Mother of German Dictator Adolf Hitler. Born in Spital, Austria-Hungary, she was the daughter of Johann Pölzl and Johanna Hiedler Pölzl (Pölzl is sometimes spelled Poelzl). She grew up living next to the farm of her grandfather, Johann Nepomuk Hiedler, and where her future husband, Alois Hitler, was raised. It is speculated that her grandfather or his brother was Alois's biological father. She grew up thinking that Alois was her uncle, even though officially they were second cousins, and she never stopped calling him "Uncle." A devout Roman Catholic, she attended church with her children regularly. In 1876, three years after Alois married his first wife Anna, he hired 16-year-old Klara as a household servant, and she moved into the top floor of the Braunau Inn, which Alois was renting as his family house. Alois began an affair with 19-year-old Franziska Matzelberger, one of the Inn servants, and when Alois and his wife Anna separated in November 1880, Franziska moved in with Alois. Roman Catholic law forbade a divorce, so Franziska and Alois were unable to be married. Jealous of the younger girl, Klara, Franziska insisted Alois fire her, and Klara returned to her family down the street. When Anna died in 1883, Alois married Franziska a month later. Franziska died on August 10, 1884 of a lung disease, after producing two children for Alois (Alois Jr and Angela), and just as quickly, Klara returned to the Alois household to help take care of the children. Alois and Klara were married in their apartment on January 7, 1885; then with Alois' characteristic insensitivity to his wives, as soon as the ceremony was over, he went to work. Klara would give birth to six children. Five months after her wedding, Klara gave birth to Gustav. A year later, daughter Ida was born, and a year following that, son Otto was born. Otto died soon after birth. Shortly after Otto's death, diphtheria struck the village, killing Gustav and Ida. On April 20, 1889, she gave birth to Adolf Hitler, and in 1894, gave birth to son Edmund. Her last child was Paula, born on January 21, 1896. As Alois was a harsh disciplinarian who had little interest in child rearing, he left Klara to raise the two children of his second marriage, Alois Jr and Angela, along with Adolf, Edmund, and Paula, while he spent his spare time in a local tavern or at his hobby, keeping bees. Later research indicated that he often belittled his wife and children, and was verbally abusive of them. In February 1895, Alois bought a small farm in Hafeld, about thirty miles southwest of Linz, and retired. Alois and his son, Alois Jr, would soon have a major argument, and Alois Jr. left the family, never to return. Son Edmund died of measles a short time later, on February 2, 1900. This left his son Adolf as the only male child in the household, with a sister, Paula (Angela had left the family earlier, to marry). Soon Adolf and Alois were at odds with each other; his father tried to browbeat him with following petty rules, and Adolf did everything the opposite of what is father demanded, becoming a romantic, idealistic and fantasy oriented youth. Alois died in January 1903, leaving Klara with his pension and two children (Adolf and Paula) to raise. But in 1907, at age 47, Klara died of breast cancer in Linz, Austria, leaving two teenagers, Adolf (age 18) and Paula (age 11), to complete their education with her parents.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson