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Friday, April 30, 2010
By Tuhin A Sinha Mumbai, India
Adolf Hitler’s romances followed an intriguing pattern- they carried a similar demonic streak in them that characterized his politics.
All three known women to enter his life attempted suicide, which in turn cast serious aspersions over his psychological and sexual traits. However, if there is one relationship of Hitler’s that still evinces interest, it is that with Eva Braun, 23 years younger than him. Braun was Hitler’s mistress for 12 years and wife for 40 hours.
Braun met Hitler in Munich when she was 17. She was working as an assistant and model for his personal photographer and began seeing him more often two years later. Much of Eva Braun’s viewpoint on their romance and her life with Hitler comes across on the site evabraun.dk
According to the site, in 1931, Eva wrote a letter to Hitler:
"Dear Mr. Hitler, I would like to thank you for the pleasant evening at the theater. It was unforgettable... I count the hours until the moment when we shall meet again.." Braun soon agreed to follow Hitler to his mountain retreat in the Alps. Their attraction was immediate, and over the objection of her lower-middle-class Bavarian parents, she became his mistress."
Their relationship, post that is of the kind that would re-define the word ‘enigma’. Hitler wouldn’t publicly embrace her, nor privately disown her. He provided her an opulent life, replete with all material comforts, yet deprived her of the one thing she treasured most-his company. According to Hitler's chauffeur Erich Kempka, Braun spent most of her time waiting for Hitler.
Hitler kept Braun away from the public eye. His high-handedness towards her is said to have made his staff refer to Braun as “the girl in a gilded cage". Braun, for her part, only became rebellious- keeping up habits which Hitler detested, such as smoking and nude sunbathing.
In a tender moment though, Hitler is said to have confided his feelings for Braun in his personal valet, Heinz Linge, "Braun is too young to be the wife of one in my position. But she is the only girl for me. So we live as we do..."
So, did Hitler love Eva Braun?
Well, so it seems. Hitler’s definition of love, though, was significantly different from the way the world perceived it. It carried an element of perversity. Apparently, he believed in ‘controlling’ the lover, without in turn living up to his part of the involvement. This behavior surprisingly brings out insecurity in as much as it does vanity.
And did Eva Braun love Hitler?
Yes. What must have started off as an infatuation eventually stood the test of time, despite abuse of various kinds. It is believed that Hitler wanted her to be with him in death, just as she had stood by him for so many years in life. Braun fulfilled his wish as she always had. On 30th April, 1945, Hitler and Braun committed suicide just when they were on the verge of being captured by the Soviet troops. The world discovered after their deaths that Hitler and Braun were man and wife. Hitler’s acquiescence to marry Braun- something she always wanted, barely 40 hours before their death, was his compensation/redemption for all that Braun had borne for him.
Had it not been for unconditional love, Braun would probably have realized the futility of craving for the moment of glory that simply wasn’t. Hitler’s narcissism did not spare his idea of love.
The article was first published in The Times of India
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