Eighty years ago in a smart suburb in Munich on September 19th 1931, Angela Maria Raubal shot herself with a pistol, it seems from Hitler’s own gun collection (a Walther firearm apparently). Geli was only 23 years old at the time. Since then rumours have circulated that her death was not from her own fair hand but from others who saw her as a threat to their own relationship with Hitler.
Fourteen years later in Berlin, in the Fuhrer Bunker, on the 30th April 1945, Eva Braun (now Mrs Adolph Hitler of a few hours) terminated her own short life by slowly biting on to a cyanide capsule (seated next to her on a sofa, her husband settled for the use of his own PPK 7.65 pistol) and isn’t a gun every ex-soldiers best friend. Pistol or poison would be instrumental in ending these women’s allotted lifespan. But how had these two happy go lucky women ever got snared by the monster in Munich into his clutches?
What was in it for these doomed women (and apparently there were six other ladies of the Hitler fan club who tried suicide because of him).
Angela Maria Raubal was born in Linz in Austria on the 4th of June 1908, the daughter of Hitler’s half-sister also named Angela.
It seems she first visited Hitler whilst only sixteen when he was then confined in Landsberg prison, busily composing Mein Kemp that would later make him a very rich man. Geli would later coyly refer to him as “Onkel Alf….”
By the early 1930s, Hitler was in a financial position to rent an apartment in a fashionable part of Munich, number 16 Prinzregentplatz. It seems this accommodation comprised of 9-15 rooms, depending on different accounts recorded of its space. Some years ago my son and I visited Munich and I was able to view it from the outside. The block still stands and with its overlooking balconies, nothing much would seem to have changed since that fateful day in 1931.
Today I understand it’s a Government building where overdue parking fines can now be paid by cash or card. Few I suspect who are employed there would be aware of its historical importance to that city in Bavaria. In fact, the Nazis were just a small provincial Bavarian political party at the time. They had yet to conquer Germany but their fortunes were growing and it seems nothing could or would stop their rise to power.
Incidentally, Hitler would later purchase the entire block of flats from royalties of Mein Kampf and generous donations to his party.
Hitler quietly installed Frau Winter as the housekeeper with her husband. Also under the roof were Hitler’s former landlady Frau Reichert and her elderly mother. Presiding over this Wagnerian mix was “The Demon King” himself, good old “uncle Alf.” Then arriving stage left was young Geli Raubal. In Munich, she had dreamed of pursuing a future singing career. In some ways, Geli was still a child emotionally with the dreams of any young Fraulein. Today I suppose we would call her a “wannabe” who fantasized about the applause and adoration that any artist needs and always seeks from that profession. But her uncle also had some peculiar dreams of his own and these would later give most of the European population recurring nightmares.
Quite simply he dreamed of conquering the world, later fashioning it to his own warped beliefs. Many men in the Holy Bible tried this and always failed miserably.
But now in Munich, a tragedy was about to happen. But was it a mistake or a murder that ended this young girls life forever.
Hitler it seems had become obsessed with his vivacious young niece and would proudly escort her around the cafes boutiques and opera house, even picking up the tab for her shopping!
But there was a dangerous side to his personality because Hitler was a sadist (few knew about this quirk.) Those who did ignore it and for Geli, it would all end tragically in her death on his apartment floor perhaps because of it.
Quite simply Hitler was gradually corrupting this girl for his own gratification when alone in the bedroom. Now, much of this can not be confirmed but if it is true I suspect Geli grew more afraid of him as the abuse continued and increased.
One man she did choose to confide in was Otto Strasser (1897-1974) a leading Nazi hack at the time and to him, she would confide, “You’ll never believe the things he makes me do.” This is what Strasser later reported to friends but Strasser had no love for Hitler. He was slowly being shunted out of the Nazi party and would eagerly darken Hitler’s reputation in the coming elections. But Geli was trapped in Hitler’s web rather like a butterfly.
