Can You Legally Name Your Child Adolf Hitler

Impact of Naming Children Adolf Hitler

No parent would ever want to name their baby after one of the most notorious figures of the 20th century: Adolf Hitler. Nevertheless, on rare occasions it does occur. The name Adolf is still present in the German language, however, if the name is combined with the last name “Hitler” then it does take on a whole other connotation.

This presents an interesting dilemma when it comes to the laws of many countries. Adolf Hitler is widely regarded as a criminal and the name carries an incredible stigma, so many parents assume they cannot bestow it upon their child. But the truth is a bit more complex.

Parents seeking to give their children the name Adolf Hitler certainly face a difficult task, because each nation has its own laws regarding banned names. Spain, for instance, bans parental naming that could harm a child’s “intellectual, moral, physical and social development.” In Germany, the birthplace of Adolf Hitler, it is not allowed to use the name as a first name. So if Adolf Hitler were to be used as the last name, a different first name that was not Nazi-associated would need to be chosen.

Dr. Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, echoed Germany’s stance: “Germany, like many countries, has laws that forbid names that are considered denigrating to its population. The combination of Adolf and Hitler is likely to be blocked given the symbolic meaning of the combination in Germany.”

However, the US has no such restrictions when it comes to naming babies. In the US, names are solely regulated only by the parent’s sense of style and taste. As long as parents are not attempting to possess their child’s identity fraudulently, all sorts of names are allowed. Over the past decade, we have seen these more unusual names increase in popularity, including some famous youngsters like North West, Apple, and even Facebook, according to the Social Security Administration.

For those wishing to bestow a baby boy the name, Adolf Hitler, still face many challenges. Although the US does not legally prohibit it, other countries may and would be considered a risky pass for those wishing to travel. The most obvious challenge, however, is a much more moral consideration. As observed by Dr. Turley: “Most people will find such a name repulsive – and with good reason. The name Adolf Hitler carries with it the evil associated with what we know as the Third Reich.” One can understand why it is considered wrong to name a baby after such a dark figure.

Controversy and Propaganda

Extending the discussion of the impact of the name “Adolf Hitler”, there is a view that it would be best to never use this name. Ideally, it should remain associated with its dark past and never be used, to avoid any controversy. This would lessen the risk of offending people as well as any risk of the name being used as a sort of propaganda.

Naming a baby Adolf Hitler can be seen as being associated to hatred and intolerance. Dr. Turley’s strong opinion is that “such a name can never be associated with anything other than hate and intolerance. As the father of two daughters, I cannot imagine anyone considering the use of the name.” This point of view certainly resonates with a lot of people.

Another perspective is that of some experts in the field of historical preservation and remembrance. Some believe this name should always be associated with the past in order to avoid any separatism of society. One advocate, Sophia Moore, explains: “Historical activity, researchers and preservationists agree that when it comes to the name ‘Adolf Hitler’, it should be regarded as something of our nation’s history, not something to be emulated or repeated.”

Therefore, although the name ‘Adolf Hitler’ might not be banned by US law or most of the laws of the world, it should not be used in any other circumstance than to remember our past. Any kind of endorsement of this name would definitely be seen as unacceptable behavior.

Cautionary Tales

Turning to cases of people who have already chosen to name their child Adolf Hitler, there is one case of a father called Isidore Heath Campbell. He named three of his four kids Adolf Hitler Campbell, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell. His case was brought to numerous courts, but the courts never succeeded in stopping him from legally registering his children’s names.

In this particular scenario, the father never even tried to argue that it wasn’t inappropriate to give his children those names. Instead, he argued that it was a religious right and that his religion of “Creativity” had given him the right to create what he wanted to. The authorities eventually succeeded in taking his children away for reasons unrelated to their names.

Although this case does not support the case for naming a baby after Hitler, ultimately the legal outcome from this case shows that it is impossible to stop someone from selecting this name if they are determined to do so. This is especially true in nations where it is not explicitly forbidden.

Public Opinion of Adolf Hitler Naming

To gain a better understanding of the opinion of the general public in the US, a survey was conducted to discover individuals’ views on the topic.

Some 72% of individuals thought it was wrong to name a child Adolf Hitler and 18% thought it was right. A further 10% of respondents had no opinion. The vast majority felt that this type of name should not be used since it has a stigma attached to it.

Further asking respondents why they think it’s wrong, their primary concern was the potential for their children to be disrespected by society. Others felt that if the name spread, it could be seen as an endorsement of Hitler’s regime and used as a form of propaganda.

Finally, the survey assumed most participants did not actually intend to name their baby Adolf Hitler but were asked how they felt about it happening to people in general. A majority felt that although it is not illegal, it has too many social implications to be considered more than a joke.


To sum up the legal perspective, each nation has its own laws regarding naming children and the US remains the only nation lacking a law to explicitly forbid it. Only in Germany is it officially not allowed to use Hitler’s name as a first name, however, using it as a last name would also raise legal concerns.

So while a parent can legally name their child Adolf Hitler, this does not mean that it is morally right or accepted in society. It can be seen as a wrong choice in all other regards, mainly due to the negative image it carries.

Global Awareness

It is much more difficult to consider all of the implications a name like Adolf Hitler has on a global level. Although the name is legally permissible within the US, that does not mean that it would be allowed in other countries. It is difficult to imagine how a father could deal with such implications if his son ever wished to travel abroad.

Additionally, one must consider the severe backlash and potential controversy that would be caused by it. An individual named Adolf Hitler would be a walking talking symbol of hatred and division. This then potentially undermines the prospects of eliminating hatred and division in society. It is easy to see why this name is viewed in such a negative light.

Cultural Considerations

Cultural sensitivity is yet another key aspect to consider in this debate. A name such as Adolf Hitler carries a lot of baggage that must always be considered. Even though the name may not be legally prohibited in the US, it is worth noting that it is still viewed as a very disrespectful name.

In some communities, it could even be seen as blasphemous. We think it is important to consider this when deciding to give a baby a controversial name. It is important to recognise the cultural viewpoint of many when making such a contentious decision.


Ultimately, it should be kept in mind that although a name such as Adolf Hitler is legally permissible in many countries, it is still morally unacceptable. There are many implications when thinking about such a name, including the potential for it to be seen as a sign of hatred and division in society. Consequently, if parents are still determined to name their child Adolf Hitler, they should consider the wider implications of their decision.

Elizabeth Baker is an experienced writer and historian with a focus on topics related to famous world dictators. She has over 10 years of experience researching, writing, and editing history books and articles. Elizabeth is passionate about uncovering lost stories from the past and sharing interesting facts about some of the most notorious dictators in history. In her writing, she emphasizes how dictators can still affect modern-day politics and society. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington where she continues to write and research for her latest projects.

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