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Word Count: 511
Hitlers mistress from 1932 and his wife during the last few hours of his life Eva Braun was born in Munich the daughter of a school teacher Of middle-class Catholic background she first met Hitler in the studio of his photographer friend Heinrich Hoffmann qv in 1929 describing him to her sister Ilse as a gentleman of a certain age with a funny moustache and carrying a big felt hat At that time Eva Braun still worked for Hoffmann as an office assistant later becoming a photo laboratory worker helping to process pictures of Hitler The blonde fresh-faced slim photographers assistant was an athletic girl fond of skiing mountain climbing and gymnastics as well as dancing After the death of Geli Raubal Hitlers niece she became his mistress living in his Munich flat in spite of the opposition of her father who disliked the association on political and personal grounds In 1935 after an abortive suicide attempt Hitler bought her a villa in a Munich suburb near to his own home providing her with a Mercedes and a chauffeur for personal use In his first will of 2 May 1938 he put her at the top of his personal bequests - in the event of his death she was to receive the equivalent of a year for the rest of her life In 1936 she moved to Hitlers Berghof at Berchtesgaden where she acted as his hostess Reserved indifferent to politics and keeping her distance from most of the Fuhrers intimates Eva Braun led a completely isolated life in the Fuhrers Alpine retreat and later in Berlin They rarely appeared in public together and few Germans even knew of her existence Even the Fuhrers closest associates were not certain of the exact nature of their relationship since Hitler preferred to avoid suggestions of intimacy and was never wholly relaxed in her company Eva Braun spent most of her time exercising brooding reading
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