One man close to both her and Hitler was Emil Maurice (1897-1972) Hitler’s chauffeur. He had also assisted Hitler in Landsberg prison in the typing of Mein kemp. Now his numerous duties would also be to chauffer the young Geli each week to her singing lessons (by a Jewish teacher it is claimed) and aren’t chauffeurs supposed to be good listeners. I’m sure he listened intently as she talked to him perhaps in confidence. Also lurking in the wings was a certain Catholic cleric named, Peter Stempfle. This pro-Nazi priest had previously been instrumental in assisting Hitler with Mein Kempf. He may also have been Geli’s confessor and confidant and because of what he knew and heard about Hitler he would later be one of the victims murdered in the infamous “Night of the long knives.” (There were rumours that he had purchased for Hitler some pictures of Geli then being offered by a blackmailer for big money).
Somewhere in this Nazi narrative of the strange death of Geli Raubal are two suspects: (1) Heinrich Hoffman (1885-1957.) (He was Hitler’s personal photographer “snapping” over two million photographs of Hitler. Wow!) And Rudolph Hess. (Hess is interesting because of the theory of there being a double of him who served his prison sentence in Spandau.)
Heinrich, the court Jester, had willingly supplied pretty girls for the Fuehrer to fawn over for years. This was also an important opening for him as the door into Hitler’s evil inner circle. It was also very lucrative to his wallet. For some reason, Geli didn’t care for him. It seems although he did photograph her on occasions, she would later have further studio portraits of herself supervised by another photographic studio. This would not have endeared her to Hoffman and in retrospect, it was perhaps a naive thing on Geli’s part.
She was also notching up the hostility of the Nazi party and its members. Interestingly Geli, rather like Eva Braun, was never a paid-up member of the Nazi party. Hitler didn’t seem to care about defiant gesture on their parts.
The second suspect is Rudolph Hess. Hess had even more of a dislike towards Geli and hadn’t she even disrupted his wedding day celebration. it was reported. It seems a violent row broke out between her and Hitler with Emil Maurice implicated in the tiff at the wedding breakfast, and no one appreciates their wedding day being trashed or ruined do they on that special day.
Hess always suffered a deep devotion to Hitler and would counter no opposition from anyone in denying him access to his hero. Seeing Geli frequently flaunted in his face must have made him jealous, bitter and resentful. So I propose to offer my own personal scenario to this tragedy.
So first: The official version and it stumbles along something like this. On September 18th 1931, in a locked room at 16 Prizenregentplatz, Geli Raubal takes her own life using Hitler’s pistol a 6.35. The next morning concerned staff are unable to gain entrance to her bedroom. Then calling Hitler’s office for assistance in what to do (not the police you notice.) Hitler is conveniently in Nuremberg and not around to decide. One popular theory has Hitler driving alone back from Nuremberg in the night, then after a row with her, he shoots Geli. But could he then drive and negotiate the traffic in such an emotional state? In all the black and white pictures I have ever seen of Hitler he is seated in the passenger’s seat of a stationary Mercedes Benz wearing a ridicules driving helmet. So I cannot imagine him driving two hundred miles shooting Geli then returning to his hotel especially not in his emotional state of mind. It’s too far-fetched (in fact the driver of the car with Hitler in it was issued with a speeding ticket which if you think of it would give him a strong alibi wouldn’t it).
Later Hess and Hoffman and maybe others arrive quickly, then proceed to kick in the door (other reports claim a locksmith mysteriously arrives.) Once inside the room they discover her dead body lying on her back (other reports say on her front) in a red-stained nightdress, a bullet in her lung causing a slow death. No suicide note was found only a short letter unfinished to a friend in Austria. A death certificate is hastily issued and Geli’s battered body is dispatched home to Austria for a Catholic burial. The verdict is suicide by her own hand. End of official story….but as they say the beat goes on.
(I was fortunate to be able to finish this article 80 years to the day of her strange death.)
Later on a chill morning and representing Hitler at her family funeral in Vienna some days later is Heinrich Himmler and possibly the depraved captain Ernst Rohm of the SA. However in Hitler’s Angel by Karl Rusch, a talkative Rudolph Hess dressed in an SA uniform, makes a solitary appearance at her graveside. (No sign of Himmler or the notorious captain at the funeral or wake it seems.) Then Hess quietly warns the investigating police inspector to cease anymore enquires into young Geli’s death. This the detective refuses to do. (I have to say that I did enjoy this non-fiction book and interestingly Geli’s mother always blamed Himmler for some reason for her daughter’s death). So did she perhaps know more of this matter or had she been bribed perhaps by Hitler himself?
