to know. She shook her head, but then she thought for a moment and said: “Well, you know, with the new nazis you can’t really tell anymore from their looks!”

what happened to the grave

When we went back to the place where the grave of Hitler’s parents had been, we were armed with a ridiculous piece of information: according to the lady from the funeral home, there was a rumour floating around on the internet that the headstone of Hitler’s parents was for sale. And all the time she had people coming to her to ask her about the price. “But it’s been shredded!” she exclaimed with a shrug, and then she went back to her work.

The actual site of the grave looked very different from the picture in the article. Not only the headstone was gone, but also the tree that had stood behind it. Now there was only an empty, grassy space with a bit of ivy climbing up the graveyard wall.

But there was something else. Something small and red. When I stepped closer, I noticed a grave candle hid away in the grass, silently commemorating the parents of one of the most brutal dictators and warmongers in human history.

the way to the yoga studio

Mario went back after this, and I continued on my walk from Linz to Alkoven, a small village south of the Danube. There was a castle there that I wanted to visit, and because there were no campgrounds anywhere near, I had written an email to a yoga studio next door asking if I could pitch my tent in their yard.

Anita, the owner, had replied saying that 1) I could just sleep in her yoga studio and 2) she was having a barbecue with friends in the evening and I was welcome to join.


the walk from Linz to Alkoven:

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