Alois Johann Hitler Senior (June 7th, 1837 - January 3rd, 1903) was a civil servant and father of future Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. He and Adolf did not have a good relationship, with Alois constantly beating Adolf, as well as the rest of his children and his wife (who it is believed may have been his cousin) whenever he was in a bad mood. One of his other sons, Alois Junior, ran away from home after an argument with his father, after which Alois Sr. made it clear he would not allow his son to inherit anything after his death. He also liked to assert his authority over his neighbours and keeping bees. Alois Sr. died of a pleural haemorrhage on the January 3rd, 1903. According to his son's childhood friend, August Kubizek, the then 13 year old Adolf weeped uncontrollably upon seeing his father's body.
Alois Hitler was 36 years old in 1873 when he married for the first time. Anna Glasl-Hörer was a wealthy, 50-year-old daughter of a customs official. She was infirm when they married and was either an invalid or became one shortly afterwards.
Not long after marrying his first wife, Anna, Alois began an affair with Franziska "Fanni" Matzelsberger, one of the young female servants employed at the Pommer Inn, house number 219, in the city of Braunau am Inn, where he was renting the top floor as a lodging. Smith states that Alois had numerous affairs in the 1870s, resulting in his wife initiating legal action; on 7 November 1880 Alois and Anna separated by mutual agreement. The 19-year-old Matzelsberger became the 43-year-old Hitler's girlfriend.
In 1876, three years after Alois married Anna, he had hired Klara Pölzl as a household servant. She was the 16-year-old granddaughter of Hitler's step-uncle (and possible father or biological uncle) Nepomuk. If Nepomuk was Hitler's father, Klara was Alois's half-niece. If his father was Johann Georg, she was his first cousin once removed. Matzelsberger demanded that the "servant girl" Klara find another job, and Hitler sent Pölzl away.
On 13 January 1882, Matzelsberger gave birth to Hitler's illegitimate son, also named Alois, but since they were not married, the child's last name was Matzelsberger, making him "Alois Matzelsberger". Alois Hitler kept Matzelsberger as his wife while his lawful wife (Anna) grew sicker and died on 6 April 1883. The next month, on 22 May at a ceremony in Braunau with fellow custom officials as witnesses, Alois, 45, married Matzelsberger, 21. He then legitimized his son as Alois Hitler Jr. Alois's second child, Angela, was born on 28 July 1883.
Alois was secure in his profession and no longer an ambitious climber. Historian Alan Bullock described him as "hard, unsympathetic and short-tempered". Matzelsberger, still only 23, acquired a lung disorder and became too ill to function. She was moved to Ranshofen, a small village near Braunau. During the last months of Matzelsberger's life, Klara Pölzl returned to Alois's home to look after the invalid and the two children (Alois Jr. and Angela). Matzelsberger died in Ranshofen on 10 At 1884 at the age of 23. After the death of his second wife, Pölzl remained in his home as housekeeper.
Pölzl was soon to be pregnant by Alois Hitler. Smith writes that if Hitler had been free to do as he wished, he would have married Pölzl immediately but because of the affidavit concerning his paternity, Hitler was now legally Pölzl's first cousin once removed, too close to marry. He submitted an appeal to the church for a humanitarian waiver. Permission came, and on 7 January 1885 a wedding was held at Hitler's rented rooms on the top floor of the Pommer Inn. A meal was served for the few guests and witnesses. Hitler then went to work for the rest of the day. Even Klara found the wedding to be a short ceremony.
On 17 May 1885, four months after the wedding, the new Frau Klara Hitler gave birth to her first child, Gustav. In 1886, she gave birth to a daughter, Ida. In 1887 Otto was born, but died days later. During the winter of 1887–1888, diphtheria struck the Hitler household, resulting in the deaths of both Gustav (8 December) and Ida (2 January).
On 20 April 1889, she gave birth to another son, future dictator of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler. Adolf was a sickly child, and his mother fretted over him. Alois was 51 when he was born, and had little interest in child-rearing; he left it all to his wife. When not at work he was either in a tavern or busy with his hobby, keeping bees. Alois was transferred from Braunau to Passau. He was 55, Klara 32, Alois Jr. 10, Angela 9, and Adolf was three years old.
Beginning on 1 August, the family lived at Theresienstr. 23. One month after Alois accepted a better paying position in Linz, on 1 April 1893, his wife and the children moved to a second floor room on Kapuzinerstr. 31. Klara had just given birth to Edmund, so it was decided she and the children would stay in Passau for the time being.
On 21 January 1896, Paula, Adolf's younger sister, was born. She was the last child of Alois Hitler and Klara Pölzl. Alois was often home with his family. He had five children ranging in age from infancy to 14. Edmund (the youngest of the boys) died of measles on 2 February 1900.
Alois Hitler wanted his son Adolf to seek a career in the civil service. However, Adolf had become so alienated from his father that he was repulsed by his wishes. He sneered at the thought of a lifetime spent enforcing petty rules. Alois tried to browbeat his son into obedience, while Adolf did his best to be the opposite of whatever his father wanted.
Robert G. L. Waite noted, "Even one of his closest friends admitted that Alois was 'awfully rough' with his wife [Klara] and 'hardly ever spoke a word to her at home'." If Alois was in a bad mood, he picked on the older children or Klara herself, in front of them. William Patrick Hitler says that he had heard from his father, Alois Jr., that Alois Hitler Sr. used to beat his children.
After Hitler and his eldest son Alois Jr. had a climactic and violent argument, Alois Jr. left home, and the elder Alois swore he would never give the boy a penny of inheritance beyond what the law required. According to reports, Alois Hitler liked to lord it over his neighbors.
In February 1895, Alois Hitler purchased a house on a 3.6-hectare (9-acre) plot in Hafeld near Lambach, approximately 50 kilometres (30 mi) southwest of Linz. The farm was called the Rauscher Gut. He moved his family to the farm and retired on 25 June 1895 at the age of 58, after 40 years in the customs service. He found farming difficult; he lost money, and the value of the property declined.
On the morning of 3 January 1903, Alois went to the Gasthaus Wiesinger (no. 1 Michaelsbergstrasse, Leonding) as usual to drink his morning glass of wine. He was offered the newspaper and promptly collapsed. He was taken to an adjoining room and a doctor was summoned, but he died at the inn, probably from a pleural hemorrhage. Adolf Hitler, who was 13 when his father died, wrote in Mein Kampf that he died of a "stroke of apoplexy". In his book, The Young Hitler I Knew, Hitler's childhood friend August Kubizek recalled, "When the fourteen-year-old son saw his dead father he burst out into uncontrollable weeping."