There are many rumors about the love life of Adolf Hitler, and very little proof. Either he was a homosexual, or he wasn't; he either cheated on Eva Braun, or he didn't; he seduced under-age girls; he was asexual; or he was just an avuncular supporter of the Bund Deutscher Mädel, or BDM, basically the fascist version of the Girl Scouts.
|Typical fascist propaganda maiden, a postal girl.|
Quite young. And he had plenty from which to choose.
|Hitler chatting with an unidentified woman, 1940, perhaps at the opera. Hitler maintained a military bearing around the ladies.|
speculation that Hitler's fanatical views about personal hygiene prevented any intimate touching, but that is mere supposition. Any weirdness can be ascribed to Hitler now because of politics and the lack of contrary proof. Saying that Hitler was asexual because he was a germophobe (which is a vast exaggeration) is kind of like saying that someone who grows a beard would refuse to touch a kitchen knife because of an aversion to cutting tools.
Domenica del Corriere Magazine, No. 49, 1963.
There does appear to be one thing unusual about Hitler in this regard: a medical record prepared after Hitler was put in prison following the failed Munich beer hall putsch in 1923. It says Hitler suffered from "right-side cryptorchidism" - a condition where the gonad fails to descend into the scrotum. That was kept quiet from the German public, though it was a common British insult to say that Hitler only had one ball.
|I believe that this (colorized) photo was taken at the Eagle's Nest on the occasion of the wedding of Eva's sister Gretl to Hermann Fegelein on 3 June 1944.|
One can speculate endlessly about how Hitler didn't want former lovers to talk about his "condition" and what he may have done to prevent that. Those in a position to know his intimate details somehow invariably fell out of windows or put guns to their heads or took cyanide after they lost their usefulness to him - even Eva Braun. It is a very long list.
|Hitler and Rudolf Hess with two unidentified women, apparently in the 1920s. Note that the women are dressed quite fashionably, Hitler was fond of being around upper-class women who did things like go to the opera.|
We are after the truth on this blog, take it or leave it, but some of this is speculation. Unfortunately, speculation is the only avenue for us in this topic, because proof of such affairs is non-existent.
What follows is a pictorial summary of Hitler's possible relationships, some quite speculative or tentative. Sometimes, the ladies in question later publicized their association with Hitler for reasons of their own, but many (an oddly large percentage) committed suicide before they could write the now-obligatory memoir. There is no proof that anything actually went on between them and Hitler - but, with at least some of them, something undoubtedly did.
Eva Braun eventually became Frau Hitler, so she has to top our list. Shortly after that, of course, she committed suicide with him when she easily could have left, as he suggested. Quite a honeymoon!
There's not much doubt that Eva was Hitler's main love after the death of Geli Raubal. She was a simple shopgirl in her late teens in Hitler's photographer's office when they met, and she is responsible for many of the (quite good) shots and films of Hitler at the Berghof and elsewhere. She solidified her position with Hitler by threatening suicide if he didn't pay her more attention - something Hitler was probably quite keen to avoid after the horrible Geli incident. That she was devoted to Hitler was obvious.
I have an entire page on Eva Braun, so go there for more pictures and a lot of videos about her.
|It would not surprise me at all if Hitler took this shot himself. Interesting that Geli is holding a camera, too. Don't know the date, ca. 1930?|
Stephanie Rabatsch née Isak
|Stephanie Rabatsch née Isak.|
This entire story is due to a biography later written by Hitler's crony at the time, August Kubizek. Hitler's attraction for the girl was probably exaggerated by Kubizek for effect, but it seems quite plausible that Hitler's teenage hormones went into overdrive for someone, who may as well have been Stephanie. There is some tangible evidence: Hitler went so far as to post an unsigned ad directed to her in the local paper - a clear sign of deep infatuation that came after she already was married to someone else. There also may have been an element of driftless youth "playing spy" when they had nothing better to do.
Kubizek's book came out while Hitler was the Fuhrer, and there is no indication of him denying anything in it. However, the fascists did censor the whole account heavily during the Third Reich. They probably felt that portraying the "great leader" as just a normal boy subject to normal amorous inclinations did not add to his image as a warlord.
Hitler apparently got over the whole thing during the war - World War I, that is. There may have been a subtle effect on things to come: based upon her name, Hitler may have assumed that this unrequited love that he never met was Jewish (she wasn't). Stephanie lived into the 1970s and the affair-that-wasn't haunted her to the end of her days, leaving her a bit mystified about the whole thing.
