Meet the Hitlers (2014) Movie Script

[interviewer] Why haven't you changed your name?
Well, I could not come up with a reason to change my name.
There's no reason to change your name.
Unless you're a criminal or something.
I didn't need an alias.
Why do it? You'd lose all your identity.
No one has ever asked me about changing my last name.
No one's ever brought that up. I've never even heard of that.
Even if they did, I'd tell them,"I'd never want to change it," you know.
"You like your last name, I like mine, so..."
Sometimes I feel like I wanna change it.
You know, but after a while,
after people know me, who I really am,
they say, "You know what? Doesn't bother me, your name, no more."
See, if you have an unusual name,
even as a kid growing up,
you know, you're gonna get people bullying you in the playground.
I fought back bullies in my real life by mocking them.
And, you know, once they figured out that I wasn't afraid of 'em,
they'd leave me alone.
It is harder. I mean,
everywhere that I go where I have to show my ID,
I can see people...
thinking about my name.
They kinda like... Sometimes they ask me for two IDs or three IDs.
And they actually tell their co-worker,"Hey, look at it."
I do probably get discriminated about it
but I don't let people tear me down about it.
It doesn't faze me, I don't let it bother me.
So it just means uniqueness.
It means individual.
I think as much as we like to pretend that it's not that important, I think it is.
[interviewer] Why is a name important?
That's a philosophical question.
I'd have to think about that a little bit. I've never really...
Well, because it was given to me by my parents.
That's why it's important.
[dainty instrumental music playing]
[motor whirring]
I use a different tool.
Okay, this is like a miniature jack-hammer.
People always ask me, "What part of Germany do you come from?"
They just assume I'm German.
[slow rock music playing]
My name is Gene Douglas Hitler.
My mother actually considered naming me Adolf.
Because they didn't know he was gonna turn out to be that... bad.
She says, "Aren't you glad I didn't go through with that one?"
[chuckling] "I am, I'm glad you didn't."
I'm a guy that has an insatiable curiosity.
I've never harnessed my brain.
I'm like a crow. If it's shiny, I have to take it back to my nest.
This is a Benjamin air pistol.
It is older than I am.
Drop it in there.
The mechanism of this fascinated me.
As an engineer, I appreciate a good piece of work.
Ruth Ann.
If there was ever love at first sight, that was it.
There's no way I could find another one to replace her.
I never even tried.
[birds chirping]
My name is Emily Hittler, I'm 16 years old.
And I'm not related to Adolf Hitler.
When I lived in my old house, it was full of people.
We were always outside, there was always barbecuing or friends over.
You couldn't say the Hittlers were doing nothing.
I moved in with my grandma
because my dad got really sick.
My dad was the strongest guy in the world to me.
So, to see him laying in a hospital bed, almost dying,
was really hard for me to watch.
And we lost our house and everything.
And we're trying to get back on our feet, but for now, this is our little house, so...
This is my room. I'm up in the attic. It's cramped.
My friends like to make me things that say my name on it.
They all call me Hittler. Just little goofy things like, "You're pretty,"
"You're cooler than ice cubes,"it says right here.
Just says, "Hittler, I love you so much."
My name is Hitler Gutierrez.
I'm a carpenter.
It's not enough to pay my bills.
I'm from Ecuador.
Ecuador is a tiny, beautiful country. Poor, but beautiful.
We didn't know anything about Hitler
until I came here.
At work we spend a lot of time talking about my name.
See now, Adolf Hitler gave us the Volkswagen Beetle.
What? So What?
So what have you done for me lately?
Oh, yeah, anytime he goes somewhere,
Home Depot or any place where he's gotta show his ID,
you know, they look at his ID and then they tell their buddy.
[Gutierrez] My wife works in the restaurant,
where I put my business card and she says that people would come,
just take a look at the business card,
and put the card right back in the little holder.
It's hard enough to come to America
without no English, no money, knowing nobody.
And on top of that,
with the name "Hitler", it's even harder.
[horn blares]
[horn blares]
[indistinct chatter]
You wanna see the swastika, we can.
[cameraman] Well, I mean, it could almost just stand up a little bit.
Now, everything's good.
Tip "Hitler" to the right.
[dainty instrumental music playing]
My name is Jim Riswold.
I'm in advertising part-time and I'm in art part-time.
You know, we'll do some generic Hitler boxes within...
You know, we can do the love.
-Make this primarily Adolf and Eva.-Yeah.
Adolf and Eva's wedding cake.
Hitler tchotchke.
Bad dog bowls.
You be a good Nazi, Coco.
I call whatever I do absurd realism.
And there is nothing more absurd than all this Hitler shit you can buy.
I like to make bad guys look silly.
Bad guys don't mind being called bad guys.
But they don't like to be made fun of.
[man] Hitler's drunk in
his own gift basket.
-He doesn't drink, though, right? - No. He's a vegetarian, too.
I always wanted to do an ad for a steakhouse that said,
"Hitler was a vegetarian."
You know,"So and so steakhouse."
Well, this here is my good luck symbol.
And then it's got my wife's name,
my son's name, my daughter's name,
and my other daughter's name. That's my circle of love.
I have different beliefs, you know, I believe in white for whites, black for blacks.
You know, Spanish for Spanish.
I mean, I don't see anything wrong with that.
My name is Heath Campbell.
Adolf Hitler Campbell. That's my son.
They came to this ShopRite to simply buy a birthday cake
for their three-year-old son's party.
But the parents of little Adolf Hitler walked away empty-handed.
And they are now at the center of controversy.
