Childhood & Early Life
Jean-Marie Loret was born as Jean-Marie Lobjoie in March 1918 in Seboncourt, Picardy, as the son of Charlotte Eudoxie Alida Lobjoie. The birth registry identified Loret’s father as an unidentified German soldier, and he was deemed “illegitimate.”
His mother, on her deathbed in 1948, revealed to Loret that his father was Adolf Hitler. She mentioned that she had an affair during the First World War with Hitler. Sometime around 1916 and 1917, Hitler had stayed near his mother’s town and local witnesses confirmed the relationship with Lobjoie.
Loret spent his first seven years with his grandparents as his mother had moved to Paris to work as a dancer. She eventually married the lithographer Clement Loret in 1922, who supported his wife and her illegitimate son and decided to give him his surname.
He was adopted by a wealthy family for a brief period in Saint Quentin. With their help, he attended Catholic boarding schools in Cambrai and Saint Quentin.
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Jean-Marie Loret was born during a tumultuous time in history and it was inevitable that he would serve in the army. In 1936, he joined the French army and worked with them for many years before being promoted as the staff sergeant. He survived the Second World War.
There were many speculations that he got his job as the chargé de mission with the French police in Saint-Quentin, Aisne because of Hitler, but there is no concrete proof to validate this. Loret himself claimed it, too.
On the other hand, many considered Loret as an ordinary individual incapable of achieving such a post on merit. Charges against him have also remained unclear at the end of the war. Loret further added that Hitler had ordered all material and information on him to be destroyed.
In the aftermath of WWII, Loret decided to work as a businessman, but he failed. He gave up his business in 1948 owing to insolvent records and lack of profits. He later moved to Provins, a town west of Paris, where he worked in a glass manufacturing company.
Connection With Hitler
The idea that Loret was Hitler’s illegitimate son was a constant topic of discussion in Loret’s social circle, but it was rarely discussed in public. It first spread through word of mouth, and soon most people in Loret’s hometown came to know of the story. However, the origin of these rumors remained undetermined.
In the 1970s, reputable magazines, such as ‘Bunte,’ ‘Zeitgeschichte,’ and ‘Der Spiegel,’ published articles about him. Maser, a popular German historian, followed up on these articles and eventually met Loret. He further convinced Loret to publish his findings as well.
In his book on Hitler, which was his thesis, Maser extensively wrote about Hitler’s relationship with Loret’s mother. Critics later pointed out there was no scientific basis to these claims and could not be conclusive or taken seriously.
A genetic certification undertaken by the University of Heidelberg also stated that it was possible that Loret could be Hitler’s son, but it was not necessarily the truth.
Loret’s aunt, Alice Lobjoie, didn’t entertain the idea of tracing the identity of his father. She further stated that her sister had indeed pursued a relationship with a German soldier but disputed that it was Hitler. Maser attributed Alice’s negative statement to her anger toward Loret.
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Many historians such as Anton Joachimsthaler, Sir Ian Kershaw, and Jean-Paul Mulders claim that the chance of Loret being the son of Hitler is very unlikely. They further added that Maser’s enthusiasm to prove Loret’s paternity was done with commercial motives in mind without any respect for the truth.
On the other hand, Hilter’s valet Heinz Linge claimed that Heinrich Himmler was tasked with finding Loret and his mother in his memoir ‘With Hitler to the End’.
When Loret’s connection to Hitler became a public topic of discussion, Loret was asked by Maser to move in with him in 1978 to avoid intense scrutiny by the press or people. The duo started visiting the places where WWII took place and eventually worked together.
Loret also accompanied Maser to several lectures and travelled with him to Tokyo. Despite academic furor, Loret was reluctant to give interviews and secluded himself from the media. He eventually parted ways with Maser in 1979, after a fallout.
Loret eventually reconciled with the idea of being Hitler’s son and spoke about it at length in his autobiography ‘Ton père s'appelait Hitler’ (Your Father's name was Hitler), published in 1981. He collaborated with René Mathot to publish the book.
Currently, while many reputed historians and academics completely discard the theory that Loret was Hitler’s son owing to many inconsistencies, Maser continues to live with the belief. In a recent interview, he confessed that he unambiguously believes that Loret was Hitler’s son.
More recently, when the Belgian journalist Jean-Paul Mulders traveled across Germany, Austria, France and the United States to collect DNA of the living relatives of Hitler, he also took the postcard stamps sent by Jean-Marie Loret.
He subsequently compared Loret’s DNA with that of Hitler’s relatives and concluded that he wasn’t Hitler’s son. He published the research in Belgium’s largest newspaper, ‘Het Laatste Nieuws.’ This was subsequently picked up by many other media outlets across the world.
In 2018, the Russian TV channel NTV interviewed Philippe Loret, Jean-Marie Loret’s son. Philippe Loret spoke at length about his father’s convictions that the family traced its roots to Hitler. He further added that his father had finally accepted his ancestry. Philippe also decided to undergo a DNA test to prove that Hitler was his grandfather.
Family & Personal Life
Jean-Marie Loret was first married to Jacqueline, whom he first met in 1940. The couple stayed together until 1954, before ending their marriage with a divorce. They had three children.
He later married 19-year-old Muguette Dubecq within months of his divorce and moved to live in Paris. They had five daughters and two sons.
Despite living with guilt and fear all his life, Loret had reconciled to the fact that he was Hitler’s son during his final years. He died of natural causes on February 14, 1985, in his home in Saint Quentin, at the age of 66.