But to do justice to Geli and her memory could perhaps the following scenario have happened: Remember Geli is the heroine of this Hitlerian tragedy.
At the time before the shooting Hitler is now in a dangerous mood and desperate about his political future. Fuelled with anger at Geli’s willful behaviour towards his authority and believing false rumours of perhaps her pregnancy by a Jewish musician or her voice teacher, he now looks for a solution to perhaps frighten her but never murder. He then pleads to those closest to him to somehow help rein in this young girl. Listening to his whine is the “faithful” Hess and Hoffman. They are not slow to put into motion an idea to remove Geli permanently from Hitler’s life, then perhaps things will be as they were in the “good old days” pre-Geli. Now history informs us that long ago in 1170, King Henry plotted to murder his one time friend Archbishop Thomas a Becket, by demanding of his serving knights, “Will no one rid me of this wretched priest” and tragically for Geli in 1931 this challenge thrown at the feet of the two listening men is quickly taken up, rather like the knights did.
Both men now accept his orders. Is there nothing they will not do for their beloved Fuhrer? Poor Geli, her Munich hours are now numbered. History is about to be written but who’s version is the truth in this matter.
Remember: “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
To me, the historical parallel with Hitler and King Henry II is very obvious in that history does and always repeats itself.
Also, take into consideration that Hitler was an ambitious artist before becoming a popular politician. Geli was his creation in what he had moulded her into. But an artist never murders his own work. He may mangle it, spit on it even consign it to a back drawer of a cupboard, but murder-never!
Another important aspect of this case was Geli’s religion. She was born and baptized a Catholic and performed the weekly devotions of that church. Suicide then was considered a serious sin that could deny you entrance to Heaven. I do not accept she would ever have considered ending her life with a bullet, for what reason? The final letter she was composing before the shooting was full of hope, not humiliation. Also Johann Pant, the priest who conducted the funeral rites and had apparently witnessed the damage to her face and other visible injuries, later allowed her to be buried in the consecrated ground of the cemetery. He wouldn’t have allowed this if he had bought the suicide package of her death. (Pant gave a brief interview about Geli before his death in 1939, raising concerns about the official version of her death).
Suicides not so long ago were dispatched to a common area in the cemetery. Pant obviously knew or had heard something that disturbed him about her death (and I only discovered this week that twenty years earlier, Pant had been a part-time chaplain at the hostel for homeless men in Vienna, where Hitler was then lodging and had been for three years. So had Pant discovered something about Hitler’s perverted personality that would later concern him? But strangely for some reason, Pant escaped the bullet in the purge that took out fellow priest Stempfle in 1934).
There are two interesting scenarios concerning Geli’s final hours of that Friday evening.
The first has her located at the apartment with Hitler. Here they both enjoy a bowl of spaghetti. Later he leaves for his speaking engagement in Nuremberg. It seems the staff were on duty that evening except for a deaf cook!
The second more interesting sighting of her and Hitler is in an upper room of a Munich restaurant, where he frequented with Hess and sometimes Hoffman. The couple dined alone. But uncle Alf it seems was drinking Heineken beer, something he rarely did. It seems he is distraught. They then leave at 1 am. The cafe proprietor, Herr Zehntner, confirmed this. But it was a dangerous thing for him to remember about that evening. Interestingly the journalist who reported the story would also be murdered in the infamous “night of the long knives” and caught up in the execution would be the unfortunate restaurant owner, Herr Zehntner.
Now sometime in the early hours of Saturday morning, Hitler departs for Munich, perhaps a little drunk. He is being driven. Hess and Hoffman after being alerted by their boss arrive at the flat confronting Geli. She is naturally alarmed by their appearance and afraid for her life. One of them strikes her face breaking her nose. This is followed by some slaps to her cheek by the other. Then Hitler’s pistol is produced with one of her attackers firing the shot into to her body. It is then clumsily placed into her hand to give the appearance of a suicide. She is now badly wounded. Her life ebbing away into the carpet. Then the two murderous Nazis make a quick exit, remembering to lock her door behind them. Sadly Geli will not die immediately but slowly. She will bleed to death on the cold floor. For now, she is alone and abandoned.
