Nazi Wives: The Women at the Top of Hitler's Germany by historian James Wyllie
The principal characters are the glamorous Magda Goebbels, the steadfast Ilse Hess, the distinctly unjolly Margarete Himmler, the pointless Lina Heydrich, the second Mrs Goering and the gradually beaten-down Gerda Bormann. By and large what they had in common was that they came from middle-class families and grew up in a time when bourgeois security had been turned, through fear, crisis and war, into terrible insecurity.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
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Nazi wives: the women beside Hess, Goebbels, GÃ¶ring and Himmler
GÃ¶ring, Goebbels, Himmler, Heydrich, Bormann and Hess â€“ all too familiar names in Nazi history. Less well known are the women by their sides, writes James Wyllie, some of whom were as fanatical as their infamous husbands.
Brunhilde Pomsel, secretary to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, dies at 106
Brunhilde Pomsel, a secretary to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, has passed away in Munich at 106. Her death was confirmed by Roland Schrotthofer, a director of "A German Life," a documentary drawn from dozens of hours of interviews conducted with Pomsel when she was 103. Pomsel was one of the last surviving members of the Nazi hierarchy's most intimate staff, but she spent all but the final years of her life in obscurity. She became widely known only after the premiere of the documentary. The film, directed by Schrotthofer, Christian Krönes, Olaf S. Müller and Florian Weigensamer, presents an arresting portrait of an ordinary German swept into the Nazi apparatus in her youth, then left to reflect for more than seven decades on her complicity, if any, in its crimes.
Reich's Women's Führerin Gertrud Scholtz-Klink: When Hitler's Perfect Woman Came To London
75 years ago in 1939, as war clouds gathered over Europe, a German woman Hitler had described as the "perfect nazi female" arrived in London. When Hitler came to power in 1933 he appointed nazi supporter Gertrud Scholtz-Klink as Reich's Women's Führerin and head of the Nazi Women's League. Ironically, Scholtz-Klink argued against the participation of women in politics. By July 1936 Scholtz-Klink was appointed head of the Womaen's Bureau in the German Labour Front. Her job was to encourage women to work for the nazi government. On the face of it the Führerin's visit to London was at the invitation of Prunella Stack, leader of the Women's League of Health and Beauty, an early women's keep-fit organisation with 200,000 members all across Britain and the empire.
Photo gallery: Women of the Third Reich (LIFE Magazine)
Photo gallery: Women of the Third Reich (LIFE Magazine)
Photos of the noteworthy Third Reich women: Eva Braun, Gretl Braun, Magda Goebbels, Leni Riefenstahl
Photographs of the noteworth women in the Third Reich, including: Eva Braun, Eva Braun's Sister Gretl Braun, Magda Goebbels, Lida Baarova, Emmy Goering, Margarete Himmler, Gertrud Forster, Inge Ley, Winifred Wagner, Leni Riefenstahl, Zarah Leander, Ilse Koch (The Beast of Buchenwald) and Hitler's Secretary Traudl Junge.
Extract from Christa Schroeder's memoir - Adolf Hitler's personal secretary 1933-1945
One day Hitler happened to pass the Staircase Room at teatime, saw us and asked if he might join us. This easy chatter was so much to his liking that he came to tea almost daily. ... He would often recall pranks: as a 12yo he wagered his classmates that he could make the girls laugh during a religious service. He won the bet by intently brushing his non-existent moustache. ... He also spoke of his mother, to whom he was very attached, and of his father's violence: "I never loved my father, but feared him. He was prone to rages and would resort to violence." Hitler had a great lust to read: in Vienna he had read through all 500 volumes at the city reference library.
Axis History Forum thread: Wives and girlfriends of Nazi officials
Axis History Forum thread: Wives and girlfriends of Third Reich officials. From beautiful Inga Ley to the first Lady of the Reich, Magda Goebbels.
Unity Mitford had Adolf Hitler’s love child?
Unity Mitford had been so entwined in the Führer’s inner circle that secret services described her as "more Nazi than the Nazis". When Britain declared war on the Third Reich in 1939, Mitford was so devastated that she shot herself in the head with a pearl-handled pistol in Munich. She traveled back to Britain living as an invalid in the Cotswolds until her death in 1948. Martin Bright describes a phone call he got from Val Hann: "She explained that her aunt Betty Norton had run a maternity home ... and that Unity Mitford had been one of her clients." When asked who the father might be, Hann paused before replying: "Well, she always said it was Hitler’s."
Black widow, wife of prominent Dutch Nazi collaborator, dies (Article no longer available from the original source)
Florentine Rost van Tonningen, the wife of one of the most prominent Dutch collaborators during the German occupation of Netherlands in World War II, has died at 92. She was a supporter of the Nazi party in the Netherlands during the 1930s, and her husband Meinoud the second highest-ranking member of the Dutch Nazi Party ran the Netherlands' national bank. He was killed or committed suicide in jail while awaiting trial after WW2. She soon earned the epithet 'the black widow' due to her continued adherence to Nazi ideology and involvement in Dutch white supremacist circles. She was convicted several times for spreading Nazi literature.
