This article doubling as a book review in Der Spiegel caught my eye.
I’ve been studying and reading about Hitler, the Nazis and Nazism for nigh on forty years and I can honestly say I have barely given Eva Braun a thought. Like most people I’ve accepted, as the review says “that Eva Braun was “uninteresting.” ” In fact she seemed to me to be one of the few, if not only woman behind a “great man” who didn’t seek influence and power through her position of intimacy and closeness. The devil knows every other character around Hitler (referred to in the review with magnificent understatement as “shady”) sought to purvey their relative closeness to the Leader into power.
So I’m not sure I buy into the author’s thesis as set out in the review. No scheming Lady Macbeth nor Elena Ceauşescu was young Eva, sure, but the idea of having a “normal” relationship with Hitler is startling. It’s like the idea of having a “normal” relationship with oh, the Satan of the bible or indeed, the psychopathic fire-god of the Old Testament.
Still, the book should serve to remind us that even the greatest monster is human and we shouldn’t be afraid to acknowledge Hitler’s humanity, that he possessed a capacity for human feeling and even love. Consigning him to “monster status” is to consign him to the status of “the other” and is of little use in understanding this man and the great evil within him which he unleashed on the world. He was human, an extreme, evil man, but human nonetheless. And that idea may be more frightening to people than the idea of a monster.
I leave you with this…..