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On January 21, 1896, an innocent child was born in the small farm community of Hafeld, Austria, 30 miles southwest of the old provincial capital of Linz, on the Danube. The name of the child was Paula Hitler, the last child of Alois Hitler and his third wife Klara. Paulas mother, born Klara Pölzl, 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.


Klara and Alois Hitler

The couple had five children, but only two survived to become adults: Paula and her elder brother, Adolf Hitler, murderer of millions, master of destruction and organized insanity. Two of her siblings died from diphtheria when they were children, and one died shortly after birth.


Little Adolf

Their father, 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 ..."

In 2005 the discovery of a journal written by Paula Hitler revealed how Klara Hitler tried to protect her son from his father and the regular beatings:

"Fearing that the father could no longer control himself in his unbridled rage, she decides to put an end to the beating ... She goes up to the attic, covers Adolf who is lying on the floor, but cannot deflect the father's final blow. Without a sound she absorbs it."

Another excerpt described how Adolf Hitler was a little bully in his teens and would beat her. Recounting the earliest memories of her childhood, Paula wrote: "Once again I feel my brother's loose hand across my face."

 

 

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