Several years ago my older sister was complaining about how we weren’t related to anyone famous.
“There’s no one we can brag about,” she said. “We’re just a bunch of farmers and teachers.”
“Au contraire,” I said in my worst French accent. “We are indeed related to someone famous.” (Or rather, infamous.)
I gave her the name, she looked him up in the encyclopedia (this being pre-Google days) and read his entry. Then she closed the book solemnly, looked at me and said, “Maybe you’re related to him, but I’m not!”
Sadly, I find I can’t continue sharing my family history on this blog without mentioning this relative of mine (the one I’m related to but apparently not my blood sister). As I comb through all the papers listing my family from both sides, the name is there. Like, heavily there. From way back. And as it would be folly to ignore it, ignore it we shan’t.
But I’m not going to just tell you his name either, cause that would be boring. Instead, I’ve devised a little game for you. Below are six clues, with illustrations!, to help you figure out his name.
To begin with, you need to remember that half my family is Norwegian and the other half is German.
Got that? Okay, let’s play!
He was born in 1887 to a prominent, wealthy family
2. He may have been a bigamist; he was definitely a fascist
3. At the end of WWII he was tried for war crimes, found guilty, and was executed by firing squad
4. Afterward, nearly all his relations changed their name
5. His surname is now a word
And now for the last clue…
6. He was not German
If you know your WWII history, this should be a snap. Just write his name… no wait, don’t do that. We want the non-history buffs to have a sporting chance.
How ’bout this: Put the first letter of his last name in your comment, that way I’ll know that you know, and our non-historians will get an extra clue. I’ll give the answer on next Wednesday’s post, and give a shout out to all the people who guessed correctly (with links to their sites if they have one).
PS: My apologies to Older Sister. You can run from the truth, but you can’t hide. Not when your little sister has a blog.