There is a tale of a Renaissance author/painter (name escapes me, but a well-known name like Dante Alighieri) who saw a girl only in passing one day on the street, and he never saw her again. However, she made such an impression that he never forgot her. This sounds like a similar case.
Baroness Sigrid von Laffert
Baroness Sigrid von Laffert was a relative of Viktoria von Dirksen, an early and very wealthy "motherly" supporter of Hitler. Vicktoria was a fixture of Berlin high society and the stepmother of Herbert von Dirksen, who among other diplomatic appointments was Ribbentrop's successor as Ambassador to the Court of St. James in 1938. During the 1920s and early '30s, Viktoria held weekly soirées at her fashionable townhouse in Margaretenstrasse that brought Hitler together with big donors - which the NSDAP badly needed at the time. Joachim Ribbentrop (before he bought his "von"), a champagne salesman, probably met Hitler at one of these gatherings, so these were important events. While Viktoria herself, around 50, was a bit out of Hitler's target age range, nubile young Sigrid, who would have shown up at the parties as well, was rapidly entering it.
Baroness Von Laffert was one of the most beautiful women seen in Hitler’s company at events. It is not just sheer conjecture that she was Hitler's lover: she was widely rumored to be his romantic companion during the time he neglected Eva Braun between early March and late May 1935.
Pictures of the Baroness are difficult to track down, and those that are available usually were cropped to exclude her before publication. She is not a well-known historical figure, and little is known about the Baroness after the early war years. That almost certainly is how she (and Hitler) wanted it. While she has an impressive title, she basically was just another BDM girl, daughter of one of his backers, who went by the name "Sigui." She wandered into Hitler's domain and he (allegedly) picked her up when she was around 17.
|The same scene as above from a slightly different angle and a few seconds earlier or later. For some reason, everyone was carefully posed to look shocked at something, including the Baroness.|
Wild rumors spread about Sigrid. SS General Sepp Dietrich, part of Hitler's inner circle, later claimed that Hitler had found Sigrid in his bed, naked, in the Chancellery, waiting for him. Hitler, so the story goes, was "shocked" and told her to get dressed and get out. This was probably an absolute fabrication for image-building purposes, but it reveals the sort of locker-room atmosphere at the top of the hierarchy and reflects how she was viewed. Obviously, Sigrid was a lovely young lady.
Sigrid was a recent Bund Deutscher Mädel, or BDM, girl, and would have been in her teens when sitting in with Third Reich big shots. Basically, Hitler was relaxing with a Girl Scout. Hitler was always worried about his image, and being portrayed as a lecherous old man probably would not have helped him with his female followers. So, better to keep her out of the media except on formal occasions.
Hitler attended official events with Sigrid such as the opera until the war began, probably for convoluted image reasons, but pictures of the two at them are scarce. Sigrid played that role well. She never got into the newspapers, there were no scandals, she was the perfect little piece on the side. Sigrid may have remained the "backup girl" when Eva was "bad" or could not attend events for some reason - and Eva was known to pout. If a note appeared in the society pages that Hitler had attended the opera with some "Baroness," that would not raise any eyebrows, whereas if he was linked with unknown Eva Braun, it would. Thousands of German girls at the time gladly would have changed places with Sigui if she was just a sort of fill-in for Eva.
Sometimes, you have to think outside the box. The Baroness was well-known in Hitler's inner circle, was present with Hitler's cronies as in the photo above, was distinctly high society, hung out with the Fuhrer, was rumored to "be after him" - and yet hardly any photos of her are known to exist and almost nothing is known about her. Nobody even seems to know when she passed away - if she has passed away. That is kind of odd... until you ponder the possible reasons why.
There is a tendency to think that such a historic personage had to be more than just some powerful guy's secret girlfriend, that it was her talent alone that propelled her career. It appears to be true in this case that Leni was damned good at what she did. There is no question that Leni was one of Hitler's professional favorites in the propaganda field. Whether or not they ever actually had any intimacy is purely speculative, but there were rumors - and she was a frequent visitor for tea at the Berghof.
