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Sep 1931 Hitler murders Geli Raubal. Bormann, Müller coverup

 
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:47 pm    Post subject: Sep 1931 Hitler murders Geli Raubal. Bormann, Müller coverup Reply with quote

The Adolf Hitler painting that could be hiding a grave secret about an incestuous affair and a murder
The painting, along with four others signed "A Hitler" failed to attract a buyer at a sale in Ludlow
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/adolf-hitler-painting-could-hidin g-10751350#comments-section
BY ROD MCPHEE 22:04, 6 JUL 2017


Is this painting by Hitler hiding a grave secret?

A sickly picture of a tomb, said to have been painted by Adolf Hitler, provides a sinister link between the Nazi leader and the niece with whom he was rumoured to be having an illicit affair.

The Führer was reportedly heartbroken when Geli Raubal fell victim to a bullet from his own Walther pistol.

Officially it was suicide. But some historians believe he murdered her to keep their affair quiet.

The unsigned artwork showing Geli’s resting place in the Central Cemetery in Vienna went up for sale today.

Ben Jones of auctioneers Mullock’s said: “It’s controversial but it is history at the end of the day.”

READ MORE
'Adolf Hitler was like Charlie Chaplin', claims Brit girl who met Nazi leader just before World War Two
Geli was the daughter of Hitler’s half-sister Angela Raubal and 19 years younger than him.


Hitler (left) relaxing with Geli in 1930 (Image: Getty)
The relationship began in 1925 when Angela became housekeeper at his mountain retreat and brought her two girls.

Geli was a spirited, flirtatious 17-year-old who called him “Uncle Alf”. It is not clear whether the relationship was sexual.

But in September 1931 they were heard having a row. The next day, Geli, then 23, was found lying face down with a single bullet lodged in her lung.

Hitler was devastated and several times visited the grave depicted in the picture. It failed to attract a buyer at today’s sale in Ludlow, Shrops.


Geli was killed by a single bullet (Image: Getty)
Four other paintings – all signed "A Hitler" and valued between £5,000 and £7,000 – also went unsold.

READ MORE
Lost £350million Nazi treasure stolen from Russia in WW2 'found in secret bunker'
Auctioneer Mr Jones said it was the second time they had tried to sell the five pictures. He added: “They didn’t go five years ago and have been in our office ever since.”

But four other paintings attributed to Hitler were snapped up for £7,500.

Mr Jones said: “I’ve been asked, ‘Who collects this?’ But people can do what they want behind closed doors.”

Most of Hitler’s paintings were done before the First World War when he was destitute in Vienna. By the time Geli died he was 15 months away from becoming Chancellor.


TonyGosling wrote:
Chapter Ten

A Pig Digging For A Potato
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/atomicbomb/chap10.htm

"I studied Bormann's technique with Hitler and realized he controlled the Fuehrer!"
Chief of Nazi foreign intelligence
Walter Schellenberg

Bormann was "the secret master of a despot."
Hitler courtesan Hans Frank.

"Everything had to be done through this sinister guttersnipe (Bormann)."
Hitler's General Chief of Staff
Heinz Guderian

"Bormann stayed with Hitler night and day and gradually brought him
under his will so that he ruled Hitler's whole existence."
Herman Goering
Hitler's heir-apparent until war's-end


Hitler, too, was implicated for murder when he was a young man, long before he made cold-blooded killing a component of official government policy. Hitler's suspected homicidal action, unlike Bormann's calculated, pragmatic act, was the result of jealous and unthinking rage. According to one version, he appears to have viciously murdered his niece, with whom he was having an incestuous, turbid relationship, following a violent, jealousy-driven argument. The niece, Angela "Geli" Raubal, was trying to break off their relationship.

"He's a monster. Nobody can imagine the things he wants me to do," she once confided.

She disclosed that he had forced her to urinate on him and to perform other heinous obscenities. He also reportedly completed a number of artistic renderings of Geli executed with questionable taste and of detestable subject matter. Bormann is said to have later located all of these pictures and quietly bought them back to avoid future controversy.

As Geli tried to extricate herself from the affair ( she not only detested her relationship with Hitler but she was interested in another man ) Hitler is thought to have confronted her in his apartment in Munich during one of their forced liaisons. Possibly she threatened to reveal his perverted predilections but it is not known for certain what led up to the killing or how it was committed. According to William Stevenson in The Bormann Brotherhood, there were witnesses to the crime - Gerhard Rossbach and Dr. Otto Strasser - but they were close Hitler cronies who refused to reveal what they knew. All that is known is that Geli's dead body was found naked on the floor, her nose broken, killed by a bullet from Adolf Hitler's pistol.

For Hitler, the murder was a disaster about to be unleashed that would not only ruin his career but probably his life as well. While he had consolidated his position as leader of the Nazi Party, he was not yet a citizen of Germany much less its uncontested leader. Three more years would pass before he could protect his murderous madness with that shield. By now, September 1931, Bormann had been released from prison, joined the Nazi Party, and in six short years had burrowed his way into the party leadership and was looking for opportunities to demonstrate devotion to his demigod, Adolf Hitler. In the murder of Geli Raubal he recognized an opportunity to prove to his murderous master his allegiance and his shrewd, if immoral, penchants.

Stevenson goes on to describe how Munich's intelligent, hard-working chief inspector, Heinrich Mueller, who up to that point had been working hard to eliminate the Nazi Party, had begun investigating the apparently open-and-shut case. Bormann stepped in. When he stepped back again the chief inspector dropped the case, Hitler walked free, and Mueller was soon on a train to Moscow to learn the black art and septic science of running a secret police department, all at Nazi Party expense.

The net result of Bormann's arbitration? Adolf Hitler escaped that most desperate personal and political predicament to eventually become arguably the most powerful man in the world. Heinrich Mueller was installed on a career track that would propel him to the pinnacle of the German police state - the police state of all police states - as chief of the vaunted and feared Gestapo. In fact, Mueller would eventually carry to his grave the nickname "Gestapo" Mueller.

And Martin Bormann would grasp Hitler's attention and allegiance in a way that would create a mechanism for perpetual expansion of Bormann's power base through the Master's increasing trust and appreciation. Add to this the power that would flow to Bormann from Bormann's co-opting of Heinrich Mueller and the massive intelligence and control mechanism that would soon be supplied to him through the Gestapo, and Bormann's position had, indeed, increased by several orders of magnitude as a result of this single affair.

According to some Hitler biographers, the story of Hitler's murder of Geli Raubal is anecdotal and has been proven to be false. Their account says Hitler was booked in a hotel far from Munich on the day Geli was killed. This in fact may be true, but if Stevenson's version that Bormann and Mueller "fixed" the outcome is true, this evidence may be part of the cover-up rather than the true account of events. Perhaps what actually occurred will never be known.

During the six years between Bormann's release from prison in 1925, when he joined the Nazi Party, and his alleged bold intercession on Hitler's behalf in Geli Raubal's murder, Martin Bormann had already climbed a considerable distance within the Nazi party hierarchy. Presumably his stature was elevated upon his very entrance into the party as a result of his already-proven commitment to the ideals and operational methods of the Nazi Party as confirmed by time spent in prison for the Kadow murder. Within two years he was the regional press officer for the Nazi Party in Thuringia and the following year was elevated to chief business manager in the same regional party chapter, as well as being made Gauleiter (Nazi Party governor) of Thuringia. He was also promoted to the supreme command of the party's military arm, the S.A. (Sturmabteilung).

By the end of that same year, 1928, Bormann was working for Hitler's personal secretary and right-hand man, Rudolf Hess. Bormann had been referred to Hess by Nazi Party Treasurer Franz Xavier Schwarz, who recognized in Bormann a shrewd and astute financial manager and efficient commissar who could bring the party's business dealings into control, which Hess had been unable to accomplish.

Because of Bormann's penchant for working quietly in the background, throughout his career his versatile nature went largely unnoticed despite his latent genius for finance - magnified and unbridled by a complete lack of moral or ethical circumspection. His versatility revitalized the party. It made Hitler a rich man. And it made Bormann a rich man.

The following year, Bormann married the daughter of another ardent party member who would soon become the top judge in Nazi Germany, Reichstag Deputy Walther Buch, who enjoyed Hitler's respect (Hitler was a witness to the Bormann wedding, being friend of both bride and groom).

With his new wife Gerda, Bormann began a family that would eventually include ten children and would, if possible, in some respects be even more perverse than the family in which he grew up. He openly and with Gerda's blessing, and, in fact, with her encouragement, carried on multiple sexual relationships simultaneously with a bevy of other women, despite universal agreement that Bormann, in the "looks" department, had little to offer women. Physical attraction not withstanding, his oily charm and powerful position made him an attractive coup to many ladies.




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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Sep 1931 Hitler murders Geli Raubal. Bormann, Müller cov Reply with quote

TonyGosling wrote:

A Pig Digging For A Potato
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/atomicbomb/chap10.htm

As Geli tried to extricate herself from the affair ( she not only detested her relationship with Hitler but she was interested in another man ) Hitler is thought to have confronted her in his apartment in Munich during one of their forced liaisons. Possibly she threatened to reveal his perverted predilections but it is not known for certain what led up to the killing or how it was committed. According to William Stevenson in The Bormann Brotherhood, there were witnesses to the crime - Gerhard Rossbach and Dr. Otto Strasser - but they were close Hitler cronies who refused to reveal what they knew. All that is known is that Geli's dead body was found naked on the floor, her nose broken, killed by a bullet from Adolf Hitler's pistol.

For Hitler, the murder was a disaster about to be unleashed that would not only ruin his career but probably his life as well. While he had consolidated his position as leader of the Nazi Party, he was not yet a citizen of Germany much less its uncontested leader. Three more years would pass before he could protect his murderous madness with that shield. By now, September 1931, Bormann had been released from prison, joined the Nazi Party, and in six short years had burrowed his way into the party leadership and was looking for opportunities to demonstrate devotion to his demigod, Adolf Hitler. In the murder of Geli Raubal he recognized an opportunity to prove to his murderous master his allegiance and his shrewd, if immoral, penchants.

Stevenson goes on to describe how Munich's intelligent, hard-working chief inspector, Heinrich Mueller, who up to that point had been working hard to eliminate the Nazi Party, had begun investigating the apparently open-and-shut case. Bormann stepped in. When he stepped back again the chief inspector dropped the case, Hitler walked free, and Mueller was soon on a train to Moscow to learn the black art and septic science of running a secret police department, all at Nazi Party expense.

The net result of Bormann's arbitration? Adolf Hitler escaped that most desperate personal and political predicament to eventually become arguably the most powerful man in the world. Heinrich Mueller was installed on a career track that would propel him to the pinnacle of the German police state - the police state of all police states - as chief of the vaunted and feared Gestapo. In fact, Mueller would eventually carry to his grave the nickname "Gestapo" Mueller.

And Martin Bormann would grasp Hitler's attention and allegiance in a way that would create a mechanism for perpetual expansion of Bormann's power base through the Master's increasing trust and appreciation. Add to this the power that would flow to Bormann from Bormann's co-opting of Heinrich Mueller and the massive intelligence and control mechanism that would soon be supplied to him through the Gestapo, and Bormann's position had, indeed, increased by several orders of magnitude as a result of this single affair.

According to some Hitler biographers, the story of Hitler's murder of Geli Raubal is anecdotal and has been proven to be false. Their account says Hitler was booked in a hotel far from Munich on the day Geli was killed. This in fact may be true, but if Stevenson's version that Bormann and Mueller "fixed" the outcome is true, this evidence may be part of the cover-up rather than the true account of events. Perhaps what actually occurred will never be known.

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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Joined: 13 Jan 2007
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Location: Westminster, LONDON, SW1A 2HB.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hitler’s Doomed Angel
The unresolved and hastily covered-up death in 1931 of Geli Raubal, Hitler’s half-niece and romantic obsession, has long been relegated to the murky footnotes of the *Führer’*s early career in the demimonde of Munich. As calls for a new investigation stir up another Austrian crisis of conscience, Ron Rosenbaum reports on a sixty-year-old mystery.

RON ROSENBAUMSEPTEMBER 3, 2013 7:42 PM
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/1992/04/hitlers-doomed-angel/

Vienna. She was beautiful, they said, but there was something unusual about her beauty, something peculiar—even frightening. Consider the testimony of Frau Braun, now eighty-six (and no relation to Eva), one of the few people left alive who knew Geli Raubal before she became Hitler’s consort. Knew her as a teenager in Vienna in the twenties, when Hitler would come to call incognito in his black Mercedes.

Indeed, until recently, Frau Braun was living in the very same Vienna apartment building that was once Geli’s refuge, the one she apparently was seeking to flee to on September 18, 1931—the day before she was found dead in her bedroom in Hitler’s Munich apartment with a bullet through her chest and Hitler’s gun by her side.


I was led to Frau Braun by Hans Horváth, the obsessed amateur historian whose current petition to exhume and examine Geli’s long-dead body has stirred up controversy—and resistance from the Vienna city government. Resistance that is “a scandal,” says a professor supporting Horváth. A scandal resuiting from a Waldheim-era desire to keep not just Geli buried but memories of onetime Vienna citizen Adolf Hitler interred as well.

“A mysterious darkness” surrounds the death of this “unusual beauty,” the Fränkische Tagespost reported forty-eight hours after her body was discovered. Sixty years later, when I traveled to Vienna and Munich to investigate the controversy, that darkness has yet to be dispelled. It still obscures the answers to such basic questions as whether Geli’s death was suicide or murder. Who fired Hitler’s gun that night?

Frau Braun’s recollection is a gleam in that darkness, eyewitness testimony to the peculiar kind of power Geli had even as a young teenage girl.

I’d been reading accounts of Geli’s beauty, the spell she cast over Hitler and his circle. I’d seen the blurry photographs of her. Some of them captured a hint of her haunting appeal, some did not.

Frau Braun, however, saw it face-to-face. “I was walking down the street and I heard her singing,” Frau Braun tells me one winter afternoon in the comfort of her dignified pension in a senior citizens’ residence, a place she moved into after living sixty years in the apartment building Geli grew up in.

As she approached the girl singing in the street, “I saw her and I just stopped dead. She was just so tall and beautiful that I said nothing. And she saw me standing there and said, ‘Are you frightened of me?’ And I said, ‘No, I was just admiring you. . . ’ ”

Frau Braun offers me another Mozart chocolate ball and shakes her head. “She was just so tall and beautiful. I’d never seen anyone like that.”

Geli, short for Angela: Hitler’s half-niece, love object, angel. Although the precise physical nature of that “love” has been the subject of heated debate among historians for more than half a century, there is little doubt she was, as William Shirer puts it, “the only truly deep love affair of his life.” Joachim Fest, the respected German biographer of Hitler, calls Geli “his great love, a tabooed love of Tristan moods and tragic sentimentality.” His great love—and perhaps his first victim.

Who was Geli? While many testify to the peculiar power of her beauty—she was “an enchantress,” said Hitler’s photographer; “a princess, people on the street would turn around” to stare at her, according to Emil Maurice, Hitler’s chauffeur—the question of her character is a matter of dispute. Was she the perfect image of Aryan maidenhood, as Hitler exalted her? Or an “empty-headed little slut” manipulating her besotted uncle, as one resentful Hitler confidant depicts her?

“No other woman linked to Hitler has exerted the kind of fascination for succeeding generations” that Geli has, Der Spiegel said recently. “Geli’s sudden and apparently inexplicable death has challenged the imagination of contemporaries and later historians,” writes Robert Waite in The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler.

Part of the continuing fascination with Geli, this enigmatic femme fatale, is that she had such a pronounced impact on Hitler—and that an examination of their doomed affair may be a window into the “mysterious darkness” of Hitler’s psyche. “With the single exception of his mother’s death,” Waite believes, “no other event in his personal life had hit him so hard.” Waite cites a comment Hermann Göring made at the Nuremberg trials: “Geli’s death had such a devastating effect on Hitler that it . . . changed his relationship to all other people.”

Equally intriguing is the notion that a scandal surrounding her death in Hitler’s apartment could have destroyed his political career before he came to power. In the fall of 1931, he was Führer of the resurgent National Socialist Party and was poised to launch his campaign for the presidency the following year, the one that would bring him to the brink of power. (He became Reichschancellor, his first political office, in 1933.) The gunshot death of a twenty-three-year-old woman in an apartment she shared with him might have derailed his rise—had the potentially explosive scandal not been defused.

Certainly the moment the police arrived to find Geli Raubal’s corpse with his 6.35-mm. Walther pistol by her side, Adolf Hitler had reason to be frightened. But from the time her body was discovered, heroic efforts were made at what we would now call ”damage control.” Or “cover-up.”

Some of the damage control was so inept it damaged him further—as when Hitler’s spin doctors at the party’s press bureau put out the dubious story that Geli, a vibrant, confident young woman, killed herself because she was “nervous” about an upcoming music recital.

Some of the cover-up measures were, however, quite effective. Disappearing the body, for instance: party officials reportedly prevailed on sympathetic Bavarian minister of justice Franz Gürtner to quash an investigation by the public prosecutor’s office; the body was given only a perfunctory post-mortem; the police issued a hasty pronouncement of suicide and permitted the body to be slipped down the back stairs and shipped off to Vienna for burial before the first reports of Geli’s death—and the first questions about it—appeared in the Monday-morning papers.

Still, when the first scandalous report hit the streets in the Münchner Post (the city’s chief anti-Nazi paper), Hitler himself had reason to fear his skyrocketing political career was in jeopardy: A MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR: HITLER’S NIECE COMMITS SUICIDE

Regarding this mysterious affair, informed sources tell us that on Friday, September 18, Herr Hitler and his niece had yet another fierce quarrel. What was the cause? Geli, a vivacious twenty-three-year-old music student, wanted to go to Vienna, where she intended to become engaged. Hitler was decidedly against this. That is why they were quarreling repeatedly. After a fierce row, Hitler left his apartment on Prinzregentenplatz.

On Saturday, September 19, it became known that Geli had been found shot in the apartment with Hitler’s gun in her hand. The nose bone of the deceased was shattered and the corpse evidenced other serious injuries. From a letter to a girlfriend living in Vienna, it appeared that Geli intended to go to Vienna. . . .

The men in the Brown House [party head-quarters] then deliberated over what should be announced as the cause of the suicide. They agreed to give the reason for Geli’s death as “unsatisfied artistic achievement.” They also discussed the question of who, if something were to happen, should be Hitler’s successor. Gregor Strasser was named. . . .

Perhaps the near future will bring light to this dark affair.

According to the memoirs of Hitler’s lawyer Hans Frank, some newspapers went further. “There was even one version that he had shot the. . . girl himself,” Frank reports. Such stories “not only appeared in scandal sheets, but daily in the leading papers with pens dipped in poison.” Hitler “could not look at the papers anymore for fear the terrible smear campaign would kill him.”

To escape scrutiny Hitler fled town for the isolated lakeside cottage of a party friend on the Tegernsee. Distraught, raving over this “terrible smear campaign” against him, he spoke wildly to Rudolf Hess, the companion by his side, about how it was all over—his political career, his very life. There was a moment, according to one story, when Hess had to leap and grab a pistol out of Hitler’s hand before he could put it to his head.

Were Hitler’s hysterics in the Tegernsee cottage grief—or guilt? Consider the surprising reply Hitler himself authored and dispatched to the Münchner Post, which was compelled by Weimar press law to print it in full. Consider it both for what it denies and for what it fails to deny:

It is not true [Hitler writes] that I was having fights again and again with my niece [Geli] Raubal and that we had a substantial quarrel on Friday or anytime before that. . . .

It is not true that I was decidedly against her going to Vienna. I was never against her planned trip to Vienna.

It is not true she was going to get engaged in Vienna or that I was against an engagement. It is true that my niece was tormented with the worry that she was not yet fit for her public appearance. She wanted to go to Vienna to have her voice checked once again by a voice teacher.

It is not true that I left my apartment on September 18 after a fierce row. There was no row, no excitement, when I left my apartment on that day.

A remarkably defensive statement for a political candidate to issue. And for a while, despite Hitler’s nondenial denial (nothing about the fractured nose, nothing about the Brown House spin doctors’ being so concerned about the potential scandal that they had even selected Hitler’s successor), the story began to grow. Other papers followed up, adding dark hints about the nature of the physical relationship between Hitler and his niece. The Regensburger Echo spoke cryptically about its going “beyond her strength” to endure. The periodical Die Fanfare, in an article headlined HITLER’S LOVER COMMITS SUICIDE: BACHELORS AND HOMOSEXUALS AS LEADERS OF THE PARTY, spoke of another woman, whose suicide attempt in 1928 followed a purported intimacy with Hitler. Hitler’s private life with Geli, the paper said, “took on forms which obviously the young woman was unable to bear.”

