ⓘ Klara Hitler was an Austrian woman. She was the widow of Alois Hitler and the mother of German dictator Adolf Hitler. ..

Klara Hitler

ⓘ Klara Hitler

Klara Hitler was an Austrian woman. She was the widow of Alois Hitler and the mother of German dictator Adolf Hitler.


1. Family background and marriage

Klara was born in the Austrian village of Spital, Weitra, Lower Austria. Her father was Johann Baptist Polzl and her mother was Johanna Hiedler. Either Hiedlers 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. Klara and Alois were first cousins once removed.

In 1876, three years after Alois Hitlers first marriage to Anna Glasl-Horer, Klaras 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 Hitlers 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. Klaras adult life was spent keeping house and raising children. According to Smith, Alois had little understanding or interest in raising children. 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."

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

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

Aloiss and Klaras children were:

  • Paula Hitler born 21 January 1896 and died 1 June 1960, the last surviving member of Hitlers immediate family.
  • Ida Hitler born 23 September 1886, died of diphtheria 2 January 1888 in Braunau am Inn
  • Otto Hitler born 17 June 1892, died of hydrocephalus on 23 June 1892 in Passau
  • Edmund Hitler
  • Gustav Hitler born 10 May 1885, died of diphtheria on 8 December 1887 in Braunau am Inn
  • Adolf Hitler born 20 April 1889 in Braunau Am Inn, died in Berlin on 30 April 1945 Nazi German dictator

2. Later life and death

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 December 21, 1907. Adolf and Paula were at her side. 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 long life. Bloch later recalled that, after Klaras 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.