Little Adolf and his parents are now in a dispute
with this Phillipsburg, New Jersey ShopRite
after the store refused to spell out his name on a cake for a party last weekend.
A person makes a person. A name doesn't.
[reporter] The Campbells ultimately got the cake made at a Walmart in Pennsylvania.
It was all about Nazism when it's supposed to be about
a little boy and a birthday cake. Not about Nazism.
You know, I have rights just as much as anybody else does.
[phone ringing]
My name is David Gardner. I'm a journalist and writer.
I covered the First Gulf War. I was in Beirut. I covered 9/11.
I got an assignment to find the last living relatives of Adolf Hitler.
I found out the last descendant of Hitler was in America.
It is the last place most people would think to search.
[dainty instrumental music playing]
That journey turned into a book called The Last of the Hitlers.
I had an element of the story, but I never really got to the bottom of it.
I've been back a number of times and I've come back now
in that hope that I can kind of...
bring the story to a resolution.
[loud whirring]
When I started researching, it was kind of a dead end.
It took me the best part of six years to find this guy called William Patrick Hitler,
the nephew of Adolf Hitler.
He came to the United States but no one knew what happened to him.
He disappeared into obscurity.
[show playing on TV]
[TV host] It is the Fuhrer's nephew, William Patrick Hitler, 32,
who came here from England five years ago.
As a member of the Armed Forces,
I hope to take an active part in the liquidation of this man, my uncle,
who has unleashed such misery upon the world.
[David] This guy had spent half his life trying to hide from the world.
There's always been something missing from this story.
And there is a lot more to tell.
-Now, you three are bowling? - [girl] Yes.
-[man] Okay, what name do you want down? - Hittler.
-H-I-T--- "Hitler"?
Nice mustache. How do you spell that?
[Emily] I had a substitute teacher one time.
And he had to get my name down
before I went to the bathroom.
And there's another Emily in my class and he said,"Which one?" I said, "Hittler."
And he said, "That's how you pronounce it?"
I was like, "Yeah."
And then he goes,"That must be a rough life."
I said, "I like my last name." And I took the hall pass and I left
'cause I had to go to the bathroom, so he had to get my name before, so...
He was rude about it and I got pissed.
I was only in seventh grade, and I still knew the right and wrong,
that he had an attitude about it.
[Gene] I was 11 years old when World War II started.
And the kids started teasing me about that.
But most of them I'd either beat up or they were my pals.
You know, "Whatever" at one time or other,
we used to get in fights all the time.
I was pretty good at those days to take care of myself.
A lot of people ask me if I've ever killed Jews.
-Yeah, they've asked me about that. - Really?
Like... Or they'll call me Adolf.
[Gutierrez] People called me, I went to the jobs.
And when I told them my name,
they told me, "I'll call you back."
I didn't get a phone call. I think that's for the name.
[Gene] I have four daughters.
I used to kid my daughters about having their husbands take their last name.
And I'm a realist. I knew they wouldn't.
So they're doing this. They're setting up an account for my daughter, Samantha.
-And you were sitting right there. - I was sitting right there
with her 'cause we'd gone in together,
and he's asking her,"What's your address?"
"What's your mother's maiden name?"
And she said, "Hitler." He says... [scoffs]
"Come on. That's not right. She's sitting right there next to you."
[all laughing]
He's like,"Oh, sorry."
[Gutierrez] Many times people very much tell you right to your face.
"I'm gonna call you something else."
The first time I met Hitler, I didn't like it and I gave him the name of Sam.
I normally call him Darwin.
Except when I'm really mad at him, then I call him Hitler.
When I'm trying to get his attention and I need him to listen to me.
I've to go, "Hitler!"
I didn't like "Gene", I really didn't...
because of Gene Autry. That's a true story.
He was a sissy cowboy.
That's worse than be called Adolf.
Okay, so I brought my year book.
[woman] I can't believe you brought this.
-Look at what's drawn. - I know!
See? Right when you turn it open, that's a swastika.
Really great. It's proof--
[reading] "Wow, Hitler, any relation to that Nazi guy?"
[woman] He nearly got it.
[Emily] At school, I don't really see kids
having problems with my last name.
It's only adults.
[woman] I ran for class office when I was in eight grade.
And there was a group of boys that were in the back of the auditorium
that started yelling out
as we were doing our skit or whatever it was,
-- 00:18:31,278
"No! She's gonna put us all in concentration camps.
She's going to extract the gold from our teeth."
And just started these chants.
And the chants got bigger and bigger and bigger until I was so humiliated,
all I wanted to do was get off that stage and go home.
And it was hard. Obviously, I didn't win the campaign.
You know, there were times when I'd be afraid to tell what my last name was
just for fear of the reaction.
If I change my name, I think it'll be...
I think it'll disrespect my father.
Do you think if he would've really known who Adolf Hitler was, he would've given you
-that name? - Probably not.
I'm one guy that probably doesn't have a chance to be President of the United States.
I'm going to change my name in January.
[interviewer] What are you changing it to?
Probably "Adolf Hitler".
[David] Adolf Hitler had a half-brother, an older half-brother.
And he met a young Dublin girl
and married her.
They had a son called William Patrick Hitler.
William Patrick Hitler then moved to the United States.
Moved out to Long Island.
Changed the name, and history pretty much forgot all of that.
Finding their assumed name was the biggest problem.
That was the key to the story.
It was a random detail that helped me in the end.
I found out where William Patrick's mother died, and that gave me a town.
When I found the town, I could find the cemetery.
When I found the cemetery, I could find the gravestone.