It seemed as if the scandal had reached critical mass. But then, suddenly, the stories stopped. With the body buried safely out of reach and Minister Gürtner in the party’s pocket, there were no more facts left to dig up. With the Münchner Post silenced by the Nazis’ threat of lawsuits, the scandal died down—although Shirer reports that “for years afterward in Munich there was murky gossip that Geli Raubal had been murdered.” If Hitler did not escape unscathed, the sensation surrounding Geli’s death did not slow down his inexorable rise.

What’s ironic is that history and historians have let Hitler off so easily on the Geli case. Here’s a man who would go on to murder millions, who made the Big Lie his essential mode of operation. But a young woman is found shot with his gun a few steps away from his bedroom, and Hitler gets the presumption of innocence because he and his friends say he wasn’t there at the time? It’s useful in this connection to recall the post-Holocaust commandment enunciated by Emil Fackenheim, one of the most respected contemporary Jewish philosophers: Thou shalt not give Hitler any posthumous victories. Why give him a posthumous exoneration for any death without doing everything possible to hold him accountable?

Perhaps it might be argued that a single death is meaningless with so many millions to come. But this was no meaningless death. Fritz Gerlich understood that. Gerlich was the brave, doomed crusading journalist who wouldn’t let the case die, who believed that Hitler murdered Geli—and that if the world knew the truth about this crime it might save itself from worse crimes to come. Who continued to pursue the story so courageously that it cost him his life. In March 1933, just as he was about to publish the results of his investigation in the opposition newspaper he edited, Der Gerade Weg, a squad of storm troopers broke into his newspaper office, beat him up, seized and burned his manuscripts, and dragged him off to prison, and then to Dachau, where he was executed in July of 1934, during the Night of the Long Knives. Extinguishing, so it seemed, the last faint hope the case of Geli Raubal would be reopened. Until now.

Vienna. The Hotel Sacher. The specter of Geli Raubal still has an eerie power to arouse fascination—and fear. Those arguing for the exhumation of her remains charge the city authorities with stalling for fear of raising unsavory ghosts.

The exhumation effort has the endorsement of an internationally respected professor at the University of Vienna’s Institute for Forensic Medicine, Professor Johann Szilvássy. It was Szilvássy who told me that it was “a scandal” that the city of Vienna has delayed for five years now granting Hans Horváth’s petition to exhume the body of Geli Raubal. Szilvássy has endorsed the legitimacy of Horváth’s request, agreed to perform the examination, and believes that at the very least it could resolve such crucial questions as whether, in fact, as the Münchner Post first reported, Geli’s nose was broken (suggesting a violent quarrel before her death). And whether she was pregnant at the time, which might be discerned if the pregnancy had gone more than three months (there are rumors that she was carrying either Hitler’s child or the child of a Jewish music teacher—and some believe that a pregnancy announcement was the cause of her final, perhaps fatal quarrel with Hitler).

Professor Szilvássy told me he blames the “scandal” on the city’s ruling Socialist Party, which, he says, is reluctant to raise the ghost of the past the way the Waldheim affair did, and remind people of Hitler’s intimate ties to the town.

“But there is more to their fear than that,” Horváth tells me this afternoon, sitting at his favorite table in the café of the Hotel Sacher. The dapper Horváth, a well-to-do furniture restorer and art appraiser—who has his own, controversial theory about a Geli Raubal murder plot—has been pursuing Geli’s ghost for two decades with an obsessive passion that recalls the detective in Laura. Indeed, like the devotion of the homicide dick in that forties noir classic, who locks onto the unfathomable Laura after he falls in love with her portrait, Horváth’s fervor has been inspired, at least in part, by the beauty embodied in a portrait of Geli—a nude painting of the young enchantress which Horváth claims was the work of his fellow devotee, Hitler himself.

Horváth is not a professional historian; he’s more like an impassioned J.F.K.-assassination buff. But he’s made up for his lack of credentials with a kind of relentlessness that had him plunging into dank, subterranean cemetery archives in search of any last trace of Geli’s burial records. There, in those underground repositories, he made his most consequential—and controversial—breakthrough: his claim to have relocated Geli’s grave, rescuing her remains from the limbo of the lost, and perhaps from ignominious disposal.

Geli’s grave was once a grand thing. Hitler had paid for a spacious site facing the Central Cemetery’s architectural landmark, the Luegerkirche. But in the chaos of W.W. II Vienna, payment for the upkeep of the grave site ceased (a peculiarity of Viennese burial practices in the Central Cemetery is that grave leases must be renewed regularly). According to Horváth, the mercilessly efficient cemetery bureaucracy evicted Geli’s body from her expensive site in 1946 and moved it to a vast paupers’ field, where it was interred in a plain zinc coffin in a narrow underground slot. Although Geli’s grave was originally marked with a wooden cross, the paupers’ field is now denuded of any surface markings, and Geli’s slot is traceable only by a reference number on an intricate grid in a schematic diagram Horváth discovered.

In fact, Geli’s remains are scheduled to soon be erased from existence entirely: if the cemetery’s proposed redesign is carried out, all the bodies in the unmarked graves will be dug up and shoveled into a mass burial pit to make room for a “cemetery of the future.” So, Horváth maintains, it’s now or never.

Horváth comes close to saying that the obliteration of Geli’s grave is a conscious effort by the city of Vienna to bury all disturbing memories and ghosts of Hitler forever.

“Why would they be afraid of the exhumation?” I ask Horváth.

“It’s not the exhumation they fear,” he insists. “It’s the reburial. Because after the exhumation and Professor Szilvássy’s examination, she will be returned to earth in a grave site I have purchased for her, with a stone to mark her name. And the city is frightened that the new grave will become a shrine.”

“A shrine?”

“Yes. A shrine for neo-Nazis. A New Valhalla.”

Just who was Geli, this enigmatic charmer whose beauty had such a disproportionate effect on Hitler’s psyche? As with many legendary femmes fatales, her historical reality has been blurred by mythic images. “There is no other story” in the realm of Hitler studies, said Der Spiegel, “where legend and fact are so fantastically interwoven.”

Consider the rather basic question of hair color: was it blond or dark? One contemporary observer remarked with awe on Geli’s “immense crown of blond hair.” But Werner Maser, a sometimes reliable digger into Hitler’s domestic life, insists she had “black hair and a distinctly Slavonic appearance.”

Reports of her character are similarly divided between golden and darker hues. Some observers recall her reverently as “a deeply religious person who attended Mass regularly,” “a princess.”

The Golden Girl school sums her up as “the personification of perfect young womanhood. . .deeply revered, indeed worshiped, by her uncle [Hitler]. He watched and gloated over her like some servant with a rare and lovely bloom.”

Others saw her as quite another kind of bloom. Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl, for instance. The American-educated art-book publisher and confidant of Hitler in the early years (who later fled to the U.S. and became a consultant on Hitler to his Harvard Club friend F.D.R.) was one of the more cosmopolitan and sophisticated observers of the Caligula’s court of bizarre characters gathered around Hitler in his lesser-known Munich period. For some reason Hanfstaengl, who often had his own agenda, took a violent dislike to Geli; he called her “an empty-headed little slut, with the coarse sort of bloom of a servant girl.” He claims that, despite Hitler’s “mooncalf” adolescent infatuation with her, she betrayed him with his chauffeur, and perhaps with a “Jewish art teacher from Linz.” (Hitler reportedly fired the chauffeur, Emil Maurice, calling him a “skirt chaser” who ought to be shot “like a mad dog.”) And, Hanfstaengl adds, while she was “perfectly content to preen herself in her fine clothes,” Geli “certainly never gave any impression of reciprocating Hitler’s twisted tendernesses.”

Before we delve deeper into their physical relationship, it will be useful to explain their genealogical relationship. Geli’s mother was Hitler’s older half-sister, Angela, who married a man named Leo Raubal from Linz, the town in which Hitler grew up. In 1908, Angela gave birth to a girl, also named Angela, soon familiarly known as “Geli.”

This would make Geli, in shorthand, Hitler’s half-niece. Hitler himself was the product of a marriage between second cousins (or, according to some, between an uncle and a niece), a union that needed a papal dispensation to lift the customary church ban on such consanguineous marriages. Should Hitler have married Geli—as many, including her mother, speculated he would—it would have also required a papal dispensation to legitimate the marriage in the eyes of the church.

Around the time Geli was born, Hitler was living in Vienna, in a men’s shelter. A disaffected would-be artist, bitter about the rejection of his application to the Academy of Fine Arts, he was scratching out a living selling postcards he painted of local landmarks. It wasn’t until after the Great War, after Corporal Hitler returned to his adopted Munich and became, at thirty-three, leader of the National Socialist Party, that he got back in touch with Angela and Geli in Vienna. Geli was then about fourteen; her father had been dead since she was two; her mother worked as a housekeeper at a convent school; their life in a flat by the Westbanhof railway station was fairly plain and grim.

Suddenly, teenage Geli had an exciting gentleman caller, a celebrity, her “Uncle Alfie” (as he had her call him).

After Hitler’s failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, after his trial and nine-month jail term (during which he wrote the first volume of Mein Kampf), after he returned to Munich and began plotting his political comeback, he summoned Angela Raubal and seventeen-year-old Geli to come to serve as his live-in housekeepers, first at his mountain retreat at Berchtesgaden.

By that time, in 1925, Geli had blossomed into something of a beauty. And Hitler soon began to take notice of Geli in a way that went far beyond the avuncular. One journalist, Konrad Heiden, described him squiring her around bucolic mountain villages, riding “through the countryside from time to time showing the blond child how ‘Uncle Alf’ could bewitch the masses.”

But it soon became clear that it was Uncle Alf who was becoming “bewitched.” He asked Geli and her mother to move to Munich. Set Geli up in an apartment building next to his and, leaving the housekeeping to Angela, paraded Geli around on his arm, escorted her to cafés and cinemas. Indeed, Hitler soon began to act like a Hearstian sugar daddy, paying for her lessons with the best voice teachers in Munich and Vienna, encouraging her to believe she could become a heroine of the Wagnerian operas he loved to distraction.

Soon others began to take note of his romantic fascination. According to Fest, a party leader from Württemberg named Munder complained that Hitler was “being excessively diverted by the company of his niece from his political duties.” (Hitler later fired Munder.) Putzi Hanfstaengl recalls that Geli “had the effect of making him behave like a man in love. . . . He hovered at her elbow . . . in a very plausible imitation of adolescent infatuation.” Hanfstaengl says he once observed Hitler and Geli at the opera, saw him “mooning at her,” and then when he noticed Hanfstaengl observing him, Hitler quickly “switched his face to the Napoleonic look.”

In 1929 something happened which changed the nature of their relationship. His political as well as his personal fortunes growing rapidly again, Hitler purchased a nine-room grand luxe apartment in a building on Munich’s fashionable Prinzregentenplatz not far from the Munich opera house. He sent Geli’s mother off to semi-permanent duty at the Berchtesgaden retreat. And moved Geli in with him. They maintained separate bedrooms, but they were separate bedrooms on the same floor.

Outside that apartment Geli seemed to revel in the attention her role as Hitler’s consort brought her. And the power it gave her over him.

Just twenty-one years old, the product of modest circumstances, she’d suddenly become a celebrity, flattered, catered to, the center of attention in the court of the man described as “the King of Munich”—who was on his way to becoming the emperor of the New Germany. She was the envy of untold numbers of women. Some of whom spoke resentfully of the spell she’d cast on Hitler. She “was coarse, provocative, and a little quarrel-some,” Henrietta Hoffmann, the daughter of Hitler’s photographer, told historian John Toland. But to Hitler, Henrietta says, Geli was “irresistibly charming: if Geli wanted to go swimming... it was more important to Hitler than the most important conference.”

Still, for Geli, there was a price. Part of the price was virtual confinement in a huge apartment with no company but Hitler and her pet canary, “Hansi.” Geli too was a bird in a gilded cage, trapped within the stony fortress with an uncle twice her age, an uncle increasingly consumed with what Hitler biographer Alan Bullock calls jealous “possessiveness” of her.

But possessiveness of what? Of a sexual relationship? What really went on between Hitler and Geli behind the granite façade of that Munich apartment building when night came? This has been the subject of a bitterly contested debate among historians, biographers, and memoirists for some sixty years—a special instance of the larger ongoing dogfight over the precise nature of his sexuality and its link to his character and his crimes. Scholarly antagonists confidently proclaim opinions that range from the assertion that Hitler was entirely asexual to the belief that he was virile and “led a normal sexual life” and may even have gotten Geli pregnant. To the view that his sexual life took a form so bizarre and aberrational that some found it, quite literally, unspeakable.

Whatever the explicit form Hitler’s affections took, it became increasingly evident that for Geli the rewards of her public celebrity could not compensate for the oppressiveness of her private confinement with Hitler. And that in the final months of her life, indeed within days of her death, she was making desperate efforts to escape.

Vienna: The Central Cemetery

“That’s it, you’re standing on it right there,” Hans Horváth tells me. Meaning that this patch of weedy grass in the gray-green gloom of this featureless field, in a section of the cemetery that looks as if it’s been deserted even by the dead, is the precise place on the surface of the earth beneath which the long-lost body of Geli Raubal is to be found. The grave lost to history, and soon—Horváth hopes—to be reopened to history.

Of course, as with every other aspect of the Geli Raubal mystery, there is controversy over Horváth’s claim. He says that he’s had a professional surveyor align the coordinates of the cemetery-grid diagram with the graveyard earth, that he’s found records indicating Geli’s remains were encased in a zinc coffin, unlike the lost souls in the paupers’ field enclosed in rotting wood. And that, with a metal detector, he’s confirmed the concurrence of zinc coffin and surveyor’s coordinates.

A Vienna city councillor, Johann Hatzl by name, the man in charge of the city’s cemeteries, replied to an inquiry of mine by expressing doubt that Horváth has proved his case for the Geli grave site conclusively.

But Horváth has no doubt it’s Geli below my feet and no one else. Hatzl and Vienna mayor Helmut Zilk, he says, are just searching for an excuse to deny the exhumation. (Zilk insists the chief reason for the city’s refusal to approve the exhumation is the absence of a request from the deceased’s family.)

I’m less interested at the moment in the bones beneath the weeds than in something Horváth told me as we were departing the Sacher café for the trip to the cemetery in his silver BMW. Something about new evidence he’s come upon that’s led him to believe there’s an “American connection” to Geli’s murder. And that he’s got documents to prove it. He won’t show them to me or get more specific at first: he’s worried that he should preserve the revelation for his own projected book about Geli. And besides, he says, he’s been burned by a journalist before. A Der Spiegel article which appeared five years ago, when he launched his exhumation crusade, portrayed him as something of a “National Socialist nostalgist,” overly obsessed with artifacts of the Third Reich.

Not true, he says: he has many criticisms of Hitler for his half-baked racial theories. In fact, as we rolled up to the forbidding black iron gates of Vienna’s Central Cemetery this afternoon, Horváth told me he wants me to meet his Israeli girlfriend, Miriam Kornfeld. “He says this will show you he’s not a neo-Nazi,” my translator explained.

Horváth’s “a bit of a difficult character,” Professor Szilvássy tells me later. A self-made man, an autodidact who’s financed his investigative crusade with the revenues from his three prospering furniture- and art-restoration shops, Horváth displays an aggressiveness and abrasiveness that have not endeared him to the Vienna authorities, Szilvássy says. But whether we like his style or accept his “solution” to the case, his exhumation cause is just, Szilvássy maintains.

Horváth, who is forty-two, started collecting Hitler memorabilia as a teenager, but his ruling passion is anti-Communism, not pro-Nazism, he says. He adopts a version of the line put forward by certain conservative German historians in the mid-eighties, the one that provoked the famous Historikerstreit (historians’ battle), the one that focuses on the “legitimately heroic” role of the German army battling against the barbaric Reds on the bloody eastern front (and tends to ignore what they were fighting for).

Horváth’s memorabilia collection has grown so extensive over the years, he’s accumulated such a copious supply of W.W. II army and SS uniforms and insignia, that he’s often relied upon by movie companies filming period pieces in Austria to outfit whole detachments. His Vienna apartment is hung with Nazi uniforms and insignia.

I once asked Horváth’s Israeli girlfriend, Miriam, how she felt spending her time in that kind of environment. Miriam is a tall, attractive young apartment-rental agent, not much older than Geli was when she died. “In Israel,” she said, “it is impossible to speak at all of Hitler. He is, you know, too awful to talk about. But I believe it is important to learn about him, and through knowing Hans I have.”

The surprising thing about Horváth as a researcher is that—unlike, say, most J.F.K.-assassination buffs—he does original research rather than merely weaving conspiracy theories. And, unlike them, he’s capable of abandoning preconceptions. In fact, he has radically changed his mind since the Der Spiegel interview several years ago in which he did not dispute the suicide verdict. Now he tells me he’s convinced Geli’s death was murder. And that he can prove who did it.

Horváth’s path to his “solution” started with a question that arose right here in the graveyard and still poses a stark challenge to the official story: How was it that Geli Raubal, whose death was publicly proclaimed a suicide in the press of Germany and Austria, could get to be buried in the Catholic cemetery’s “consecrated ground,” normally denied to suicides?

The question was first raised in its most accusatory form by Otto Strasser, a one-time Nazi Party insider who has been the source of a number of the most sensational stories about Hitler and Geli. In his 1940 memoir, Strasser recalled a message he had received from a priest named Father Pant. The Raubal-family confessor when Geli and her mother lived in Vienna, Pant remained a faithful family friend after they moved to Munich. According to Strasser, Father Pant confided to him in 1939 that he had helped ease the way for Geli’s burial in consecrated ground. And then, Strasser says, the priest made this remarkable statement: “I never would have permitted a suicide to be buried in consecrated ground.”

In other words: Geli was murdered. When Strasser pressed the priest about what he knew, Pant said he couldn’t reveal anything further—to do so would break the seal of the confessional.

What did the seal conceal? What might Father Pant have known that made him discount the official suicide story?

In the early eighties, Horváth decided to track down Father Pant. Discovered that he’d died in the village of Alland in 1965. Spoke to people who knew him in the village of Aflenz and in Vienna, where he’d met the Raubal family when Geli’s mother worked at the convent school Pant was attached to. What they told him initially led Horváth, in his Der Spiegel interview, to discount Strasser’s description of the priest’s murder innuendo.

Since then, Horváth claims, he has come into possession of new evidence from Father Pant, which, in effect, breaks the seal of the confessional two decades after Pant’s death.

Munich: Prinzregentenplatz and the Chinese Tower in the English Garden

It’s still standing, Hitler’s deluxe apartment building, that grim granite love nest on Prinzregentenplatz, with its stone gargoyles staring balefully out from what was once Geli’s bedroom window. No longer a residence: after the war the unhappy final home of the woman who may have been Hitler’s most intimate victim was transformed into an office of reparations for Jewish victims of Hitler. Now it houses another, lesser kind of reparations bureaucracy—it’s the city of Munich’s central traffic-fines office.

A friendly traffic cop there offered to show me around the death scene only after he’d carefully checked my press credentials. Apparently the bureau gets periodic visits from pilgrims, many of the neo-Nazi persuasion, who want to see the place where Hitler and Geli slept. The Munich cop said something similar to what Horváth said about the Vienna authorities: they fear that too much attention will create an unsavory shrine.

This kind of nervousness didn’t seem entirely misplaced, that week in particular. The day I arrived in Munich via Vienna and Berchtesgaden, a feature in the London Times began, “A spectre is haunting Europe: the spectre of fascism.” The story cited recent electoral gains of right-wing, racist, anti-immigrant parties. And the rise of openly neo-Nazi skinhead gangs roaming German cities attacking homeless immigrants, the scapegoats of the New Europe.

But here in the English Garden, Munich’s central park, a mile away from the death scene, all is peaceful, bucolic, seemingly insulated from the resurgent specter stalking the streets of the cities of Europe.

The Chinese Tower, a tall, pillared gazebo atop a grassy knoll—a stone structure modeled upon the faux-Oriental “Temples of Contemplation” that were a fixture of eighteenth-century English landscape gardens—is a kind of shrine to one key school of thought on Hitler’s psychosexual nature. It’s the place where Geli allegedly made a startling midnight confession about what went on behind closed doors in Hitler’s bedroom.

The account of this outpouring comes to us from Otto Strasser, who claimed to be the only man to have had a Hitler-sanctioned “date” with Geli, in the tormented final years of her life. Strasser and his brother Gregor were early Hitler allies, the leaders of a “left-wing” faction of the Nazi Party which emphasized the socialism in National Socialism. Otto, and later Gregor, eventually broke with Hitler; Otto set up an exiled opposition movement called the Black Front, based in Prague. Afterward, he fled to Canada and supplied American intelligence agents with a number of damning stories about Hitler—including the tale of the Chinese Tower.

“I liked that girl very much,” Strasser told a German writer, “and I could feel how much she suffered because of Hitler’s jealousy. She was a fun-loving young thing who enjoyed the Mardi Gras excitement in Munich but was never able to persuade Hitler to accompany her to any of the many wild balls. Finally, during the 1931 Mardi Gras, Hitler allowed me to take Geli to a ball. . . .

