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The pathetic ordinariness of Eva Braun


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Last month, February 6, was the birthday of Eva Braun; it passed unnoticed. The Braun family might have celebrated but their members are extinct; Eva's father died in 1964 and the final member, Gretl, died in 1987. She had named her daughter Eva, in honor of her sister, who was born on the very day of the Nazi capitulation. That Eva committed suicide in 1975 after her boyfriend was killed in a car accident. The star-crossed family leaves one with a sense of futility, all that drama and turbulence gone like a brief summer breeze.

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Eva Braun was born in 1912 into a lower-middle-class Bavarian family and she was educated in Catholic schools. Her grades were mediocre but she excelled in sports; swimming and skiing. In 1929 she was employed as a saleswoman and model in the shop of Heinrich Hoffman, Hitler’s photographer, and in this way met the rising politician. Eva was not initially impressed, she confided to a sister calling him "a gentleman of a certain age [Hitler was 23 years older]  with a funny mustache and carrying a big felt hat.” But Hitler, a constant visitor to the shop, was persistent, showering her effusive compliments. She surrendered. After the controversial death of Geli Raubal, Hitler’s niece, Eva became his mistress, living in his Munich flat and trying acting despite the fierce opposition of her father. In 1936, Hitler decided to move her to the Berghof on the Obersalzberg, concerned about her stability; the year before, suspecting female rivals, she had made a second suicide attempt. There she remained until the Bunker and Götterdämmerung.

Goodness is as banal as evil and may exist in the most unlikely people: even Hitler's mistress.
-Angela Lambert

At the Berghof Eva acted as a hostess; she was gracious with the constant guests and kind to the help. Although an ardent proponent of German victory, she never joined the Nazi party and no one heard her utter an anti-Semitic word. (1) She shared with Hitler a love of dogs. Eva was a prolific photographer; her folksy home movies at the Berghof have left us rich historical documents. 

But, the frivolity... Eva spent most of her time exercising, brooding, reading cheap novelettes, watching romantic films, or concerning herself with her own appearance, particularly her weight. She was addicted to fashion and changed her clothes several times a day. Needy, she obsessed over Hitler's attentions or lack thereof; Dr Morell claimed that she asked her to give Hitler drugs to boost his sexual appetite. In her diary, Eva boasted "I am the mistress of the greatest man in Germany and in the world." However, she resented that they rarely appeared in public together and that few Germans even knew of her existence. 

 According to Albert Speer's memoirs, Eva approached Hitler in "high indignation"; Hitler quietly instructed Speer, who was armaments minister at the time, to allow limited availability of women's cosmetics and luxuries rather than instituting an outright ban, Speer later said, "Eva Braun will prove a great disappointment to historians."

Eva had her other moments of defiance. She was the only person who would dare to declare, “I’m going to bed!” during one of Hitler’s endless nighttime monologues. And she made it clear that she was repelled by his vegetarian diet. "I can't eat that stuff". 

Was Eva a victim of Hitler's manipulative, Svengali-like wiles? It seems she was carefully selected and groomed by him as a symbol of unthreatening and devoted (and blond) German womanhood. The extent of their sexual life is veiled in mystery. There is no doubt that she would have had led an entirely different, and probably happier, life if the meeting in the photography shop had never happened.

As the Reich began to crumble in late 1944, she invited her cousin Gertraud Weisker to visit her at the Berghof. Decades later, Weisker recalled that although women in the Third Reich were expected not to wear make-up, drink, or smoke, Braun did all of these things. "She was the unhappiest woman I have ever met," 

Eva Braun's diary:
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/eva-braun-s-diary

1- There is some controversy over Braun's awareness of the Holocaust

Edited by Childress
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Nice infos, If we have so much infos sometimes with old movies and documentary around Hitler and privates live is because, of her, she was making lot of movies, around him her family and herself where the sensure for her was not so strong as another photographer.

So Mr Goebbels couldn't do nothing about her.

Edited by JM Stuff
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