And on that gravestone was the name I'd been looking for.
Because not only was the mother buried in that plot,
so was her son, William Patrick.
When I first discovered that William Patrick was dead,
obviously, I thought that may be the end of the story.
His secrets died with him.
Then the journalist in me kicked in and I started to think about
how I could take the whole story forward.
I started looking up the town, the school, and the neighborhood.
Tell me where this street is. I'm kinda lost around here.
-What street are you looking at, sir? - This one here.
He could be a family man, there could be children.
I found out that he'd had four sons.
Brian, and Howard.
The Hitler line was very much alive and well.
Alex, the oldest brother, his middle name was Adolf.
It was a curious choice.
William Patrick died somewhat suddenly in 1987.
And two years after that, one of the sons, Howard, died in a car crash.
Friends tell me he was very much the one who wanted children.
Unlike his brothers, who never married.
Hi, Fred.
-Barry. - Gene, how are you, buddy?
- You're looking good. - I'm trying.
Wyatt sent me. He's got my chicken noodle soup going.
Well, very good.
This is our Where Everybody Knows Your Name Wall.
And Gene's name is on the top left, Gene Hitler.
'Cause he's our longest-standing guest.
He's been here more than anyone else.
There's been a lot of conversations over the year sabout his name.
Some people come in and they say, "Really?
'Gene Hitler'? Is there really someone named Hitler that comes here?"
And we assure them if they stick around long enough,
that they will indeed meet Gene Hitler
and get to know him themselves.
You guys are something... You're gonna have something to eat?
[school bell ringing]
[door creaks open]
Oh, my God. Let's just go home, I'm so done with it.
-[girl 1] I know, right? - [girl 2] She's just such a bitch.
-[Emily] I can't take it anymore. - [girl 2] I'm so tired of her.
[Emily] It's rough to be a teenager.
You have so many different emotions and so many things going on in your life
and everything is drama.
I feel like nobody will ever look at me like they see Calah.
They're like,"Oh, my God. She's so pretty."
[girl 1] I feel like everybody is being clones of each other.
And I hate it. I absolutely hate it.
When is originality gonna be the cool thing
or like, "Wow! She's so pretty, she's so original."
It's like, "Wow! She has fake tans
and has really good makeup and expensive clothes
and she's a bitch, I like her." Why is that what it is?
[Gutierrez speaking]
I'll bet, yeah.
Okay, so today, Allen was sitting there
and he was drawling, he was in there,
and he was like, "Hittler, you should join soccer
so I can scream your name down the field."
That's horrible.
Your two children are named...
John David?
I'm driving down to Milford. We're gonna head into Milford
and then we're heading down to Flemington
where my wife goes to see the children at children youth building.
I'm not allowed to see them at all.
December 14th, it went in the newspaper.
And then December 17th, DYFS comes knocking at my door.
Within days after it had become public
that Heath and Deborah Campbell wanted their son's name, Adolf Hitler Campbell,
put on a birthday cake,
local police say the couple got a phone call
from New Jersey's division of Youth and Family Services.
An allegation had been made.
Three-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell likely had no idea
about the controversies swirling around his parents because of his name
until he was taken away by strangers.
They had come to investigate a complaint relating to Adolf and his sisters,
Joycelynn Aryan Nation Campbell,
and Honszlynn Hinler Campbell,
names linked to Nazi Germany.
The kids were then taken away.
[Heath] They treated us like we're a piece of garbage.
They stripped my kids down in my house, check my kids all out,
they found nothing. No child abuse, no nothing.
And then they got a court order and they removed my kids.
That was it. I didn't even get to say goodbye.
Hey, babe, make sure you tell 'em I love 'em a lot, all right?
Give 'em two kisses, two hugs.
All right. Make
sure you get pictures and all of them today.
[woman] He had swords and other things on his wall
and his screensaver was a swastika.
He's taught the little boy to play and it was like to kill, kill, kill.
We saw a little bit of a difference in his demeanor when he was outside, playing.
It was just not what we call normal.
[lawyer] The allegation of the neighbor was that the children were being abused.
And it was determined when they first came out to the house,
that it was unfounded. There was no signs of abuse to the children.
They were fed, well-maintained, the house was well-kept.
You make the world a better place by being such a special person.
Happy Fathers' Day.
[lawyer] They then came back sometime later,
and the children were taken and we're still in court today for the children.
[tattoo machine buzzing]
All fingers pointed at the Adolf Hitler name.
And that being the reason for the DYFS intervention.
[Heath] You can't just make an allegation about somebody.
You have to have evidence and proof.
Anybody could say anything about anybody.
Does that make it okay for them to come in and steal your children?
Yeah, that's for my son, Hitler.
Heil Hitler.
[David] I have an editor here in New York I'm meeting with.
So I went to see if they would actually commission the story.
-Hey, David. - Hey, John.
-Nice to finally meet you. - Thanks very much. I appreciate you seeing me.
I was reading up on your book before you got here, so.
-Let's head in. - I appreciate it.
So, listen, you've written a book, it's ten years on.
What brings you back to this story?
I just kinda felt there was so much more to find out.
It's like a whole bunch of missing questions
which I could never quite find the answer to.
When you found the brothers, what was their initial reaction
to you asking to have them sort of go public, sit down and tell you?
I think at the end of the day,
they just felt the negative aspect
of all their neighbors and all their friends knowing about it
would be worse than going public.
But don't all their friends know about it anyway?
They didn't .And surprisingly, a lot of them still don't.
