Synopses & Reviews
In this groundbreaking biography of Eva Braun, German historian Heike B. Görtemaker delves into the startlingly neglected historical truth about Adolf Hitler’s mistress. More than just the vapid blonde of popular cliché, Eva Braun was a capricious but uncompromising, fiercely loyal companion to Hitler; theirs was a relationship that flew in the face of the Führer’s proclamations that Germany was his only bride. Görtemaker paints a portrait of Hitler and Braun’s life together with unnerving quotidian detail—Braun chose the movies screened at their mountaintop retreat (propaganda, of course); he dreamed of retiring with her to Linz one day after relinquishing his leadership to a younger man—while weaving their personal relationship throughout the fabric of one of history’s most devastating regimes. Though Braun gradually gained an unrivaled power within Hitler’s inner circle, her identity was kept a secret during the Third Reich, until the final days of the war. Faithful to the end, Braun committed suicide with Hitler in 1945, two days after their marriage.
Through exhaustive research, newly discovered documentation, and anecdotal accounts, Görtemaker has meticulously built a surprising portrait of Hitler’s bourgeois existence outside of the public eye. Though Eva Braun had no role in Hitler’s policies, she was never as banal as she was previously painted; she was privy to his thoughts, ruled life within his entourage, and held his trust. As horrifying as it is astonishing, Eva Braun will undoubtedly be referenced in all future accounts of this period.
"Known today primarily from a handful of personal photos with the FÃ¼hrer and the reminiscences of his closest aides, Eva Braun is often thought of as a stereotypically vapid dumb blond, in thrall to Hitler's magnetism, but ignorant of and uninterested in the political tumult he caused. Braun, 23 years Hitler's junior, was long thought to have been merely the leader's arm candy, never having a truly intimate or emotional bond with the man who said the only bride he would consent to marry was Germany itself. GÃ¶rtemaker challenges these assumptions in the first scholarly biography of Hitler's mistress, originally published in German last year. Having painstakingly reviewed the archives for references to Braun's relationship with Hitler, GÃ¶rtemaker presents a portrait of an engaged and engaging young woman, fervently supportive of National Socialism and one of the few members of Hitler's inner circle to never lose his trust or fall out of affection. Though a full account is hampered by the lack of revealing documents (a stash of hundreds of love letters that Braun ordered preserved just before her suicide has never been found and is presumed destroyed), this telling sheds more light on the central question in the narrative of Eva Braun: 'Did she share the political positions and basic worldview of her lover or was she merely the Ã¢Â€Â˜tragic slave,' who nonetheless profited from Hitler's power by enjoying the luxurious life that he offered her?' Photos." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The first comprehensive biography of Eva Braun: an authoritative reassessment of her role in Hitler’s life, which gives us, as well, an astonishingly revealing portrait of Hitler and his inner circle.
In this groundbreaking book, German historian Heike B. Görtemaker reveals the real woman behind the myth of the vapid blonde with whom Hitler spent the last eighteen years of his life. Eva Braun’s relationship with the Führer flew in the face of his proclamations that Germany was his only bride. In fact, he and Braun lived a bourgeois existence out of the public eye, and her identity was kept secret by the Third Reich until the final days of the war. Uncompromising and fiercely loyal to Hitler, she committed suicide with him two days after their marriage.
Through exhaustive research, drawing on newly discovered documents and anecdotal accounts, Görtemaker makes clear that although Braun had no role in Hitler’s policies, she was privy to his thoughts, commanded life among his entourage, and unfailingly held his trust.
As unsettling as it is astounding, Eva Braun: Life with Hitler will undoubtedly be one of the most talked about books of the season.
About the Author
Heike B. Görtemaker, born in 1964, is a German historian and author. She studied history, economics, and German literature in Berlin and Bloomington, Indiana. In 2005, she published a biography of Margret Boveri, a prominent German journalist from the 1930s to the 1970s. Görtemaker lives with her husband near Berlin. She is currently working on a project dealing with the legacy of Hitler’s inner circle in postwar Germany.