“Geli seemed to enjoy having for once escaped Hitler’s supervision. On the way back . . . we took a walk through the English Garden. Near the Chinese Tower, Geli sat down on a bench and began to cry bitterly. Finally she told me that Hitler loved her but that she couldn’t stand it anymore. His jealousy was not the worst of it. He demanded things of her that were simply repulsive. . . . When I asked her to explain it, she told me things that I knew only from my readings of Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis in my college days.”

To American O.S.S. intelligence officers debriefing him in 1943 after he defected, Strasser gave a somewhat different account of Geli’s confession that was far more explicit.

Can we believe Strasser? The contentious question of Hitler’s sexuality is one of a number of basic biographical issues which remain disturbingly unresolved, even after fifty years and countless thousands of studies. In the psychosexual realm, what we have is a long-running debate among three main schools of thought, which might be labeled the Party of Asexuality, the Party of Normality, and the Party of Perversion.

Rudolph Binion, a professor of history at Brandeis University and the author of Hitler Among the Germans, is a leading advocate of the Party of Asexuality. “His tie to his mother unsuited Hitler for any normal erotic relationship,” Binion writes. He points to a statement made by Hitler in the early 1920s that “my only bride is my motherland”—this, Binion notes, “with his mother’s picture now over his bed.” Binion believes Geli Raubal was Hitler’s “single approximation to amour-passion. Their difference in age approached his father’s to his mother, who called his father ‘Uncle’ even after their marriage.” But Binion doubts the “amourpassion”was ever consummated.

The Party of Normality (most of them German historians) tends to portray Hitler as someone who had “normal” physiology and “normal” heterosexual relationships with women. They take Hitler’s pious declaration that his only bride was the motherland not as a rejection of sexual relations per se, merely as the reason he didn’t marry and have children. But that doesn’t mean Hitler never had sex. Werner Maser, the spearhead of the Party of Normality, went to such great pains to prove Hitler had the physiology and virility of a “normal” man that he once argued that Hitler had fathered a son back in 1918. And he told one of my researchers he believes Geli was probably pregnant with Hitler’s child when she died.

But the Party of Normality must contend with the fact that Strasser is just one of a number of sources among those close to Hitler who testified to the aberrational quality of Hitler’s intimate relations with women.

Rumors of Hitler’s strange sexual practices had haunted him in much the same way rumors of “Jewish ancestry” shadowed his rise. In the late sixties, historian Robert Waite succeeded in getting declassified the secret “sourcebook” on Hitler’s psychology compiled by the O.S.S. in 1943. Which made public for the first time a number of shocking accounts collected by U.S. intelligence specialists attesting to extremely unorthodox sexual practices on Hitler’s part. (Some say the O.S.S. material, which is a compilation of raw and uncorroborated interviews, is not entirely reliable, but there are several stories in memoirs by Hitler contemporaries which describe similar practices.)

Based on the O.S.S. report and other sources, Waite has written, “The idea that Hitler had a sexual perversion particularly abhorrent to women is further supported by a statistic: of the seven women who, we can be reasonably sure, had intimate relations with Hitler, six committed suicide or seriously attempted to do so.” In addition to Geli, “Mimi Reiter tried to hang herself in 1928; Eva Braun attempted suicide in 1932 and again in 1935; Frau Inge Ley was a successful suicide as were Renaté Mueller and Suzi Liptauer.” Perhaps the most dramatic of these was the mysterious death of thirty-year-old Berlin film actress Renaté Mueller. Her director, one A. Zeissler, later told the O.S.S. that she had confided in him shortly after spending a night with Hitler in the Reichschancellery how distressed she was at the nature of the sexual practices Hitler demanded of her—with which, to her mortification, she complied. She claimed Hitler “fell on the floor and begged her to kick him. . .condemned himself as unworthy . . . and just grovelled in an agonizing manner. The scene became intolerable to her, and she finally acceded to his wishes. As she continued to kick him he became more and more excited.”

Soon after confiding this to Zeissler, Renaté Mueller flew out the window of a room on an upper floor of a Berlin hotel. The death was ruled a suicide.

But according to the O.S.S. reports and other accounts from Hitler contemporaries, Hitler’ests of Geli were even more extreme.

Let’s begin with the affair of the purloined pornography. The most detailed account of the episode comes from Konrad Heiden, one of the first and most respected journalists to chronicle Hitler (he was widely credited with coining the term “Nazi”). Author of four books on Hitler and the Nazis, forced to flee Germany in the thirties, Heiden was described in his New York Times obituary as “the best known authority outside Germany on the party and its leaders” in the pre–World War II period.

Heiden’s magnum opus, Der Fuehrer, is remarkable for its portrait of Hitler’s Munich circle, a now nearly forgotten collection of misfits, hunchbacks, sexual outlaws, moral degenerates, decadent aristocrats, ex-cons, and occult con men. Heiden calls Hitler’s Munich circle “armed bohemians.” They were Fascist libertines who spent boisterous days in the Café Heck and the Osteria Bavaria, stuffing themselves with pasta and pastries. While pimps scoured Munich schoolyards to supply boys for SA chief Ernst Röhm’s predatory appetites, Hitler was reported to have been present at dissolute gatherings at the home of party photographer Heinrich Hoffmann, who had a wide acquaintance among artists, models, and other demimondaines.

But Heiden’s Geli is hardly an innocent pearl among swine. He describes her as “a beauty on the majestic side. . . simple in her thoughts and emotions, fascinating to many men, well aware of her electric effect and delighting in it. She looked forward to a brilliant career as a singer, and expected ‘Uncle Alf’ to make things easy for her.”

In 1929, according to Heiden, “Hitler wrote the young girl a letter couched in the most unmistakable terms. It was a letter in which the uncle and lover gave himself completely away; it expressed feelings which could be expected from a man with masochistic-coprophil inclinations, bordering on what Havelock Ellis calls ‘undinism.’. . .The letter probably would have been repulsive to Geli if she had received it. But she never did. Hitler left the letter lying around, and it fell into the hands of his landlady’s son, a certain Doctor Rudolph. . . . The letter was. . . bound to debase Hitler and make him ridiculous in the eyes of anyone who might see it. . . . Hitler seems to have feared that it was Rudolph’s intention to make it public” (my italics).

In other words, blackmail. According to Heiden, several Hitler confidants—his party treasurer, Franz Xaver Schwarz, a shadowy ex-priest, Father Bernhard Stempfle (who’d assisted in the writing of Mein Kampf), and the peculiar pack-rat-like Hitler-memorabilia collector J. F. M. Rehse—purchased the letter from Rudolph and were reimbursed with party funds, ostensibly for a projected collection of Hitler and party memorabilia.

Strange as this episode sounds, it closely parallels a story from another source, this one within the Hitler entourage: Putzi Hanfstaengl. Who, in his 1957 memoir, Unheard Witness, tells a very similar story, with one key discrepancy. In Hanfstaengl’s version the purloined pornographic material in the blackmail intrigue was not an explicit letter to Geli but explicit nude sketches of Geli.

The way Hanfstaengl tells it, the “first indication that there was something wrong with the relationship” between Hitler and Geli “came, as I recall, fairly early in 1930 from Franz Xaver Schwarz.” Hanfstaengl says that he ran into Schwarz on a Munich street one day, found him “very down-in-the-mouth.” Schwarz took him to his flat and “poured out what was on his mind. He had just had to buy off someone who had been trying to blackmail Hitler, but the worst part of the story was the reason for it. This man had somehow come into the possession of a folio of pornographic drawings Hitler had made. . . . They were depraved, intimate sketches of Geli Raubal, with every anatomical detail.”

Hanfstaengl says he was surprised when he found Schwarz still had possession of the ransomed Geli porn. “Heaven help us, man! Why don’t you tear the filth up?” he asked the party treasurer.

“No,” he quotes Schwarz replying, “Hitler wants them back. He wants me to keep them in the Brown House safe.”

The discrepancy between these two stories—a letter in Heiden, sketches in Hanfstaengl—seems of less moment than the remarkable convergence of the two accounts.

Rudolph Binion, a proponent of the Party of Asexuality, contends that Hanfstaengl told “tall tales,” that Heiden “can’t be trusted” because he exaggerated to sell books. And that Otto Strasser was also a questionable source. The partisans of the Party of Perversion, on the other hand, believe their reports are substantially true. Unfortunately, there are no unassailable witnesses to give us certainty either way. Nonetheless, the accounts of Heiden and Hanfstaengl provide a corroborative context for the third and most explicit text cited by the Party of Perversion, the shocking story of Geli’s confession which Otto Strasser told the O.S.S.

Strasser recalls a tearful Geli telling him that when night came, “Hitler made her undress [while] he would lie down on the floor. Then she would have to squat down over his face where he could examine her at close range, and this made him very excited. When the excitement reached its peak, he demanded that she urinate on him and that gave him his sexual pleasure. . . . Geli said that the whole performance was extremely disgusting to her and that although it was sexually stimulating it gave her no gratification.”

Disturbing as the details of Geli’s confession might seem, it is even more disturbing to conceive of Adolf Hitler as “normal”—more threatening to our notion of Western civilization is the idea that a “normal” person could turn out to be a Hitler, as one academic puts it.

Dr. Walter C. Langer, the psychiatrist who prepared a report (based on the O. S. S. sourcebook) titled The Mind of Adolf Hitler, appears to have had no problems accepting Strasser’s outré account. Undinism, the name Havelock Ellis gave to this practice (after the water nymph Undine), thus became the semi-official U.S.-intelligence diagnosis of Hitler’s sexuality: “From a consideration of all the evidence,” Langer wrote, “it would seem that Hitler’s perversion is as Geli has described it.” It is “highly probable that he had permitted himself to go this far only with his niece.” The Party of Perversion also includes the authors of the only fulllength psychoanalytic biography of Hitler, Hitler’s Psychopathology, medical writer Verna Volz Small and the late Dr. Norbert Bromberg, clinical professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who connect Hitler’s alleged undinism to what they describe as an overly close confinement with his parents during which he witnessed “the primal scene.” Langer attributes it to a close confinement during his mother’s pregnancies.

While all this is necessarily speculative, consider the implications for our understanding of Geli’s death if Strasser’s account of Geli’s cri de coeur is correct.

At first glance it might appear to support a verdict of suicide: the “disgusting” practice became unbearable for her, and she ended it the only way she knew how, with a bullet through her chest. But look at this scenario: The young girl is in possession of the kind of knowledge the mere whisper of which, were it to become public, could destroy Hitler. Worse, she’s incapable of remaining discreet. She blurts out the truth to Strasser; she tells a talkative girlfriend that her uncle is a “monster. You would never believe the things he makes me do” (according to Hanfstaengl); she may be talking to a Jewish lover in Vienna and God knows who else. And, according to Heiden, in their final quarrel, Geli may even have told Hitler she’d talked. Confessed that “in her despair [she’d] told outsiders about her relations with her uncle.”

And thereby sealed her fate.

There were a number of things that troubled me about Hans Horváth’s confident assertion that he’d solved the Geli Raubal case.

Horváth has come up with a radically different theory of Geli’s death, in which money, not sex, is the motive for murder. Horváth claims he’s seen documents from the Raubal-family confessor, Father Pant, and from the archives of the Austrian secret police that link the mystery of Geli’s demise to the mystery of Hitler’s funding in his Munich years.

The question of Hitler’s financial support during the twenties has never been adequately explained. What sustained him, allowed him to buy mountain vacation homes, brand-new Mercedeses, and princely apartments, particularly in the aftermath of his prison term and disgrace following the 1923 coup attempt? The Bavarian parliament once investigated reports of financial links between Hitler and Henry Ford (whose anti-Semitic books Hitler revered) without discovering the smoking gun.

To Horváth, Geli was the smoking gun. He claims wealthy American Nazi sympathizers (not Ford) were secretly supplying Hitler with sums of money that were being funneled through Vienna bank accounts. “Geli was one of the trustees for the accounts,” Horváth maintains. “The man who organized the American connection was Franz von Papen.” (Von Papen was the politically prominent right-wing German aristocrat who later became Hitler’s ambassador to Austria.) “Von Papen would give Geli envelopes, little packages,” Horváth says. The young girl “didn’t know for a long time what it was for.” But by 1931, “she was twenty-three, and the time came when suddenly you start to grow suspicious.” Geli’s suspicions, her indiscretions, Horváth says, led Hitler’s inner circle to decide she was a threat to expose the secret money pipeline—and had to be eliminated.

(Hitler biographer Bradley Smith finds the notion of von Papen’s involvement in such a pipeline preposterous since von Papen was a determined opponent of Hitler until 1933.)

One afternoon in the bar of my hotel in Vienna’s Fifth District—after days of coyly refusing to show his “proof”—Horváth dramatically unfastened his expensive leather attaché case and, with a flourish, removed several sheets of transparent Lucite, pressed within which were pages of what he said were writings by Father Pant.

I listened as my interpreter translated. I kept waiting for the conclusive evidence Horváth had promised. . .but it wasn’t there. The few cryptic scrawls were disappointing, unconvincing. Equally troubling, he promised to show me the corroborating material he claimed he found in the Austrian-secret-police archives—but then said it had disappeared from his files and from the archives.

Which is why I was even more skeptical when, in our final meeting at the Hotel Sacher, Horváth told me he knew the name of the man who murdered Geli. He’d seen a document, he claimed, that was the final testament of a Hitler security officer. In it, Horváth said, the man confessed that he shot Geli on orders from his superiors. But when I asked Horváth the name, he declined to reveal it—he said he was saving it for his book.

I’m afraid my skepticism about his theory will persist until he produces all his documents and allows them to be examined and authenticated by independent experts.

Geli’s last day of life, September 18, a Friday, began with both Hitler and Geli making plans to travel. Hitler was off to the North to Hamburg, where he was scheduled to address a Saturday-night rally to kick off his upcoming presidential campaign in northern Germany.

Geli, too, had plans by then. She’d “made up her mind,” Heiden tells us, “to end her whole life with Hitler, and go to Vienna.”

Vienna. The name of the city could not have been pleasing to Hitler. He hated the place, reviled it as “the personification of incest” in Mein Kampf (where he also described it as the city which gave birth to his anti-Semitic consciousness), viewed it as a seething nest of his mortal enemies: Jews, Marxists, and journalists.

For Geli, Vienna was something else. It had been her only sanctioned escape from her confinement. He’d permitted her to go there to consult famous voice teachers, and if we believe several reports to this effect, she made the most of her brief flights to freedom, entering into a surreptitious relationship with a Jewish voice teacher—the ultimate act of defiance of her Jew-hating uncle.

And now, on the final day of her life, she was telling Hitler she was determined to go to Vienna—and, by some accounts, exactly why and for whom she was going.

Almost every source—except Hitler— says the two of them quarreled over Geli’s planned trip. John Toland, who conducted extensive interviews with surviving members of Hitler’s household staff, writes that Hitler had, just that week, aborted a previous escape plan. Geli had gotten as far as the Hitler cottage at Berchtesgaden when “she got a phone call from Uncle Alf urgently requesting her to return.” After she got back, “her indignation turned to fury” when Hitler told her she was forbidden to travel while he went on his Hamburg trip. “The argument continued at a spaghetti lunch for two. . . . As Geli rushed out of the dining room, the cook noticed her face was flushed.” Later, the cook “heard something smash and remarked to her mother, ‘Geli must have picked up a perfume bottle from her dressing table and broken it.’ ”

“As he was setting out” on his trip, Heiden writes, “she called down to him from a window in the house. . . . ‘Then you won’t let me go to Vienna?’ And Hitler, from his car, called up, ‘No!’ ”

At some point, Geli sat at her desk and began writing a letter. That letter, her last known act, in a way is the most eloquent clue of them all. According to the Münchner Post it was a letter to a girlfriend in Vienna. The letter began, “When I come to Vienna, hopefully very soon—we’ll drive together to Semmering an—”

It ended there, in the midst of her first sentence, in the midst of a word—the final d of the German und was left off. That missing d suggests an interruption that was sudden and unwelcome and compelling.

But even more consequential is the tone of the letter itself: remarkably upbeat, forward-looking, and hopeful-sounding for a young woman who is supposedly on the verge of shooting herself. Indeed, the big mistake made by the damage-control squad when it arrived at the death scene was not destroying this note, because it is actually a very strong piece of evidence against the suicide theory. Is it conceivable that Geli, happily envisioning a spell in the bracing air of the Semmering (a mountain resort sixty miles south of Vienna), would shortly thereafter proceed to ferret out Hitler’s 6.35-mm. Walther from where he kept it in his bedroom, and blast a hole in her chest?

In any case, sometime between nightfall and the next morning someone shot Geli. There are an extraordinary number of conflicting versions of how the body was discovered. In almost all the accounts, the housekeeper couple who lived there claimed never to have heard anything suspicious, not to have noticed anything wrong until the next morning, when Geli didn’t answer to a knock. According to the official story, they found her door locked from the inside. Rudolf Hess was summoned. Some say the door was broken open in his presence and he was the first to inspect the death scene. What he found inside was Geli in a beige dress and a pool of blood, lying face up on her couch, lifeless, Hitler’s gun still clutched in a death grip. (Toland, who bases his version on interviews with housekeeper Frau Anni Winter, says it was not Hess but party treasurer Franz Xaver Schwarz and party publisher Max Amann who arrived, found the door locked, and summoned a locksmith.)

Of course, we have only the word of Hitler’s staff on all this. We have only their word that no suicide note was found; in any case, none was there when the police were finally summoned to the death scene. (Hanfstaengl says snidely of Frau Winter, “I strongly suspect it was made worth her while for the rest of her life to adhere to the official version.”)

By that time the fix was in: Bavarian minister of justice Franz Gürtner reportedly permitted the body to be shipped off to Vienna after a cursory look by the police doctor and a hasty declaration of suicide. Later, according to some reports, when a public prosecutor began his own inquiry, Gürtner (later promoted to minister of justice for the Reich) had it quashed. There never was a thorough investigation.

But there was a cover-up. Why? Let’s briefly examine the competing theories of what might have happened in Geli’s bedroom that night.

It Was Just “a Lamentable Accident”

This was the way that Hitler’s handlers were going to spin the official story, according to Hanfstaengl, who was the party’s foreign-press liaison officer.

Hanfstaengl reports that Hitler “was in a state of hysteria, and left the same day” for the seclusion of a friend’s lakeside retreat to escape press scrutiny. (Most sources say Hitler never saw the body. One uncorroborated account from a Hitler confidant, Otto Wagener, has Hitler present when the coroner removed the bullet from Geli’s chest. Wagener dates Hitler’s vegetarianism to that moment, but no one else places him in a room with Geli’s corpse.)

In his wake, Hitler left four men—Rudolf Hess, Gregor Strasser, Franz Schwarz, and party youth leader Baldur von Schirach—to handle damage control. Which they did badly: one of the first things this nervous group did was to subvert their initial “stage fright” suicide story.

That afternoon, says Hanfstaengl, Baldur von Schirach phoned from the apartment to party headquarters at the Brown House to tell the press office “to issue a communiqué about Hitler having gone into deep mourning after the suicide of his niece. Then the group at the flat must have got into a panic, because twenty-five minutes later von Schirach was on the phone again asking if the communiqué had gone out and saying that the wording was wrong. They should announce that there had been a lamentable accident [emphasis mine]. But by then it was too late. The word was out . . . ”

Which is fairly suspicious when you think about it. They had decided to ask people to believe that Geli was playing with a loaded gun, which somehow shot her in the chest. And so, from the very first moment, the suicide story seems to have been just one of a number of possible stories, cover versions they were toying with, one that Hitler’s own advisers thought too shaky to foist upon the public—before they learned they were stuck with the theory that

Geli Killed Herself Because of Stage Fright

Even Hitler could barely bring himself to endorse the “explanation” for Geli’s suicide put out by his damage-control team: that she killed herself because she was “nervous” about her musical debut. In fact—in an anomaly that has been overlooked by historians—in his response to the accusatory Münchner Post article, Hitler himself undermines the performance-anxiety suicide theory. He does say Geli “was worried that she was not yet fit for her public appearance.” But he does not offer this as a reason for her suicide. Instead, he proffers it as a refutation of the Post report that he and Geli quarreled over her desire to make a trip to Vienna to become engaged to a music teacher.

Hitler claims that he did not object to the Vienna trip and that it was “not true that she was going to get engaged in Vienna,” that, in fact, Geli was going to Vienna “to have her voice checked once again by a voice teacher” to help her prepare for her recital. In other words, she wasn’t suicidal over her debut, she was planning practical steps to prepare herself for it. Hitler’s statement, then, leaves us with no viable theory from him or his henchmen to explain why Geli wanted to kill herself, no counter to the suggestion advanced in contemporary newspapers that

Geli Killed Herself Because She Was Unable to Bear Hitler’s Sexual Demands

This is the theory that seems to be supported by the research of Langer and Waite, who toted up the number of suicide attempts by women in the aftermath of a romantic interlude with Hitler. If one believes that Geli committed suicide, this appears to be the most compelling explanation, one where the motivation is commensurate with the act.