I mean, that's the bizarre thing. They certainly didn't then.
They were friends they grew up with, they went to school with
and they did not know the story.
What do you think? What's your next step in pursuing this?
There is more work to be done on the ground.
There are more friends, more schoolmates that I could talk to
that can kinda throw an intriguing new light on it.
I mean, these guys grew up with this name.
They kept it secret. It's been a burden to them.
I'm hoping that they will sit down and give us a full interview,
and sort of talk for the first time about exactly what they've had to deal with.
Listen, it definitely sounds good to me. We're definitely interested.
[serene instrumental music playing]
[David] When I was first in the story, it was just after 9/11.
Kind of a whole different world, really.
But it's coming to life again, I guess.
But there were lot of shut doors in the start of this story.
The whole story has been full of closed doors.
And gradually, they've opened up.
Except this one last door which I haven't really been able to prise open.
[horn blaring]
[melancholy music playing]
[Jim] I started most of my advertising career working on Nike commercials.
I did Charles Barkley, telling the world he was not a role model.
I did Hello World with Tiger Woods.
2000, I was diagnosed with leukemia.
I was told at the time I had a few years to live.
I didn't wanna finish my life writing ads.
So I thought I'd do some bad art
and make fun of bad things as I was going through a bad thing myself.
It was kind of... you know, therapy.
Was on the Internet one day, goofing off, and I came across all these Hitler toys.
One thing led to another and I did my first art show
based on Hitler.
I was dealing with an evil disease.
And it was kind of a way to deal with that disease,
to go after the bad guy.
It helped me deal with the bully of cancer.
And it got people's attention.
[interviewer] Do people misunderstand your work sometimes?
If you say the word "Hitler"
some people immediately go on the offensive.
I mean, you have to know that,
I mean, making this movie.
You know how many letters you're gonna get
and emails you're gonna get just on the title?
They won't make it past the title
to get to the message.
Which will be their fault.
[David] This is a small town where William Patrick Hitler raised his family.
This house here is where he lived and worked.
The small house next door is where his mother lived.
Kinda bizarrely, he ran a blood lab from this house,
which is kind of intriguing when you see the whole idea
that blood and genes runs through this whole story.
As a journalist it's frustrating because...
I know so much about this story. I know so much about William Patrick Hitler,
but I've only been able to draw an outline, really,
of the lives that the family have lived since then.
[knocking at door]
You know, as a human being I understand
why some things you just wanna keep private.
For them, you know, I suspect...
they would rather just kind of be left alone.
[dainty instrumental music playing]
He's gotta hold it hostage so you don't see it until he wants you to see it.
-What? - That flier.
There we go.
It's gonna hit...
[woman] I don't want that judge to see me.
Heil Hitler.
Yeah, I don't even wanna know.
I'm proud of this sign.
More white children are in the system than any.
All children in the system get abused. It doesn't matter the race,
or anything like that.
But if you really
look at it deep, there's really whites.
You know what I'm saying?
No, I don't believe that. I believe all kids that are in the system
are abused or neglected.
But there are barely any opposite races in the system.
Well, I have a friend's kid in the system, those children were molested.
Eight, nine years old, and one's in a nut ward right now
because the foster parents molested the child and it's not a white family,
so, I'm sorry.
I know y'all are probably gonna beat the crap out of me now
'cause I don't have the same beliefs, but sorry.
I'm an individual.
[Heath] This is the land of the free, the home of the brave.
I don't care whether you're black, white, purple, yellow.
I don't care who you are. We have the freedom
to name our children whatever we'd like to name 'em.
[lawyer] The name itself, Adolf Hitler, it offends,
I think, just about every American.
Even though you're offended,
you still want to stand up for your constitutional rights in America.
[woman] Heath Campbell is very angry right now
because his whole life has been destroyed.
[child] Hello, this is... phone call.
Bye, Daddy, I love you.
[lawyer] We have no laws that say you cannot name your children
a particular name.
If one American's rights are infringed upon,
that means they all can be.
Today, we did a protest for our children, to get them home.
And our next step is hopefully to continue doing it until they listen
to what we have to say.
And when the truth gets told, then everybody's gonna wake up and realize
that we've been telling the truth the whole time that it's been going on.
[Heath] I cried too long now. Now I'm upset.
[woman] Save our children! Don't let the state kidnap your children!
Heath's a good person. Debbie, she's a good mother.
Matter of fact, they're having another child soon.
And I'm hoping the state doesn't scoop it and try to take that one.
[opera music playing]
[indistinct chattering]
[woman] We were all really the best of pals, we were all band geeks.
So we had a good time.
I was looking through some things and tried to find as many pictures as I could,
but I couldn't find too many.
I did pull out our prom picture. I thought that was interesting.
-[David] That's a very pretty dress. - Thank you.
But, of course, going to the prom, you didn't realize
-you were going to the prom with Howard Hitler, did you? - Uh, no.
No, I don't know how well that would've gone over.
But my brother was a year ahead of us.
And we were out the other night and I said,"You're never gonna..."
It just popped in my head. I said,"You're never gonna guess this,
who Howard [bleep] was related to."
"Oh, I remember him from the band." He says, "Yeah."
And I say, "Adolf Hitler."
And he was just dumbfounded at that point. Totally dumbfounded.
[man] Shocked. Absolutely shocked.
You know, I never knew. I just never knew.
When I spoke to the family, they said that
they didn't really want to talk while their mother was alive.
-Right. - She was quite elderly.
They didn't really want to upset her. And she's passed away.
A couple of years ago now.
So have they been willing to talk now?
