History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


2214508

Eva Braun

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Eva Braun writes to her sister Ilse

regarding arrangements for Christmas

Eva Anna Paula Braun Hitler, 1912–1945.  Mistress and wife of Adolf Hitler.  Autograph letter signed, Eva, one page, on a 4⅛” x 5¾” postcard, Munich, [Germany], postmark date illegible [circa 1930s].  In German, with translation.  Together with Braun’s calling card and an unused envelope from her personal stationery.

The autograph material of Braun, Adolf Hitler’s mistress from the early 1930s until she became his wife just hours before they committed suicide together, is very scarce, if not rare.  Our research has found only a handful of her letters, often, like this one, written on postcards, that have been offered at auction since 1975.  This is the first Braun letter that we have ever offered.

Here, Braun writes to her sister Ilse about arrangements for the family Christmas celebration.  In full:  “Dear Ilse:  Momma said that you got everything from Tölz for the Christmas meal, including roast.  Answer me whether you then still need ‘my goose.’  A Christmas package follows.  Send it to Franzl so that he can then build it up for you.  Therefore, please do not open it.  It contains some surprises.  Have you received the 10– [Marks]?  Again, many thanks for the travel provisions.  /  Sincerely  / Eva”  Above the text, she adds, “Greet Franzl,” who was Ilse’s husband.

Braun met Hitler in 1929 while working in the Munich studio of Heinrich Hoffmann, the official Nazi party photographer who also became Hitler’s personal photographer.   Hoffmann’s studio was located at 50 Schellingstraße in Munich, where the Nazi party also had its headquarters for six years, 1925–1931.  Hoffmann wrote of her relationship with Hitler in his memoirs.  See Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler Was My Friend: The Memoirs of Hitler’s Photographer 160–64 (R.H. Stevens trans. & Roger Moorhouse intro., 2011).  In order to maintain his image with the German public of a chaste man, which he thought was politically advantageous, especially with women, Hitler kept his relationship with Braun secret, and she was not included in important meetings.  The only time Hitler and Braun appeared together in a published photograph was when she sat near him, although not by him, at the 1936 Winter Olympics.  Yet Hoffmann and others agree that their relationship was not platonic.  E.g., Herbert Döhring et al., Living With Hitler: Accounts of Hitler’s Household Staff 198 (Eva Burke trans. & Roger Moorhouse intro., 2018); Hoffmann, supra, at 163.  Braun had her own room next to Hitler’s at his Munich apartment; at his mountain home, the Berghof, on the Obersalzburg outside of Berchtesgaden; in the Old Reich Chancellery building in Berlin; and in the Führerbunker beneath the Reich Chancellery grounds.  In the end, Hitler married her as Soviet troops approached the Reich Chancellery, and within hours they committed suicide together and had their bodies burned in the Reich Chancellery garden.

Braun has written and signed this card in jet black fountain pen.  The card has a 6-pfennig Deutsches Reich stamp bearing the image of Paul von Hindenburg with a Munich postmark that refers to the Nazi movement with the legend Hauptstadt der Bewegung, or Capital of the Movement.  The postmark spans the edge of the stamp, which makes the postmark date illegible, but our research shows that the stamp was used 1934–1940. Since Braun mailed the postcard in Munich, it most likely predates the commencement of World War II on September 1, 1939. 

This postcard is in fine condition.  There is a small bend in the upper left corner on the writing side and a bit of surface paper loss at the lower left corner of the image side.  There is a bit of smudging of the postmark ink to the right of the postmark, a small smudge that could be a fingerprint above a line in the address, and some stray postmark ink spots on the image side. 

The postcard comes with two other Braun items, one of her light tan personal calling cards and an ivory envelope from her personal stationery, both imprinted with her name in small sans serif type.  Neither has ever been used.  The glue on the inside of the envelope flap is still intact.  Both the calling card and the envelope are in extra fine condition.

Provenance:  These pieces were once part of the Keith Wilson collection.  Wilson, from Kansas City, was a major collector of Third Reich items.

We reject Nazism and all that it represented.  Yet the German Third Reich and the Holocaust that it systematically carried out played an undeniable role in 20th Century history.  Since we believe that to decline to offer Third Reich material, although it is offensive, would aid those who want to sweep the Third Reich under the rug and deny that the Holocaust occurred, we offer this material because the world must never forget what happened, lest it happen again.  As Winston Churchill said, paraphrasing the Spanish philosopher George Santayana, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  Click here to read more about these thoughts in our Blog posts of January 8 and February 26, 2010. 

Unframed.

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To the extent applicable to those affected by German law, particularly § 86a StGB, historical and military items from or relating to the period and personalities of the German Third Reich are offered for only purposes of education and research regarding

historical events and military history and uniforms.  Clients who purchase such items agree that they will not use them for propaganda or other purposes that would be punishable under § 86a StGB.

 

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