Who was she? Was she a villain or just a naive girl who fell in love with the worse man you can imagine. Was she his muse or slave?
Eva Anna Paula Hitler (née Braun; 6 February 1912 – 30 April 1945) was the longtime companion of Adolf Hitler and, for less than 40 hours, his wife. Braun met Hitler in Munich when she was 17 years old, while she was working as an assistant and model for his personal photographer, and began seeing him often about two years later. She attempted suicide twice during their early relationship. By 1936, she was a part of his household at the Berghof near Berchtesgaden and lived a sheltered life throughout World War II. Braun was a photographer, and many of the surviving colour photographs and films of Hitler were taken by her. She was a key figure within Hitler’s inner social circle, but did not attend public events with him until mid-1944, when her sister Gretl married Hermann Fegelein, the SS liaison officer on his staff.
As the Third Reich collapsed towards the end of the war, Braun swore loyalty to Hitler and went to Berlin to be by his side in the heavily reinforced Führerbunker beneath the Reich Chancellery. As Red Army troops fought their way into the neighbourhood on 29 April 1945, she married Hitler during a brief civil ceremony; she was 33 and he was 56. Less than 40 hours later, they committed suicide together in a sitting room of the bunker, she by biting into a capsule of cyanide, and he by a gunshot to the head. The German public was unaware of Braun’s relationship with Hitler until after their deaths.
Eva Braun was born the middle of three sisters into a Catholic family on 6 February 1912 – three lively, pretty girls. She was educated at a lyceum, then for one year at a business school in a convent where she had average grades and a talent for athletics.
Fresh out of the convent school Eva Braun, at 17, met Adolf Hitler the first time when she was working in Munich in 1929 as the assistant of Hitler’s personal photographer Heinrich Hoffmann. From the moment Hitler walked into the shop, she was in love.
“I had stayed after closing time to straighten up several things and was standing on the ladder putting something away on the top shelf. Then I heard the door open and saw the boss come in with a somewhat older man carrying a felt hat in his hand. I tried to watch them without their noticing …
When I came down off the ladder the boss introduced us. He said: Mr. Wolff(the name Hitler often used as pseudonym), this is our little Miss Eva. Then Hoffmann sent me out to get some beer and sausages from the corner pub.”
Hitler soon became attracted to the young woman and began showing her little favors and courtesies. And she was much more than a dumb blonde interested in movie stars, horoscopes and clothes …
She described him to friends as a “gentleman of a certain age with a funny moustache, a light-colored English overcoat, and carrying a big felt hat.” In 1931 the 19-year-old Eva wrote a letter to the Nazi Führer:
“Dear Mr. Hitler, I would like to thank you for the pleasant evening at the theater. It was unforgettable. I shall always be grateful for your friendship. I count the hours until the moment when we shall meet again …”
(Sketch of Eva Braun
made by Adolf Hitler)
Hitler lived with his half-niece, Geli Raubal, in an apartment at Prinzregentenplatz 16 in Munich from 1929 until her death.On 18 September 1931 Raubal was found dead in the apartment, shot with Hitler’s pistol, an apparent suicide.
Hitler was in Nuremberg at the time. The relationship was important to him, likely the most intense of his life. Hitler began seeing more of Braun after the suicide.
In 1936 she finally moved to Hitler’s Berghof at Berchtesgaden where she acted as his hostess. Reserved, indifferent to politics and keeping her distance from most of the Führer’s intimates, Eva Braun led a completely isolated life in the Führer’s Alpine retreat and later in Berlin. They rarely appeared in public together and few Germans even knew of her existence.
Even the Führer’s closest associates were not certain of the exact nature of their relationship, since Hitler preferred to avoid suggestions of intimacy and was never wholly relaxed in her company.
According to Hitler’s chauffeur Erich Kempka Eva Braun was “the unhappiest woman in Germany. She spent most of her time waiting for Hitler.” He had always kept her out of sight – as soon as guests arrived, he almost invariably banished her to her room.
