What ever happened to the children of the most evil men in history? Some of their stories may surprise you. While we all learn about history’s worst villains in school, it’s rare that we hear anything about their descendants. Some of the offspring of these hated men have followed in their famous fathers’ footsteps to become brutal leaders and dictators, undoubtedly making their parents proud.
Yet, then there are the tales of children who do whatever they can to separate themselves from their evil relatives. Some of these people go into hiding and deny the very existence of the men who fathered them, living tortured lives while trying to escape their inherited past.
And while some of the world’s worst villains may no longer be alive, in many cases their bloodlines are. Their children are alive and well, mingling often unnoticed among the rest of the population. Check out what the descendants of historical villains such as Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin, and Mao Zedong are doing now.
Bettina Goering is the great niece of Adolf Hitler’s second-in-command, President of the Reichstag, Hermann Goering. As of 2010, she was living in Santa Fe, NM, where she practiced herbal medicine. She explained in the documentary Hitler’s Children, by Israeli director Chanoch Zeevi, that both she and her brother voluntarily sterilized themselves. She commented:
I had my tubes tied at the age of 30 because I feared I would create another monster. I look like him for a start – the eyes, the cheekbones, the profile. I look more like him than his own daughter.
Pol Pot’s Daughter, Sar Patchata, Leads A Normal Life
In 2014, Sar Patchata, communist dictator Pol Pot’s only daughter, got married in a lavish ceremony at the former Khmer Rouge rebel stronghold. Following her father’s death in 1998, Patchata was adopted by the Khmer Rouge’s ambassador to the UN, Tep Khunnal. She later earned her master’s degree in English literature in Malaysia where she met her fiancé, Sy Vicheka.
After her father was sentenced to life imprisonment for “crimes against the revolution,” Patchata spent her life on the run without running water or electricity. The leader of the Khmer Rouge took his own life in 1998 when she was 12, thereby setting her free.
Uday Hussein was Saddam Hussein’s first son by his first wife, Sajida Talfah, and was the intended heir apparent to his father’s empire. However, he lost his seat as heir after he killed his father’s personal valet and food taster, Kamel Hana Gegeo, during a party in 1988.
At one point, Uday was the chairman of the Iraqi Olympic Committee and the Iraq Football Association, but he subjected the athletes who didn’t win to extreme bodily punishments. He was also left with a limp after an attempt on his life, being struck by multiple bullets in 1996, two of which could not be removed due to their proximity to his spinal cord. He reportedly also used an iron maiden against his enemies and kidnapped young Iraqi women to assault them. He and his brother Qusay were taken out during a fight with US forces in Mosul in 2003.
Fidel Castro’s Eldest Son Took His Own Life
In January of 2018, it was reported that Fidel Castro’s eldest son, Fidel Ángel Castro Díaz-Balart, known to his family as “Fidelito,” had taken his own life. According to his family, he had been struggling with depression for much of his life, and since the death of his father in November of 2016 things had only gotten worse.
Although Fidelito had been long associated with his father’s regime as a supporter of the Cuban revolution, in later years it was said that he had become disillusioned with the concept and was trying to limit his involvement with the government, especially as he strongly disagreed with Cuba’s decisions regarding the energy crisis.
His parents had divorced when he was little, and he spent his early years living with his mother in the United States. When he went to visit his father in Mexico, where Castro was preparing to overthrow the Batista dictatorship in Havana, his father refused to send him back to his mother and instead kept him by his side, eventually bringing him to Cuba.
Li Na is the daughter of Chinese communist revolutionary Mao Zedong. His Great Leap Forward campaign alone was responsible for between 15 and 55 million deaths due to famine. His daughter Li Na was born in 1940 and graduated from Peking University in 1965 with a degree in history. She later worked at the People’s Liberation Army Daily, the official newspaper for the People’s Republic of China. As of 2007, she was living in a modest apartment complex in Beijing.
Edda Mussolini was the oldest daughter of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. She married fascist propagandist and foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano, who was eventually tried for treason and executed in 1944 for voting against the fascist leader. Following the execution, Edda escaped to Switzerland where she smuggled out diaries that contained the secret history of the regime. When she returned to Italy in 1945, she was immediately arrested and sentenced to serve two years in prison. She later published an autobiography titled La mia vita in 1975, and passed away in Rome 20 years later.
Svetlana Alliluyeva, who later changed her name to Lana Peters, was Josef Stalin’s youngest daughter. When she was only six years old, her mother took her own life, leaving her under the guidance of her brothers and her father. However, during World War II, her brother Jacob perished while imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp after Stalin refused to exchange him for a German general he had in custody. Another of her brothers later passed away from alcoholism at age 40. Peters finally defected from the Soviet Union in 1967 and ended up writing four books in her lifetime, two of which became best-selling memoirs. She was married three times, had three children, and passed away from cancer at the age of 85.
