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Klara Polzl was born in Austria, the daughter of Johann Polzl and Johanna Hiedler. She was related to Alois Hitler through her mother either as first cousin, once removed or as niece. In 1876 Alois hired her to work as a domestic servant for him and his girlfriend, Franziska Matzelsberger. However, Matzelsberger did not like the young girl and had her sent away. After the death of Matzelsberger, Hitler and Polzl were married, though she continued to refer to him as "uncle". She was already five months pregnant at the time of the wedding. Between 1885 and 1887 she had three children, Gustav, Ida and Otto, all of whom died in infancy. In April of 1889 she gave birth to Adolf Hitler, her first child to survive to adulthood. She was very close to Adolf, who was devastated by her passing. She also had two more children, Edmund in 1894 and Paula in 1896. Edmund died in 1900, while Paula was the only other child to survive childhood. Klara was 23 years her husband's junior, and by all accounts he ruled the household tyrannically, especially after he retired and became both verbally and physically abusive towards both Klara and the children. When he died in 1903 he left her his pension and some land, allowing her to take care of herself and her children. She died four years later of iodoform poisoning, a result of her treatment for breast cancer.  She was 43-years-old.  

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