At half past six on the
evening of April 20th, 1889 a child was born in the small town of
Braunau Am Inn, Austria. The name of the child was Adolf Hitler.
He was the son a Customs official Alois Hitler, and his third wife
Klara. Initially Alois had taken his mother's name, Schicklgruber, but
changed it in 1876 and became Hiedler, or Hitler.
Quite important - it is hard to imagine tens of thousands of Germans
shouting Heil Schicklgruber! instead of Heil Hitler!
Adolf's 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. Of the six children
born of this marriage, only two survived, Adolf and a younger sister
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 his sister, Paula, on her own.