A woman hopelessly devoted to Adolf Hitler - Winifred Wagner
To British-born Winifred Wagner the fuehrer was the "nice uncle" who couldn't possibly do those things. Grotesque as it may sound now, in the Third Reich thousands of women lusted after Adolf Hitler with a fever equal to that of today's groupies for stars. Nor was this limited to German women. The beautiful young English noblewoman Unity Mitford, besotted with Hitler and National Socialism, put a bullet through her brain out of despair. One of Unity's sisters, Diana, wife of the English fascist leader Oswald Mosley, also was attracted to Hitler. But the most interesting case is that of Winifred Wagner, the daughter-in-law of composer Richard Wagner.
Winifred Wagner - A Life at the Heart of Hitler's Bayreuth
After Richard Wagner's death in 1883, his wife Cosima directed the cult. Family intrigue and artistic mediocrity would have led to Bayreuth's gradual dissipation but for the reconnection of Wagnerian aestheticism and revolutionary politics - this time through the Nazi regime. Brigitte Hamann's biography of the composer's daughter-in-law Winifred Wagner traces her long life in turbulent times, and it shows how Adolf Hitler's love of Wagner's music and his infatuation with her person resurrected Bayreuth before all but destroying it again. There were other men in Winifred's orbit, but the sun of her universe was Adolf Hitler.
Books expose female Nazis likes Irma Grese (Article no longer available from the original source)
Daniel Patrick Brown has written two books: "The Beautiful Beast — The Life and Crimes of SS-Aufseherin Irma Grese" and "The Camp Women — The Female Auxiliaries of the Nazi Concentration Camp System." They have made him an authority on the subject of the nazi female guards. Brown said the female camp guards were called SS Aufseherin, or overseers, and were considered auxiliaries to the SS members who ran the camps. Many of these women were brutal, including Irma Grese, a guard at Ravensbruck and at Bergen-Belsen in 1945, when Anne Frank died there a few weeks before the camp was captured by Allies.
Nina von Stauffenberg - Widow of Hitler "assassin" dies
Nina von Stauffenberg, widow of the aristocratic Nazi army officer who tried to kill Adolf Hitler with a briefcase bomb, has died. She was 92. Col. von Stauffenberg was one of the best known internal German resistance fighters during WWII, leading the failed attempt to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb placed under a conference table on July 20, 1944. Four people died in the bombing, but Hitler was only superficially wounded after an aide moved the briefcase before it exploded. Von Stauffenberg, along with other members of the resistance, were shot and their families arrested by the Gestapo.
Leading ladies of the Third Reich - Magda Goebbels, Eva Braun
Austrian historian Anna Maria Sigmund succeeds revealing the brutal insensitivity of the leaders of the Third Reich. She writes about Magda's fury upon discovering that the fuehrer had brought his mistress, Eva Braun, to the Nazi party convention in Nuremberg in Sept 1935. Magda had always thought of herself as the only woman worthy of Hitler's attention. Three months earlier, miserable over Hitler's indifference toward her, Braun had attempted suicide for the second time. She swallowed 20 sleeping pills, but was saved by her sister, Ilsa Braun, who was returning a dress she had borrowed.
Female racing ace hoarded pictures of Hitler
The celebrated female racing driver Fay Taylour hoarded a cache of pictures of Adolf Hitler during a 3-year prison spell in the WW2, British Security Service files have revealed. In a letter to a friend, the Irish-born driver said: "I love Nazi Germany and the German people and their leader and this war seems terribly unfair." A memo from the detention camp authorities, revealed the extent of her devotion to the Nazi cause. It said: "She is in the habit of hoarding pictures of Hitler and had in her possession a hymn in which his name was substituted for God's."
Hitler's Welsh girlfriend revealed
A Welsh woman who married into one of Germany's most prominent musical families nearly became Adolf Hitler's wife. By 17, she was married to composer Richard Wagner's homosexual son Siegfried and met one of Wagner's greatest fans - future Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. They grew so close that it was actually Winifred who provided the paper on which Hitler wrote Mein Kampf while in jail in the early 1920s. Following her husband's death in 1930, Hitler and Winifred's friendship intensified and he was described as being like a second father to her 4 children. At the time, there was even talk of them getting married.
Leni Riefenstahl - The last of the Third Reich cultural elite died
Leni Riefenstahl, who died aged 101, was perhaps the most talented female cinema director of the 20th century; her celebration of Nazi Germany in film ensured that she was certainly the most infamous. The last surviving member of the cultural elite of the Third Reich, Leni Riefenstahl was for 50 years vilified by successive generations as Hitler's film-maker, a propagandist whose images - notably her films of the Nuremberg rallies - exulted in German strength and glorified the Nazi creed of racial purity.
