The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Since he came to power things have not gone so smoothly. She seemed to find
fault with everything he did and would scold him unmercifully, even in public.
According to Friedelinde Wagner  (939) she is the one person in Germany
who can carry on a monologue in Hitler' s presence and who would actually
tell him what she thought. During these violent'scoldings Hitler would stand
there like an abashed schoolboy who had committed a misdemeanor. According
to Hanfstaengl, Mrs. Bechstein had groomed Hitler in the expectation that
he would marry her daughter, Lottie, who was far from attractive. Out of
sense of obligation, Hitler did ask Lottie, but was refused, (904). Mrs.
Bechstein was disconsolate over the failure of her plans and began to criticize
Hitler's social reforms as well as his actions. Nevertheless, Hitler mde
duty calls fairly regularly even though he postponed them as long as possible

Then there was also Frau Victoria von Dirksen, who is [00010084.GIF  Page 78]
alleged to have spent a fortune on him and his career (554), and a number 
of others. In more recent years, Mrs. Goebbels has taken over the role 
of foster-mother and looks after his comforts, supervises his household 
and bakes delicacies of which he is particularly fond. She, too, has 
been acting as a matchmaker in the hope that he might marry one of her 
friends and thereby draw the bond between them even tighter. To Ludecke, 
(177) she complained, "I am no good as a matchmaker. I would leave him 
alone with my most charming friesnds but he wouldn't respond." There was 
also his older half-sister, Angela, who kept house for him at Munich 
and Berchtesgaden and, for a time, seemed to play a mother's role.

Winifred Wagner, the daughter-in-law of Richard Wagner, has also 
caused a great deal of comment. She is English by birth, and, from all 
accounts, is very attractive and about Hitler's own age. She met Hitler 
in the early 1920's and since that time has been one of his staunch 
supporters. He became a frequent visitor at the Wagner home in 
Bayreuth and after his accession to power, built a house on the Wagner 
estate for himself and his staff. After the death. of Siegfried Wagner, 
reports all over the world had it that she would become Hitler's wife. 
But nothing happened in spite of the fact that it seemed like an 
ideal union from the point of view of both parties.

Nevertheless, Hitler continued to be a frequent guest at the Wagner's.  
It probably was the nearest thing to a home he has known since his own 
homebroke up in 1907. Mrs. Wagner un-[00010085.GIF  Page 79]doubtedly 
did everything in her power to make him comfortable and Hitler felt 
very much at home. There were three small children, a boy and two 
girls (one of them is our informant, Friedelinde) which added 
considerably to the home atmosphere. The entire family called him by 
his nickname "Wolf" and addressed him as "Du". He felt so secure in 
this house that he often came and stayed without his bodyguard. He 
sometimes spent his Christmas holidays with the family and became very 
much a part of it. But further than that he was unwilling to go, even 
though the marriage would have been exceedingly popular with the German 

B. Then there were a long line of 'passing fancies'. For the most part 
these were screen and stage stars. Hitler  likes to be surrounded with 
pretty women and usually requests the moving picture companies to send 
over a number of actresses whenever there is a party in the Chancellory. 
He seems to get an extraordinary delight in fascinating these girls 
with stories about what he is going to do in the future or the same old 
stories about his past life. He also likes to impress them with his power 
by ordering the studios to provide them with better roles, or promising 
that he will see to it that they are starred in some forthcoming 
picture. Most of his associations with women of this type, and their 
number, is legion, does not go beyond this point as far as
we have been able to discover. On the whole he seems, to feel more 
comfortable in the company of stage people than with any other group 
and often came down to the studio restaurants for lunch. 

[00010086.GIF  Page 80]

C. There have been several other women who have played a more or less 
important role in Hitler's life. The first of which we have any knowledge 
was Henny Hoffmann, the daughter of the official party photographer. 
Henny, according to reports, was little more than a prostitute and 
spent most of her time among the students in Munich, who alleged that 
she could be had for a few marks. Heinrich Hoffmann, her father, was a 
member of the Party and a closet friend of Hitler. By a queer twist of 
Fate, Hoffmann had taken a picture of the crowds in Munich at the 
outbreak of the last war. Later, when Hitler became prominent in Munich 
politics, Hoffmann discovered Hitler in the picture and called it to his 
attention. Hitler was delighted and a close relationship sprung up
between them. Hoffmann' s wife was also very fond of Hitler and 
played a mother role towards him for a time.