Not really. No.
But I think they still feel
that it's too...They don't want to go out there
and tell the world that their name's Hitler
and kinda bring that attention upon themselves.
-I can understand that. - Yeah.
[David] Do you think had they not assumed a different name
and just used the name of Hitler,
do you think that would've kind of affected people's perspective,
and the way they looked at him?
[woman] I would like not to say yes,
-but I'm sure it would have. - And that name is kind of infamous.
[woman] Yes, with torture and killing
and so I could understand them not wanting to have it.
I can't think of any name, really, that would have that immediate effect.
I guess in the United States now if we had a Bin Laden,
it's the same effect, but it's not the same cause, I think.
Will that have the same effect 50, 60 years on as the name, Hitler, still has?
No, I can't imagine it, no .Absolutely not.
I can't imagine that either.
[Gene] I get curious about a subject and I'll go study it and look into it
till I get bored with it and then I move on to another thing.
George Hitler's...
So he came... What year did they come? They came in...
-[Gene] 1799. - 1799.
-Here they are, that's my grandparents. - So that's them. Oh!
-See that. - That is wonderful.
[phone ringing]
-[Joe] Hello? - Yeah, hi. Joe?
David, hi, how are you?
[David] Joe, is there a good place where you think we can meet?
After I was told the story, a lot of things made sense to me.
If you grow up in a family that is that close-knit about a secret,
and you're not allowed to say a word to anybody at anytime,
and once your parents are gone,
and everybody seems to start knowing this story
and they have no control of it...
[man] I'm surprised they had not come out and said,
"This is the way it really was."
They have a wealth of photographic information.
There were pictures of Adolf and...
[David] Adolf and William Patrick together?
[man] Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Family shots.
And this is a shame.
This stuff should be out there.
We've found a George Hitler coming over on the ship, Peggy,
in 1754, out of Rotterdam.
As you can tell, right there. It could be him.
His wife's name was Catherine, she was on the ship with him.
-[David] It's a big secret and a big part of... - [man] Right.
And as far as... the secret is out now, so set it straight.
-If it's wrong, set it straight. - Right.
[man] But I think it damaged them all.
In fact I know it did.
[Gene] I was always one that listened to the elderly
and took their advice. And I think we need to know our history
-- 00:43:36,614
so that we don't make the same mistakes.
This is our son, Hans.
Right after he was born.
I only had him for 16 hours and 50 minutes in our care.
He's in DYFS' care somewhere.
[Heath] It's my son, Drohans.
Little love.
[lawyer] How've you guys been?
All right, well. Yeah, we're due back soon, next week.
So, I'll see you there, correct?
You know, hopefully, we get a favorable decision.
-All right? So I'll see you soon. - All right.
The majority of the people probably think that DYFS did a bad thing
by taking the children because of a name.
What is that? That does not mean
that the mother and the father does not love their kids
just because they gave them a certain name.
-That's not the reason. - But they need to read the report
and what the judge said and what the attorneys... Like I said,
psychologists, sociologists, everybody you can think of.
And plus what we heard and what we saw that was going on.
So it wasn't any overt abuse of the children.
It was abuse of his former spouse and his then current,
then spouse. If a child witnesses that kind of abuse,
that's sufficient for DYFS to seek protection for the children and to remove them.
[woman] Personally, I think really what's paramount here is the child's best interest
and I think that trumps...
This is my belief. It trumps the First Amendment right
because you have to make sure this child is cared for
and this child is thriving in their environment.
In this case, it's about those parents.
That was about their ego, their thing.
They weren't thinking about these kids when they named them.
I mean, that's what this case is about.
It's about poor parenting decisions.
[interviewer] I interviewed a man who claims he's related to Adolf Hitler.
Is that possible?
There have been some people over the years who've claimed to be related to Adolf Hitler.
But it's later been shown that that's not the case.
[interviewer] There are three brothers currently living in New York
who've been proven to be related to Adolf Hitler.
[dainty instrumental music playing]
[horn blares]
No, no, okay, Emily doesn't have a Facebook anymore.
-She deleted it completely. - I thought she got it back.
-Wait, wait, wait. What --- No.
No, she deleted it completely. She has no Facebook of any kind.
-She's out of the loop. - It's too much drama.
- Speaking of which --- That you caused!
Nuh-uh, I did not cause drama, what are you talking about?
Are you going to the homecoming with Blake, this year?
[Emily] Yeah, right! He never goes anywhere.
-But are you going? - I don't know, I doubt it.
Okay, so I think we should go to four different stores.
I'll try everything on, guys, everything!
I need something that makes my boobs look bigger.
Holy moly, Kelly, you're gonna flip.
There's sparkles everywhere.
Holy moly! Look at that one.
I don't think I've ever seen this crazy of a dress.
Look, there's no boobs on it.
-Holy moly! Look at that. - Oh, wow.
Look at the boobs! It's pink!
- Will you please try it on? It's so you. - Yes.
-[girls exclaiming] - [Kelly] That is so cute.
Oh, my God. You seriously need to buy that dress
whether Blake's going with you or not
because you look absolutely gorgeous in it.
And honestly, I might kill you if you don't get it.
I'd wear it everyday.
-It's so Hittler. - Oh, yeah.
[Jim] I saw something in a high-end home and gardens magazine.
It had all these Mao dolls in their house.
For some reason it's acceptable
to have this kind of shit for sale.
What's the fucking difference?
[interviewer] Who was worse, Hitler or Mao?
There was a tie.
And don't forget Stalin either.
