Did you know that Adolf Hitler’s parents were technically cousins, and because of this had to get legal permission from the Roman Catholic Church before they could be wed. They were granted permission.
Alois was 36 when he married for the first time. Anna Glasl-Hörer was a wealthy, 50-year-old daughter of a customs official. She was sick when Alois married her and was either an invalid or became one shortly afterwards.
Not long after marrying his first wife, Anna, Alois Hitler began an affair with Franziska “Fanni” Matzelsberger, one of the young female servants employed at the Pommer Inn, house #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, but the two could not marry since under Roman Catholic canon law, divorce is not permitted.
In 1876, three years after Hitler 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 Hitler’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”. 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, Hitler, 45, married Matzelsberger, 21. He then legitimized his son as Alois Hitler, Jr. Alois’ second child, Angela, was born on 28 July 1883.
Hitler was secure in his profession and no longer an ambitious climber. Historian Alan Bullock described Alois 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’ home to look after the invalid and the two children (Alois Jr and Angela). Matzelsberger died in Ranshofen on August 10, 1884 at the age of 23. After the death of his second wife, Pölzl remained in his home as housekeeper.