There is, however, a kind of unofficial, Hitler-sympathetic explanation of Geli’s suicide motive, a fallback theory that has been advanced by those of the Party of Normality who wish to absolve him of having driven Geli to her death with his unorthodox sexual demands. I’m speaking of the belief that

Geli Was Jealous of Eva Braun

Consider the way Werner Maser, the most energetic champion of the Party of Normality, makes Hitler’s love life with Geli and Eva Braun sound like a second-rate Dynasty episode: “His evenings and nights belonged to Geli Raubal who quickly sensed, indeed knew, that her uncle had another girl friend whom he did not wish her to meet. Geli was in love with Hitler and Hitler was flirting outrageously with Eva Braun.”

According to Toland, Geli found a note from Eva to Hitler in Uncle Alf’s jacket pocket. Toland’s source, Frau Winter, claims she saw Geli angrily tear up the note. When Frau Winter pieced it together, she maintains, it read as follows:

Dear Herr Hitler,

Thank you again for the wonderful invitation to the theater. It was a memorable evening. I am most grateful to you for your kindness. I am counting the hours until I may have the joy of another evening.

Yours, Eva

Some believe this was what drove Geli to suicide. The way Toland and Maser portray the relationship, Geli was madly, possessively in love with that charming cad Adolf and would rather have shot herself than face the prospect of losing him to Eva. Particularly when, according to a widely held theory,

Geli Was Pregnant with Hitler’s Child

Maser, in fact, believes their relations were so conventional sexually that Geli was probably pregnant with Hitler’s child.

And was driven to suicide because she realized she’d lost him to Eva, and perhaps feared she’d end up spurned with a father-less child.

An even more explosive variant of the pregnancy theory of motive holds that

Geli Was Pregnant with the Child of a Jewish Cuckolder

This theme appears in a number of variations. The Münchner Post merely reports an engagement to an unspecified suitor in Vienna. Another source has it as a Jewish voice teacher. Hanfstaengl suggests Geli was pregnant by “a Jewish art teacher from Linz.”

Was there a real Jew who put the horns on Hitler? Or did some Iago in Hitler’s entourage—eager to be rid of the troublesome girl, who was distracting him so dangerously—deliberately arouse unfounded suspicions about her Vienna trips, her Vienna music teacher, in order to provoke a quarrel between Hitler and Geli?

Hitler as Othello? Geli as Desdemona?

Geli’s consorting with a Jew would have been a deep sexual wound to Hitler. She would have been, to use his odious rhetoric, “polluted.” The humiliation would have been a political wound as well, perhaps a fatal one: Hitler’s sweetheart chooses a Jew over the champion of Aryan supremacy. It would have been unbearable.

There was also another kind of political danger: sexual intimacy might have led to confessional intimacy, an intimacy in which Geli might have told her Jewish lover exactly what kind of aberrational practices Hitler demanded of her. If Geli told just one Jew, and if, in Hitler’s eyes, all Jews were linked in an implacable conspiracy against him, she would be placing in the hands of all Jews (and their journalist allies) enough sensational material to destroy him. And there is evidence that by the end Geli was talking to outsiders. Which leads us to what might be called

The Himmler Bushido Theory

This very complex, seemingly farfetched theory nonetheless has the strong endorsement of one of the most trustworthy contemporary observers: Konrad Heiden. Also, according to Heiden, of Geli’s mother. He tells us that in the years after her daughter’s death Angela Raubal “hinted at murder, or else suicide under compulsion or strong suggestion.” She didn’t accuse Hitler. “On the contrary, she said, she was sure that Adolf was determined to marry Geli. She mentioned another name: Himmler.”

Suicide under compulsion? Heiden cites the Nazi Party exaltation of the code of personal honor—Bushido—proselytized by Hitler’s Japanophile geopolitical advi



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Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hitler’s Doomed Angel
The unresolved and hastily covered-up death in 1931 of Geli Raubal, Hitler’s half-niece and romantic obsession, has long been relegated to the murky footnotes of the *Führer’*s early career in the demimonde of Munich. As calls for a new investigation stir up another Austrian crisis of conscience, Ron Rosenbaum reports on a sixty-year-old mystery.

RON ROSENBAUMSEPTEMBER 3, 2013 7:42 PM
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/1992/04/hitlers-doomed-angel/

Vienna. She was beautiful, they said, but there was something unusual about her beauty, something peculiar—even frightening. Consider the testimony of Frau Braun, now eighty-six (and no relation to Eva), one of the few people left alive who knew Geli Raubal before she became Hitler’s consort. Knew her as a teenager in Vienna in the twenties, when Hitler would come to call incognito in his black Mercedes.

Indeed, until recently, Frau Braun was living in the very same Vienna apartment building that was once Geli’s refuge, the one she apparently was seeking to flee to on September 18, 1931—the day before she was found dead in her bedroom in Hitler’s Munich apartment with a bullet through her chest and Hitler’s gun by her side.


I was led to Frau Braun by Hans Horváth, the obsessed amateur historian whose current petition to exhume and examine Geli’s long-dead body has stirred up controversy—and resistance from the Vienna city government. Resistance that is “a scandal,” says a professor supporting Horváth. A scandal resuiting from a Waldheim-era desire to keep not just Geli buried but memories of onetime Vienna citizen Adolf Hitler interred as well.

“A mysterious darkness” surrounds the death of this “unusual beauty,” the Fränkische Tagespost reported forty-eight hours after her body was discovered. Sixty years later, when I traveled to Vienna and Munich to investigate the controversy, that darkness has yet to be dispelled. It still obscures the answers to such basic questions as whether Geli’s death was suicide or murder. Who fired Hitler’s gun that night?

Frau Braun’s recollection is a gleam in that darkness, eyewitness testimony to the peculiar kind of power Geli had even as a young teenage girl.

I’d been reading accounts of Geli’s beauty, the spell she cast over Hitler and his circle. I’d seen the blurry photographs of her. Some of them captured a hint of her haunting appeal, some did not.

Frau Braun, however, saw it face-to-face. “I was walking down the street and I heard her singing,” Frau Braun tells me one winter afternoon in the comfort of her dignified pension in a senior citizens’ residence, a place she moved into after living sixty years in the apartment building Geli grew up in.

As she approached the girl singing in the street, “I saw her and I just stopped dead. She was just so tall and beautiful that I said nothing. And she saw me standing there and said, ‘Are you frightened of me?’ And I said, ‘No, I was just admiring you. . . ’ ”

Frau Braun offers me another Mozart chocolate ball and shakes her head. “She was just so tall and beautiful. I’d never seen anyone like that.”

Geli, short for Angela: Hitler’s half-niece, love object, angel. Although the precise physical nature of that “love” has been the subject of heated debate among historians for more than half a century, there is little doubt she was, as William Shirer puts it, “the only truly deep love affair of his life.” Joachim Fest, the respected German biographer of Hitler, calls Geli “his great love, a tabooed love of Tristan moods and tragic sentimentality.” His great love—and perhaps his first victim.

Who was Geli? While many testify to the peculiar power of her beauty—she was “an enchantress,” said Hitler’s photographer; “a princess, people on the street would turn around” to stare at her, according to Emil Maurice, Hitler’s chauffeur—the question of her character is a matter of dispute. Was she the perfect image of Aryan maidenhood, as Hitler exalted her? Or an “empty-headed little slut” manipulating her besotted uncle, as one resentful Hitler confidant depicts her?

“No other woman linked to Hitler has exerted the kind of fascination for succeeding generations” that Geli has, Der Spiegel said recently. “Geli’s sudden and apparently inexplicable death has challenged the imagination of contemporaries and later historians,” writes Robert Waite in The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler.

Part of the continuing fascination with Geli, this enigmatic femme fatale, is that she had such a pronounced impact on Hitler—and that an examination of their doomed affair may be a window into the “mysterious darkness” of Hitler’s psyche. “With the single exception of his mother’s death,” Waite believes, “no other event in his personal life had hit him so hard.” Waite cites a comment Hermann Göring made at the Nuremberg trials: “Geli’s death had such a devastating effect on Hitler that it . . . changed his relationship to all other people.”

Equally intriguing is the notion that a scandal surrounding her death in Hitler’s apartment could have destroyed his political career before he came to power. In the fall of 1931, he was Führer of the resurgent National Socialist Party and was poised to launch his campaign for the presidency the following year, the one that would bring him to the brink of power. (He became Reichschancellor, his first political office, in 1933.) The gunshot death of a twenty-three-year-old woman in an apartment she shared with him might have derailed his rise—had the potentially explosive scandal not been defused.

Certainly the moment the police arrived to find Geli Raubal’s corpse with his 6.35-mm. Walther pistol by her side, Adolf Hitler had reason to be frightened. But from the time her body was discovered, heroic efforts were made at what we would now call ”damage control.” Or “cover-up.”

Some of the damage control was so inept it damaged him further—as when Hitler’s spin doctors at the party’s press bureau put out the dubious story that Geli, a vibrant, confident young woman, killed herself because she was “nervous” about an upcoming music recital.

Some of the cover-up measures were, however, quite effective. Disappearing the body, for instance: party officials reportedly prevailed on sympathetic Bavarian minister of justice Franz Gürtner to quash an investigation by the public prosecutor’s office; the body was given only a perfunctory post-mortem; the police issued a hasty pronouncement of suicide and permitted the body to be slipped down the back stairs and shipped off to Vienna for burial before the first reports of Geli’s death—and the first questions about it—appeared in the Monday-morning papers.

Still, when the first scandalous report hit the streets in the Münchner Post (the city’s chief anti-Nazi paper), Hitler himself had reason to fear his skyrocketing political career was in jeopardy: A MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR: HITLER’S NIECE COMMITS SUICIDE

Regarding this mysterious affair, informed sources tell us that on Friday, September 18, Herr Hitler and his niece had yet another fierce quarrel. What was the cause? Geli, a vivacious twenty-three-year-old music student, wanted to go to Vienna, where she intended to become engaged. Hitler was decidedly against this. That is why they were quarreling repeatedly. After a fierce row, Hitler left his apartment on Prinzregentenplatz.

On Saturday, September 19, it became known that Geli had been found shot in the apartment with Hitler’s gun in her hand. The nose bone of the deceased was shattered and the corpse evidenced other serious injuries. From a letter to a girlfriend living in Vienna, it appeared that Geli intended to go to Vienna. . . .

The men in the Brown House [party head-quarters] then deliberated over what should be announced as the cause of the suicide. They agreed to give the reason for Geli’s death as “unsatisfied artistic achievement.” They also discussed the question of who, if something were to happen, should be Hitler’s successor. Gregor Strasser was named. . . .

Perhaps the near future will bring light to this dark affair.

According to the memoirs of Hitler’s lawyer Hans Frank, some newspapers went further. “There was even one version that he had shot the. . . girl himself,” Frank reports. Such stories “not only appeared in scandal sheets, but daily in the leading papers with pens dipped in poison.” Hitler “could not look at the papers anymore for fear the terrible smear campaign would kill him.”

To escape scrutiny Hitler fled town for the isolated lakeside cottage of a party friend on the Tegernsee. Distraught, raving over this “terrible smear campaign” against him, he spoke wildly to Rudolf Hess, the companion by his side, about how it was all over—his political career, his very life. There was a moment, according to one story, when Hess had to leap and grab a pistol out of Hitler’s hand before he could put it to his head.

Were Hitler’s hysterics in the Tegernsee cottage grief—or guilt? Consider the surprising reply Hitler himself authored and dispatched to the Münchner Post, which was compelled by Weimar press law to print it in full. Consider it both for what it denies and for what it fails to deny:

It is not true [Hitler writes] that I was having fights again and again with my niece [Geli] Raubal and that we had a substantial quarrel on Friday or anytime before that. . . .

It is not true that I was decidedly against her going to Vienna. I was never against her planned trip to Vienna.

It is not true she was going to get engaged in Vienna or that I was against an engagement. It is true that my niece was tormented with the worry that she was not yet fit for her public appearance. She wanted to go to Vienna to have her voice checked once again by a voice teacher.

It is not true that I left my apartment on September 18 after a fierce row. There was no row, no excitement, when I left my apartment on that day.

A remarkably defensive statement for a political candidate to issue. And for a while, despite Hitler’s nondenial denial (nothing about the fractured nose, nothing about the Brown House spin doctors’ being so concerned about the potential scandal that they had even selected Hitler’s successor), the story began to grow. Other papers followed up, adding dark hints about the nature of the physical relationship between Hitler and his niece. The Regensburger Echo spoke cryptically about its going “beyond her strength” to endure. The periodical Die Fanfare, in an article headlined HITLER’S LOVER COMMITS SUICIDE: BACHELORS AND HOMOSEXUALS AS LEADERS OF THE PARTY, spoke of another woman, whose suicide attempt in 1928 followed a purported intimacy with Hitler. Hitler’s private life with Geli, the paper said, “took on forms which obviously the young woman was unable to bear.”

It seemed as if the scandal had reached critical mass. But then, suddenly, the stories stopped. With the body buried safely out of reach and Minister Gürtner in the party’s pocket, there were no more facts left to dig up. With the Münchner Post silenced by the Nazis’ threat of lawsuits, the scandal died down—although Shirer reports that “for years afterward in Munich there was murky gossip that Geli Raubal had been murdered.” If Hitler did not escape unscathed, the sensation surrounding Geli’s death did not slow down his inexorable rise.

What’s ironic is that history and historians have let Hitler off so easily on the Geli case. Here’s a man who would go on to murder millions, who made the Big Lie his essential mode of operation. But a young woman is found shot with his gun a few steps away from his bedroom, and Hitler gets the presumption of innocence because he and his friends say he wasn’t there at the time? It’s useful in this connection to recall the post-Holocaust commandment enunciated by Emil Fackenheim, one of the most respected contemporary Jewish philosophers: Thou shalt not give Hitler any posthumous victories. Why give him a posthumous exoneration for any death without doing everything possible to hold him accountable?

Perhaps it might be argued that a single death is meaningless with so many millions to come. But this was no meaningless death. Fritz Gerlich understood that. Gerlich was the brave, doomed crusading journalist who wouldn’t let the case die, who believed that Hitler murdered Geli—and that if the world knew the truth about this crime it might save itself from worse crimes to come. Who continued to pursue the story so courageously that it cost him his life. In March 1933, just as he was about to publish the results of his investigation in the opposition newspaper he edited, Der Gerade Weg, a squad of storm troopers broke into his newspaper office, beat him up, seized and burned his manuscripts, and dragged him off to prison, and then to Dachau, where he was executed in July of 1934, during the Night of the Long Knives. Extinguishing, so it seemed, the last faint hope the case of Geli Raubal would be reopened. Until now.

Vienna. The Hotel Sacher. The specter of Geli Raubal still has an eerie power to arouse fascination—and fear. Those arguing for the exhumation of her remains charge the city authorities with stalling for fear of raising unsavory ghosts.

The exhumation effort has the endorsement of an internationally respected professor at the University of Vienna’s Institute for Forensic Medicine, Professor Johann Szilvássy. It was Szilvássy who told me that it was “a scandal” that the city of Vienna has delayed for five years now granting Hans Horváth’s petition to exhume the body of Geli Raubal. Szilvássy has endorsed the legitimacy of Horváth’s request, agreed to perform the examination, and believes that at the very least it could resolve such crucial questions as whether, in fact, as the Münchner Post first reported, Geli’s nose was broken (suggesting a violent quarrel before her death). And whether she was pregnant at the time, which might be discerned if the pregnancy had gone more than three months (there are rumors that she was carrying either Hitler’s child or the child of a Jewish music teacher—and some believe that a pregnancy announcement was the cause of her final, perhaps fatal quarrel with Hitler).

Professor Szilvássy told me he blames the “scandal” on the city’s ruling Socialist Party, which, he says, is reluctant to raise the ghost of the past the way the Waldheim affair did, and remind people of Hitler’s intimate ties to the town.

“But there is more to their fear than that,” Horváth tells me this afternoon, sitting at his favorite table in the café of the Hotel Sacher. The dapper Horváth, a well-to-do furniture restorer and art appraiser—who has his own, controversial theory about a Geli Raubal murder plot—has been pursuing Geli’s ghost for two decades with an obsessive passion that recalls the detective in Laura. Indeed, like the devotion of the homicide dick in that forties noir classic, who locks onto the unfathomable Laura after he falls in love with her portrait, Horváth’s fervor has been inspired, at least in part, by the beauty embodied in a portrait of Geli—a nude painting of the young enchantress which Horváth claims was the work of his fellow devotee, Hitler himself.

Horváth is not a professional historian; he’s more like an impassioned J.F.K.-assassination buff. But he’s made up for his lack of credentials with a kind of relentlessness that had him plunging into dank, subterranean cemetery archives in search of any last trace of Geli’s burial records. There, in those underground repositories, he made his most consequential—and controversial—breakthrough: his claim to have relocated Geli’s grave, rescuing her remains from the limbo of the lost, and perhaps from ignominious disposal.

Geli’s grave was once a grand thing. Hitler had paid for a spacious site facing the Central Cemetery’s architectural landmark, the Luegerkirche. But in the chaos of W.W. II Vienna, payment for the upkeep of the grave site ceased (a peculiarity of Viennese burial practices in the Central Cemetery is that grave leases must be renewed regularly). According to Horváth, the mercilessly efficient cemetery bureaucracy evicted Geli’s body from her expensive site in 1946 and moved it to a vast paupers’ field, where it was interred in a plain zinc coffin in a narrow underground slot. Although Geli’s grave was originally marked with a wooden cross, the paupers’ field is now denuded of any surface markings, and Geli’s slot is traceable only by a reference number on an intricate grid in a schematic diagram Horváth discovered.

In fact, Geli’s remains are scheduled to soon be erased from existence entirely: if the cemetery’s proposed redesign is carried out, all the bodies in the unmarked graves will be dug up and shoveled into a mass burial pit to make room for a “cemetery of the future.” So, Horváth maintains, it’s now or never.

Horváth comes close to saying that the obliteration of Geli’s grave is a conscious effort by the city of Vienna to bury all disturbing memories and ghosts of Hitler forever.

“Why would they be afraid of the exhumation?” I ask Horváth.

“It’s not the exhumation they fear,” he insists. “It’s the reburial. Because after the exhumation and Professor Szilvássy’s examination, she will be returned to earth in a grave site I have purchased for her, with a stone to mark her name. And the city is frightened that the new grave will become a shrine.”

“A shrine?”

“Yes. A shrine for neo-Nazis. A New Valhalla.”

Just who was Geli, this enigmatic charmer whose beauty had such a disproportionate effect on Hitler’s psyche? As with many legendary femmes fatales, her historical reality has been blurred by mythic images. “There is no other story” in the realm of Hitler studies, said Der Spiegel, “where legend and fact are so fantastically interwoven.”

Consider the rather basic question of hair color: was it blond or dark? One contemporary observer remarked with awe on Geli’s “immense crown of blond hair.” But Werner Maser, a sometimes reliable digger into Hitler’s domestic life, insists she had “black hair and a distinctly Slavonic appearance.”

Reports of her character are similarly divided between golden and darker hues. Some observers recall her reverently as “a deeply religious person who attended Mass regularly,” “a princess.”

The Golden Girl school sums her up as “the personification of perfect young womanhood. . .deeply revered, indeed worshiped, by her uncle [Hitler]. He watched and gloated over her like some servant with a rare and lovely bloom.”

Others saw her as quite another kind of bloom. Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl, for instance. The American-educated art-book publisher and confidant of Hitler in the early years (who later fled to the U.S. and became a consultant on Hitler to his Harvard Club friend F.D.R.) was one of the more cosmopolitan and sophisticated observers of the Caligula’s court of bizarre characters gathered around Hitler in his lesser-known Munich period. For some reason Hanfstaengl, who often had his own agenda, took a violent dislike to Geli; he called her “an empty-headed little slut, with the coarse sort of bloom of a servant girl.” He claims that, despite Hitler’s “mooncalf” adolescent infatuation with her, she betrayed him with his chauffeur, and perhaps with a “Jewish art teacher from Linz.” (Hitler reportedly fired the chauffeur, Emil Maurice, calling him a “skirt chaser” who ought to be shot “like a mad dog.”) And, Hanfstaengl adds, while she was “perfectly content to preen herself in her fine clothes,” Geli “certainly never gave any impression of reciprocating Hitler’s twisted tendernesses.”

Before we delve deeper into their physical relationship, it will be useful to explain their genealogical relationship. Geli’s mother was Hitler’s older half-sister, Angela, who married a man named Leo Raubal from Linz, the town in which Hitler grew up. In 1908, Angela gave birth to a girl, also named Angela, soon familiarly known as “Geli.”

This would make Geli, in shorthand, Hitler’s half-niece. Hitler himself was the product of a marriage between second cousins (or, according to some, between an uncle and a niece), a union that needed a papal dispensation to lift the customary church ban on such consanguineous marriages. Should Hitler have married Geli—as many, including her mother, speculated he would—it would have also required a papal dispensation to legitimate the marriage in the eyes of the church.