With the death of Mrs. Hoffmann, the home went to pieces from a moral 
point of view and became a kind of meeting place for homosexuals of 
both sexes. There was a good deal of drinking and great freedom in 
sexual activities of all kinds. Hitler was frequently present at 
parties given in the Hoffmann home and became very friendly with Hermy. 
The relationship continued for some time until Henny, who was a very 
garrulous person by nature, got drunk one night and began to talk about 
her relationship to Hitler. Her father became enraged and for a time 
had little to do with Hitler.

Up to this time Hitler had steadfastly refused to have his photograph 
taken for publication on the grounds that it was [00010087.GIF  Page 81]
better publicity to remain a mystery man and also because if his picture 
appeared it would be too easy to identify him when he crossed 
Communist territories. Shortly after the above described episode, Hitler 
named Hoffmann as the official Party photographer and gave him the 
exclusive right to his photographs. These privileges, so it is alleged, 
have, in the course of years netted Hoffmann millions of dollars. Among 
Hitler's associates, it was supposed that Hitler had committed some kind 
of sexual indiscretion with Henny and had bought Hoffmann's silence by 
granting him these exclusive rights. 

In any event, Henny was soon married 
to Baldur von Schirach, the Leader of the Nazi Youth Movement who is 
reputed to be a homosexual. His family were violently opposed to the 
marriage but Hitler insisted. All differences between Hitler and Hoffmann 
seem to have disappeared and today he is one of Hitler's closest 
associates and exerts a great personal influence on the Fuehrer. We 
shall consider the nature of Hitler's indiscretion later in our study 
since it is not a matter of common knowledge and would lead us too far 
afield at the present time. 

After the Henny Hoffmann episode, Hitler began to appear in public 
with his niece, Geli, the daughter of his half-sister, Angela, who had 
come to keep house for Hitler in 1924. At the time this relationship 
matured her mother had gone to Berchtesgaden and Hitler and Geli were 
living alone in his Munich flat. They became inseparable companions 
and became the subject of much comment in Party circles. Many of the 
members, [00010088.GIF  Page 82] particularly Gregor Strasser, felt 
that this was poor publicity and was creating a good deal of 
unfavorable talk. Other members had Hitler brought on the carpet 
to explain where he was getting the money to clothe Geli and
sport her around if he was not using Party funds for this purpose.

Hitler became very jealous of Geli's attention and refused to let her go
out with any other men. Some claim that he kept her locked in during the
day when he could not take her with him. For several years the relationship
continued over the opposition of the Party. Then one day Geli was found
dead in Hitler's apartment - she had died from a bullet fired from Hitler's
revolver. There was considerable commotion. The coroner's verdict was suicide
but Geli was buried in hallowed ground by a Catholic clergy. There was much
speculation whether she killed herself or was killed by Hitler. Whatever
the facts my be, Hitler went into a profound depression which lasted for
months. During the first days after the funeral, Gregor Strasser remained
with him in order to prevent him from committing suicide. Ludecke (178)
says: "The special quality of Hitler's affection (for Geli) is still
a mystery to those closest to him."

For a few years after Geli's death, Hitler had little to do with women except
in a very superficial way. Along about 1932, however, he became interested
in Eva Braun, Hoffmann's photographic. assistant. This relationship did
not develop very rapidly but it has contimed. In the course of time, Hitler
has bought her many things including high-powered automobiles and a 
house between Munich and Berchtesgaden where, it is alleged, 
he [00010089.GIF  Page 83] frequently spends the night on the way to or 
from his country estate. Eva Braun is also frequently a guest at 
Berchtesgaden and in Berlin. 

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