For decades she has been seen as a decorative companion to Adolf Hitler, an apolitical “dumb blonde” whose attentions served as an occasional diversion for the Führer. But the first academic biography of Eva Braun draws a different picture of the dictator’s long-standing girlfriend, claiming historians have hugely underestimated the role she played in his life.
Berlin historian Heike Görtemaker reveals her as politically committed who won Hitler’s affections, enjoyed a healthy sex life with him, sympathised with Nazi politics and gave him psychological support.
Görtemaker spent three years researching her book, Eva Braun: Life With Hitler, due out this month from the prestigious CH Beck publishing house. She was able to draw on previously unseen or little-known documents, letters, diary entries and photographs.
“Eva Braun features in films, plays, novels and historical memoirs,” Görtemaker told the Observer, “but is always portrayed as the dumb blonde who had the misfortune to fall in love with a devil, and this is an image that needs to be corrected. She was capricious, an uncompromising advocate of unconditional loyalty towards the dictator.”