Hitler had a mistress

Women of National Socialism - Eva Braun was more than just Hitler's lover

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Eva Braun. This is the woman whose name will forever be associated with Adolf Hitler. On April 30, 1945 - that is, 75 years ago - the Führer and his newly wedded wife committed suicide together. The historical reappraisal of Eva Braun's role also changed the image of the Führer.

The facts are told quickly and easily. Born on February 6, 1912, grew up with two sisters in Munich, trained as a photo laboratory technician after school. In the photo studio of her teacher Heinrich Hoffmann, who later became Hitler's photographer, Eva Braun met the future Führer in 1929.

A lot of research is needed from here. Because Braun himself did not leave many texts and Hitler burned all of his notes.

In 2010 the biography of Eva Braun was published, written by the historian Heike Görtemaker. In her research, she enters the “inner circle” of Hitler's followers for the first time and thus gives insights into the life of Eva Braun and other powerful women during the Second World War.

The savior of Germany, healthy and strong

In 1929 Adolf Hitler was chairman of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), which Munich already had in its stranglehold.

Allegedly Eva Braun did not recognize Hitler. At the behest of her boss Hoffmann, she had to organize drinks and food, which the three then ate together in the studio. These stories go back to Eva's sister Ilse Braun. At this point in time, Hitler was 40 years old, Eva was 17.

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The National Socialists pursued a broad propaganda policy. They represent Hitler's life as a single struggle for his people. He is a lone fighter, one who could achieve fame, honor and power without outside help.

The National Socialists want to convey this image. You need a popular hero. A savior of Germany. A figure that has no flaws, that stands above all people, healthy and strong. No lover, let alone wife, fits into this picture.

But that's not how Hitler was, says Heike Görtemaker on the SRF program “Zeitblende”. Hitler couldn't have been alone. He was always accompanied by friends or women. Cinema, restaurants, vacations. The historian reconstructs that he needed someone to support him spiritually.

Mouthpiece for National Socialism

Love? Sex? You don't know what was going on behind closed doors. But contemporary witnesses say that Eva Braun was treated like a wife. A community of convenience? What purpose would this have had? Neither had given the other an advantage.

Eva Braun was not allowed to be discussed in public. The press was directed and so it was easy to ensure this. Eva Braun lived mainly in the Berghof on the Obersalzberg in Upper Bavaria: Hitler's retreat and the venue for numerous events of the “inner circle” of the National Socialists. Here, Braun could freely switch and rule, often deciding who was invited and who was not.

Politically, the woman was quite committed to Hitler's side. Her mother reported that the daughter had been promoting Hitler's ideas in the family before 1933. Eva Braun wasn't an accomplice. But a confidante, so Görtemaker's conclusion. She did not fit into the Nazi image of women. In general, the idea of ​​the woman at the stove was nothing but utopia. During the war, women were needed in the factories.

Women should raise Nazis

But women had a far greater role in Hitler's time. There were numerous sponsors among them who, with their money and their contacts, had pushed the unknown, ambitious man from Austria to power in the first place. With the enthusiasm to build a new Germany, a new system. According to the motto: “We are young, modern and we are doing something great. Together."

According to Görtemaker, women were receptive to ideologies. They were never regarded as meaningless by the National Socialists. They were not allowed to occupy positions, and yet they were essential: They had to produce and educate the new person that the NS wanted to create.

As Eva Hitler in death

Adolf Hitler fought to the last breath in the Reich Chancellery and fell, the National Socialists announced on April 30, 1945. The Second World War is lost. Later it becomes clear: Hitler did not die a heroic death. He shot himself in the head.

Eva Hitler dies two minutes before him. With a poison cocktail. In the turmoil at the end of the war she had not found safety, but had rushed to Berlin - knowing that she would not leave it alive.

So Hitler married Eva shortly before the suicide. In his will he declares that he wanted to marry the woman who never let him down. He did not want to let her die dishonored.

Strong women in the dictatorship of consent

The Göbbels also go into their deaths. Joseph Göbbels is one of Hitler's closest confidants. For Magda Göbbels, model mother of the Third Reich, suicide is the only option. She cannot imagine a life without National Socialism and without the Führer. The “inner circle” also knows: They have become murderers. Others will not forgive them for that. Women share this knowledge with men.

What is left now? The fate and the confrontation with the life of Eva Braun and the other women of high-ranking National Socialists throws a new image on Hitler's "inner circle", questions the whole propaganda, exposes the lonely leader, who created everything from himself, who bewitches everyone was to blame for everything.

Heike Görtemaker said that Hitler was not a single perpetrator. Women played a crucial role in the rise of Hitler and in National Socialism, of which they were deeply convinced. It was a dictatorship of consent in which the majority of Germans supported the regime, supported and adhered to Hitler as a symbol and guarantor of National Socialism.

Time aperture 04/18/2020, 10.03 a.m.

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