Around the time Geli was born, Hitler was living in Vienna, in a men’s shelter. A disaffected would-be artist, bitter about the rejection of his application to the Academy of Fine Arts, he was scratching out a living selling postcards he painted of local landmarks. It wasn’t until after the Great War, after Corporal Hitler returned to his adopted Munich and became, at thirty-three, leader of the National Socialist Party, that he got back in touch with Angela and Geli in Vienna. Geli was then about fourteen; her father had been dead since she was two; her mother worked as a housekeeper at a convent school; their life in a flat by the Westbanhof railway station was fairly plain and grim.

Suddenly, teenage Geli had an exciting gentleman caller, a celebrity, her “Uncle Alfie” (as he had her call him).

After Hitler’s failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, after his trial and nine-month jail term (during which he wrote the first volume of Mein Kampf), after he returned to Munich and began plotting his political comeback, he summoned Angela Raubal and seventeen-year-old Geli to come to serve as his live-in housekeepers, first at his mountain retreat at Berchtesgaden.

By that time, in 1925, Geli had blossomed into something of a beauty. And Hitler soon began to take notice of Geli in a way that went far beyond the avuncular. One journalist, Konrad Heiden, described him squiring her around bucolic mountain villages, riding “through the countryside from time to time showing the blond child how ‘Uncle Alf’ could bewitch the masses.”

But it soon became clear that it was Uncle Alf who was becoming “bewitched.” He asked Geli and her mother to move to Munich. Set Geli up in an apartment building next to his and, leaving the housekeeping to Angela, paraded Geli around on his arm, escorted her to cafés and cinemas. Indeed, Hitler soon began to act like a Hearstian sugar daddy, paying for her lessons with the best voice teachers in Munich and Vienna, encouraging her to believe she could become a heroine of the Wagnerian operas he loved to distraction.

Soon others began to take note of his romantic fascination. According to Fest, a party leader from Württemberg named Munder complained that Hitler was “being excessively diverted by the company of his niece from his political duties.” (Hitler later fired Munder.) Putzi Hanfstaengl recalls that Geli “had the effect of making him behave like a man in love. . . . He hovered at her elbow . . . in a very plausible imitation of adolescent infatuation.” Hanfstaengl says he once observed Hitler and Geli at the opera, saw him “mooning at her,” and then when he noticed Hanfstaengl observing him, Hitler quickly “switched his face to the Napoleonic look.”

In 1929 something happened which changed the nature of their relationship. His political as well as his personal fortunes growing rapidly again, Hitler purchased a nine-room grand luxe apartment in a building on Munich’s fashionable Prinzregentenplatz not far from the Munich opera house. He sent Geli’s mother off to semi-permanent duty at the Berchtesgaden retreat. And moved Geli in with him. They maintained separate bedrooms, but they were separate bedrooms on the same floor.

Outside that apartment Geli seemed to revel in the attention her role as Hitler’s consort brought her. And the power it gave her over him.

Just twenty-one years old, the product of modest circumstances, she’d suddenly become a celebrity, flattered, catered to, the center of attention in the court of the man described as “the King of Munich”—who was on his way to becoming the emperor of the New Germany. She was the envy of untold numbers of women. Some of whom spoke resentfully of the spell she’d cast on Hitler. She “was coarse, provocative, and a little quarrel-some,” Henrietta Hoffmann, the daughter of Hitler’s photographer, told historian John Toland. But to Hitler, Henrietta says, Geli was “irresistibly charming: if Geli wanted to go swimming... it was more important to Hitler than the most important conference.”

Still, for Geli, there was a price. Part of the price was virtual confinement in a huge apartment with no company but Hitler and her pet canary, “Hansi.” Geli too was a bird in a gilded cage, trapped within the stony fortress with an uncle twice her age, an uncle increasingly consumed with what Hitler biographer Alan Bullock calls jealous “possessiveness” of her.

But possessiveness of what? Of a sexual relationship? What really went on between Hitler and Geli behind the granite façade of that Munich apartment building when night came? This has been the subject of a bitterly contested debate among historians, biographers, and memoirists for some sixty years—a special instance of the larger ongoing dogfight over the precise nature of his sexuality and its link to his character and his crimes. Scholarly antagonists confidently proclaim opinions that range from the assertion that Hitler was entirely asexual to the belief that he was virile and “led a normal sexual life” and may even have gotten Geli pregnant. To the view that his sexual life took a form so bizarre and aberrational that some found it, quite literally, unspeakable.

Whatever the explicit form Hitler’s affections took, it became increasingly evident that for Geli the rewards of her public celebrity could not compensate for the oppressiveness of her private confinement with Hitler. And that in the final months of her life, indeed within days of her death, she was making desperate efforts to escape.

Vienna: The Central Cemetery

“That’s it, you’re standing on it right there,” Hans Horváth tells me. Meaning that this patch of weedy grass in the gray-green gloom of this featureless field, in a section of the cemetery that looks as if it’s been deserted even by the dead, is the precise place on the surface of the earth beneath which the long-lost body of Geli Raubal is to be found. The grave lost to history, and soon—Horváth hopes—to be reopened to history.

Of course, as with every other aspect of the Geli Raubal mystery, there is controversy over Horváth’s claim. He says that he’s had a professional surveyor align the coordinates of the cemetery-grid diagram with the graveyard earth, that he’s found records indicating Geli’s remains were encased in a zinc coffin, unlike the lost souls in the paupers’ field enclosed in rotting wood. And that, with a metal detector, he’s confirmed the concurrence of zinc coffin and surveyor’s coordinates.

A Vienna city councillor, Johann Hatzl by name, the man in charge of the city’s cemeteries, replied to an inquiry of mine by expressing doubt that Horváth has proved his case for the Geli grave site conclusively.

But Horváth has no doubt it’s Geli below my feet and no one else. Hatzl and Vienna mayor Helmut Zilk, he says, are just searching for an excuse to deny the exhumation. (Zilk insists the chief reason for the city’s refusal to approve the exhumation is the absence of a request from the deceased’s family.)

I’m less interested at the moment in the bones beneath the weeds than in something Horváth told me as we were departing the Sacher café for the trip to the cemetery in his silver BMW. Something about new evidence he’s come upon that’s led him to believe there’s an “American connection” to Geli’s murder. And that he’s got documents to prove it. He won’t show them to me or get more specific at first: he’s worried that he should preserve the revelation for his own projected book about Geli. And besides, he says, he’s been burned by a journalist before. A Der Spiegel article which appeared five years ago, when he launched his exhumation crusade, portrayed him as something of a “National Socialist nostalgist,” overly obsessed with artifacts of the Third Reich.

Not true, he says: he has many criticisms of Hitler for his half-baked racial theories. In fact, as we rolled up to the forbidding black iron gates of Vienna’s Central Cemetery this afternoon, Horváth told me he wants me to meet his Israeli girlfriend, Miriam Kornfeld. “He says this will show you he’s not a neo-Nazi,” my translator explained.

Horváth’s “a bit of a difficult character,” Professor Szilvássy tells me later. A self-made man, an autodidact who’s financed his investigative crusade with the revenues from his three prospering furniture- and art-restoration shops, Horváth displays an aggressiveness and abrasiveness that have not endeared him to the Vienna authorities, Szilvássy says. But whether we like his style or accept his “solution” to the case, his exhumation cause is just, Szilvássy maintains.

Horváth, who is forty-two, started collecting Hitler memorabilia as a teenager, but his ruling passion is anti-Communism, not pro-Nazism, he says. He adopts a version of the line put forward by certain conservative German historians in the mid-eighties, the one that provoked the famous Historikerstreit (historians’ battle), the one that focuses on the “legitimately heroic” role of the German army battling against the barbaric Reds on the bloody eastern front (and tends to ignore what they were fighting for).

Horváth’s memorabilia collection has grown so extensive over the years, he’s accumulated such a copious supply of W.W. II army and SS uniforms and insignia, that he’s often relied upon by movie companies filming period pieces in Austria to outfit whole detachments. His Vienna apartment is hung with Nazi uniforms and insignia.

I once asked Horváth’s Israeli girlfriend, Miriam, how she felt spending her time in that kind of environment. Miriam is a tall, attractive young apartment-rental agent, not much older than Geli was when she died. “In Israel,” she said, “it is impossible to speak at all of Hitler. He is, you know, too awful to talk about. But I believe it is important to learn about him, and through knowing Hans I have.”

The surprising thing about Horváth as a researcher is that—unlike, say, most J.F.K.-assassination buffs—he does original research rather than merely weaving conspiracy theories. And, unlike them, he’s capable of abandoning preconceptions. In fact, he has radically changed his mind since the Der Spiegel interview several years ago in which he did not dispute the suicide verdict. Now he tells me he’s convinced Geli’s death was murder. And that he can prove who did it.

Horváth’s path to his “solution” started with a question that arose right here in the graveyard and still poses a stark challenge to the official story: How was it that Geli Raubal, whose death was publicly proclaimed a suicide in the press of Germany and Austria, could get to be buried in the Catholic cemetery’s “consecrated ground,” normally denied to suicides?

The question was first raised in its most accusatory form by Otto Strasser, a one-time Nazi Party insider who has been the source of a number of the most sensational stories about Hitler and Geli. In his 1940 memoir, Strasser recalled a message he had received from a priest named Father Pant. The Raubal-family confessor when Geli and her mother lived in Vienna, Pant remained a faithful family friend after they moved to Munich. According to Strasser, Father Pant confided to him in 1939 that he had helped ease the way for Geli’s burial in consecrated ground. And then, Strasser says, the priest made this remarkable statement: “I never would have permitted a suicide to be buried in consecrated ground.”

In other words: Geli was murdered. When Strasser pressed the priest about what he knew, Pant said he couldn’t reveal anything further—to do so would break the seal of the confessional.

What did the seal conceal? What might Father Pant have known that made him discount the official suicide story?

In the early eighties, Horváth decided to track down Father Pant. Discovered that he’d died in the village of Alland in 1965. Spoke to people who knew him in the village of Aflenz and in Vienna, where he’d met the Raubal family when Geli’s mother worked at the convent school Pant was attached to. What they told him initially led Horváth, in his Der Spiegel interview, to discount Strasser’s description of the priest’s murder innuendo.

Since then, Horváth claims, he has come into possession of new evidence from Father Pant, which, in effect, breaks the seal of the confessional two decades after Pant’s death.

Munich: Prinzregentenplatz and the Chinese Tower in the English Garden

It’s still standing, Hitler’s deluxe apartment building, that grim granite love nest on Prinzregentenplatz, with its stone gargoyles staring balefully out from what was once Geli’s bedroom window. No longer a residence: after the war the unhappy final home of the woman who may have been Hitler’s most intimate victim was transformed into an office of reparations for Jewish victims of Hitler. Now it houses another, lesser kind of reparations bureaucracy—it’s the city of Munich’s central traffic-fines office.

A friendly traffic cop there offered to show me around the death scene only after he’d carefully checked my press credentials. Apparently the bureau gets periodic visits from pilgrims, many of the neo-Nazi persuasion, who want to see the place where Hitler and Geli slept. The Munich cop said something similar to what Horváth said about the Vienna authorities: they fear that too much attention will create an unsavory shrine.

This kind of nervousness didn’t seem entirely misplaced, that week in particular. The day I arrived in Munich via Vienna and Berchtesgaden, a feature in the London Times began, “A spectre is haunting Europe: the spectre of fascism.” The story cited recent electoral gains of right-wing, racist, anti-immigrant parties. And the rise of openly neo-Nazi skinhead gangs roaming German cities attacking homeless immigrants, the scapegoats of the New Europe.

But here in the English Garden, Munich’s central park, a mile away from the death scene, all is peaceful, bucolic, seemingly insulated from the resurgent specter stalking the streets of the cities of Europe.

The Chinese Tower, a tall, pillared gazebo atop a grassy knoll—a stone structure modeled upon the faux-Oriental “Temples of Contemplation” that were a fixture of eighteenth-century English landscape gardens—is a kind of shrine to one key school of thought on Hitler’s psychosexual nature. It’s the place where Geli allegedly made a startling midnight confession about what went on behind closed doors in Hitler’s bedroom.

The account of this outpouring comes to us from Otto Strasser, who claimed to be the only man to have had a Hitler-sanctioned “date” with Geli, in the tormented final years of her life. Strasser and his brother Gregor were early Hitler allies, the leaders of a “left-wing” faction of the Nazi Party which emphasized the socialism in National Socialism. Otto, and later Gregor, eventually broke with Hitler; Otto set up an exiled opposition movement called the Black Front, based in Prague. Afterward, he fled to Canada and supplied American intelligence agents with a number of damning stories about Hitler—including the tale of the Chinese Tower.

“I liked that girl very much,” Strasser told a German writer, “and I could feel how much she suffered because of Hitler’s jealousy. She was a fun-loving young thing who enjoyed the Mardi Gras excitement in Munich but was never able to persuade Hitler to accompany her to any of the many wild balls. Finally, during the 1931 Mardi Gras, Hitler allowed me to take Geli to a ball. . . .

“Geli seemed to enjoy having for once escaped Hitler’s supervision. On the way back . . . we took a walk through the English Garden. Near the Chinese Tower, Geli sat down on a bench and began to cry bitterly. Finally she told me that Hitler loved her but that she couldn’t stand it anymore. His jealousy was not the worst of it. He demanded things of her that were simply repulsive. . . . When I asked her to explain it, she told me things that I knew only from my readings of Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis in my college days.”

To American O.S.S. intelligence officers debriefing him in 1943 after he defected, Strasser gave a somewhat different account of Geli’s confession that was far more explicit.

Can we believe Strasser? The contentious question of Hitler’s sexuality is one of a number of basic biographical issues which remain disturbingly unresolved, even after fifty years and countless thousands of studies. In the psychosexual realm, what we have is a long-running debate among three main schools of thought, which might be labeled the Party of Asexuality, the Party of Normality, and the Party of Perversion.

Rudolph Binion, a professor of history at Brandeis University and the author of Hitler Among the Germans, is a leading advocate of the Party of Asexuality. “His tie to his mother unsuited Hitler for any normal erotic relationship,” Binion writes. He points to a statement made by Hitler in the early 1920s that “my only bride is my motherland”—this, Binion notes, “with his mother’s picture now over his bed.” Binion believes Geli Raubal was Hitler’s “single approximation to amour-passion. Their difference in age approached his father’s to his mother, who called his father ‘Uncle’ even after their marriage.” But Binion doubts the “amourpassion”was ever consummated.

The Party of Normality (most of them German historians) tends to portray Hitler as someone who had “normal” physiology and “normal” heterosexual relationships with women. They take Hitler’s pious declaration that his only bride was the motherland not as a rejection of sexual relations per se, merely as the reason he didn’t marry and have children. But that doesn’t mean Hitler never had sex. Werner Maser, the spearhead of the Party of Normality, went to such great pains to prove Hitler had the physiology and virility of a “normal” man that he once argued that Hitler had fathered a son back in 1918. And he told one of my researchers he believes Geli was probably pregnant with Hitler’s child when she died.

But the Party of Normality must contend with the fact that Strasser is just one of a number of sources among those close to Hitler who testified to the aberrational quality of Hitler’s intimate relations with women.

Rumors of Hitler’s strange sexual practices had haunted him in much the same way rumors of “Jewish ancestry” shadowed his rise. In the late sixties, historian Robert Waite succeeded in getting declassified the secret “sourcebook” on Hitler’s psychology compiled by the O.S.S. in 1943. Which made public for the first time a number of shocking accounts collected by U.S. intelligence specialists attesting to extremely unorthodox sexual practices on Hitler’s part. (Some say the O.S.S. material, which is a compilation of raw and uncorroborated interviews, is not entirely reliable, but there are several stories in memoirs by Hitler contemporaries which describe similar practices.)

Based on the O.S.S. report and other sources, Waite has written, “The idea that Hitler had a sexual perversion particularly abhorrent to women is further supported by a statistic: of the seven women who, we can be reasonably sure, had intimate relations with Hitler, six committed suicide or seriously attempted to do so.” In addition to Geli, “Mimi Reiter tried to hang herself in 1928; Eva Braun attempted suicide in 1932 and again in 1935; Frau Inge Ley was a successful suicide as were Renaté Mueller and Suzi Liptauer.” Perhaps the most dramatic of these was the mysterious death of thirty-year-old Berlin film actress Renaté Mueller. Her director, one A. Zeissler, later told the O.S.S. that she had confided in him shortly after spending a night with Hitler in the Reichschancellery how distressed she was at the nature of the sexual practices Hitler demanded of her—with which, to her mortification, she complied. She claimed Hitler “fell on the floor and begged her to kick him. . .condemned himself as unworthy . . . and just grovelled in an agonizing manner. The scene became intolerable to her, and she finally acceded to his wishes. As she continued to kick him he became more and more excited.”

Soon after confiding this to Zeissler, Renaté Mueller flew out the window of a room on an upper floor of a Berlin hotel. The death was ruled a suicide.

But according to the O.S.S. reports and other accounts from Hitler contemporaries, Hitler’ests of Geli were even more extreme.

Let’s begin with the affair of the purloined pornography. The most detailed account of the episode comes from Konrad Heiden, one of the first and most respected journalists to chronicle Hitler (he was widely credited with coining the term “Nazi”). Author of four books on Hitler and the Nazis, forced to flee Germany in the thirties, Heiden was described in his New York Times obituary as “the best known authority outside Germany on the party and its leaders” in the pre–World War II period.

Heiden’s magnum opus, Der Fuehrer, is remarkable for its portrait of Hitler’s Munich circle, a now nearly forgotten collection of misfits, hunchbacks, sexual outlaws, moral degenerates, decadent aristocrats, ex-cons, and occult con men. Heiden calls Hitler’s Munich circle “armed bohemians.” They were Fascist libertines who spent boisterous days in the Café Heck and the Osteria Bavaria, stuffing themselves with pasta and pastries. While pimps scoured Munich schoolyards to supply boys for SA chief Ernst Röhm’s predatory appetites, Hitler was reported to have been present at dissolute gatherings at the home of party photographer Heinrich Hoffmann, who had a wide acquaintance among artists, models, and other demimondaines.

But Heiden’s Geli is hardly an innocent pearl among swine. He describes her as “a beauty on the majestic side. . . simple in her thoughts and emotions, fascinating to many men, well aware of her electric effect and delighting in it. She looked forward to a brilliant career as a singer, and expected ‘Uncle Alf’ to make things easy for her.”

In 1929, according to Heiden, “Hitler wrote the young girl a letter couched in the most unmistakable terms. It was a letter in which the uncle and lover gave himself completely away; it expressed feelings which could be expected from a man with masochistic-coprophil inclinations, bordering on what Havelock Ellis calls ‘undinism.’. . .The letter probably would have been repulsive to Geli if she had received it. But she never did. Hitler left the letter lying around, and it fell into the hands of his landlady’s son, a certain Doctor Rudolph. . . . The letter was. . . bound to debase Hitler and make him ridiculous in the eyes of anyone who might see it. . . . Hitler seems to have feared that it was Rudolph’s intention to make it public” (my italics).

In other words, blackmail. According to Heiden, several Hitler confidants—his party treasurer, Franz Xaver Schwarz, a shadowy ex-priest, Father Bernhard Stempfle (who’d assisted in the writing of Mein Kampf), and the peculiar pack-rat-like Hitler-memorabilia collector J. F. M. Rehse—purchased the letter from Rudolph and were reimbursed with party funds, ostensibly for a projected collection of Hitler and party memorabilia.

Strange as this episode sounds, it closely parallels a story from another source, this one within the Hitler entourage: Putzi Hanfstaengl. Who, in his 1957 memoir, Unheard Witness, tells a very similar story, with one key discrepancy. In Hanfstaengl’s version the purloined pornographic material in the blackmail intrigue was not an explicit letter to Geli but explicit nude sketches of Geli.

The way Hanfstaengl tells it, the “first indication that there was something wrong with the relationship” between Hitler and Geli “came, as I recall, fairly early in 1930 from Franz Xaver Schwarz.” Hanfstaengl says that he ran into Schwarz on a Munich street one day, found him “very down-in-the-mouth.” Schwarz took him to his flat and “poured out what was on his mind. He had just had to buy off someone who had been trying to blackmail Hitler, but the worst part of the story was the reason for it. This man had somehow come into the possession of a folio of pornographic drawings Hitler had made. . . . They were depraved, intimate sketches of Geli Raubal, with every anatomical detail.”

Hanfstaengl says he was surprised when he found Schwarz still had possession of the ransomed Geli porn. “Heaven help us, man! Why don’t you tear the filth up?” he asked the party treasurer.

“No,” he quotes Schwarz replying, “Hitler wants them back. He wants me to keep them in the Brown House safe.”

The discrepancy between these two stories—a letter in Heiden, sketches in Hanfstaengl—seems of less moment than the remarkable convergence of the two accounts.