I'm semi-retired from the Wieden+Kennedy, I run a school there now.
I like to yell. You have to yell and teach with the students.
Who's not here that will be punished?
"Wieden+Kennedy 12.8's 95 theses presented to James Paul" Almost "Percy."
My father was named Percy for a week.
And his parents came to their senses
and said, "We cannot have a kid named Percy growing up in South Dakota."
So they changed his name to Paul.
If they didn't do that, my middle name would be Percy.
And I would've been beat up more,
growing up, than I already was.
Do you guys all remember that crazy guy in New Jersey
that tried to have a birthday cake made for his son,
whom he named Adolf Hitler?
-[girl] Yes. - That's not a good choice.
I think naming your kid Adolf Hitler...
-[man] Is abuse. - abuse.
[pleasant instrumental music playing]
Just driving down the street where the Hitler's grew up.
The house where the four brothers were raised.
I'm gonna drive down a bit further and check out a neighbor
who was one of the first people I spoke to about the family.
She was about the same age as the younger brothers.
So I'm gonna go back and see what she has to say.
[knocking at door]
[door opens]
-[man] Hi, how you doing? - Good, thanks. And you? I'm Dave Gardner.
- Is Teresa here? - Yeah, no, she doesn't want to talk to you.
- Oh, really? - Yeah.
[David] Oh. Well, I pissed her off?
The news covered you. We still talk about you.
-Really? - Yeah.
All right. Okay. No worries, thanks.
Just driving up to the family house where the brothers lived
and two of the brothers still actually live.
They've put a big, old fence all the way around it to keep the world out, really.
They wanna remain secluded
and kind of away from the prying eyes of the rest of the world.
Can't help noticing that there is a German flag.
It's a shame that they feel so strongly about keeping the secret to themselves.
I understand, I guess it would bring some more attention to them,
but I think in this case it's kind of a matter of history.
It's their choice and there's actually not much I can do about it.
Hot today, huh?
-- 00:52:23,140
- Right, thanks, man. - Have a good day.
Yup, see you later.
I'm gonna call my attorney.
Hey, this is Heath. Is he around?
Yeah, it's like every time I call he's not there.
I mean, when I did go to court and stuff,
they just sat there and didn't defend me.
[man] Have you ever seen missionaries like us before?
Yeah, I've seen a couple of times. I'm Christian and stuff.
- I believe in God, you know.-That's good.
I just don't talk about it a lot. I believe it in my own way.
You know what I'm saying? I keep it to myself.
I pray at night for my children's safety.
-Yeah. - Definitely, we know that God,
He give us families to be happy.
To learn to love.
Mr. Hitler, come on back.
How you doing?
- Doing all right. - Good.
Okay, I'm gonna have you sit back up.
-I hope you didn't find any lumps in there. - No. Nothing exciting.
So your exam is normal.
And... you're gonna be good for another year.
I'll be around. I hope nothing else gets me, if I don't ruin myself.
- Happy birthday. - Well, thank you.
Leah didn't invite you, did she?
No, she forgot to invite me. Darn it.
- Would you have come? - Of course.
[David] The persons who moved into William Patrick's mother's house
found this copy of a diary.
No one knew the diary existed.
It was in a corner of an attic, covered with white dust.
I guess the power of the Hitler name is such
that the people that found this diary
don't wanna go on the record
because they don't really want to be associated with that name.
It's from 1935.
It gives you a real insight into the way William Patrick was thinking
when he was kinda under Hitler's control.
The plan is to go and show that to the oldest brother tomorrow.
I have a good chance of getting to speak to him this time
because I have something that I can actually offer to them for a change.
Even though they lived under a different name all these years,
I think it's been a burden for them.
This was something they kept totally secret from the rest of the world.
- How is it going? - [man] Hi.
I'm trying to locate some more details about a local Patchogue family.
They kind of have a curious past.
They're the last living descendants of Adolf Hitler.
- Whoa. - And they actually live in Patchogue?
- In Patchogue? - Yeah.
They live under... Their name is [bleep].
And it just occurred to me that perhaps here's a good place to look.
-Has any of you guys --- I'm seeing new members here.
-The name doesn't ring a bell and I grew up here. - All right.
It's strange to think that these guys for their whole life
have just walked around this town,
all-American guys, and nothing unusual about them, but these are Hitlers
walking around Long Island. It's a bizarre thought.
I think that's what taps into people's interest in this whole story.
I've spent a lot of time on this story.
Unless they decide to talk to me, it's gonna be unfinished.
Hitler again.
Fucking ridiculous, yet real.
[indistinct chattering]
Can you read that?
Okay, we'll put that there.
That looks good to me.
This is Hitler gift basket, 1945.
And it says,"Things weren't going well for Hitler
or Hitler gift baskets in the spring of 1945."
When we broke this and shot it, we drank it.
Ironically, as creepy as it made you feel to drink that wine,
it wasn't half bad.
[interviewer laughing]
[man] Well, the last we showed these, we lost some clients.
So, I've decided not to stay on our mailing list.
I wonder how many more we'll lose over the years.
[both laugh]
It's amazing that all these products exist.
All these gift baskets, honest to God, are things you can buy.
Hitler wine, Hitler dolls, books,
Hitler whatever. The only thing that I faked was, you can't buy Hitler balloons.
We started out with Hitler, we're gonna end with Hitler.
We're going out of business with Hitler.
[interviewer] What's the goal, to get your kids back?
Yeah, that's my goal, to have my kids.
I mean, this is ridiculous. Trial after trial, taxpayers are paying for it.
So just last week the Campbells had their fourth child.
