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Eva Anna Paula Hitler née Braun (6 February 1912 – 30 April 1945) was the longtime companion of Adolf Hitler and for less than 40 hours, his wife. Braun met Hitler in Munich when she was 17 years old while working as an assistant and model for his personal photographer and began seeing him often about two years later. She attempted suicide twice during their early relationship. By 1936 she was a part of his household at the Berghof near Berchtesgaden and by all accounts lived a materially luxurious and sheltered life throughout World War II. Braun kept up habits which met Hitler's disapproval, such as smoking, wearing makeup and nude sunbathing. Braun enjoyed photography and many of the surviving colour photographs and film of Hitler were taken by her. She was a key figure within Hitler's inner social circle, but did not attend public events with him until the summer of 1944, when her sister Gretl married an SS liaison officer on his staff.

As the Third Reich collapsed towards the end of the war, Braun swore her loyalty to Hitler and went to Berlin to be by his side in the heavily reinforced Führerbunker beneath the Reich Chancellery. As Red Army troops fought their way into the neighbourhood on 29 April 1945, she married Hitler during a brief civil ceremony: she was 33 and he 56. Less than 40 hours later they committed suicide together in a sitting room of the bunker, she by biting into a capsule of cyanide. The German public was wholly unaware of Braun until after her death.

Born in Munich, Eva Braun was the second daughter of school teacher Friedrich "Fritz" Braun and Franziska "Fanny" Kronberger, who both came from respectable Bavarian Catholic families. Her elder sister Ilse was born in 1909 and her younger sister Margarete "Gretl" was born in 1915. Braun was educated at a lyceum, then for one year at a business school in a convent where she had average grades and a talent for athletics. She worked for several months as a receptionist at a medical office, then at age 17 took a job as an office and lab assistant and photographer's model for Heinrich Hoffmann, the official photographer for the Nazi Party. She met Hitler, 23 years her senior, at Hoffmann's studio of Munich in October 1929. He had been introduced to her as "Herr Wolff" (a childhood nickname he used during the 1920s for security purposes). She described him to friends as a "gentleman of a certain age with a funny moustache, a light-coloured English overcoat, and carrying a big felt hat." He appreciated her eye colour, which was said to be close to his mother's. Her family was strongly against the relationship and little is known about it during the first two years.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Eva Braun."
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