Leni Riefenstahl - In the shadow of the swastika
Before her 100th birthday, film-maker Leni Riefenstahl answered a series of questions. As the last surviving high-profile figure who had been intimately associated with the Third Reich, Riefenstahl remains a compromised figure, as much despised for her unapologetic attitude to her own dubious past as admired for her pioneering brilliance with a movie camera. "I first saw Adolf Hitler in May 1932, at the Berliner Sportpalast. I was amazed to see what a tremendous power he held over his listeners. Just like a hypnotist, Hitler was able to cast a spell over the audience and make them do exactly what he wanted."
Winifred Wagner saved Jews from her friend Hitler
Winifred Wagner, the composer Richard Wagner's British-born daughter-in-law known for her fanatical admiration of Adolf Hitler, saved Jews, Communists and homosexuals from the Nazi death camps. She started life as an orphan named Winifred Marjorie Williams before marrying the composer's son Siegfried in 1915 and going on to run Germany's Bayreuth festival throughout the Nazi era after her husband's death in 1930. It has long been known that she was a close friend of Hitler, the Nazi dictator, whom she affectionately nicknamed "Wolf" and entertained frequently.
Of all the devotees of Hitler none sacrificed more than Magda Goebbels (Article no longer available from the original source)
Whereas soldiers offered up their own lives for Hitler, she gave up her six children, and then committed suicide herself. The fact that Hitler admired her, and took her side when Goebbels's philandering became too blatant, twice saved her marriage. In the absence of a wife for the Führer Magda personify German motherhood. In her last letter (from the Führerbunker) to her son Harald: "Our magnificent idea is finished - and with it everything beautiful, admirable, noble and good that I have known in my life. The world that will come after the Führer and National Socialism is not worth living in, and for that reason I have brought the children here as well."
Hanna Reitsch biography - She flew everyting the Third Reich had
As the world's first female test pilot (and female Iron Cross winner) and helicopter pilot, Hanna Reitsch flew everyting the Third Reich had: from the first helicopter (the Focke-Achgelis) to the prototype of a piloted V-1. She went on to set more than 40 altitude and endurance records in motorless and powered aircraft in her lifetime. In 1945 she flew the last plane out of Berlin hours before the fall of the city. Although politics had nothing to do with her love of flight, she was the only woman ever to be awarded the Iron Cross and Luftwaffe Diamond Clasp.
Traudl Junge - Secretary who wrote Adolf Hitler's last will and testament in the bunker
Traudl Junge (born Gertraud Humps in Munich in 1920) worked as a secretary to Adolf Hitler 1943-1945. She was 22 when Hitler selected her to become his fourth, and youngest, secretary from a shortlist of 9 - hundreds of hopeful young women had applied. "After Stalingrad... We all tried to distract him, with talk about films, or gossip, anything that would take his mind off the war." She described Hitler as "very paternal", adding: "I have never understood the effect he had on all of us. Sometimes, when he went off somewhere without us, it was almost as if the air around us had become deficient... some essential element was missing... There was a vacuum."
Hitler's Hausfrauen - His view of the opposite sex
"The greater the man, the more insignificant should be the woman", was how Adolf Hitler summed up his view of the opposite sex. He idealised the meek, faithful Hausfrau. He had only two serious relationships, both of which ended with the woman's suicide - his niece Geli Raubal, who shot herself rather than have to put up with her uncle's dangerous jealousy, and Eva Braun, who took poison in the bunker in Berlin rather than face life without him. Other women adored him enough to kill themselves. The actress Renate Mueller threw herself out of an asylum window; Unity Mitford put two bullets in her head in Munich when war broke out in 1939, but survived.
Interviews with Friedlinde Wagner - Office of Strategic Services
Friedlinde Wagner is the granddaughter of Richard Wagner and the daughter of Winifred and Siegfried Wagner. Her mother became interested in the Nazi movement about 1923. Hitler visited the Wagner home "Wahnfried" shortly after. Hitler wore his Bavarian leather pants with suspenders and the short socks which are not common in Bayreuth. He looked very funny to her. Winifred thought him a diamond in the rough while Siegfried considered him a fraud and an up-start. Winifred even to this day calls him by the nickname he had adopted, "Wolf". Friedlinde further claims that his vegetarian diet began after the death of Geli.
I told Margherita Himmler that her husband, Heinrich Himmler, has committed suicide
Ann Stringer met Margherita Himmler at the end of the war. This is an extract of the recently unearthed interview. -- I visited Margherita Himmler, wife of the most hated man in the world, after Hitler. She has been interned by the allied authorities and now lives in a luxurious villa in the suburbs of Rome. With her is her 15-year-old daughter, Gudrun. I tell her the news. She receives my words with the same indifference as if I had announced the death of the household cat. I then ask her if she knew the activities of her husband in his capacity of chief of the secret police. She answers 'certainly'.