Rudolph Binion, a proponent of the Party of Asexuality, contends that Hanfstaengl told “tall tales,” that Heiden “can’t be trusted” because he exaggerated to sell books. And that Otto Strasser was also a questionable source. The partisans of the Party of Perversion, on the other hand, believe their reports are substantially true. Unfortunately, there are no unassailable witnesses to give us certainty either way. Nonetheless, the accounts of Heiden and Hanfstaengl provide a corroborative context for the third and most explicit text cited by the Party of Perversion, the shocking story of Geli’s confession which Otto Strasser told the O.S.S.

Strasser recalls a tearful Geli telling him that when night came, “Hitler made her undress [while] he would lie down on the floor. Then she would have to squat down over his face where he could examine her at close range, and this made him very excited. When the excitement reached its peak, he demanded that she urinate on him and that gave him his sexual pleasure. . . . Geli said that the whole performance was extremely disgusting to her and that although it was sexually stimulating it gave her no gratification.”

Disturbing as the details of Geli’s confession might seem, it is even more disturbing to conceive of Adolf Hitler as “normal”—more threatening to our notion of Western civilization is the idea that a “normal” person could turn out to be a Hitler, as one academic puts it.

Dr. Walter C. Langer, the psychiatrist who prepared a report (based on the O. S. S. sourcebook) titled The Mind of Adolf Hitler, appears to have had no problems accepting Strasser’s outré account. Undinism, the name Havelock Ellis gave to this practice (after the water nymph Undine), thus became the semi-official U.S.-intelligence diagnosis of Hitler’s sexuality: “From a consideration of all the evidence,” Langer wrote, “it would seem that Hitler’s perversion is as Geli has described it.” It is “highly probable that he had permitted himself to go this far only with his niece.” The Party of Perversion also includes the authors of the only fulllength psychoanalytic biography of Hitler, Hitler’s Psychopathology, medical writer Verna Volz Small and the late Dr. Norbert Bromberg, clinical professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who connect Hitler’s alleged undinism to what they describe as an overly close confinement with his parents during which he witnessed “the primal scene.” Langer attributes it to a close confinement during his mother’s pregnancies.

While all this is necessarily speculative, consider the implications for our understanding of Geli’s death if Strasser’s account of Geli’s cri de coeur is correct.

At first glance it might appear to support a verdict of suicide: the “disgusting” practice became unbearable for her, and she ended it the only way she knew how, with a bullet through her chest. But look at this scenario: The young girl is in possession of the kind of knowledge the mere whisper of which, were it to become public, could destroy Hitler. Worse, she’s incapable of remaining discreet. She blurts out the truth to Strasser; she tells a talkative girlfriend that her uncle is a “monster. You would never believe the things he makes me do” (according to Hanfstaengl); she may be talking to a Jewish lover in Vienna and God knows who else. And, according to Heiden, in their final quarrel, Geli may even have told Hitler she’d talked. Confessed that “in her despair [she’d] told outsiders about her relations with her uncle.”

And thereby sealed her fate.

There were a number of things that troubled me about Hans Horváth’s confident assertion that he’d solved the Geli Raubal case.

Horváth has come up with a radically different theory of Geli’s death, in which money, not sex, is the motive for murder. Horváth claims he’s seen documents from the Raubal-family confessor, Father Pant, and from the archives of the Austrian secret police that link the mystery of Geli’s demise to the mystery of Hitler’s funding in his Munich years.

The question of Hitler’s financial support during the twenties has never been adequately explained. What sustained him, allowed him to buy mountain vacation homes, brand-new Mercedeses, and princely apartments, particularly in the aftermath of his prison term and disgrace following the 1923 coup attempt? The Bavarian parliament once investigated reports of financial links between Hitler and Henry Ford (whose anti-Semitic books Hitler revered) without discovering the smoking gun.

To Horváth, Geli was the smoking gun. He claims wealthy American Nazi sympathizers (not Ford) were secretly supplying Hitler with sums of money that were being funneled through Vienna bank accounts. “Geli was one of the trustees for the accounts,” Horváth maintains. “The man who organized the American connection was Franz von Papen.” (Von Papen was the politically prominent right-wing German aristocrat who later became Hitler’s ambassador to Austria.) “Von Papen would give Geli envelopes, little packages,” Horváth says. The young girl “didn’t know for a long time what it was for.” But by 1931, “she was twenty-three, and the time came when suddenly you start to grow suspicious.” Geli’s suspicions, her indiscretions, Horváth says, led Hitler’s inner circle to decide she was a threat to expose the secret money pipeline—and had to be eliminated.

(Hitler biographer Bradley Smith finds the notion of von Papen’s involvement in such a pipeline preposterous since von Papen was a determined opponent of Hitler until 1933.)

One afternoon in the bar of my hotel in Vienna’s Fifth District—after days of coyly refusing to show his “proof”—Horváth dramatically unfastened his expensive leather attaché case and, with a flourish, removed several sheets of transparent Lucite, pressed within which were pages of what he said were writings by Father Pant.

I listened as my interpreter translated. I kept waiting for the conclusive evidence Horváth had promised. . .but it wasn’t there. The few cryptic scrawls were disappointing, unconvincing. Equally troubling, he promised to show me the corroborating material he claimed he found in the Austrian-secret-police archives—but then said it had disappeared from his files and from the archives.

Which is why I was even more skeptical when, in our final meeting at the Hotel Sacher, Horváth told me he knew the name of the man who murdered Geli. He’d seen a document, he claimed, that was the final testament of a Hitler security officer. In it, Horváth said, the man confessed that he shot Geli on orders from his superiors. But when I asked Horváth the name, he declined to reveal it—he said he was saving it for his book.

I’m afraid my skepticism about his theory will persist until he produces all his documents and allows them to be examined and authenticated by independent experts.

Geli’s last day of life, September 18, a Friday, began with both Hitler and Geli making plans to travel. Hitler was off to the North to Hamburg, where he was scheduled to address a Saturday-night rally to kick off his upcoming presidential campaign in northern Germany.

Geli, too, had plans by then. She’d “made up her mind,” Heiden tells us, “to end her whole life with Hitler, and go to Vienna.”

Vienna. The name of the city could not have been pleasing to Hitler. He hated the place, reviled it as “the personification of incest” in Mein Kampf (where he also described it as the city which gave birth to his anti-Semitic consciousness), viewed it as a seething nest of his mortal enemies: Jews, Marxists, and journalists.

For Geli, Vienna was something else. It had been her only sanctioned escape from her confinement. He’d permitted her to go there to consult famous voice teachers, and if we believe several reports to this effect, she made the most of her brief flights to freedom, entering into a surreptitious relationship with a Jewish voice teacher—the ultimate act of defiance of her Jew-hating uncle.

And now, on the final day of her life, she was telling Hitler she was determined to go to Vienna—and, by some accounts, exactly why and for whom she was going.

Almost every source—except Hitler— says the two of them quarreled over Geli’s planned trip. John Toland, who conducted extensive interviews with surviving members of Hitler’s household staff, writes that Hitler had, just that week, aborted a previous escape plan. Geli had gotten as far as the Hitler cottage at Berchtesgaden when “she got a phone call from Uncle Alf urgently requesting her to return.” After she got back, “her indignation turned to fury” when Hitler told her she was forbidden to travel while he went on his Hamburg trip. “The argument continued at a spaghetti lunch for two. . . . As Geli rushed out of the dining room, the cook noticed her face was flushed.” Later, the cook “heard something smash and remarked to her mother, ‘Geli must have picked up a perfume bottle from her dressing table and broken it.’ ”

“As he was setting out” on his trip, Heiden writes, “she called down to him from a window in the house. . . . ‘Then you won’t let me go to Vienna?’ And Hitler, from his car, called up, ‘No!’ ”

At some point, Geli sat at her desk and began writing a letter. That letter, her last known act, in a way is the most eloquent clue of them all. According to the Münchner Post it was a letter to a girlfriend in Vienna. The letter began, “When I come to Vienna, hopefully very soon—we’ll drive together to Semmering an—”

It ended there, in the midst of her first sentence, in the midst of a word—the final d of the German und was left off. That missing d suggests an interruption that was sudden and unwelcome and compelling.

But even more consequential is the tone of the letter itself: remarkably upbeat, forward-looking, and hopeful-sounding for a young woman who is supposedly on the verge of shooting herself. Indeed, the big mistake made by the damage-control squad when it arrived at the death scene was not destroying this note, because it is actually a very strong piece of evidence against the suicide theory. Is it conceivable that Geli, happily envisioning a spell in the bracing air of the Semmering (a mountain resort sixty miles south of Vienna), would shortly thereafter proceed to ferret out Hitler’s 6.35-mm. Walther from where he kept it in his bedroom, and blast a hole in her chest?

In any case, sometime between nightfall and the next morning someone shot Geli. There are an extraordinary number of conflicting versions of how the body was discovered. In almost all the accounts, the housekeeper couple who lived there claimed never to have heard anything suspicious, not to have noticed anything wrong until the next morning, when Geli didn’t answer to a knock. According to the official story, they found her door locked from the inside. Rudolf Hess was summoned. Some say the door was broken open in his presence and he was the first to inspect the death scene. What he found inside was Geli in a beige dress and a pool of blood, lying face up on her couch, lifeless, Hitler’s gun still clutched in a death grip. (Toland, who bases his version on interviews with housekeeper Frau Anni Winter, says it was not Hess but party treasurer Franz Xaver Schwarz and party publisher Max Amann who arrived, found the door locked, and summoned a locksmith.)

Of course, we have only the word of Hitler’s staff on all this. We have only their word that no suicide note was found; in any case, none was there when the police were finally summoned to the death scene. (Hanfstaengl says snidely of Frau Winter, “I strongly suspect it was made worth her while for the rest of her life to adhere to the official version.”)

By that time the fix was in: Bavarian minister of justice Franz Gürtner reportedly permitted the body to be shipped off to Vienna after a cursory look by the police doctor and a hasty declaration of suicide. Later, according to some reports, when a public prosecutor began his own inquiry, Gürtner (later promoted to minister of justice for the Reich) had it quashed. There never was a thorough investigation.

But there was a cover-up. Why? Let’s briefly examine the competing theories of what might have happened in Geli’s bedroom that night.

It Was Just “a Lamentable Accident”

This was the way that Hitler’s handlers were going to spin the official story, according to Hanfstaengl, who was the party’s foreign-press liaison officer.

Hanfstaengl reports that Hitler “was in a state of hysteria, and left the same day” for the seclusion of a friend’s lakeside retreat to escape press scrutiny. (Most sources say Hitler never saw the body. One uncorroborated account from a Hitler confidant, Otto Wagener, has Hitler present when the coroner removed the bullet from Geli’s chest. Wagener dates Hitler’s vegetarianism to that moment, but no one else places him in a room with Geli’s corpse.)

In his wake, Hitler left four men—Rudolf Hess, Gregor Strasser, Franz Schwarz, and party youth leader Baldur von Schirach—to handle damage control. Which they did badly: one of the first things this nervous group did was to subvert their initial “stage fright” suicide story.

That afternoon, says Hanfstaengl, Baldur von Schirach phoned from the apartment to party headquarters at the Brown House to tell the press office “to issue a communiqué about Hitler having gone into deep mourning after the suicide of his niece. Then the group at the flat must have got into a panic, because twenty-five minutes later von Schirach was on the phone again asking if the communiqué had gone out and saying that the wording was wrong. They should announce that there had been a lamentable accident [emphasis mine]. But by then it was too late. The word was out . . . ”

Which is fairly suspicious when you think about it. They had decided to ask people to believe that Geli was playing with a loaded gun, which somehow shot her in the chest. And so, from the very first moment, the suicide story seems to have been just one of a number of possible stories, cover versions they were toying with, one that Hitler’s own advisers thought too shaky to foist upon the public—before they learned they were stuck with the theory that

Geli Killed Herself Because of Stage Fright

Even Hitler could barely bring himself to endorse the “explanation” for Geli’s suicide put out by his damage-control team: that she killed herself because she was “nervous” about her musical debut. In fact—in an anomaly that has been overlooked by historians—in his response to the accusatory Münchner Post article, Hitler himself undermines the performance-anxiety suicide theory. He does say Geli “was worried that she was not yet fit for her public appearance.” But he does not offer this as a reason for her suicide. Instead, he proffers it as a refutation of the Post report that he and Geli quarreled over her desire to make a trip to Vienna to become engaged to a music teacher.

Hitler claims that he did not object to the Vienna trip and that it was “not true that she was going to get engaged in Vienna,” that, in fact, Geli was going to Vienna “to have her voice checked once again by a voice teacher” to help her prepare for her recital. In other words, she wasn’t suicidal over her debut, she was planning practical steps to prepare herself for it. Hitler’s statement, then, leaves us with no viable theory from him or his henchmen to explain why Geli wanted to kill herself, no counter to the suggestion advanced in contemporary newspapers that

Geli Killed Herself Because She Was Unable to Bear Hitler’s Sexual Demands

This is the theory that seems to be supported by the research of Langer and Waite, who toted up the number of suicide attempts by women in the aftermath of a romantic interlude with Hitler. If one believes that Geli committed suicide, this appears to be the most compelling explanation, one where the motivation is commensurate with the act.

There is, however, a kind of unofficial, Hitler-sympathetic explanation of Geli’s suicide motive, a fallback theory that has been advanced by those of the Party of Normality who wish to absolve him of having driven Geli to her death with his unorthodox sexual demands. I’m speaking of the belief that

Geli Was Jealous of Eva Braun

Consider the way Werner Maser, the most energetic champion of the Party of Normality, makes Hitler’s love life with Geli and Eva Braun sound like a second-rate Dynasty episode: “His evenings and nights belonged to Geli Raubal who quickly sensed, indeed knew, that her uncle had another girl friend whom he did not wish her to meet. Geli was in love with Hitler and Hitler was flirting outrageously with Eva Braun.”

According to Toland, Geli found a note from Eva to Hitler in Uncle Alf’s jacket pocket. Toland’s source, Frau Winter, claims she saw Geli angrily tear up the note. When Frau Winter pieced it together, she maintains, it read as follows:

Dear Herr Hitler,

Thank you again for the wonderful invitation to the theater. It was a memorable evening. I am most grateful to you for your kindness. I am counting the hours until I may have the joy of another evening.

Yours, Eva

Some believe this was what drove Geli to suicide. The way Toland and Maser portray the relationship, Geli was madly, possessively in love with that charming cad Adolf and would rather have shot herself than face the prospect of losing him to Eva. Particularly when, according to a widely held theory,

Geli Was Pregnant with Hitler’s Child

Maser, in fact, believes their relations were so conventional sexually that Geli was probably pregnant with Hitler’s child.

And was driven to suicide because she realized she’d lost him to Eva, and perhaps feared she’d end up spurned with a father-less child.

An even more explosive variant of the pregnancy theory of motive holds that

Geli Was Pregnant with the Child of a Jewish Cuckolder

This theme appears in a number of variations. The Münchner Post merely reports an engagement to an unspecified suitor in Vienna. Another source has it as a Jewish voice teacher. Hanfstaengl suggests Geli was pregnant by “a Jewish art teacher from Linz.”

Was there a real Jew who put the horns on Hitler? Or did some Iago in Hitler’s entourage—eager to be rid of the troublesome girl, who was distracting him so dangerously—deliberately arouse unfounded suspicions about her Vienna trips, her Vienna music teacher, in order to provoke a quarrel between Hitler and Geli?

Hitler as Othello? Geli as Desdemona?

Geli’s consorting with a Jew would have been a deep sexual wound to Hitler. She would have been, to use his odious rhetoric, “polluted.” The humiliation would have been a political wound as well, perhaps a fatal one: Hitler’s sweetheart chooses a Jew over the champion of Aryan supremacy. It would have been unbearable.

There was also another kind of political danger: sexual intimacy might have led to confessional intimacy, an intimacy in which Geli might have told her Jewish lover exactly what kind of aberrational practices Hitler demanded of her. If Geli told just one Jew, and if, in Hitler’s eyes, all Jews were linked in an implacable conspiracy against him, she would be placing in the hands of all Jews (and their journalist allies) enough sensational material to destroy him. And there is evidence that by the end Geli was talking to outsiders. Which leads us to what might be called

The Himmler Bushido Theory

This very complex, seemingly farfetched theory nonetheless has the strong endorsement of one of the most trustworthy contemporary observers: Konrad Heiden. Also, according to Heiden, of Geli’s mother. He tells us that in the years after her daughter’s death Angela Raubal “hinted at murder, or else suicide under compulsion or strong suggestion.” She didn’t accuse Hitler. “On the contrary, she said, she was sure that Adolf was determined to marry Geli. She mentioned another name: Himmler.”

Suicide under compulsion? Heiden cites the Nazi Party exaltation of the code of personal honor—Bushido—proselytized by Hitler’s Japanophile geopolitical advi



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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geli Raubal
https://spartacus-educational.com/GERraubal.htm

Geli Raubal & Adolf Hitler

Geli Raubal, the daughter of Leo Raubal and Angela Raubal, was born in Linz on 4th June, 1908. When Adolf Hitler rented a house in Obersalzberg he asked his half-sister, Angela Raubal, now a widow, to be his housekeeper. She agreed and in August 1928 brought Geli with her to stay with Hitler. The 39 year-old Hitler soon fell in love with her and became her constant companion at meetings, restaurants, conferences and on walks in the mountains. In 1929 Hitler took an apartment in Munich's Prinzregentenstrasse and the Raubal family moved in with him. (1)

Geli became a close friend of Henriette Hoffmann, the young daughter of Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler's official photographer. Hitler told Otto Wagener: "I can sit next to young women who leave me completely cold. I feel nothing, or they actually irritate me. But a girl like the little Hoffmann or Geli (Raubal) - with them I become cheerful and bright, and if I have listened for an hour to their perhaps silly chatter - or I have only to sit next to them - then I am free of all weariness and listlessness I can go back to work refreshed." (2)

Hitler once commented: "A girl of eighteen to twenty is as malleable as wax. It should be possible for a man, whoever the chosen woman may be, to stamp his own imprint on her. That's all the woman asks for." Joachim Fest, the author of Hitler (1973), wrote that Hitler became obsessed with Geli: "The affection Hitler felt for this pretty, superficial niece soon developed into a passionate relationship hopelessly burdened by his intolerance, his romantic ideal of womanhood and avuncular scruples." (3)

Patrick Hitler, the son of Adolf's brother, Alois Hitler, met her during this period: "Geli looks more like a child than a girl. You couldn't call her pretty exactly, but she had great natural charm. She usually went without a hat and wore very plain clothes, pleated skirts and white blouses. No jewellery except a gold swastika given to her by Uncle Adolf, whom she called Uncle Alf." (4)

Geli Raubal & Adolf Hitler
Hitler became infatuated with Geli Raubal and rumours soon spread that he was having an affair with his young niece. Hitler told Heinrich Hoffman: "You know, Hoffmann, I'm so concerned about Geli's future that I feel I have to watch over her. I love Geli and could marry her. Good! But you know what my viewpoint is. I want to remain single. So I retain the right to exert an influence on her circle of friends until such a time as she finds the right man. What Geli sees as compulsion is simply prudence. I want to stop her from falling into the hands of someone unsuitable." (5)

Adolf Hitler also took her with him to meetings. Baldur von Schirach commented: "The girl at Hitler's side was of medium size, well developed, had dark, rather wavy hair, and lively brown eyes. A flush of embarrassment reddened the round face as she entered the room with him, and sensed the surprise caused by his appearance. I too stared at her for a long time, not because she was pretty to look at but because it was simply astonishing to see a young girl at Hitler's side when he appeared at a large gathering of people. He chatted animatedly to her, patted her hand and scarcely paused long enough for her to say anything. Punctually at eleven o'clock he stood up to leave the party with Geli, who had gradually become more animated. I had the impression Geli would have liked to stay longer." (6)

Adolf Hitler and his half-sister, Angela Raubal
Adolf Hitler with Geli and Elfriede Raubal
The couple lived together for over two years. The relationship with Geli was stormy and they began to accuse each other of being unfaithful. Geli was particularly concerned about Eva Braun, a seventeen-year-old girl who Hitler took for rides in his Mercedes car. Henriette Hoffman knew Eva, who worked in her father's studio. She recalled that "Eva had pale blonde hair, cut short, blue eyes, and, although she had been educated in a Catholic convent, she had learnt feminine wiles - a certain look, and swaying hips when she walked, which made men turn their heads." According to his biographer, Ian Kershaw, "for the first time in his life (if we leave out his mother out of consideration) he became emotionally dependent on a woman." (7)

Ernst Hanfstaengel, who had a close relationship with Hitler at the time suggested that Geli was willing "to submit to his peculiar tastes" and was the "one woman in his life who went some way towards curing his impotence and half making a man out of him." He went on to say "that the services she was prepared to render had the effect of making him behave like a man in love... he hovered at her elbow with a moon-calf look in his eyes in a very plausible imitation of adolescent infatuation." (Cool

