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Gertude was the daughter of Hungarian immigrants, working as a cook for the Van Dahl family. She and Elijah Van Dahl had an affair. When his parents ordered him to end their relationship, Gertrude fled, unaware that Elijah truly loved her. Gertrude gave birth to his soon, Oswald, who she gave a more Americanized version of her last name. As he was the son of a wealthy man, Gertrude encouraged him to always try to move up in the world and become an important person. Kept unaware of what truly went on in her son's life, Gertrude soon found her son with a penguin-like walk from a improperly healed foot and his joyous news of becoming a nightclub owner. After Oswald became the Penguin, Gotham's sole crime lord, she was showered with gifts and lived in a nice home. However, Theo Galavan kidnapped her and later murdered her to control the underworld.

When Oswald became mayor, he erected a statue to honor her and what she stood for.


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