It is worth observing that Leni, born in 1902, was just a tad shall we say mature for Hitler's usual tastes in females. But Hitler had artistic pretensions himself, and birds of a feather do flock together.
|Hitler and Leni Riefenstahl, apparently at the Berghof.|
"I was never Hitler's mistress - although I was dazzled by him. These are nothing but lies.... I have never spoken a word about politics. It is all lies and forgeries.... I have never said that Hitler was handsome and intelligent. I am not an idiot. I have never seen mass executions and I have never seen a concentration camp."Simply to play the Devil's Advocate, there are many who consider Leni, a brilliant professional woman, to have been not always the most truthful and forthcoming person when describing her past associations. Let's be kind and say that she tended to exaggerate and say "never" when she really meant "well, not often." That picture of them together above does sort of confirm one thing in my own mind: Leni was 100% accurate when she claimed that Hitler dazzled her. That is the look of a woman in love.
Leni's career collapsed after the war, and essentially was over by the mid-1950s. It wasn't that she was bereft of talent, but her associations with fascism bedeviled her despite her fervent attempts to reject that philosophy. She was not a quitter, however. Leni resumed her craft after a very long break and performed unique studies of African tribes and underwater ecology that were groundbreaking and irreplaceable.
In a sense, Leni had the last laugh on her critics. She lived to be 101, married that same year, and had a final bow a year before her death with one final, well-received documentary about sea life.
|Hitler with Maria Reiter.|
Berchtesgaden was hardly a center of sophisticated life in those days, and before mass media such as television came along, people in such towns did not know much about worldly affairs. Maria likely was just an ordinary peasant girl, with no education and no talents (except for, well...). There's nothing wrong with that, but it put her at a severe disadvantage if she wanted to pursue a real relationship with Hitler.
Hitler ultimately (supposedly) dumped her because she was underage (though that didn't seem to bother him in other instances). More likely, and this is just a guess, he simply grew bored with her. While Hitler had his passions, he liked to associate with people who had similar interests and could converse about his favorite topics, opera and classical music. It is unlikely that Maria would have known who Verdi was, though she may have heard the name Mozart.
|Maria Reiter tells all.|
|Gertrud Deetz with Hitler at the Berchtesgaden teahouse.|
|Elfriede Raubal, right, with Geli and Hitler.|
Magda Goebbels née Quandt
|Magda Goebbels née Quandt.|
There is speculation that Hitler "liked" Magda and encouraged her marriage to Goebbels to keep her around his inner circle. Josef Goebbels was a notorious womanizer who, due to his position, had his pick of ingenues and Party girls, so something compelled him to settle down. There also is pure speculation that one or more of her children with Josef were in fact fathered by Hitler - which might help explain the incident in the bunker.
Gerda "Dara" Christian née Daranowski
|Gerda "Dara" Christian née Daranowski.|
For those looking for subtle references in popular media, the heroic young (alien) female fascist who is actually a resistance agent in the 1968 "Star Trek" episode "Patterns of Force" - which was full of obvious references to actual historical figures from the Hitler era - was named Daras. There are no coincidences, as Sigmund Freud said.
Dara was suspected of having a neo-fascist relationship in the mid-1950s, but never officially accused of anything. Dara worked at a hotel in Düsseldorf after the war and passed away in 1997, aged 83.
Hanna never gave up her love for National Socialism. She gave an extended interview in 1976 during which she wore her old fascist uniform complete with decorations (of which she was extremely proud, especially the one given to her personally by Hitler in the picture above). There is speculation that Hanna's death in 1979 was not caused by a heart attack, as officially decided, but rather from a cyanide capsule given to her by Hitler.
I've written about Hanna Reitsch elsewhere, so I will leave it at that. Hanna Reitsch also had a dramatic appearance in later pop culture as the heroic female test pilot in "Operation Crossbow" (1965), which involved a fictional event involving a very real weapon.
Annie Brandt née Rebhorn
|Annie Brandt née Rebhorn.|
Annie was a frequent visitor at the Berghof and friends with Eva. She married Dr. Karl Brandt in 1934, and they shared with Hitler a love of classical music that bound them all together. Annie's relationship with Hitler no doubt helped her husband's career as one of Hitler's personal physicians.
Helene 'Hele' Bouhler née Majer
|Helene 'Hele' Bouhler née Majer.|
Hele jumped to her death (in front of astonished American guards) at Hermann Goering's Fischhorn Castle on 19 May 1945 (well after Goering's own departure after his arrest). Her husband supposedly did as well, but there are rumors that he survived and lived out his days until the 1980s in anonymity nearby.
|Inge and Adolf, with Robert Ley in the background.|
|Inge lived in the shadows of Hitler's love (1939). She was a tall lady but pulled it off well.|
|If you were to pursue every possible avenue for the actual progeny of Adolf Hitler, this wouldn't be a bad place to start.|
The causes are usually attributed to her alleged addiction to drugs and the burden of being married to the common Ley, who was a whirlwind of corruption as head of the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, DAF).
