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As Ms. Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler solidified this enduring relationship toward the end of their lives by getting married. Apparently Eva Braun achieved her ultimate goal—marriage to the Fuehrer—which finally legitimized her importance to him while also assuring her place in history. Her relationship with the power players within the Nazi regime differ depending on who in the entourage is asked. Of course after the war, Nazi officers were more invested in saving their own lives and may have purposefully distanced themselves from any close relationship with her.

Convenient memory losses were common among the Nazi elite. There is little in the way of public documents that would fully explain Eva Braun and her motives as most of her papers, photos, and films she created remain in the National Archives in Washington. There are no letters to her from Hitler or vice versa that we know of. Hitler was very leery about any personal correspondence for fear that anything in writing could somehow be used against him.

However, Ms. And then, on Sept. He seems to have talked freely about them at the Berghof. During the course of the conflict, at least until close to the end, she seems to have been unconcerned, taking her annual trip to Italy while Hitler was conducting the war on the Eastern Front. Eva Braun loved Hitler; of that there can be no doubt. In the spring of , when the war was clearly lost, she rushed to Berlin to be with him in his bunker, to marry him, to commit suicide with him at the moment when the Red Army reached the Reichstag.

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Eva Braun: Life with Hitler by Heike Görtemaker: review

Invalid email address. Please re-enter. You must select a newsletter to subscribe to. Sign Up. You will receive emails containing news content , updates and promotions from The New York Times. Photo agencies were booming in any case, since by that time more and more newspapers were illustrating their reports with photographs. The demand throughout the world for news photographs was constantly on the rise, and a flourishing business grew from Hoffmann's small workshop in a courtyard behind 50 Schellingstrasse.

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Shortly before the reopening, Hoffmann hired new employees, and one of them was the seventeen-year-old Eva Braun. In any case, the various statements about her actual duties are contradictory. For example, Henriette von Schirach- Hoffmann's daughter and a friend of Eva Braun's the same age as she, who was thus in a position to know-says at one point in her memoir that Braun was an "apprentice in [Hoffmann's] photo lab," but mentions elsewhere that Braun sold "roll films" in her father's "photo store.

Eva Braun, Heinrich Hoffmann later wrote, had been a "novice and shop assistant" and worked for him "in the office, as a salesgirl, and also in the laboratory.


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The field was new and modern and the idea of becoming a fashion or portrait photographer attracted many women. Eva Braun was especially interested in fashion. Her first task at Hoffmann's, though, was to learn how to use a camera and develop pictures. From the beginning, her duties included running small errands for Hoffmann and his clients and working behind the counter.

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Along with press photography, the rise in amateur photography offered a steadily growing market, so Photohaus Hoffmann not only took photographs but also sold photographic equipment, which was now readily available to the public. In addition, it sold pictures and postcards of its own, and Eva Braun was also responsible for those sales, according to Baldur von Schirach, Hoffmann's son-in-law and the future Youth Leader of the Nazi Party.


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Hoffmann's preferred motifs and images included his fellow Party members and, especially, portraits of its leader, Adolf Hitler. Eva Braun probably met Hitler for the first time in October , a few weeks after starting her job. She was apparently working late, organizing papers, when Hoffmann introduced her to one "Herr Wolf" and asked her to fetch some beer and sausages for him and his friend, and for herself as well, from a nearby restaurant.

During the meal together that followed, the stranger was "devouring" her "with his eyes the whole time," and he later offered her "a lift in his Mercedes. Finally, before she left the studio, Eva Braun's boss, Hoffmann, asked her: "Haven't you guessed who that gentleman is; don't you ever look at our photos?

Eva Braun: Life with Hitler

Adolf Hitler. His work is quoted extensively even today, and it tends to give the impression that Eva Braun dictated her story directly to him.

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From whom did he get his information, and how? And what are we to make of his own thoroughly enigmatic history? Shortly before the end of the war, on April 12, , the secret police ordered his arrest for allegedly being an enemy of the German state; he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp. Two weeks later, on April 29, , he was liberated along with the other prisoners by the American Seventh Army. That was presumably why the CIA suspected him, as a member of the Communist Party, of being involved himself in the assassination of President Kennedy and charged him with having committed espionage and falsified documents in Europe.

In the mids, on the occasion of the anniversary celebration of the liberation of Dachau, Gun visited West Germany.

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That was apparently when he arranged to meet Eva Braun's family and other former members of Hitler's inner circle. Gun obtained access to Eva Braun's private photographs and letters, and these were published for the first time in his book. However, Gun does not give precise details about the sources of his information, and he switches freely back and forth between invented anecdotes and factual testimony from actual witnesses in a way that makes it impossible for the reader to determine which is which. Ilse Hess, Rudolf Hess's wife, wrote in a letter to Albert Speer on June 25, , that Gun, "the author of the book about Everl [her nickname for Eva Braun]," had stayed with her, Ilse Hess, "for weeks" in Hindelang, since he was now planning to write a biography of her husband; she wrote that she now called him only by the name "Mr.

I pay all" in English , since that was his "favorite expression. Presumably, Gun likewise stayed with the Braun family the year before while he was researching his book on Eva Braun, although there is no concrete evidence either way. Thus we cannot say that the sequence of events at the first meeting between Eva Braun and Hitler has been established with certainty, even if matters may well have played out the way Gun describes.

It is certainly unclear why Hoffmann would have introduced his prominent friend and Party colleague under the fake name "Wolf.

Possibly Hoffmann was trying to forestall a nervous, or even hysterical, reaction from the young woman. In any case, nothing could stop the attraction that apparently sprang up spontaneously on both sides. From then on, Hitler, already forty years old, remembered himself to the seventeen-year-old Eva Braun with compliments and little gifts every time he visited the studio. Such visits were not at all difficult for Hitler to arrange.