All four are in state custody.
The Campbells went to court today to get that newborn back.
They look at you because of what you wear
or what you have.
[reporter] In court papers, the state of New Jersey argued
that's not why they took Campbells' kids away.
Investigators say Heath Campbell created
a potentially dangerous environment for his children
after threatening to kill his wife
and teaching young Adolf how to stab someone
after showing him the horror movie, Halloween.
A gag order prohibited anyone from commenting after the hearing.
But Deborah Campbell's tears suggested she wasn't getting her son back.
On January 18th, me and Deborah were together. We were going to our appointment.
We had coffee together, bought a roll and stuff like that.
She gave me a little rose before she went in for her appointment.
And said, "I'll see you when I come out."
Well, she never came out.
[Deborah] Guess like the old saying is, "love is blind".
Going around talking about "Nazi this, Nazi that",
it's just not me.
It's not an environment for my children either.
And I'm doing a lot more, getting my GED,
getting a job, doing everything I have to do now.
I think you should be able to name your kid what you want.
But you also have to look at it that there's consequences to it also.
Covering up the name, the swa here...
Swastikas, all these letters?
Yeah. The swa on this one and that "to Heath".
Okay, we're gonna cover that, cover all these.
[Deborah] I got sick and tired of everything that was going on
and being the only one trying to better my life and do something.
Okay. We're gonna start with the "Heath".
-- 00:59:36,949
You want me to put a bow over that, make a little sketch
with a bow? Let's see what we can do here.
[Deborah] It's not worth standing by somebody who's not gonna change.
[Heath] She never gave me any explanation.
And then she got a court order against me.
So that was a slap in the face after, you know,
going on 10 years and nine years of being married.
[Deborah] With my children, there's a very good chance now of getting them back
and that's what my main concern is, to become the best parent I can.
[artist] So, a medium purple, I don't wanna go too dark to start with.
When I get my son back, his name will be changed back to Antonio Campbell,
which is his original name.
[artist] Cover up the last swastika in the middle of that.
All these were the letters, what did that say in there?
"Death to you all, Division of Youth and Family Services."
"Death to you all."
[melancholy music playing]
Once in a while I come up and I lay right here,
fall asleep, and I cry a lot,
but lately I've been... the tears.
I've been just frustrated.
I've been doing everything they asked me.
And what more can I do?
I like this.
Feel a lot better that that's gone now?
It's a lot better.
[Heath] I miss 'em a lot. I miss my family.
[interviewer] What are you gonna do next?
I got two kids. One is five and the other is two years old.
And if I wait another ten years,
they're gonna say that...
they don't wanna go back to Ecuador because they were born here.
I miss my father.
I know he doesn't wanna come here and stay with us.
If I die here,
who's gonna go to my funeral?
[David] Even though they've lived under a different name,
I think it's always been the background of their lives.
And I think they've felt it.
The other three boys, they had a pact between them.
The Hitler genes would die with them, they would not get married
and they wouldn't have children.
Which is a big sacrifice to make, but I think that there's that strong feeling
that, "There's been enough for this name.
Let sleeping dogs lie."
That's my beautiful bride, Ruth Ann.
When I wrote her letters, I'd sign "ruthlessly yours".
[woman] I think it was a little difficult for my mother.
She had a common maiden name,
and when she married my dad, she must've really loved him
to take on a name like Hitler.
[Gene] I told her when we started going together,
I said, "You know, you and I are gonna be great buddies."
She said, "Buddies? I wanna be your sweetheart."
Anyhow, she never really understood that till just before she died.
She says, "Now I know what you mean by 'buddy'
and I like it."
So that was the last time I talked to her.
I will never die
as long as I have family.
[dainty instrumental music playing]
[David] These are people who have their own lives to lead.
I mean, they have the choice,
whether they go public or not.
[keyboard clacking]
That gene, that direct line to Hitler, is gonna die.
But there's always a deadline in journalism.
And the deadlines are usually looming up pretty quick.
My argument to the family would be,
"Don't be afraid of that name. Cast off that burden."
[doorbell rings]
It's Dave Gardner. I know we've been through this a few times.
I've got this... Which might be... I found it, actually,
at your mother's old place.
It's an old copy of your dad's diary
from back in 1935.
What can I say, sir? Okay, thank you very much.
Well, for a change, I'd appreciate... Again, same old thing.
For what? There's nothing to talk about.
My brothers always say,"Don't say anything."
We don't wanna say anything, so...
There's three of us, I'm only one-third of the pie, so.
-I have to do what they want. - So you think...
Without... You think there's no chance
that your brothers will change their minds and let you guys...
Are you kidding me?
All right. You know where to get me if you suddenly...
Yes, I have a good idea.
- Thank you again. - Okay, no worries. All the best.
I think they're never gonna talk.
You know, I'd come here again with high hopes
and to certain extent, those hopes have been dashed.
[car starts]
And I can ask, but they're the people who have to live with it.
[interviewer] Tell me about your new group.
My new group is called Hitler's Order.
I want the white race to have their own...
To have their own land.
Like everybody else. Mexico has Mexico.
Africa has Africa, which is for the blacks.
I mean, come on, we need ours.
Where is our community?
[reporter] It was the Nazi names that Heath Campbell says
got his children taken away in the first place.
So, where's the strategy in wearing the Fuhrer's uniform
of the Hitler's Order group he founded, to ask a judge for child visitation?
Well, you know what? The world needs to see who I am.
I'm not a bad person.
It's not what's on the outside of you. It's what's on the inside.