Supposedly, Inge shot herself after some kind of drunken altercation.
Just like Hitler's actress-friend who threw herself out of a window as the SS men were coming to pay her a visit, or like Geli shooting herself, or like Unity Mitford shooting herself, or like...
|Inge and Robert Ley.|
|Adolf Hitler with Russian actress Olga Chekhova, 1939.|
Olga Chekhova was born in Aleksandropol, Erivan Governorate, Russian Empire (now Gyumri, Armenia) on 14 April 1897. She eventually found her way to Germany, where she plied her trade as an actress (she was in a 1931 Alfred Hitchcock film). Since she was in her 40s during the height of Hitler's power, Olga was a bit old for him - he preferred girls in their teens and 20s. In fact, she was one of the mistresses (apparently, there is little proof of these things) of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, who of course ran the German film industry and took full advantage of his power there with the ladies. Goebbels gave Olga the honor of referring to her in his diary as "ein charmante Frau" ("a charming lady") and gave her leading parts in many films during the 1930s. Olga also romanced Wehrmacht General Karl Heinrich von Stülpnagel (who actually did participate in a plot to kill Hitler, but that's another story) and probably other highly placed Germans. So, Olga was one of many ladies who mingled with the German hierarchy at operas and other social functions and would have come into contact with Hitler fairly frequently.
Anyway, the above photo was taken at a reception in 1939, and it obviously shows Hitler sitting next to Olga Chekhova. There is no indication that Hitler was involved with Olga - he had several mistresses at the time, including, of course, his primary squeeze, Eva Braun. However, the picture certainly makes Hitler and Olga Chekhova seem well acquainted, as Hitler didn't sit next to just anyone.
The reason this is worth reciting is that the Soviet intelligence agency reportedly (none of this is proven with ironclad certainty) saw the above picture (which likely was printed in German newspapers in the social columns). The Soviets drew an obvious conclusion - Olga was "with" Hitler in some fashion. In fact, Olga probably was at this particular function with Goebbels, or at least at his invite, but the picture alone certainly does not indicate that. Hitler also liked to squire women to social functions to hide his real relationship with Eva Braun, which he successfully kept secret from the public (Eva was happy to sit at home, apparently). So, using a colloquial term, Olga may have been a "beard" for Hitler at this particular event.
British author Roger Moorhouse, in his 2006 book "Killing Hitler," claims that the Soviets decided to try to take advantage of Olga's supposed relationship with Hitler. Moorhouse claims that Stalin and his security chief, Lavrentiy Beria, tried to coerce Olga into seducing Hitler and getting him to spill secrets. The book also claims that the Soviets wanted Olga to set Hitler up so that he could be killed by Soviet assassins (Stalin did this routinely with fellow Soviets such as Trotsky).
Well, as history shows, the Soviet plot (if there was one) never came to fruition. There is no indication that Hitler and Olga Chekhova had any more of a relationship than that shown in this one picture - sitting next to each other at this particular event. It also is unclear why the Soviets would have wanted to kill Hitler before the war, or how they would have been able to pressure Olga in Berlin during it, but Stalin had his ways. If Olga did get state secrets out of Hitler, they didn't prevent Stalin from being taken by surprise by the German invasion in June 1941.
Olga's career dwindled during the war (not unusual for an actress approaching her fifties), and she wound up in the Soviet sector of Berlin. She eventually managed to escape to the West, where Olga became a successful Munich business figure as the founder of a cosmetics company and was photographed at West German social events. Some folks just serenely glide over world events, with little matter such as World War II no more than minor annoyances. Olga Chekhova passed away on 9 March 1980, a "what might have been" in the annals of World War II.
Pre-war relations between German and British society were quite correct. In fact, there were many fascist sympathizers among the elite, including her brother-in-law Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists. Accordingly, Unity went to Munich to study and learn the culture. She immediately decided to meet the most famous man there, Hitler, and after a long effort managed it at a local restaurant when she was 18 years old. Hitler was already involved with Eva Braun at the time, but he enjoyed Unity's attentions and perhaps saw her as a source of insight, or even diplomacy, with Britain.
