The relationship between Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun is just as twisted as anything else about the Nazi dictator. Hitler and Braun were 23 years apart in age and began a relationship when she was only 17, which lasted until their deaths by suicide at the end of World War II. Their entire relationship was strange--Hitler wanted to portray a pure image of bieng married to Germany and shunned Eva when they were in public--and their wedding was no exception.
Braun followed Hitler loyally for about 16 years, and he even compared her to his beloved dog, Blondi (on whom he tested his poison before using it on himself). In a perversion of the classic Romeo and Juliet love story, the newlyweds killed themselves mere hours after their wedding ceremony and were burned in the bunker, according to Hitler's last will and testament.
They Met When She Was 17 And He Was 40
Eva Braun was a 17-year-old photographer's assistant when she became acquainted with Adolf Hitler. Braun had recently finished convent school, and was working for Hitler's official photographer. Their first date was to the opera. Only weeks after their first meeting, in 1929, Braun agreed to go with Hitler to his secluded mountain home. Not long after, she became his mistress.
Braun's entire family was against her relationship with the future Führer, but Braun was enamored with him and became his mistress, despite their protests, after his prior mistress allegedly committed suicide.
Braun Wasn't Allowed To Show Her Boyfriend Any Affection In Public Because Hitler Wanted His Female Followers To Find Him Appealing
Braun was by Hitler's side for 16 years — well, not really. Hitler was obsessed with crafting an image of someone married to his country, and couldn't let something like a loving relationship interfere. He also wanted to remain attractive to his female followers.
Braun wasn't allowed to show Hitler any affection in public, and most Germans didn't even know she existed (Hitler wouldn't let photos of her be published). Hitler would even go so far as to ignore her while in public, only interacting with her to give her an envelope of money at the end of the night. Even after Braun moved into the Berlin Chancellery, she was forced to use the back door so no one saw her. Hitler's chauffeur called her "the unhappiest woman in Germany."
Hitler Investigated Braun's Family For "Jewish Taint" To Make Sure His Girlfriend Was A Pure Aryan
Before going on his first date with Braun, Hitler ordered a thorough investigation of his future girlfriend's family heritage to ensure he would be sleeping only with a pure Aryan. Although at the time the investigation proved satisfactory, recent DNA evidence has reported that Braun may actually have descended from Jewish ancestry. Years after the war ended, hairs from a hairbrush with Braun's initials that had been found in the Alpine home she shared with the Führer and then preserved were DNA tested for "Dead Famous DNA," a UK television show. The tests show that the hairs come from, specifically, an Ashkenazi Jew. Although Braun grew up Catholic and even attended convent school, deep family history indicates that one of Braun's ancestors may have been a German Jew who converted to Catholicism during such a movement in the 1800s.
Braun Was His Mistress For Sixteen Years Before They Married
According to Hitler's housekeeper, Braun desperately wanted to marry Hitler, but he insisted that he would never marry, in part because he wanted to project the image that he was "married to Germany." Despite his reluctance to commit to her, however, Hitler apparently grew more fond of her as the years wore on. According to Dr. van Capelle and Dr. van de Bovenkamp, the authors of Hitler's Henchmen, Hitler would call Braun ever other day while away on business, and would send her letters whenever he could.
Braun's diary, however, told a different story, of a man who both didn't have time for her but exercised immense control over her, forbidding her from dancing, smoking, or being in "the company of other men." Although devoted to Hitler, Braun complained that he only loved her when it was convenient for him.