Friday, 22nd November 2013
If you study the murder of Geli Raubal in the classroom, a follow up lesson could look at Hitler's relationship with other women. This is always taken into account when examing the death of Geli Raubal. Hitler's first significant relationship took place in 1927. Hitler, then aged 37, became involved with the sixteen-year-old Maria Reiter. Hitler appears to have been strongly attracted to teenagers. He later explained: "A girl of eighteen to twenty is as malleable as wax. It should be possible for a man, whoever the chosen woman may be, to stamp his own imprint on her. That's all the woman asks for." Maria later explained: "We went out into the night.... Hitler was about to put his arm around my shoulders and pull me toward him when the two dogs suddenly attacked each other.... Hitler suddenly intervened, like a maniac he hit his dog with his riding whip... and shook him violently by the collar. He was very excited.... I did not expect that he could hit his dog so brutally and ruthlessly, the dog which he had said he could not live without. Yet he beat up his most loyal companion." Maria asked him "How can you be so brutal and beat your dog like that?" He replied "It was necessary."
Ian Kershaw has argued Hitler 1889-1936 (1998): "He (Hitler) was thirty-seven years of age; she was sixteen. Like his father, he preferred women much younger than himself - girls he could dominate, who would be obedient playthings but not get in the way. The two women with whom he would become most intimately associated, Geli Raubal (nineteen years younger than he was) and Eva Braun (twenty-three years younger), fitted the same model - until, that is, Geli became rebellious and wanted a level of freedom which Hitler was unwilling to permit." Ronald Hayman has pointed out that there was a regular patten to Hitler's relationships: "Though he found it easy during his twenties and early thirties to make friends with children and with women in their forties and fifties, he was nervous of being rebuffed or humiliated by women of his own age. But at thirty-seven he was old enough to treat a teenage girl as if she were a child. With Maria, once they were sufficiently relaxed in each other's company, there was nothing to stop them from making love."
They had several dates during which Hitler became increasingly passionate towards her. According to Reiter, Hitler "told her that he wanted her to be his wife, to found a family with her, to have blonde children, but at the moment he had not the time to think of such things. Repeatedly Hitler spoke of his duty, his mission." Hitler told her: "When I get my new apartment you have to stay with me... forever. We will choose everything together, the paintings, the chairs, I already can see it all: beautiful, big lounge chairs of the violet plush." After declaring his love to Maria, Hitler returned to Munich.
Hitler sent her a a leather-bound copy of Mein Kampf for Christmas. Reiter gave him two sofa-cushions that she had embroidered. However, he did not visit her: "My whole world started tumbling down. I did not know what had happened, nothing... All sorts of pictures appeared in my mind... faces of other women and Hitler smiling at them. I did not want to go on living." Günter Peis points out: "In this depressed mood, she went to find a clothesline. One end of it she slung around her neck, the other around a door handle. Slowly, she glided to the floor. Slowly, she lost consciousness." Luckily, her brother-in-law arrived and "saved her life at the last minute."
Lothar Machtan has argued in The Hidden Hitler (2001) that the reason Hitler broke off his relationship with Maria was because he was being blackmailed by Emil Maurice. "As early as 1927, Party headquarters had received some anonymous letters accusing Hitler of seducing a minor. It later transpired that their author was a certain Ida Arnold, a girlfriend of Maurice, who had invited Mimi to coffee and skillfully pumped her for information. Feeling cornered, Hitler requested Maria Reiter to make a sworn deposition to the effect that she had had 'no relationship of any kind' with him. Although this amounted to flagrant perjury, it must have seemed Hitler's only possible recourse in the summer of 1928. He was clearly under extreme pressure, because nothing could have presented a greater threat to him, as party leader, than revelations about his private life - and who knew more about that subject than Emil Maurice?"
One of the reasons that is given for the suicide of Geli Raubal is Hitler's relationship with Eva Braun, a seventeen-year-old girl who Hitler took for rides in his Mercedes car. Henriette Hoffmann claims that Geli grew more and more indifferent to him while he grew more and more passionate about her. Geli began seeing other men. Wilhelm Stocker, an SA officer, was often on guard duty outside Hitler's Munich flat, later told the author of Eva and Adolf (1974): "Many times when Hitler was away for several days at a political rally or tending to party matters in Berlin or elsewhere, Geli would associate with other men. I liked the girl myself so I never told anyone what she did or where she went on these free nights. Hitler would have been furious if he had known that she was out with such men as a violin player from Augsburg or a ski instructor from Innsbruck."