In his Memoirs Inside The Third Reich Albert Speer tells about her relationship with Hitler:
“Eva Braun was allowed to be present during visits from old party associates. She was banished as soon as other dignitaries of the Reich, such as cabinet ministers, appeared at the table .. Hitler obviously regarded her as socially acceptable only within strict limits. Sometimes I kept her company in her exile, a room next to Hitler’s bedroom. She was so intimidated that she did not dare leave the house for a walk .. Out of sympathy for her predicament I soon began to feel a liking for this unhappy woman, who was so deeply attached to Hitler.”
Eva Braun spent most of her time exercising, brooding, reading novelettes, and watching romantic films. But her loyalty to Hitler never flagged. After he survived the July 1944 plot she wrote him an emotional letter, ending:‘From our first meeting I swore to follow you anywhere – even unto death – I live only for your love.’
Eva Braun, the young woman who had spent most of her life waiting for Hitler, would now be with him forever. Eva Braun had agreed to share Adolf Hitler’s fate. A local magistrate married them early on the morning of April 29, 1945. The next day at a little after 3:30 p.m., they bit into thin glass vials of cyanide. As he did so, Hitler also shot himself in the head with a 7.65 mm Walther pistol.
Those who entered Hitler’s suite saw him lying on a blood-soaked sofa. Eva Braun lay on the sofa beside him, but she had made no use of the revolver at her side, preferring to take the poison instead. Hitler’s body was wrapped in a blanket and carried, along with Eva Braun’s, up four flights of steps and into the garden of the chancellery. Both bodies were doused with gasoline and burned.
Adolf Hitler had founded the Third Reich 12 years and three months before. It would survive him for one week.
In early April 1945, Braun travelled from Munich to Berlin to be with Hitler at the Führerbunker. She refused to leave as the Red Army closed in on the capital.After midnight on the night of 28–29 April, Hitler and Braun were married in a small civil ceremony within the Führerbunker.The event was witnessed by Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann. Thereafter, Hitler hosted a modest wedding breakfast with his new wife.With Braun’s marriage, her legal name changed to Eva Hitler. When she signed her marriage certificate she wrote the letter B for her family name, then lined this out and replaced it with Hitler.
After 1:00 pm on the afternoon of 30 April 1945, Braun and Hitler said their farewells to staff and members of the inner circle. Later that afternoon, at approximately 3:30 pm, several witnesses reported hearing a loud gunshot.After waiting a few minutes, Hitler’s valet, Heinz Linge, and Hitler’s SS adjutant, Otto Günsche, entered the small study and found the lifeless bodies of Hitler and Braun on a small sofa. Braun had bitten into a cyanide capsule, and Hitler had shot himself in the right temple with his pistol.The corpses were carried up the stairs and through the bunker’s emergency exit to the garden behind the Reich Chancellery, where they were burned.Braun was 33 years old when she died.
The charred remains were found by the Soviets. By 11 May Hitler’s dentist, Hugo Blaschke, dental assistant Käthe Heusermann and dental technician Fritz Echtmann confirmed the dental remains found were Hitler’s and Braun’s. The Soviets secretly buried the remains at the SMERSH compound in Magdeburg, East Germany, along with the bodies of Joseph and Magda Goebbels and their six children. On 4 April 1970, a Soviet KGB team with detailed burial charts secretly exhumed five wooden boxes of remains. The remains were thoroughly burned and crushed, after which the ashes were thrown into the Biederitz river, a tributary of the nearby Elbe.
There are rumours that the Hitler’s did not kill themselves but escaped to Argentina, with the help of General Franco in Spain.
It is said that he escaped via the North of Spain to the Canary islands and then to Argentina by submarine, U-Boat U-530.
The FBI has a whole file of eye witness accounts, it is believed that he already escaped on the 21st of April 1945, a day after Hitler’s last public appearance.
I am not ruling anything out.However the file discard all eye witness evidence of the last days in the bunker, where the staff were still serving Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler untill the very last day.I think that is too much of an omission to pay credence to the Argentina theory.
The rest of Braun’s family survived the war. Her mother, Franziska, died at age 96 in January 1976, having lived out her days in an old farmhouse in Ruhpolding, Bavaria.Her father, Fritz, died in 1964.
Gretl gave birth to a daughter—whom she named Eva—on 5 May 1945. She later married Kurt Beringhoff, a businessman. She died in 1987. Braun’s elder sister, Ilse, was not part of Hitler’s inner circle. She married twice and died in 1979.