Their Relationship Was Weird From the Start

Hitler and Eva Braun

(Tullio Saba/Flickr)

Braun met Hitler in 1929, when she was 17 and working as an assistant for his personal photographer, and it was love at first sight, at least on Braun’s part -- the 40-year-old Hitler was still living with his half-niece. Classic unavailable older man, right? After his half-niece’s grisly death three years later, however, Hitler accepted Braun as his mistress, moving her into his home and mostly keeping her there.

Braun Was Desperate to Marry Hitler

Hitler's house where Braun lived

(Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1999-0412-502/CC-BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons)

Under the hopefully delusional belief that the women of Germany preferred him single, Hitler never publicly acknowledged Braun as his lover and mostly kept her out of the public eye, an arrangement Braun was deeply unhappy with. She had little interest in his political career -- she was happy enough to spend her time skiing, swimming, and spending -- except insofar as it kept him away from her because she needed his attention so badly that she developed a habit of harming herself to get it, which was admittedly fairly effective. If she was known to the public as his wife, she reasoned, she wouldn’t have to go around shooting herself all the time.

He Couldn’t Keep Her Out of the Bunker

Hitler's bunker

(Adam Jones/Wikimedia Commons)

As things were looking increasingly bad for Germany and Hitler retreated to his bunker, he warned Braun to stay away, but she showed up anyway and refused to leave even after he officially ordered her to. Hitler didn’t usually tolerate defiance so well, but he not only relented, giving her a personal bedroom in the bunker (several doors down from his, but we don’t have time to get into that), he decided to reward Braun, as he told his right-hand man Joseph Goebbels and secretary Getrude Junge, by finally giving in to her marital demands. He was about to die anyway, so what the hell, right?

The Officiant Was a Fish Out of Water

Goebbels took up the role of wedding planner, summoning a lawyer he knew named Walter Wagner to officiate the ceremony. Wagner was 100% Nazi, but he was also a nobody who had only joined the war effort less than a year earlier, never met Hitler before, and barely knew Goebbels. Tragically, his reaction when an amored car showed up to ferry him away from the battlefield to marry Hitler is lost to history.

Nobody Had the Right Paperwork

Wagner got into professional mode impressively fast once he got to the bunker, where he determined that while everyone was drawing up wills and sending out armored cars, no one had actually secured the paperwork necessary for a wedding. He had to be taken right back into town to get it because what was the point of a death-bunker wedding if it wasn’t entirely on the up and up?

Nazi Weddings Were Weird

The wedding was performed in full compliance with Nazi law, which included both parties swearing they were of “pure Aryan descent” and “not infected with inheritable diseases.” Never mind the fact that DNA testing later found that Braun was, in fact, probably an Ashkenazi Jew; does this mean diabetic Nazis were doomed to lovelessness?

Braun Changed Her Name

Woman signing

(Dimitri Karastelev/Unsplash)

Everyone in the room knew that the happy couple wasn’t destined to be happy (or anything else) for long, but that didn’t stop Braun from fully adopting her role as Mrs. Hitler. When she signed the marriage certificate, she started to write “Eva Braun,” then crossed out the “B” and wrote “Eva Hitler nee Braun.” After all, she hadn’t come this far just to not die a Hitler.

Breakfast Reception

Liverwurst sandwich

(Stu Spivack/Wikimedia Commons)

It was a little late for dinner, so the new Mr. and Mrs. Hitler had to settle for a breakfast reception of tea and liverwurst sandwiches. The food might have been bad at your wedding, but you can take comfort in the fact that it was definitely better than Hitler’s. Witnesses said he tried to keep his spirits up at the party, talking “mostly of the past and happier times,” but the whole thing was so awkwardly depressing that one of his secretaries said she had to leave.

The Marriage Lasted 36 Hours

Hitler’s marriage to Braun lasted only 36 hours, which is short even by celebrity marriage standards. Before you ask, no, we don’t know if it was consummated, you sicko, but they were both pretty busy preparing for death. You try getting a boner under such circumstances.

There Was Dog Murder

Hitler and Braun with their dogs

(Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F051673-0059/CC-BY-SA/Wikimedia Commons)

Many couples include their fur children in their nuptials as ring bearers or wildly incompetent ushers, but Hitlers’ dogs played a somewhat different role in their wedding day. One of Hitler’s first acts as a married man, after learning of the excessive execution of Mussolini and his mistress, was to test the poison intended for him and his beloved on their two dogs. To be fair, who was going to adopt Hitler’s dog?

Then They Died

Hitler's bunker

(Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-V04744/CC-BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons)

Finally, after many tearful goodbyes, Mr. and Mrs. Hitler retreated to his study at around 2:30 in the afternoon the day after their wedding to go on their permanent honeymoon. Their bodies were later taken to the garden, covered in gasoline, and set on fire, which was funny, to quote Eddie Izzard, “because he was a mass-murdering fuckhead.”

Top image: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F051673-0059/CC-BY-SA/Wikimedia Commons

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