Tim's Reviews > Eva Braun: Life with Hitler

Eva Braun by Heike B. Görtemaker
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Jan 15, 12

bookshelves: borrowed, biography
Read from January 07 to 10, 2012

German historian Heike B. Görtemaker faced a difficult task writing Eva Braun: Life with Hitler . There is little available by which to evaluate Braun. Any correspondence she had with Hitler has been destroyed or disappeared. The only extant diary consists of 10 entries in the first half of 1935. There are few contemporary descriptions of her. As a result, Görtemaker tries to piece together a picture of Braun through others.

Although Görtemaker relies on and cites a wealth of sources, some of her "primary" ones come from acquaintances such as Albert Speer or Herman Göring's wife, Emmy. Their comments come from statements given Allied forces after the war or post-war memoirs. In many cases, though, she discounts these sources as being influenced by efforts to distance the individuals from Hitler and his regime. This leads Görtemaker to explore the story of Hitler and to look at the lives of a variety of people near or around him during the same periods Braun was.

While that is an ingenious approach, it doesn't really produce the intended result. The reader spends as much or more time reading about others and what they thought than about Braun. Ultimately, whatever conclusions the reader or Görtemaker might draw as to Braun's views, ideas and the like can't rise above the level of speculation. Although it may be predicated on decent analysis, it is still speculation. In the end, we don't really learn much about Braun and her life with Hitler.

(Originally posted at A Progressive on the Prairie.)
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