Adolf Hitler and his half-sister, Angela Raubal
Adolf Hitler and his half-sister, Angela Raubal
Anni Winter, Hitler's housekeeper, claimed: "Geli loved Hitler. She was always running after him. Naturally, she wanted to be become Frau Hitler... He was highly eligible... but she flirted with everybody; she was not a serious girl." Emil Maurice commented: "He liked to show her off everywhere; he was proud of being seen in the company of such an attractive girl. He was convinced that in this way he impressed his comrades in the party, whose wives or girlfriends nearly all looked like washerwomen." (9)

Baldur von Schirach wrote in his autobiography: "He (Hitler) followed her into millinery shops and watched patiently while she tried on all the hats and then decided on a beret. He sniffed at the sophisticated French perfumes she enquired about in a shop on the Theatinerstrasse, and if she didn't find what she wanted in a shop, he trotted after her... like a patient lamb. She exercised the sweet tyranny of youth, and he liked it, he was more cheerful, happier person." (10)

Geli Raubal
Geli Raubal
Adolf Hitler continued to live with Geli Raubal. However, Geli's friend, Henriette Hoffmann, claims that Geli grew more and more indifferent to him while he grew more and more passionate about her. Geli began seeing other men. Wilhelm Stocker, an SA officer, was often on guard duty outside Hitler's Munich flat, later told the author of Eva and Adolf (1974): "Many times when Hitler was away for several days at a political rally or tending to party matters in Berlin or elsewhere, Geli would associate with other men. I liked the girl myself so I never told anyone what she did or where she went on these free nights. Hitler would have been furious if he had known that she was out with such men as a violin player from Augsburg or a ski instructor from Innsbruck." (11)

Emil Maurice
Geli also began a relationship with Emil Maurice, Hitler's chauffeur and bodyguard. Maurice later told Nerin E. Gun, the author of Eva Braun: Hitler's Mistress (1969), about Geli. He testified that, "her big eyes were a poem and she had magnificent hair... people in the street would turn round to take another look at her, though people don't do that in Munich." Maurice was aware that Hitler was very interested in Geli: "He liked to show her off everywhere; he was proud of being seen in the company of such an attractive girl. He was convinced that in this way he impressed his comrades in the party." (12)

Maurice admitted that he was "madly in love" with Geli and "I decided to become engaged to Geli... she gladly accepted my proposal". Henriette Hoffmann believes that Geli was in love with Maurice: "He was a sensitive man, not just someone who took pride in fighting, and there was a genuine tenderness behind his affability." Geli told Henriette that she no longer wanted to be loved by Hitler and preferred her relationship with Maurice: "Being loved is boring, but to love a man, you know, to love him - that's what life is about. And when you can love and be loved at the same time, it's paradise." (13)

Geli Raubal
Geli Raubal and Adolf Hitler
Ernst Hanfstaengel believes that Geli had turned away from Hitler because of his perverted sexual desires. This idea is supported by Wilhelm Stocker: "She (Geli) admitted to me that at times Hitler made her do things in the privacy of her room that sickened her but when I asked her why she didn't refuse to do them she just shrugged and said that she didn't want to lose him to some woman that would do what he wanted. She was a girl that needed attention and needed it often. And she definitely wanted to remain Hitler's favourite girlfriend. She was willing to do anything to retain that status. At the beginning of 1931 I think she was worried that there might be another woman in Hitler's life because she mentioned to me several times that her uncle didn't seem to be as interested in her as he once was." (14)

Geli Raubal told Otto Strasser after one large argument with Hitler: "She told me that she really loved Hitler, but she couldn't bear it any longer. His jealously wasn't the worst thing. He demanded things from her that were simply disgusting. She had never dreamed that such things could happen. When I asked her to tell me, she described things I had previously encountered in my reading of Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis when I was a student." (15)

Strasser later went into more detail about this when he was interviewed by officials of the US Officer of Strategic Studies in 1943. "Hitler made her undress.... He would lie down on the floor. Then she would have to squat over his face, where he could examine her at close range and this made him very excited. When the excitement reached its peak, he demanded that she urinate on him and this gave him sexual pleasure. Geli said the whole performance was extremely disgusting to her and... it gave her no gratification." (16)

Geli Raubal
Geli Raubal and Adolf Hitler
Heinrich Hoffmann claimed in his book, Hitler was my Friend (1955) that that Geli found Hitler's controlling behaviour unpleasant: "The pressure under which Geli lives is burdensome to her, and what makes matters worse is that she's prevented from saying how unhappy she feels.... The ball gave her no pleasure. It merely reminded her of how little freedom she has.... Certainly, it flattered her that her serious and unapproachable uncle, who was so good at hiding his feelings from everybody else, was fond of her. She wouldn't have been a woman if she hadn't been flattered by Hitler's gallantry and generosity. But it seemed simply intolerable to this child of nature that he should want to mother her every step and that she shouldn't be allowed to speak to anyone without his knowledge." (17)

Ernst Hanfstaengel suggests that Geli disliked his violent behaviour. In his autobiography he describes a visit to the Schwarzwälder Café: "Discussing politics as they politics as they walked through the streets after the meal, Hitler emphasised some threat against his opponents by cracking the heavy dog whip he still affected. I happened to catch a glimpse of Geli's face as he did it, and there was on it such a look of fear and contempt that I almost caught my breath. Whips as well, I thought, and really felt sorry for the girl. She had displayed no sign of affection for him in the restaurant and seemed bored, looking over her shoulder at the other tables, and I could not help feeling that her share in the relationship was under compulsion." (1Cool

Ian Kershaw has argued in Hitler 1889-1936 (1998): "When Hitler found out about Geli's liaison with Emil Maurice, his bodyguard and chauffeur, there was such a scene that Maurice feared Hitler was going to shoot him." Geli wrote to Maurice: "The postman has already brought me three letters from you, but never have I been so happy as I was over the last. Perhaps that's the reason we've had such bad experiences over the last few days. Uncle Adolf is insisting that we should wait two years. Think of it, Emil, two whole years of only being able to kiss each other now and then and always having Uncle Adolf in charge. I can only give you my love and be unconditionally faithful to you. I love you so infinitely much. Uncle Adolf insists that I should go on with my studies." (19)

According to Ronald Hayman, the author of Hitler & Geli (1997), there are three versions of what afterwards happened to Maurice. He points out that Ernst Hanfstaengel believes that, instead of sacking him, Hitler "gradually started to freeze him out, fell behind in paying his wages, and in the end Maurice himself made the break." Another story is that Otto Strasser overheard a conversation in which Hitler told Maurice he was never to set foot in the house again, and Maurice replied: "Sack me, and I'll take the whole story to the Frankfurter Zeitung!" Hitler gave in to the threat. "The third version is that Hitler threatened to sack Maurice unless he broke off the engagement, and implemented his threat when Maurice tried to defy him. It is possible that all three stories are untrue." Maurice was eventually sacked by Hitler. (20)

Jewish Music Teacher
Christa Schroeder, Hitler's private secretary, claims that Geli fell in love with another man who has never been named. Apparently, he wanted to marry Geli and wrote to her in 1931: "Now your uncle, who knows how much influence he has over your mother, is trying to exploit her weakness with boundless cynicism. Unfortunately we won't be in a position to fight back against this blackmail until after you're twenty-one. He's putting obstacles in the way of our mutual happiness although he knows that we're made for each other. The year of separation your mother is imposing on us will only bind us together more closely. Because I'm always very strict with myself about thinking and behaving in a direct way, I find it hard to accept when other people don't do that. But your uncle's behaviour towards you can only be interpreted as egoistic. He quite simply wants you to belong to him one day and never to anyone else.... Your uncle still sees you as the 'inexperienced child' and refuses to acknowledge that in the meantime you've grown up and want to take responsibility for your own happiness. Your uncle is a force of nature. In his party they all bow down to him like slaves. I don't understand how his keen intelligence can mislead him into thinking his obstinacy and his theories about marriage can destroy our love and our willpower. He's hoping to succeed this year in changing your mind, but how little he knows your soul." (21)

Geli Raubal
Geli Raubal
Ernst Hanfstaengel later wrote that Karl Anton Reichel told him that Hitler had shown him a letter he had recently written to Geli: "It was couched in romantic, even anatomical terms and could only be read in the context of a farewell letter of some sort. Its most extraordinary aspect was a pornographic drawing which Reichel could only describe as a symbol of impotence. Why on earth he should have been shown this letter I cannot imagine, but he was not the man to make up such a story." (22)

Hitler insisted that Geli Raubal and her friend, Henriette Hoffmann, received weapons training. They were both encouraged to carry loaded pistols around with them and they practiced shooting on a rifle range just outside Munich; they were taught how to use a safety catch and how to clean a Walther 6.35 pistol, taking it to pieces and putting it together again. Henriette said they enjoyed this as it made them feel like characters in a Western. (23)

Geli Raubal
Geli Raubal
Geli continued to complain about the way Hitler controlled her life. Bridget Hitler claimed that her son told her a story that he had got from Anni Winter, Hitler's housekeeper. She had overheard an argument about Geli wanting to go and stay in Vienna. Geli was very upset because he had originally given his approval but then changed his mind. Bridget heard Hitler say: "You say you have to go to Vienna? Is it to see that filthy Jew, the one who claims to be a singing teacher? Is that it? Have you been seeing him secretly again? Have you forgotten I forbade you to have anything to do with him? Tell me the truth now. Why do you want to go to Vienna?" According to Bridget she replied: "I have to go to Vienna, Uncle Alf, because I'm going to have a baby." (24)

Ronald Hayman, the author of Hitler & Geli (1997) has suggested: "What seems to have happened shortly before Geli died is that Hitler, who often changed his mind at the last minute, reversed his decision about letting her go to Vienna. It is quite likely that the other Nazi leaders were putting pressure on him. Though they would all have been glad to get rid of her, they may have told him it was unsafe to set her free: she knew too much. They may have found out that she had confided in other men about Hitler's sexual habits, and Schwarz knew she had modelled for his pornographic drawings. If she talked indiscreetly in Vienna, stories might get picked up by the liberal press at the worst." (25)

Death of Geli Raubal
On the morning of Saturday, 19th September, 1931, Geli Raubal's body was found on the floor of her room in the flat, by Georg Winter, the husband of Hitler's housekeeper. In a statement later given to the police he explained what had happened that morning: "As the thing seemed to me rather suspicious, at ten o'clock I forced the double-door open with a screwdriver... As I'd opened the door I stepped into the room and found Raubal lying on the floor as a corpse. She'd shot herself. I can't give any reason why she should have shot herself." (26)

It was later revealed that the previous evening, Hitler left for Hamburg as part of his electioneering in North Germany. It was alleged that they had quarrelled before his departure. Angela Raubal, Geli's mother, later said she wanted to marry a violinist from Linz, but she and her half-brother had forbidden her to see the man. Cate Haste has suggested she may have been pregnant by a Jewish lover in Vienna. (27)

A meeting was held by leading officials in the Nazi Party before the police were called. This included Franz Schwarz, Gregor Strasser, Baldur von Schirach, Max Amann and Rudolf Hess. They discussed what they should do before the police were brought to Hitler's apartment: "We know that a top-level conference of Munich Nazis was held in his flat during the morning of Saturday, 19 September, though we do not know what time it began or who convened it.... Eventually Schirach telephoned Adolf Dresler of the press department at the Brown House, instructing him to tell the press that Hitler had gone into deep mourning after his niece's suicide. But they went on arguing about whether this was the best line to take, and they decided it was not. Schirach made another call to Dresler, telling him to say it had been an accident." (2Cool

The Münchener Neueste Nachrichten reported the following day. "According to a police communique, a twenty-three-year-old student fired a pistol aimed at the heart in a room of her flat in the Bogenhausen district. The unfortunate young woman, Angela Raubal, was the daughter of Adolf Hitler's half-sister, and she and her uncle lived on the same floor of a block of flats on Prinzregentenplatz. On Friday afternoon the owners of the flat heard a cry but it did not occur to them that it came from their tenant's room. When there was no sign of life from this room in the course of the evening, the door was forced. Angela Raubal was found lying face down on the floor, dead. Near her on the sofa was a small-calibre Walther pistol." (29)

The Münchener Post carried a story that suggested that the newspaper was relying on inside information. "On Friday 18 September there was once again a violent quarrel between Herr Hitler and his niece. What was the reason? The vivacious 23-year-old music student, Geli, wanted to go to Vienna, she wanted to become engaged. Hitler was strongly opposed to this. The two of them had recurrent disagreements about it. After a violent scene, Hitler left his flat on the second floor of 16 Prinzregentenplatz... The dead woman's nose was broken, and there were other serious injuries on the body. From a letter to a female friend living in Vienna, it is clear that Fraulein Geli had the firm intention of going to Vienna. The letter was never posted." (30)

The unfinished letter was not a suicide note. It was addressed to someone in Vienna. The police report said that it was to a girlfriend but Baldur von Schirach has claimed it was to her music teacher. The tone was cheerful, and the letter broke off in the middle of the sentence: "When I come to Vienna - I hope very soon - we'll drive together to Semmering an...". (Semmering is an attractive health resort outside Vienna.) Some historians have suggested that it was highly unlikely that someone would start a letter arranging a future holiday before committing suicide. (31)

Adolf Hitler reacted strongly against this news report. He issued a statement: "(1) It is untrue that I had either 'recurrent disagreements' or 'a violent quarrel' with my niece Angela Raubal on Friday 18 September or previously. (2) It is untrue that I was 'strongly opposed' to my niece's travelling to Vienna. The truth is that I was never against the trip my niece had planned to Vienna. (3) It is untrue that my niece wanted to become engaged in Vienna or that I had some objection to my niece's engagement. The truth is that my niece, tortured by anxiety about whether she really had the talent necessary for a public appearance, wanted to go to Vienna in order to have a new assessment of her voice by a qualified voice specialist. (4) It is untrue that I left my flat on 18 September 1931 'after a violent scene'. The truth is that there was no kind of scene and no agitation of any kind when I left my flat on that day." (32)

Dr. Muller, the police doctor who signed the death certificate dismissed the idea that Geli Raubal had been beaten up before the suicide. "On the face and especially on the nose were to be found no wounds connected with the bleeding of any kind. Nothing was to be found on the face except dark greyish death-marks which had proceeded from the fact that Raubal expired with her face to the floor and remained in that position for about 17-18 hours. That the tip of the nose was pressed slightly flat is due entirely to her lying with her face on the floor for several hours. The extreme discoloration of the death-marks in the face is probably to be explained by the fact that death was primarily consequent on suffocation following the shot in the lung." (33)

According to the police report, Geli Raubal had been bleeding from a wound near her heart and her clothes were soaked with blood. She was lying face downwards, with her nose against the floor. One arm was stretched out towards the pistol, a Walther 6.35, which was on the couch. The bullet, which had missed her heart, had pierced her lung. Still in her body, it had lodged on the left side of her back above the level of her hip. Ronald Hayman has pointed out: "This means that if she was standing or sitting when the shot was fired, the barrel of the pistol was pointing downwards, and the hand holding it was higher than her heart. Even if she was lying on the couch or the floor, it would not have been easy for her to shoot herself in this way. And why should she want to? Having been taught how to use a Walther, she could, if she wanted to kill herself, easily have avoided such a slow and painful death." (34)

Unfortunately, there was no inquest, and only one doctor examined her body before it was released, taken out of the country. One of the advantages of having the body taken across the frontier was that this would rule out any possibility of exhuming her for an inquest. Franz Gürtner, the Minister of Justice in Bavaria, was in a good position to cover up if she had been murdered. He held extreme right wing views and protected the Nazis during this period. According to Heinrich Hoffmann, it was her mother, Angela Raubaul, who decided that her daughter should be buried in Vienna. (35)

Geli Raubal was given a Catholic funeral when she was buried at the Zentralfriedhof Cemetery on 23rd September, 1931. Of course, people who had committed suicide were not allowed to have a Catholic funeral. Father Johann Pant, who conducted the service, later said that he could not have done what he did if Geli had died by her own hand. Pant, who had known Hitler for over twenty years, was obviously convinced that Geli had been murdered. He later fled Nazi Germany and went to live in Paris. In 1939 he wrote to the Courier d'Autriche newspaper and claimed: "They pretended that she committed suicide; I should never have allowed a suicide to be buried in consecrated ground. From the fact that I gave her Christian burial you can draw conclusions which I cannot communicate to you." (36)

Angela Raubal, later claimed: "I can't understand why she did it. Perhaps it was an accident, and Geli killed herself while she was playing with the pistol which she got from him (Hitler)." Otto Wagener, who worked for Hitler, believes the death was an accident: "The bullet's trajectory showed that she had the pistol in her left hand with the barrel towards her body. Since she was sitting at her desk and writing a totally innocent letter which was unfinished, we must assume that it came into her head to fetch the pistol and check whether it was loaded, at which point it went off and hit her in the heart - an unfortunate accident." (37)

Ian Kershaw also believes it was an accident: "Hitler's political enemies had a field day. There were no holds barred on the newspaper reports. Stories of violent rows and physical mistreatment mingled with sexual innuendo and even the allegation that Hitler had either killed Geli himself or had had her murdered to prevent scandal. Hitler himself was not in Munich when his niece died. And it is not easy to see the reasoning for a commissioned murder to prevent a scandal being carried out in his own flat. As it was, the scandal was enormous." (3Cool

Rudolf Hess believed that Geli Raubal had been killed by a jealous woman who got into the flat during the night. The anti-Nazi journalist, Konrad Heiden, has argued that Geli was pregnant by a Jewish man and that just before her death she was visited by Heinrich Himmler. He told her that she had "betrayed the man who was her guardian, her lover and her Führer in one - according to National Socialist conceptions there was only one way of making good such a betrayal." Heiden points out that the man who told him this story, Father Bernhard Stempfle, was murdered on the orders of Hitler on 30th June, 1934. (39)

Six years after Geli's death Bridget Hitler visited Ernst Hanfstaengel, who was then living in London. Bridget told Hanfstaengel that she was convinced that it was suicide rather than murder. She claimed that "the immediate family knew very well that the cause of Geli's suicide was the fact that she was pregnant by a young Jewish art teacher in Linz, whom she had met in 1928 and wanted to marry at the time of her death." (40)

Henriette Hoffmann, her closest friend, believed that Geli had killed herself: "He (Hitler) fenced her life so tightly, confined her in such a narrow space that she saw no other way out. Finally she hated her uncle, she really wanted to kill him. She couldn't do that. So she killed herself, to hurt him deeply enough, to disturb him. She knew that nothing else would wound him so badly. And because he knew too, he was so desperate, he had to blame himself." (41)

Rudolf Hess claimed that Hitler became suicidal because of the rumours that he had shot Geli Raubal. "He was so fearfully vilified by this new campaign of lies that he wanted to make an end of everything. He could no longer look at a newspaper because this frightful filth was killing him. He wanted to give up politics and never again appear in public."

One consequence of Geli's suicide was that Hitler became a vegetarian. He claimed that meat now reminded him of Geli's corpse. Alan Bullock, the author of Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (1962) has argued that Geli's death dealt him "a greater blow than any other event in his life. For days he was inconsolable and his friends feared he would take his own life... For the rest of his life he never spoke of Geli without tears coming to his eyes; according to his own statement to a number of witnesses, she was the only woman he ever loved." (42)

Ernst Hanfstaengel wrote in The Missing Years (1957): "I am sure that the death of Geli Raubal marked a turning point in the development of Hitler's character. This relationship, whatever form it took in their intimacy, had provided him for the first time in his life with a release to his nervous energy which only too soon was to find its final expression in ruthlessness and savagery. His long connection with Eva Braun never produced the moon-calf interludes he had enjoyed with Geli and which might in due course, perhaps, have made a normal man out of him. With her death the way was clear for his final development into a demon, with his sex life deteriorating again into a sort of bisexual narcissus-like vanity, with Eva Braun little more than a vague domestic adjunct." (43)

Adolf Hitler (1889-1924)
Adolf Hitler (1924-1932)
Adolf Hitler (1932-1935)
Adolf Hitler (1935-1939)
Adolf Hitler (1939-1943)
Adolf Hitler (1943-1945)
Nazi Germany


By John Simkin (john@spartacus-educational.com) © September 1997 (updated June 2018).

▲ Main Article ▲
Primary Sources
(1) After the war Patrick Hitler, Adolf Hitler's nephew, talked about meeting Geli Raubal in Obersalzberg.
Geli looks more like a child than a girl. You couldn't call her pretty exactly, but she had great natural charm. She usually went without a hat and wore very plain clothes, pleated skirts and white blouses. No jewellery except a gold swastika given to her by Uncle Adolf, whom she called Uncle Alf.

(2) Baldur von Schirach wrote about Geli Raubal and Adolf Hitler in a book published after the Second World War.
Hitler was suddenly standing amongst us, and I have rarely seen him looking so happy. And in his tone of voice there was a mixture of pride and tenderness as he introduced 'My niece, Fraulein Raubal.'