Poor Geli. What had it all been for this brief life of hers. Unfortunately, her death will offer her but a slice of fame and not much more and certainly not in the manner she would have preferred. “The sorrows of death compassed me.”
The Munich murder cover-up now swiftly commences and because the police seem to have been the last to have been summoned to the flat, much of the crime scene seems to have been unsecured. Valuable items seem to be missing. When the investigating officers finally arrive, a pistol is lying on the floor but was it the same one that hastened her brief life or had the gun been switched only to be replaced somehow in Hitler’s gun rack. And what happened to the elusive key to Geli’s room that had to be forced to gain entry.
No suicide note was discovered and no reason why she had decided to kill herself was offered. Very strange but interesting enough an un-finished note written on blue paper by Geli addressed to a friend in Vienna was later found (I have to ask was she disturbed by her killers as she penned this final letter.)
In it, she informs her friend Ingrid: “When I come to Vienna-I hope very soon-we will drive together to Semmering.” Hardly something a young girl would write before she turns a gun on herself is it. At this point, I have to speculate that the Munich police manipulated this crime scene. So much of this lost evidence would later benefit the coming Nazi rule. Maybe the police or the Nazi thugs did not have the opportunity to remove (and destroy) this important last note and later replace it with a forged suicide note. This has been done before in many suicides. It should also not be forgotten that one of the senior detectives then based in Munich was Heinrich “Gestapo” Muller. He may not have been a paid-up Nazi in those days but he could certainly see which way this political ill wind was blowing into Munich and later Germany. And I certainly do not discount Muller being involved in the plot. (If Geli was being molested by her uncle, had she ever perhaps decided to report it to the Munich police and I have to speculate and wouldn’t it be amazing if Muller was the officer who took down her accusations, then later inform Hitler’s office of this serious matter. So if and when Hitler heard about this his hand would be forced concerning Geli. Soon he would have to act to prevent her from disclosing any more information him.)
Maybe Muller or a fellow officer arrived early and swooped up the pistol that killed Geli and replacing it with another. This, of course, would show no cordite trace inside the barrel if inspected. I suspect that the death certificate that was hastily signed was part of the cover up-why even the summoned doctor lived in the same apartment block-how convenient for them! The grateful Nazis would later reward both Muller and the other corrupt officials for their service to them in Munich. Franz Gurtner as Minister of Justice would later be appointed the Nazi Reich Minister for Justice and not much “justice” would be dispensed from his office in the coming years of the Third Reich. Within two years Hitler and the Nazis were politically entrenched. It would take a world war to destroy them. Now all evidence of the crime at 16 Prinzregentplatz was destroyed. No Judge was ever summoned to pronounce on Geli’s death. But sadly someone that night in Munich got away with murder. Justice for Geli had been denied. Geli would never have her day in court.
In conclusion, it may well be suggested that Geli Raubal was one of the first victims of Hitler’s horrible holocaust, but how ironic it seems to me that poor Geli was from his very own family, his own blood.
Weeks later Hitler would fashion Geli’s bedroom into a morbid shrine and also at the Berghof his mountain retreat. This memorial would remain unchanged with her favourite flowers being replaced each week. (But did he indeed keep that elusive key I have to wonder, using it for his future visits to mourn and meditate the deed he had initiated against this innocent girl and had he had it all along before the door was forced open by a person or persons unknown.)
Afterwards, Hitler would decline into a semi-nervous breakdown even threatening Hoffman to renounce all politics (he didn’t.) His diet now became full vegetarian: he would reject all meat, fish and chicken. He would never play the piano again (I wonder who taught him that particular skill.) But was it just a suppressed guilt emanating from his depravity that caused this.
Psalm 15.9 reminds us: “The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord.” And Hitler was certainly part of that abomination.
Geli Raubal’s falling star had finally destructed itself. She was twenty-three years old. Now Eva Braun would meekly enter into Hitler’s warped world – “stage right” perhaps. Then she would learn to rehearse her own role in the future world he was creating that would ultimately lead a country to its near total destruction and her life as well.