After the death of Raubal Eva Braun became Hitler's main girlfriend. Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler's official photographer, argued in his book, Hitler was My Friend (1955) that he was not even sure Hitler had a sexual relationship with Braun: "Eva moved into his house, became the constant companion of his leisure hours and, to the best of my knowledge, that was all there was to it... Not at any time was there any perceptible change in his attitude towards her which might have pointed to the assumption of more intimate relations between them."
However he still had relationships with other women Hitler was especially fond of film-stars and he began a relationship Renate Mueller, who he met in 1932. Ronald Hayman, the author of Hitler and Geli (1998): "After this he arranged frequent meetings with her, and the jewellery he gave her included a diamond bracelet more valuable than any of his presents to Geli and Eva Braun. But the demands he made were as unpalatable to her as to Geli. One night, for instance, at the Chancellery, he began by going into detail about Gestapo methods of torture, comparing them with medieval techniques. After they had both taken their clothes off he lay on the floor, begging her to hit him and kick him. She refused, but he went on heaping accusations on his own head, saying he was her slave, unworthy to be in the same room. Eventually giving in, she started to kick him, abuse him with obscene words and hit him with his whip. Becoming increasingly excited, Hitler started to masturbate. After his orgasm, he suggested quietly that they should both put their clothes on. They drank a glass of wine together and chatted about trivialities. Finally he stood up, kissed her hand, thanked her for a pleasant evening and rang for a servant to show her out." When Eva Braun discovered that Hitler was having a relationship with Mueller she attempted suicide by shooting herself in the neck. Doctors managed to save her life, and after this incident Hitler seemed to become more attached to Eva.
Renate Müller gained permission from Adolf Hitler to visit London. It has been claimed that the Gestapo "kept her under surveillance while she was there, and after spending a lot of time with a former lover, Frank Deutsch, who was Jewish, she found, on returning to Germany, that she had been blacklisted". She also heard rumours that suggested she was going to be put on trial for "race defamation". Her friends claim that under this pressure she became addicted to morphine.
According to Cate Haste, the author of Nazi Women (2001): "With her career in ruins, she became addicted to morphine and was sent to a sanatorium. Having asked for, and been refused, permission to see Hitler in 1936, she returned to the sanatorium." On 1st October 1937 Renate Müller was looking out of a window when a car pulled up outside the sanatorium and four SS officers got out. In a state of panic she jumped out of the window and was killed.
The historian, Alan Bullock suggests in his book, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (1962), that Hitler was incapable of normal sexual intercourse. He quotes Ernst Hanfstaengel, a close intimate of Hitler. In his book, Hitler: The Missing Years (1957) Hanfstaengel argues: "The abounding nervous energy which found no normal release sought compensation first in the subjection of his entourage, then in his country, then of Europe... In the sexual no man's land in which he lived, he only once nearly found the woman, and never even the man, who might have brought him relief."
On her twenty-third birthday, Eva Braun again tried to kill herself. Hitler was shocked and turned up at her home asking for forgiveness. She recorded in her diary on 18th February, 1935, that he promised to buy her a house: "Dear God, please let them come true and let it happen in the near future... I am infinitely happy that he loves me so much and I pray that it may always remain so. I never want it to be my fault if one day he should cease to love me." However, in her diary on 28th May she complains: "Is this the mad love he promised me, when he doesn't send me a single comforting line in three months?"
Herbert Döhring, Hitler's manservant at the Berghof, later recalled: "She (Eva) was friendly, elegant, but she was sometimes moody and morose. Those who knew how the relationship was between them couldn't hold this against her. It was not a love affair - never. This was apparent to my wife before and after we married. She was convinced it was a friendship - a forced, necessary one." Albert Speer recalls that in 1943, Eva Braun came to him in tears, sobbing that "the Fuhrer has just told me to find someone else... he (Hitler) said that he can no longer fulfil me." Speer told Gitta Sereny: "There are no two ways of interpreting this... She made it quite clear: Hitler had told her that he was too busy, too immersed, too tired - he could no longer satisfy her as a man." Dr Theodor Morell claims that Braun asked him to give Hitler drugs which would boost his sexual appetite.
Adolf Hitler gave Eva a flat in Munich but she later moved into the Berghof in Berchtesgaden. She remained there until 1945 when she joined Hitler in his Berlin Bunker. On 28th April, 1945, Hitler married Braun. That night Hitler tested out a cyanide pill on his pet Alsatian dog, Blondi. Braun agreed to commit suicide with him. She could have become rich by writing her memoirs but she preferred not to live without Hitler.
The Soviet troops were now only 300 yards away from Hitler's underground bunker. On 30th April Hitler and Eva Braun went into a private room and took cyanide tablets. Hitler also shot himself in the head. The bodies were then cremated and his ashes were hidden in the Chancellery grounds. Albert Speer commented: "Eva's love for him, her loyalty, were absolute - as she proved unmistakably at the end."
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