I'm gonna tell the judge, "I love my children, I wanna be a father, let me be it."
Let me prove to the world that I'm a good father.
[reporter] Heath Campbell's son, Adolf Hitler Campbell,
and his two sisters were taken by New Jersey Youth Services in 2009.
And a fourth child, Heinrich, was taken by Youth Services in 2011.
[phone ringing]
[man speaking]
I remember it as early as elementary school.
And I remember maybe 5th or 6th grade,
know, kids would...
"Oh! Did you know that she is related to Adolf?"
And, you know, things like that.
[Gutierrez speaking]
[woman] Well, a lot of times I wouldn't even say anything to them
because I didn't want them to feel like I was ashamed of my name.
So I just kind of internalized it.
[woman] I mean, knowledge is power.
Dad wanted us to stand tall and to not cower,
expressing who we are and telling our name.
[Gene] My daughters have been after me to take 'em back
to where my father was born.
They left Pennsylvania in 1799 and settled in Central Ohio,
near a town called Circleville.
My 80th birthday is coming up.
And my daughters wanted to see this country.
[woman] Through the years, Dad has always talked to us about our family history.
We were confused just because of the way we were treated by people.
[woman 1] Both my parents were always just very, very positive.
They weren't ever people to play the victim role.
[man]So he loses it or gets into Army.
He died in 1918. He got his lung shot out.
-[Emily] His lung shot out? - At the end of the war.
[Grandma] Looks a lot like Grandpa.
Yeah, I was gonna say he looks kinda like Grandpa.
[Grandma] Don't you think so? You can tell he was definitely a Hitler.
You know how my papi came up with my name?
He read in a little newspaper. He read my name.
He was thinking to make it as a unique name
that nobody else had in the town.
But, John David, that name, we find out later,
he was a bad guy.
[Gene] Here's the Roberts girls.
Nelle Roberts was... sister,
and she married George Thomas Hitler.
And they didn't marry. They went with him forever
because my grandmother didn't like the Roberts.
US 3rd Armored Division, first to crack West Wall.
Muddy, blood men of the line.
[woman] You have to know your history... [laughs] that you can tell people, "No, we're not related. It's okay."
And even if we were, does that mean I'm a bad person?
You know?
It was like a spiritual experience for me
because I'd heard about those people.
It was just really good for my spirit and my soul.
I just felt at one and kind of whole.
[man] And seeing stuff like this, my uncle going to war with the name...
- [Emily] Makes you strong. - Makes you strong, you know.
This is Andrew Jr. That's my husband. We call him Andy.
And then on the other side is my son, Joe,
who died two years ago with cancer.
[all praying]
All right, you girls. Pick out your plot.
[Emily] Tonight, me and my friends are going to homecoming
and it's just gonna be the four of us.
Sparkly pumps.
[Emily] I'm excited to enjoy the moment.
And my friends.
But it's always like people are in disbelief when I tell 'em.
"Look, who's your best friend, like, all-time... Oh, who's that in the book?"
"Emily Hittler."
"Hittler?" "Yeah."
-But it's with two "T"s. - [both laughing]
[Emily] I've learned from a lot of different experiences not to be judgmental.
Emily Hittler and there's nothing else to it. I'm a teenage girl.
I have nothing else to hide.
Having the last name, Hittler, has not made my life harder.
If anything, it's made it more interesting.
I know how to end myself finally.
No, that's part of a real helmet.
We took a real German helmet and recreated the interior.
All my shows make fun of either my heroes or my enemies.
I have no idea what's going on.
[interviewer] Do you think it's going well?
There's people here.
People go to Walmart, does that mean it's a good thing?
Voltaire said the greatest quote I've ever heard.
"Please, Lord, make my enemies look ridiculous."
If you mock it...
you beat it.
[keyboard clacking]
[David] I think one thing this story does tells you
is the importance of the family.
They stuck together. It was them against the world, really.
[Heath] I've got more men right now than I believe the government has.
-[siren blaring] - [banging]
Of a rising like Hitler is.
Everybody complains, "Nazi, Nazi, Nazi."
Well, do you really know what a Nazi is?
I don't think they do.
[birds chirping]
[doorbell ringing]
-[man] Yes? - Hi, I'm sorry to trouble you.
My name is David Gardner, I'm researching a story in this area.
And I heard you were a Holocaust survivor and I just wondered...
if you could spare me a few minutes just to help give me some perspective.
Okay, it can't be too long.
-Okay,-Come on in. Come in.
-Thank you very much, you're very kind. - You're welcome.
I was born in Germany.
We lived a perfectly normal life.
One morning there was a knock at the door.
And a bunch of guys in long black coats
turned up.
It was the Gestapo. It was the German secret police.
And they found me.
And at that time I knew absolutely nothing about the Nazis.
I went to Auschwitz.
We knew that we won't be there for very long.
You know, I had 13 Jewish friends before the war.
And when the war was over, I was the only one still alive.
They were all killed.
What would your feelings be if you were to know that
the last living descendants of Adolf Hitler
are living not too far from here?
[mellow music playing]
I feel that by me
persecuting these people,
by me expressing hatred, I'm not one little bit better.
I'm not going to blame you
for the deeds of your parents.
Nor do I want to be blamed
for what my ancestors did or didn't do.
-- 01:20:11,807
If you would've asked me 20 years ago, 50 years ago,
maybe my attitude would've been different.
Maybe I would've said,
"Give me a machine gun and I'll go over there and wipe 'em out."
But that's not me anymore.
Life to me is beautiful.
[rock music playing]