Monika Hertwig Was The Daughter Of Amon Goeth – The Man Who Killed Women And Babies “For Sport”
Monika Hertwig’s father, Nazi commander Amon Goeth, was hanged in 1946 for murdering tens of thousands of people. He had been an Austrian SS captain and the commandant of the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp in Poland during WWII. Monika, who was his illegitimate child, was less than a year old when he was killed. In the documentary Innocence, by Israeli director Chanoch Zeevi, Monika, after a lifetime of wondering who who father really was, meets with individuals closest to him as she comes to terms with the reality of her absentee parent and his crimes.
Mutassim Gaddafi was the national security adviser to his father, Muammar Gaddafi. According to his ex-girlfriend, Talitha van Zon, he spent upwards of $1.6 million a month on his “hedonistic pleasures.” Stars such as Beyoncé and Mariah Carey sang at his parties, which were attended by celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan and Jay-Z. In 2011, anti-Gaddafi forces funded by NATO captured him during the Battle of Sirte, where he and his father were executed.
Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s father, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, was president of Haiti from 1957 to 1971 and was responsible for ending the lives of 30,000 to 60,000 Haitians and exiling many others. Then Baby Doc took over. During his regime, thousands of additional Haitians were treated in the same manner as his father. He also had a hand in drug trafficking and black market body parts. Baby Doc ruled from 1971 until the public eventually overthrew him 1986. He passed away from a heart attack in 2014.
Princess Stéphanie’s Husband Perished In A Pact With His Mistress
King Leopold II of Belgium had four children, including Princess Stéphanie. During his rule, he garnered a brutal reputation for his colonial crimes, which included using forced labor in the Congo to harvest and process rubber, resulting in the death of between 2 and 15 million Congolese.
Stéphanie went on to marry the heir-apparent of the Habsburg dynasty, Archduke Rudolf. However, in 1889, he and his mistress, Mary Vetsera, took their own lives in an apparent pact at the Imperial hunting lodge. One year later, Stephanie wed Count Elemér Lónyay de Nagy-Lónya et Vásáros-Namény. With him, she had one child, Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria, born in 1883.
Omar Bin Laden is one of Osama bin Laden’s 20 children and the grandson of Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, one of the wealthiest non-royal families in Saudi Arabia. He dramatically broke with his father’s plan for him to take on the family mantle when he moved to Saudi Arabia and cut ties with his father in the 2001. He practices what he calls a “moderate” form of Islam and wrote a memoir about life with his father in which he remembers:
We were not allowed to tell jokes. We were ordered not to express joy over anything. He did say that he would allow us to smile so long as we did not laugh. If we were to lose control of our emotions and bark a laugh, we must be careful not to expose our eyeteeth. I have been in situations where my father actually counted the exposed teeth, reprimanding his sons on the number their merriment had revealed.
Edda Goering, Believed To Be Hitler’s Goddaughter, Was Pro-Nazi
Edda is the daughter of Hermann Goering, and it’s believed that Adolf Hitler was her godfather. She was born in 1938 and grew up in Berlin, during which time her father was a leading member of the Nazi party for the entirety of World War II. However, he took his own life when Edda was just eight years old.
In adulthood, she spoke lovingly of her parent, and maintained that she had a very different opinion of her father than the one the world seems to hold. In 2015, she petitioned “the Bavarian parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee for compensation for her ‘father’s legacy expropriated in the year 1948.'” She was unanimously rejected by the court.
Brigitte Höss Kept Her Father’s Reputation A Secret For 40 Years
As of 2013, Brigitte Höss was living in Northern Virginia. Her father, Rudolf Höss, was the man responsible for building the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, which was capable of ending up to 2,000 lives an hour. By the end of World War II, over 1 million Jews had been felled there, along with 20,000 Roma (gypsies), and thousands of other political prisoners. Her father is considered to be one of the biggest war criminals in history, and was hanged in 1947 following a trial in Warsaw.
Brigitte hid her family history for 40 years, not even telling her closest family members about it. After leaving Germany after the war and moving to Spain, she married an Irish-American engineer and moved to Washington, DC. In 1972, she got a job at a fashion boutique owned by a Jewish couple who had fled Nazi Germany, but they kept her on even after learning about her father. She worked there for 35 years.
Edda told author Thomas Harding that she remembers her father as being the “nicest man in the world” even though he was responsible for the deaths of so many people. She explained, “He had to do it. His family was threatened. We were threatened if he didn’t. And he was one of many in the SS. There were others as well who would do it if he didn’t.”