Unity hung out with Hitler for a full five years, including at the 1936 Olympics, and remained an ardent fascist until the war was declared in 1939. She was one of his closest confidantes on matters of a purely personal nature, though her political judgment was a bit off. Then, she - you guessed it - attempted to commit suicide with a pistol given to her by Hitler. The attempt failed, the bullet lodged in her head. Hitler paid her bills and arranged her safe-conduct home despite the war. Unity died young in 1948 due to the lingering after-effects of the attempt.
Long before that, though, Hitler and Erna had had an affair that apparently was consummated shortly after the abortive 1923 Beer Hall Putsch while Hitler was hiding out in the countryside. She was sophisticated, attractive... and available.
Like her brother, though, Erna later fell out with Hitler, though she did not defect. She reportedly, while a shop-owner in Berlin, was involved in a 1943 plot to kill him, so the breakup may not have been amicable. Erna is notable because she does not fit the profile of Hitler's other reputed lovers, being dark and quite close in age to him. However, they were together when Hitler was in extremis, and things can happen at such times.
|Traudl Junge at the Berghof.|
On 1 May, after Hitler's suicide but before the final capitulation of the city, Junge left the Führerbunker with a party led by Waffen-SS general Wilhelm Mohnke. The group included Hitler's personal pilot Hans Baur, chief of Hitler's Reichssicherheitsdienst (RSD) bodyguard Hans Rattenhuber, secretary Gerda Christian, secretary Else Krüger, Hitler's dietician Constanze Manziarly and Dr. Ernst-Günther Schenck. Successfully reaching the Elbe in a splinter group with Christian and Krüger, Junge laid low for a month, then returned to Berlin in hopes of finding a passage to the West. The Soviets arrested Junge on 9 July, and they held her until 1946. After being questioned by the Americans, Junge settled down in Bavaria.
Junge told her story several times during the postwar years, but interest accelerated over time. She wrote her memoir, "Until the Final Hour," which was published in 2002. As she learned more about the war, Junge came to regret her part in the regime and its systematic killing of people it did not like. Junge died from cancer in Munich on 10 February 2002 at the age of 81.
Charlotte Eudoxie Alida Lobjoie
|Charlotte Eudoxie Alida Lobjoie.|
Much, much doubt has been cast upon this story, and it may have involved some element of wishful thinking either by Loret or Lobjoie herself (until late in her life, she only referred to Loret's father as "a German soldier." However, there is some circumstantial evidence to support the tale, such as Hitler's mysterious visit to his old battlefield near Lobjoie's home in 1940 when (according to Loret) he disappeared for a day and briefly met with his old flame again.
|Hitler, Hess, van Salomon and Elsa Bruckmann (bottom right).|
Elsa, if born 500 years earlier, would have been an Eastern Roman Empire princess. In fact, she was born Princess Cantacuzène of Romania, daughter of Prince Theodor Cantacuzène, on 25 February 1865. Thus, she was much older than Adolf Hitler, and, as we have seen, he liked them young. So, odds of Elsa and Adolf actually having been an "item" are slim.
However, Elsa definitely had some things that Hitler wanted, namely, money and connections. As the wife of Hugo Bruckmann, Munich publisher of the writings of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Elsa maintained a weekly salon which served as a way for Berlin high society to mingle and make acquaintance. She became quite a fan of the future Fuehrer as Hitler was beginning his rise to power in the 1920s and early 1930s. Not only did she introduce Hitler to such bon vivant as wine merchant Joachim Ribbentrop, but she also donated vast sums of money to the NSDAP. Many Jewish industrialists met Hitler through such salons, funding his activities in hopes of gaining influence. Hitler also met many female acquaintances this way. Though older than Hitler, Elsa outlived him, passing away on 7 June 1946.
As with Hitler's other female friends, there is no solid evidence that Hitler and Renate had any intimacy. However, she is known to have met Hitler whilst in her 20s, and after the war, there were rumors in Germany that the two had "dated." She was a known drug abuser and was known to have developed hard feelings toward the fascist regime toward the end of her brief life.
Perhaps the best evidence that there was more to the picture was her sudden and mysterious death during an October 1937 hospital stay that may have been... a suicide. She either jumped willingly from a window or was helped. Many think the Gestapo had something to do with it, either for reasons related to Hitler or her difficulties with the regime in general. One only has to look at Renate's photographs to see that she met the Hitler profile - young, vivacious, attractive and self-assured.
|Ordinary German women often had shrines in their homes to the Fuhrer.|