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Adolf's mother, born Klara Plzl, was 23 years younger than Alois. She was so closely related to her husband that a special dispensation was sought from Rome before they could marry in 1884. Of the six children born of this marriage, only two survived, Adolf and a younger sister called Paula.


Alois was a hard, conscientious Customs Official, punctilious to a fault with a difficult temper that flared with no apparent provocation. Paula later recalled how Adolf bore the brunt of the father's discipline:

"Adolf challenged my father to extreme harshness and got his sound thrashing every day. He was a scrubby little rogue, and all attempts of his father to thrash him for his rudeness and to cause him to love the profession of an official of the state were in vain. How often on the other hand did my mother caress him and try to obtain with her kindness where the father could not succeed with harshness ..."

Young Adolf attended church regularly, sang in the local choir and spent hours playing 'cowboys and Indians' and reveled in the westerns penned by Karl May. He grew up with a poor record at school and left, before completing his tuition, with an ambition to become an artist or architect. Alois Hitler had died when Adolf was thirteen and Klara brought up Adolf and Paula on her own.

Paula told about Adolf and their childhood during her interrogations after the war:

"My brother was very good in some subjects, and very weak in others. He was the weakest in mathematics and, as far as I can remember, in physics, also. His failures in mathematics worried my mother. He loved music. He preferred Wagner even then. Wagner was always his favorite. 

Since I was so much younger than my brother, he never considered me a playmate. He played a leading role among his early companions. His favorite game was cops and robbers, and that sort of thing. Adolf as a child always came home too late. He got a spanking every night for not coming home on time .. After my brother finished school he went to Vienna. He wanted to go to the Academy and become a painter but nothing came of it. My mother was very sick at the time. She was very attached to Adolf and wanted him to stay home. That's why he stayed. He left the house after her death in 1907 .. "



Centre Adolf with
 schoolmates 1900

A neighbor of the Hitler family later recalled: 'When the postmaster asked him one day what he wanted to do for a living and whether he wouldn't like to join the post-office, he replied that it was his intention to become a great artist ...'

 


 

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