The relationship between Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun is just as twisted as anything else about the Nazi leader. 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 being 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, despite him showing greater affection for his 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 the day after their wedding ceremony and were burned in their bunker, according to Hitler's last request.
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 left convent school and was working for Hitler's official photographer. In 1929, the two went on a date to the opera.
Shortly after their first date, Braun became Hitler's mistress, after his prior mistress allegedly took her own life.
Braun Wasn't Allowed To Show Hitler Affection In Public Because He Wanted His Female Followers To Find Him Appealing
Braun was by Hitler's side for 16 years – technically. 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 To Make Sure She Was 'Pure'
Before going on his first date with Braun, Hitler ordered a thorough investigation of his future mistress's family heritage to ensure she was "pure." Although the investigation proved satisfactory, recent DNA evidence has reported that Braun may actually have descended from Jewish ancestors.
Years after the war ended, hairs from a hairbrush with Braun's initials – that had been found in the Alpine home she shared with Hitler and then preserved – were DNA tested for Dead Famous DNA, a UK television show. The tests show the hairs came from, specifically, an Ashkenazi Jew.
While Braun grew up Catholic and even attended convent school, deep family history indicates that Braun's ancestors may have been German Jews who converted to Catholicism during a movement in the 1800s.
Braun Was Hitler's Mistress For 16 Years Before They Married
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 the German people."
Though various accounts paint their relationship as either loving or oppressive for Braun, Hitler's preoccupation with his agenda left little room for romance or intimacy.