With the entrance of Eva Braun on to that precarious stage of Nazism, the heroine’s personalities also change. Heinrich Hoffman (Eva’s boss) once remarked, “Eva was Opera, Geli was Operetta.” Now please don’t ask me to explain the difference, I don’t know. I suspect it’s just a snob thing. But interestingly all the heroines of opera such as Tosca, Madam Butterfly, Lucia, Lady Mcbeth and Mimi all are driven, women. All would die either by suicide or a slow death. This rather sounds to me like Eva’s personality but for Geli, her staginess would be reprised in Rose Maria, Margot, and Kathy in the Student Prince. In other words, she’s bubbly alive and a delight to listen to. So perhaps old Hoffman knew his opera if nothing else.
However, Eva Paula Braun was born in Munich on 6th February 1912 to a comfortable Catholic family. When she was 17 years old she found employment at Heinrich Hoffman’s photographic studio in Munich as a lab technician and part time model. She was also introduced to Hitler about this time and she didn’t know who or what he was. A 23-year gap between their ages which must have been noticeable to the gossips of old Munich town.
If Geli and Eva’s social paths ever crossed it is unknown but I suspect they had to. Munich was and is a small town. And before her death, a jealous Geli did apparently discover an innocent fan letter from Eva in Hitler’s suit pocket.
Interestingly if Hitler bewitched a generation (which he certainly did and rather like the coming Antichrist will) of Germans by his oratory, he certainly had the effect of offering convenient suicide as an exit to a raft of pliant women and Eva was to be no exception to his dangerous demagogue.
Eva attempted suicide twice and the third time she succeeded. But Hitler found something in her he liked it seems. “Eva Braun was a comfort to him, but he didn’t depend on women,” so wrote his secretary Traudl Junge. If Geli had resisted his advances, Eva seemed to accept them but I’m not sure about the perversion he perhaps subjected Geli to. These tendencies may have departed from him after her death. “If Geli was the love of Hitler’s life, Hitler was the love of Eva’s,” another colleague remembered. But it’s a strange love all the same.
Her devotion to Hitler doesn’t seem to have decided her to enlist in his political party. If she shared his racial views and prejudices it does not seem to have been recorded on paper. She did however during the war receive an 18-carat gold medallion from Hitler himself. These seemed to have been minted and awarded to those he felt a particular affection for. If however, he didn’t take to you or your views then you received six numbers tattooed on to your left arm, with your head shaved as well, with striped pyjamas thrown in to wear.
With the advent of the Second World War Hitler’s mistress became queen of all: she surveyed at the Berghof near Berchtesgaden.
With two failed suicide attempts behind her (1932-35) she was now in the early 1940s the undisputed “commissar of the castle.” Geli’s mother had in the meantime been sacked as a housekeeper at the mountain retreat after referring to Eva as a “Die Blode Kuh” to the other staff, although the shrine to her late daughter’s memory seems to have been left untouched by Eva’s fair hand. But now the palace perched on a mountainside would isolate her and others to what was truly happening in “Mad King” Adolph’s World.
But, “Oh what lovely war” it was for Eva with her family and friends in those grim war-torn days, because looking at captured home movie footage taken by Eva and friends the whole scene looks like a long summer vacation and no food shortage either. Because through celluloid we see her cultivating her suntan, pursuing assorted sports such as skiing, ice skating, water skiing, cycling and gymnastics and frolicking nude under a waterfall, from picking flowers in the mountains to dancing the tango with Hitler’s adjutants. She even found time to read romantic books, watch American films and it seems to gawp at some early German television programmes. Life it seems was very good for the chain-smoking Eva Braun but nothing lasts forever does it.
What about Eva’s serious addiction towards shopping and all the vices that present, well maybe during her visits to Munich to freely spend Hitler’s money, she must have noticed or heard that many of her friends had disappeared. Maybe her hairdressers, manicurists, dressmakers, millinery suppliers. Many in the “rag trade” were and still are of Jewish descent did Eva even notice their absence. Did she care and did she listen to gossip about the notorious camps, we don’t know. “She could be moody and morose,” someone remarked about her. However, Albert Speer remembers her “as a very nice girl…much maligned.” What we do know is that Hitler’s visits to the Berghoff became less frequent after 1941. I also doubt she was aware of the developing “Final Solution.” Even then few knew the full capacity and horror of what was happening at Auschwitz and other extermination camps. Unless they were in Hitler’s inner circle, which Eva was not, I have to give her the benefit of the doubt that she was ignorant of the holocaust ordered by her husband to be.
