Klara Hitler

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Klara Hitler
Born 12 August 1860(1860-08-12)
Spital, Weitra, Austria
Died 21 December 1907(1907-12-21) (aged 47)
Linz, Austria
Cause of death Breast cancer
Other names Klara Pölzl
Known for Mother of Adolf Hitler
Religion Roman Catholicism
Spouse Alois Hitler (1885–1903; his death)
Children Gustav Hitler (10 May 1885 - 8 December 1887)
Ida Hitler (23 September 1886 - 2 January 1888)
Otto Hitler (1887 - 1887)
Adolf Hitler (20 April 1889 - 30 April 1945)
Edmund Hitler (24 March 1894 - 28 February 1900)
Paula Hitler (21 January 1896 - 1 June 1960)
Stepchildren:[1]
Alois Hitler, Jr. (13 January 1882 - 20 May 1956)
Angela Hitler (28 July 1883 - 30 October 1949)
Parents Johann Baptist Pölzl
Johanna Hiedler
Relatives Johann Nepomuk Hiedler (grandfather)

Klara Hitler (born Klara Pölzl, 12 August 1860 - 21 December 1907) was an Austrian woman. She was the widow of Alois Hitler and the mother of German dictator Adolf Hitler.[2]

Family background and marriage[change | edit source]

Klara was born in the Austrian village of Spital, Weitra. Her father was Johann Baptist Pölzl and her mother was Johanna Hiedler. Either Hiedler's father, Johann Nepomuk Hiedler, or his brother, Johann Georg Hiedler, was the biological father of Alois Hitler, the man she would later marry. It is presumed and accepted by most that the father was Johann Georg Hiedler. Also, Klara and Alois were first cousins once removed.

In 1876, three years after Alois Hitler's first marriage to Anna Glasl-Hörer, Klara's uncle Alois had hired her as a household servant. She was 16 years old at the time. After the death of his second wife, Franziska Matzelsberger, in 1884, Alois and Klara were married on 7 January 1885 in a wedding held early in the morning at Hitler's rooms on the top floor of the Pommer Inn in Braunau. Alois then went to work for the day at his job as a customs official. Klara still called Alois "uncle" after the marriage. Their first son, Gustav, was born four months later, on 15 May 1885. Their second child, Ida, was born on 23 September 1886. Both infants died of diphtheria during the winter of 1886-1887. A third child, Otto, was born and died in 1887.

Adolf was born 20 April 1889, followed by Edmund on 24 March 1894 and Paula on 21 January 1896. Edmund died of measles on 28 February 1900, at the age of five.[3] Klara's adult life was spent keeping house and raising children. According to Smith, Alois had little understanding or interest in raising children.[4] Historian Alice Miller later wrote, "The family structure could well be characterized as the prototype of a totalitarian regime. Its sole, undisputed, often brutal ruler is the father. The wife and children are totally subservient to his will, his moods, and his whims; they must accept humiliation and injustice unquestioningly and gratefully. Obedience is their primary rule of conduct."[5]

Klara was very devoted to her children. According to William Patrick Hitler, she was a typical stepmother to her stepchildren, Alois Jr. and Angela.[1]

Klara was a devout Roman Catholic. She worshipped at church regularly with her children.[6] Of her six children with Alois, only Adolf and Paula survived childhood.

Alois's and Klara's children were:

  • Gustav Hitler (born 10 May 1885, died of diphtheria on 8 December 1887 in Braunau am Inn)
  • Ida Hitler (born 23 September 1886, died of diphtheria 2 January 1888 in Braunau am Inn)
  • Otto Hitler (born and died 1887 in Vienna, lived only 3 days)[7]
  • Adolf Hitler (born 20 April 1889, committed suicide 30 April 1945), German dictator
  • Edmund Hitler (born 24 March 1894, Passau, died of measles, 28 February 1900, Leonding)
  • Paula Hitler (born 21 January 1896, died 1 June 1960), the last surviving member of Hitler's immediate family.

Later life and death[change | edit source]

When Alois died in 1903, he left her a government pension. She sold the house in Leonding and moved with young Adolf and Paula to an apartment in Linz. Three or four years later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After many painful iodoform treatments given by her doctor, Eduard Bloch, Klara died at home in Linz from the toxic medical side-effects on 21 December 1907.[8] Adolf and Paula were at her side.[9] Klara was buried in Leonding near Linz.

Adolf Hitler had a close relationship with his mother. He was crushed by her death and carried the grief for the rest of his life. Bloch later recalled that, after Klara's death, he had seen in "one young man never so much pain and suffering broken fulfilled". Decades later, in 1940, Hitler showed gratitude to Bloch (who was Jewish) by letting him and his wife to leave Austria and go to the United States.[10]

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "The Mind of Adolf Hitler",Walter C. Langer, New York 1972 p.116
  2. "A Biography of Adolf Hitler - Early Days - 1889-1908". Secondworldwar.co.uk. 2012-08-12. http://www.secondworldwar.co.uk/ahitler.html. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
  3. Vermeeren, Mar, De jeugd van Adolf Hitler 1889-1907 en zijn familie en voorouders, Soesterberg, 2007, Uitgeverij Aspekt, ISBN 978-90-5911-606-1 (Note: Source carried forward and only presumed reliable)
  4. "[He] had a limited understanding of children and a minimum interest in their development" Smith, p.54
  5. Miller, Alice For Your Own Good
  6. "[She] was completely devoted to the faith and teachings of Catholicism…" Smith, p. 42
  7. Binion, Rudolph (1976). Hitler among the Germans. New York: Elsevier. p. 144. ISBN 0-444-99033-X.
  8. "Rise of Hitler: Hitler's Mother Dies". The History Place. 1907-01-14. http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/mother.htm. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
  9. "Biography of Klara Hitler". Spartacus Educational. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERhitlerK.htm. Retrieved 17 August 2007.
  10. "Adolf Hitler: Biography". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/hitler.html. Retrieved 2012-08-23.