Eva Braun Biography

My eyes spotted the name “Eva Braun” in bold letters on the spine of a book on the bottom shelf of the new releases, non -fiction section at the Norfolk (Nebraska) Public Library.  The ever curious anti-fascist part of my brain had to investigate this find.

Eva Braun–Life With Hitler is the latest tome about Hitler’s girlfriend.  My first impression of this book by Heike B. Görtemaker was that it’s a must-read for anyone interested in 20th Century history.  The dustjacket’s front photo is strangely engaging.  It shows Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun eating in the teahouse on Mooslahnerkopf in 1940.

The book was translated from Görtemaker’s original German edition, Eva Braun: Leben Mit Hitler by Damian Searls.  I knew from the table of contents that I simply had to bring home the book.  Having read Ian Kershaw’s two volume biography of Adolf Hitler a few years ago, I wanted to compare points of view and character development.

Görtemaker’s writing and Searls’ translation talents drew me into Braun’s life right away.  The narrative reads like a novel.  Braun comes to life in her early career as an employee and model at the studio of Heinrich Hoffmann in Munich.  Hoffmann became an official photographer for the budding NSDAP (Nazi) party and was Hitler’s official photographer.

Pencil sketch of Eva Braun by Adolf Hitler

The reader soon realizes that Eva Braun was not the dumb blonde character that other historians have assumed.  She not only fell in love with Hitler, but made it her life’s goal to always be true and faithful to him.  The feeling was mutual.  The dictator to be, was smitten by Braun from the start.

The book chronologically details Braun’s life with that of Hitler and the lives of his inner circle of friends and Nazi higher ups.  The reader discovers that Braun was not a passive, helpless, ignorant victim drawn into the hypnotic power of her Führer. She was not the idealized Hausfrau of Nazi propaganda.  In as much as she was able, Braun was somewhat of a free spirit with a clever mind and sporting nature.

Görtemaker’s biography of Eva Braun is a real page turner.  Much of the mystery of the inner circle of the diabolical  Nazi regime is fleshed out in compelling style.  The characters are not demonized nor idealized.  Görtemaker, like Kershaw, has written a very human account of an historical figure. 

Eva Braun–Life With Hitler by Heike B. Görtemaker. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011  ISBN 978-0-307-59582-9

Auf Wiedersehen

The Blue Jay of Happiness recommends this book to history buffs and general readers alike.

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Books, History, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Eva Braun Biography

  1. Maggie says:

    That sounds like it would be really good. I read The Lost Life of Eva Braun by Angela Lambert, and it was more fascinating than I thought it would be; there’s a lot more to Eva than is let on in many documentaries about the Third Reich.

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