Eva Braun

Eva Braun walking dog.jpg
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 a 17-year-old assistant and model for his personal photographer; she 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 Nazi Germany was collapsing 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 in Munich and was the second daughter of school teacher Friedrich "Fritz" Braun (1879–1964) and Franziska "Fanny" Kronberger (1885–1976); her mother had worked as a seamstress before her marriage. She had an elder sister, Ilse (1909–1979) and a younger sister, Margarete (Gretl) (1915–1987). Braun's parents were divorced in April 1921, but remarried in November 1922, probably for financial reasons (hyperinflation was plaguing the German economy at the time). Braun was educated at a Catholic lyceum in Munich, and then for one year at a business school in the Convent of the English Sisters in Simbach am Inn, where she had average grades and a talent for athletics. At age 17 she took a job working for Heinrich Hoffmann, the official photographer for the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Initially employed as a shop assistant and sales clerk, she soon learned how to use a camera and develop photos. She met Hitler, 23 years her senior, at Hoffmann's studio in Munich in October 1929. He had been introduced to her as "Herr Wolff". Eva's sister, Gretl, also worked for Hoffman from 1932 onward, and the women rented an apartment together for a time. Gretl accompanied her sister on her later trips with Hitler to the Obersalzberg.

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 with a gunshot wound, an apparent suicide with Hitler's pistol. Hitler was in Nuremberg at the time. The relationship—likely the most intense of his life—had been important to him. Hitler began seeing more of Braun after Raubal's suicide.

Braun herself attempted suicide on 10 or 11 August 1932 by shooting herself in the chest with her father's pistol. Historians feel the attempt was not serious, but was a bid for Hitler's attention. After Braun's recovery, Hitler became more committed to her and by the end of 1932 they had become lovers. She often stayed overnight at his Munich apartment when he was in town. Beginning in 1933, Braun worked as a photographer for Hoffmann. This position enabled her to travel—accompanied by Hoffmann—with Hitler's entourage as a photographer for the Nazi Party. Later in her career she worked for Hoffman's art press.

According to a fragment of her diary and the account of biographer Nerin Gun, Braun's second suicide attempt occurred in May 1935. She took an overdose of sleeping pills when Hitler failed to make time for her in his life. Hitler provided Eva and her sister with a three-bedroom apartment in Munich that August, and the next year the sisters were provided with a villa in Bogenhausen at Wasserburgerstr. 12 (now Delpstr. 12). By 1936, Braun was at Hitler's household at the Berghof near Berchtesgaden whenever he was in residence there, but she lived mostly in Munich. Braun also had her own apartment at the new Reich Chancellery in Berlin, completed to a design by Albert Speer.

This page was last edited on 1 March 2018, at 06:37.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eva_Braun under CC BY-SA license.

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