However dark clouds were gathering. The balmy days at the Berghoff were ending and now the Nazi house of cards was collapsing in Europe and none more so that in the blazing Berlin suburbs as the Russian troops tightened their grip on the capital and its people.
In March of 1945, Eva Braun willing arrived in Berlin to join Hitler in the so-called “bunker.” she would never leave it alive.
A few days after Hitler’s 56th birthdays and sensing her life was ending she wrote to a friend saying: “I shall die as I lived. It’s no burden.” Sadly many people today will die in their sins as they lived: unrepentant and unprepared for the judgement to follow.
Now as the Russians approached the doomed bunker Hitler had finally proposed to Eva: naturally, she accepted. Later as she approached a conference room to repeat her marital vows, one witness at this surreal ceremony whispered: “Why is she dressed so well to die.” Why indeed it has to be asked. Now at this civil ceremony (without any flowers it seems) both Hitler and Eva Braun were joined in matrimony. Later when Eva was offered a pen to sign her name on the marriage certificate she corrected it from Braun to Hitler. Eva Hitler would be his wife for a brief 36 hours as Berlin burned and waited for the punishment to arrive.
On 30th April it was time for the goodbyes to those staff who hadn’t left yet. Hitler would remark to no one in particular: “It’s all over.” And he was for once right in his words. Eva would remark sadly: “Tell my parents I love them.” With those poignant words after sipping some champagne the couple left to be alone and face death together in a nearby sitting room.
For Eva, the end would come at 3.30pm as she sat on a sofa and bit down on a cyanide table given to her by perhaps Hitler or the in-house doctor.
Amazingly these pills had been manufactured in of all places Sachsenhausen Concentration camp and just think of the poor prisoners used as experiments before they got the mixture right. Hitler chose to use his own pistol to end it all although I did read that perhaps he bit down on a tablet as well then fired his gun on himself and maybe the gun was the same one used on young Geli thirteen years earlier. And then they were both dead. Suddenly the Nazi spell was broken. For the staff, it was time to quickly flee the Russians but for the Goebbels family still in the bunker, a more sinister ending was being prepared for them.
In conclusion, Eva Braun was 33 years old when she expired. Geli Raubal was 23 years old and the next subject in this series will be Magda “The Monster” Goebbels. She was 43 years old at her death. She certainly had innocent blood on her hands.
The Hitler corpses would later be disposed of by flames in the grounds of the ruined Reich chancellor. Isn’t this just a terrible picture of Hell that awaits so many today.
Both Geli and Eva had been raised Catholics and any later born again conversions they might have accepted would I suspect be quickly swept away by a blind devotion to Adolph Hitler, the false Messiah to so many Germans.
For Geli, the Munich “wannabee” and Eva, the Munich shop girl, it was a dark day when Adolph Hitler crossed their paths and took control of their short lives leading to terrible consequences for both of them. But in the end, they were just two more victims of the Third Reich tragedy.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgement.”
66 years after Eve Braun’s death there is still a great interest in her life with ten books on the shelves so far, even a pop group has cashed in on her name. She has been portrayed in over half-dozen films as well as having a song written about her. One recent book about Eva Braun highlights much of her early life as well as touching on her medical genitalia female problems but for the purpose of this article, I declined to use this new information.
Women are the daughters of Eve and must accept some of the consequences of this fallen world. Geli and Eva like so many were blindly following a false “messiah,” as Hitler perceived himself to be to ruin.
According to newly released files, the speeding ticket issued to Hitler has turned up in a Munich archive. Also in the blame game is his chauffeur and look-alike, Julius Schreck, who may have been driving that night.
It does not explain about what did happen to poor Geli that night in September 1931 and I doubt the fine was ever paid. Strangely enough, the building where she was murdered in Munich is now the office where speeding/parking fines can be paid.
Source: Daily Mail 27th September 2011.
“Flee from the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:7) before it is too late.
Used reference books:
Nazi women, Cate Haste
Hitler’s Niece, Ron Hansen
Hitler and Geli, Ronald Hayman
Hitler’s Angel, Kris Rusch
The Lost life of Eva Braun, Angela Lambert
Hitler and women, Sayer And Botting
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