Eva Braun no "dumb blonde", says new biography

Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:36am EDT
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By Christopher Lawton

BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - Adolf Hitler's companion Eva Braun has been treated as an inconsequential figure in the Third Reich by historians but the author of a new biography said on Friday she was anything but "a dumb blonde".

Heike Goertemaker said Braun, who was 17 when she met the Nazi ruler in Munich in 1929 and married him two days before their joint suicide, was not the meek and deferential woman often depicted in documentary films and books.

Goertemaker's book "Eva Braun: Life with Hitler" has sparked a new interest in Braun, who committed suicide at the age of 33 with Hitler in his bunker in April 1945.

German networks have aired documentaries taking a new look at Braun and a feature film based on the book is planned.

"People have always seen her as just the pleasant woman who fell in love with a monster, but she actually played an important role in Hitler's inner circle," said Goertemaker, 45.

"I can't say she influenced political decisions, but she was not a passive wallflower," she added. "She was no dumb blonde."

Goertemaker describes how Braun worked for Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler's photographer, and how he trained her. During this period, Braun met the Nazi leader, then aged 40.

Hoffmann used Braun's relationship to get private snapshots of the dictator because the Austrian-born Hitler allowed her to take pictures and even make films of him.   Continued...