False claims former German Chancellor Angela Merkel was Hitler's daughter | Fact check

The claim: Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the daughter of Adolf Hitler

A Feb. 19 Instagram post (direct link, archive link) shows several images of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Adolf Hitler.

"The Fourth Reich began on November 22, 2005, when Angela Merkel Hitler was sworn in as chancellor of reunited Germany," reads text in the post. "Angela Merkel Hitler was born in Argentina or West Germany, and adopted by a couple named Horst and Ferlind Kasner from Hamburg, West Germany. Angela was named after her aunt Angela – the sister of Adolf Hitler."

Text in another picture overtly states that Merkel is Hitler's daughter.

The post was liked more than 3,000 times in 10 days.

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Our rating: False

There is no evidence Merkel is Hitler's daughter. Hitler died by suicide in 1945, but Merkel was not born until 1954.

Merkel born almost a decade after Hitler's demise

Merkel, who was Germany's first female chancellor, was born July 17, 1954, in Hamburg, West Germany, according to Britannica. In other words, Merkel was born nearly a decade after Hitler died on April 30, 1945, when he killed himself inside his bunker in Berlin.

Merkel's father was Horst Kasner, a Lutheran pastor who moved the family to East Germany the same year Merkel was born, Britannica reports. He died in 2011. Her mother, Herlind Kasner, was a teacher, though she was barred from that work in East Germany.

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There is no shortage of conspiracy theories related to Hitler's death. However, in 2018, an analysis of his teeth confirmed he "definitely died in 1945," according to Smithsonian Magazine.

In late 2021, Merkel stepped down after 16 years as Germany's chancellor. She served alongside four U.S. presidents, four French presidents and five British prime ministers, the Associated Press reported.

The post asserts Merkel was conceived years after Hitler's death via artificial insemination, but the post presents no evidence to support this claim, nor is there any such evidence in reputable historical accounts. The first successful human pregnancy using frozen sperm was reported in 1953, eight years after Hitler died.

USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Lead Stories also debunked the claim.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Angela Merkel born nearly a decade after Hitler's death | Fact check