Eva Braun: Life with Hitler
This meticulously-researched and documented biography is far more than the story of Eva Braun, Hitler’s longtime mistress and, very briefly, wife. Görtemaker has sifted through photographs, diaries, letters, interviews, and previous research to provide a wider perspective on not only Eva, but also many others in Hitler’s inner circle. As most of Hitler’s and Braun’s own documents were destroyed, there is very little primary material in their own voices. Görtemaker serves as an able guide through the myriad views of others – ranging from Heinrich Hoffmann (official Nazi Party photographer, at whose studio Eva was employed when she met Hitler in 1929) to Magda Goebbels (beautiful society wife of Joseph, the Minister of Propaganda) to Nerin Gun, author of a 1968 biography of Braun. Görtemaker provides critical perspective throughout, questioning previous assertions and pointing out the political interests at play. She concludes that Eva, while being close to Hitler for over a decade, exerted no overt influence on his policy or philosophy, and apparently was not much interested in either, preferring to throw parties and gossip about movie stars. How this naïve ingénue’s loyalty was rewarded with Hitler’s unquestioning trust may never be fully understood, but it makes for fascinating reading.