One was born in one of England's finest stately homes, the other in an apartment above a pub. Both became adversaries, leading their nations in World War Two. Here is where Adolf Hitler and where Winston Churchill were born.
Credit; Friedrich Weiler, Picture Library of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
Adolf Hitler was born in the building above, in the Austrian town of Braunau am Inn, in 1899. At that time it had a pub at street level and he lived in rooms in the upper floor with his family. He lived there until he was 3 years old. As you can see from the photo, it was taken during the Nazi era, in 1934. A large Swastika banner hangs from the building, in celebration of its famous past resident. Now however, the building is vacant, but not derelict, with the Austrian government currently deciding what to do with it. In the decades after the war it had been a centre for people with disabilities. The only thing that points to its connection with Hitler is a stone memorial stone outside, which reads, "Never again Fascism. In memory of millions of dead.", although there is no mention of Hitler.
In contrast to Hitler's humble origins, Winston Churchill was born in one of the great stately homes of England, Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, seat of the Duke of Marlborough. The connection to Blenheim Palace, and the reason he was born there, was because his father, Randolph Churchill, was third son of John Spencer Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, who was Winston's grandfather. He was born in 1874, a quarter of a century before Hitler, and four years before Hitler was born he had completed officer training at Sandhurst and became a Cornet (Second Lieutenant) in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars. He then went to Cuba, India and Sudan in the following years, and in July 1899, when baby Adolf was just 3 months old at the house in Austria, Churchill stood in his first parliamentary election. It was a by-election in Oldham, and as a Conservative, he lost to the Liberal candidate in a close run contest.
Blenheim Palace is now open to visitors, although it remains the home of the current Duke of Marlborough, the direct male descendant of Churchill's uncle. The room and bed where Winston Churchill entered the world can be seen. Nearby in the churchyard of St Mary's Church, Bladon is where his grave is.