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The 54-year-old has been sworn in as district administrator on Namibia’s constitution after taking 84.88 percent of the votes in regional elections in the Ompundja district in the northern Oshana region. Adolf Hitler Uunona, to give him his full name, told German newspaper Bild that despite his name’s historical connotations he was not a Nazi and actually entered politics as an anti-apartheid campaigner.
It doesn’t mean that I’m striving for world domination!
Adolf Hitler Uunona
He said: “That I have this name doesn’t mean that I want to subjugate Oshana now – it doesn’t mean that I’m striving for world domination!
“My father named me after this man. He probably didn’t understand what Adolf Hitler stood for.
“It was a completely normal name for me as a child. It wasn’t until I was growing up that I realised: This man wanted to subjugate the whole world. I have nothing to do with any of these things.”
His wife calls him Adolf and he usually appears in public as Adolf Uunona, leaving out “Hitler” but said he would not change his name.
He said: “It’s on all official documents. It’s too late for that. “
The first name Adolf is not uncommon in Namibia, a former German colony in southwest Africa.
There is also a German-language newspaper, German radio stations, road names such as Bismarck Street, German place names such as Lüderitz, Mariental, Helmeringhausen and a small German-speaking minority.
Until a few years ago, there was even a “Blitzkrieg Bunker Bar”, a heavy metal bar, in the state capital of Windhoek.
Namibia’s ruling Swapo party has its headquarters on Hans-Dietrich-Genscher street.
The name Adolf has for obvious reasons waned in popularity since the end of World War 2 but has never been, contrary to popular belief, been made illegal in Germany.
The country has a number of baby-naming restrictions with gender-neutral names, surnames, names of objects, or names of products as first names all banned.
Names that could negatively affect the child’s well-being or lead to humiliation are also outlawed but it is perfectly legal to call a child Adolf in modern Germany.
A University of Leipzig study found there are around 46,000 Adolfs in the country although the majority are elderly and were named before 1945.
Before then it was very common. Sportswear firm Adidas is named after its founder, Adolf “Adi” Dassler, who was born in 1900.
Harpo Marx of the Marx Brothers’ real name was originally Adolph, though he changed it to Arthur before the rise of Hitler.
(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)
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