The girl at Hitler's side was of medium size, well developed, had dark, rather wavy hair, and lively brown eyes. A flush of embarrassment reddened the round face as she entered the room with him, and sensed the surprise caused by his appearance. I too stared at her for a long time, not because she was pretty to look at but because it was simply astonishing to see a young girl at Hitler's side when he appeared at a large gathering of people.

We liked her. When she was there. Hitler almost never started on the dreadful and often really painful scenes with endless monologues and uninhibited recriminations he bestowed not only on political enemies but also on friends and fellow-fighters. Geli's presence relaxed and released him. In front of favoured guests he let her perform her specialty act with the mountain jackdaw - when she called, the bird flew in through the open window - and he enjoyed seeing her romp about with his Alsatians Blondi and Muck. Geli was allowed to laugh at her Uncle Alf and adjust his tie when it had slipped. She was never put under pressure to be specially clever or specially witty. She could be simply what she was - lively and uncomplicated.

(3) Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997)
Geli seems to have been the only woman who could make him relax. Combining girlishness with womanliness, she was warm, gentle, affectionate, tactile, straightforward, direct, uninhibited, unpretentious, unprudish, kind, lively, playful, provocative and a member of the family. It was safe to reveal himself fully. No one else was ever allowed to tease him as much as she did, because no one else made him feel so secure. He hated nothing more than being laughed at, but when Geli laughed, she was laughing with him, not at him.

His sexual insecurity had several sources. One was fear of producing a child. Arguing that it would be irresponsible to start a family when he was so busy, he sometimes went on to explain why he would not want to have children. "I'm aware that the children of a genius usually have a hard time in the world. They're expected to achieve the same stature as their famous father, and they're never forgiven if their achievement is only mediocre. Besides, they're usually cretins." Though he was sincere in claiming to be a genius, the allusion to cretins is disingenuous. His family background was such a well-kept secret that he could afford to talk like this, but, having so many relations who were deformed or mentally unbalanced, he was naturally worried about the genes he was carrying. Though the danger would have been doubled had he and Geli produced a child, he may have found it reassuring that she came from the same tainted family. With another woman there was always the danger that she might find out the facts. Geli, even if she did not know them, was equally affected by them.

(4) Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler was my Friend (1955)
The pressure under which Geli lives is burdensome to her, and what makes matters worse is that she's prevented from saying how unhappy she feels.... The ball gave her no pleasure. It merely reminded her of how little freedom she has.... Certainly, it flattered her that her serious and unapproachable uncle, who was so good at hiding his feelings from everybody else, was fond of her. She wouldn't have been a woman if she hadn't been flattered by Hitler's gallantry and generosity. But it seemed simply intolerable to this child of nature that he should want to mother her every step and that she shouldn't be allowed to speak to anyone without his knowledge.

(5) Geli Raubal, letter to Emil Maurice, (24th December, 1928)
The postman has already brought me three letters from you, but never have I been so happy as I was over the last few days. Perhaps that's the reason we've had such bad experiences over the last few days. Uncle Adolf is insisting that we should wait two years. Think of it, Emil, two whole years of only being able to kiss each other now and then and always having Uncle Adolf in charge. I can only give you my love and be unconditionally faithful to you. I love you so infinitely much. Uncle Adolf insists that I should go on with my studies.

(6) Adolf Hitler, quoted by Heinrich Hoffman in his book Hitler Was My Friend (1955)
You know, Hoffmann, I'm so concerned about Geli's future that I feel I have to watch over her. I love Geli and could marry her. Good! But you know what my viewpoint is. I want to remain single. So I retain the right to exert an influence on her circle of friends until such a time as she finds the right man. What Geli sees as compulsion is simply prudence. I want to stop her from falling into the hands of someone unsuitable.

(7) Ernst Hanfstaengel, Hitler: The Missing Years (1957)
What particular combination of arguments her uncle used to bend her to his will, presumably with the tacit acquiescence of his half-sister, we shall never know. Whether he assumed that a young woman who was already no saint might be brought fairly easily to submit to his peculiar tastes, or whether in fact she was the one woman in his life who went some way towards curing his impotence and half making a man out of him, again we shall never know with certainty. On the evidence available, I incline to the former view. What is certain is that the services she was prepared to render had the effect of making him behave like a man in love. She went round very well dressed at his expense, or, more probably, at the Party's, as a lot of resentment was expressed, and he hovered at her elbow with a moon-calf look in his eyes in a very plausible imitation of adolescent infatuation.

(Cool Wilhelm Stocker, an SA officer, was often on guard duty outside Hitler's Munich flat. He was interviewed by Glenn Infield for his book, Eva and Adolf (1974)
Many times when Hitler was away for several days at a political rally or tending to party matters in Berlin or elsewhere, Geli would associate with other men. I liked the girl myself so I never told anyone what she did or where she went on these free nights. Hitler would have been furious if he had known that she was out with such men as a violin player from Augsburg or a ski instructor from Innsbruck. After she was satisfied that I wouldn't tell her uncle - and I had a personal reason for not telling him - she often confided in me. She admitted to me that at times Hitler made her do things in the privacy of her room that sickened her but when I asked her why she didn't refuse to do them she just shrugged and said that she didn't want to lose him to some woman that would do what he wanted. She was a girl that needed attention and needed it often. And she definitely wanted to remain Hitler's favourite girlfriend. She was willing to do anything to retain that status. At the beginning of 1931 I think she was worried that there might be another woman in Hitler's life because she mentioned to me several times that her uncle didn't seem to be as interested in her as he once was.

(9) Heinrich Hoffman, Hitler Was My Friend (1955)
Certainly, it flattered her (Geli Raubal) that her serious and unapproachable uncle, who was so good at hiding his feelings from everybody else, was fond of her. She wouldn't have been a woman if she hadn't been flattered by Hitler's gallantry and generosity. But it seemed simply intolerable to this child of nature that he should want to mother her every step and that she shouldn't be allowed to speak to anyone without his knowledge.

(10) Alan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (1952)
Geli Raubal was simple and attractive, with a pleasant voice which she wanted to have trained for singing. During the next four years she became Hitler's constant companion, and when her uncle acquired his flat on the Prinzregentenplatz she spent much time with him in Munich as well as up at the Obersalzberg. This period in Munich Hitler later described as the happiest in his life; he idolized this girl, who was twenty years younger than himself, took her with him whenever he could - in short, he fell in love with her.

Whether Geli was ever in love with him is uncertain. She was flattered and impressed by her now famous uncle, she enjoyed going about with him, but she suffered from his hypersensitive jealousy. Hitler refused to let her have any life of her own; he refused to let her go to Vienna to have her voice trained; he was beside himself with fury when he discovered that she had allowed Emil Maurice, his chauffeur, to make love to her, and forbade her to have anything to do with any other man. Geli resented and was made unhappy by Hitler's possessiveness and domestic tyranny.

(11) Otto Strasser, interviewed by officials of the US Officer of Strategic Studies (May, 1943)
Hitler made her undress.... He would lie down on the floor. Then she would have to squat over his face, where he could examine her at close range and this made him very excited. When the excitement reached its peak, he demanded that she urinate on him and this gave him sexual pleasure. Geli said the whole performance was extremely disgusting to her and... it gave her no gratification.

(12) Cate Haste, Nazi Women (2001)
In Obersalzberg, which he regularly visited, Hitler found a house to rent in 1927. In March, he brought in his half-sister, Angela, with whom he had made only intermittent contact since his departure from Linz, to act as housekeeper. Angela was joined shortly afterwards by her daughter, Geli, who had just left school. Hitler was enchanted by Geli. He was twice her age: she was nineteen when she arrived at Haus Wachenfeld, and he was thirty-eight. Any relationship between Hitler and Geli was possibly incestuous, since she was his half-sister's daughter or, loosely, his niece. She called him "Uncle Alf", and he called her his "princess".

Geli, according to her friend, Henriette Hoffmann (later von Schirach), was "big, cheerful, and self-confident... She had what Hitler valued in women: courage and understanding - and... cheerful determination."Julius Schaub, Hitler's adjutant, described her as a "brown-eyed brunette, five feet, six inches tall, well-built, with a blooming appearance, exceptionally full of animal spirits and a pleasing voice... By nature she was an open character, always ready for a joke... She was extraordinarily self-possessed. Sometimes inclining towards obstinacy." Ian Kershaw reports: "From the start, Hitler was evidently attracted by her. She wasn't, physically, a stunning beauty, but she exuded a strong sexuality and she had a number of short-lived affairs and flirtations. Very flighty type of flirtatious girl, full of life and full of fun, and Hitler was not exactly that type, but this contrast somehow had its appeal, and a very strong bond, certainly from Hitler to her, developed."

(13) The Münchener Post (21st September 1931)
In a flat on Prinzregentenplatz a 23-year-old music student, a niece of Hitler's, has shot herself. For two years the girl had been living in a furnished room in a flat on the same floor on which Hitler's flat was situated. What drove the student to kill herself is still unknown. She was Angela Raubal, the daughter of Hitler's half-sister. On Friday 18 September there was once again a violent quarrel between Herr Hitler and his niece. What was the reason? The vivacious 23-year-old music student, Geli, wanted to go to Vienna, she wanted to become engaged. Hitler was strongly opposed to this. The two of them had recurrent disagreements about it. After a violent scene, Hitler left his flat on the second floor of 16 Prinzregentenplatz....

Regarding this mysterious affair, informed sources tell us that on Friday, September 18. Herr Hitler and his niece had yet another fierce quarrel. What was the cause? Geli, a vivacious twenty-three-year-old music student, wanted to go to Vienna, where she intended to become engaged. Hitler was decidedly against this. That is why they were quarreling repeatedly. After a fierce row. Hitler left his apartment on Prinzregentenplatz....

On Saturday 19 September it was reported that Fraulein Geli had been found shot in the flat with Hitler's gun in her hand. The dead woman's nose was broken, and there were other serious injuries on the body. From a letter to a female friend living in Vienna, it is clear that Fraulein Geli had the firm intention of going to Vienna. The letter was never posted. The mother of the girl, a half-sister of Herr Hitler, lives in Berchtesgaden; she was summoned to Munich. Gentlemen from the Brown House then conferred on what should be published about the motive for the suicide. It was agreed that Geli's death should be explained in terms of frustrated artistic ambitions....

The men in the Brown House [Nazi Party headquarters] then deliberated over what should be announced as the cause of the suicide. They agreed to give the reason for Geli's death as "unsatisfied artistic achievement." They also discussed the question of who, if something were to happen, should be Hitler's successor. Gregor Strasser was named.

Perhaps the near future will bring light to this dark affair.
(14) The Münchener Neueste Nachrichten (20th September 1931)
According to a police communique, a twenty-three-year-old student fired a pistol aimed at the heart in a room of her flat in the Bogenhausen district. The unfortunate young woman, Angela Raubal, was the daughter of Adolf Hitler's half-sister, and she and her uncle lived on the same floor of a block of flats on Prinzregentenplatz. On Friday afternoon the owners of the flat heard a cry but it did not occur to them that it came from their tenant's room. When there was no sign of life from this room in the course of the evening, the door was forced. Angela Raubal was found lying face down on the floor, dead. Near her on the sofa was a small-calibre Walther pistol.

The motives for this action are not yet clear. Some say that Fraulein Raubal had met a singer in Vienna, but that her uncle would not allow her to leave Munich. Others affirm that the poor girl killed herself because she was supposed to make her debut as a singer but did not believe herself capable of facing the public.
(15) Adolf Hitler, statement published in The Münchener Post (21st September 1931)
(1) It is untrue that I had either "recurrent disagreements" or "a violent quarrel" with my niece Angela Raubal on Friday 18 September or previously.

(2) It is untrue that I was "strongly opposed" to my niece's travelling to Vienna. The truth is that I was never against the trip my niece had planned to Vienna.

(3) It is untrue that my niece wanted to become engaged in Vienna or that I had some objection to my niece's engagement. The truth is that my niece, tortured by anxiety about whether she really had the talent necessary for a public appearance, wanted to go to Vienna in order to have a new assessment of her voice by a qualified voice specialist.

(4) It is untrue that I left my flat on 18 September 1931 "after a violent scene". The truth is that there was no kind of scene and no agitation of any kind when I left my flat on that day.

(16) Detective Sauer, interview with Adolf Hitler (28th September, 1931)
His niece was a student of medicine, then she didn't like that anymore and she turned toward singing lessons. She should have been on the stage in a short time, but she didn't feel able enough, that's why she wanted further studies with a professor in Vienna. Hitler says that was okay with him but only under the condition that her mother from Berchtesgaden accompany her to Vienna. When she didn't want this. he said he told her, "Then I'm against your Vienna plans." She was angry about this, but she wasn't very nervous or excited and she very calmly said good-bye to him when he went off on Friday afternoon....

She had previously belonged to a society that had séances where tables moved, and she had said to Hitler that she had learned that one day she would die an unnatural death. Hitler went on to add that she could have taken the pistol very easily because she knew where it was, where he kept his things. Her dying touches his emotions very deeply because she was the only one of his relatives who was close to him. And now this must happen to him.
(17) Ron Rosenbaum, Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of his Evil (1998)
Setting aside for the moment the question of its truth, that strange séance story was a brilliant if somewhat desperate stroke on Hitler's part. Flourished at the last moment like a magician's cloak, it was clearly designed to obscure with a flash of fatalism what he must have known were the conspicuous inconsistencies and the overall inadequacy of the rest of his attempt to explain his half-niece's death.

Even the timid, closely supervised statements of the household staff seem to contradict Hitler's statement on a key point: They report Geli looking agitated and excited, rushing from Hitler's bedroom with a gun, scarcely a quarter hour after Hitler reportedly departed. Hitler, on the contrary, declares Geli was neither nervous nor excited but rather said good-bye to him "very calmly."

This appears, on the face of it, to be a feeble attempt to detach the quarrel he admits to having had with Geli-the dispute over whether she could travel to Vienna alone-from her decision to kill herself. As if, in the fewer than fifteen minutes between the time he left and the moment she raced into his room to steal his gun, something else had come up, something unrelated to Hitler, to cause Geli to decide to shoot herself.

He's trying unsuccessfully to have it both ways. He wants to minimize the importance of the quarrel between them, but in doing so he undercuts its potency as an explanation for her suicide, thus raising questions about what the real motive might be - or whether the death might not have been suicide at all.

And Hitler's account of the quarrel itself strains credibility, suggests darker possibilities. Perhaps a young woman of twenty-three would resent being told her mother had to accompany her on a trip to a voice-instruction lesson in Vienna. But would a young woman of twenty-three end her life over that issue; The disparity between the explanation and the act inevitably raised questions about whether there was something more to the Vienna trip than voice lessons. something that required close family supervision to forestall. The disparity gave rise to rumors that-as newspapers in Berlin. Munich. and Vienna would soon speculate-the trip to Vienna was for an elopement with a forbidden fiance or an attempt to escape an intolerable relationship with Hitler.

But Hitler was shrewd enough to realize that, on the face of it. his account of Geli's purported motive for killing herself fell short of being compellingly convincing. Thus, the séance story: a masterful touch which seems to be a spontaneous emotional coda to his statement but which. in fact, when the whole statement is examined carefully, seems more like a capstone of what is a carefully calculated subtext of character assassination...

The implication in context is murder or suicide as opposed to a "natural" death from old age or disease, But the phrase "unnatural" has been used to characterize not just Geli Raubal's death but her relationship to Hitler. And it evokes the truly troubling question raised by the whole Geli Raubal affair: how natural or unnatural, how normal or abnormal. Hitler himself was.

It's troubling because the temptation in sifting the evidence for what really went on between Hitler and Geli Raubal is to believe the darkest rumors - and some of them are extremely dark - because it is somehow more comforting to view Hitler as a monstrous pervert in his private life. Then his public crimes can be explained away as arising from private pathology, from his unnaturalness, from a psyche that isn't in any way "normal." that isn't in any way akin to ours, one whose darkness we don't have to acknowledge as in any way related to ours. Paradoxically, it may be far more disturbing to find Hitler "normal" capable of "normal" love, for instance - because it would in some way make it seem that there was something of us in him. Or worse: something of him in us. But a whole explanatory industry has arisen-and not just among Freudian "psychohistorians" - predicated on the assumption that with Geli Raubal, Hitler was most "himself" and most psychosexually "unnatural."

There are those who believe that with Geli Raubal, Hitler experienced the closest he came to real love, the closest he came to the emotional life of a normal person. But there are also those who believe that in his relationship with Geli Raubal, Hitler expressed the true, profound deformity of his moral nature in perverse sexual practices (we call them paraphilia these days) that either drove Geli to suicide or led to her murder to prevent her from talking about them.
(1Cool Dr Müller, report published in the press (22nd September 1931)
On the face and especially on the nose were to be found no wounds connected with bleeding of any kind. Nothing was to be found on the face except dark greyish death marks which had proceeded from the fact that Raubal expired with her face to the floor and remained in this position for about 17-18 hours. That the tip of the nose was pressed slightly flat is due entirely to her lying with her face on the floor for several hours. The extreme discoloration of the death marks in the face is probably to be explained by the fact that death was primarily consequent on suffocation following the shot
in the lung.

(19) Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997)
It would have been easy to check whether there were powder burns on her skin or her dress, confirming that the pistol had been fired at close quarters. Questions should have been asked, too, about the trajectory of the bullet, which entered above the heart and ended up slightly above the level of the hip. This means that if she was standing or sitting when the shot was fired, the barrel of the pistol was pointing downwards, and the hand holding it was higher than her heart. Even if she was lying on the couch or the floor, it would not have been easy for her to shoot herself in this way. And why should she want to? Having been taught how to use a Walther, she could, if she wanted to kill herself, easily have avoided such a slow and painful death...

The other problem is that the trajectory of the bullet seems inconsistent with the suicide theory. For a cartridge that enters above the heart to lodge just above the level of the hip, the barrel has to be pointing downwards and the hand holding the pistol has to be higher than the heart. Though it is not impossible to shoot oneself in this way, it is hard to imagine why she would have adopted such an awkward position.

(20) Ernst Hanfstaengel, The Missing Years (1957)
I am sure that the death of Geli Raubal marked a turning point in the development of Hitler's character. This relationship, whatever form it took in their intimacy, had provided him for the first time in his life with a release to his nervous energy which only too soon was to find its final expression in ruthlessness and savagery. His long connection with Eva Braun never produced the moon-calf interludes he had enjoyed with Geli and which might in due course, perhaps, have made a normal man out of him. With her death the way was clear for his final development into a demon, with his sex life deteriorating again into a sort of bisexual narcissus-like vanity, with Eva Braun little more than a vague domestic adjunct.

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References
(1) James Taylor and Warren Shaw, Dictionary of the Third Reich (1987) page 229
(2) Otto Wagener, Hitler - Memoirs of a Confidant (1985) page 222
(3) Joachim Fest, Hitler (1973) page 236
(4) Bridget Hitler, The Memoirs of Bridget Hitler (1979) page 59
(5) Angela Lambert, The Lost Life of Eva Braun (2006) page 103
(6) Robert Waite, The Psychopathic God (1977) page 237
(7) Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1889-1936 (1998) page 352
(Cool Ernst Hanfstaengel, Hitler: The Missing Years (1957) page 162
(9) Nerin E. Gun, Eva Braun: Hitler's Mistress (1969) page 20
(10) Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997) page 107
(11) Angela Lambert, The Lost Life of Eva Braun (2006) page 117
(12) Nerin E. Gun, Eva Braun: Hitler's Mistress (1969) page 20
(13) Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997) page 111
(14) Glenn B. Infield, Eva and Adolf (1974) page 44
(15) Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997) page 145
(16) Otto Strasser, interviewed by officials of the US Officer of Strategic Studies (May, 1943)
(17) Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler was my Friend (1955) page 126
(1Cool Ernst Hanfstaengel, Hitler: The Missing Years (1957) page 164-165
(19) Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1889-1936 (1998) page 353
(20) Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997) page 120
(21) Christa Schroeder, He Was My Chief: The Memoirs of Adolf Hitler's Secretary (1985) page 213
(22) Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997) page 154
(23) Nerin E. Gun, Eva Braun: Hitler's Mistress (1969) page 18
(24) Ernst Hanfstaengel, Hitler: The Missing Years (1957) page 168
(25) Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997) page 159
(26) Georg Winter, statement to the German police (19th September, 1931)
(27) Cate Haste, Nazi Women (2001) page 46
(2Cool Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997) page 162
(29) The Münchener Neueste Nachrichten (20th September 1931)
(30) The Münchener Post (21st September, 1931)
(31) Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997) page 160
(32) Adolf Hitler, statement published in The Münchener Post (21st September 1931)
(33) Dr. Muller, police report (22nd September, 1931)
(34) Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997) page 176
(35) Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler was my Friend (1955) page 130
(36) Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997) page 189
(37) Otto Wagener, Hitler - Memoirs of a Confidant (1985) page 357
(3Cool Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1889-1936 (1998) page 354
(39) Konrad Heiden, Hitler: A Biography (1936) pages 307-308
(40) Ernst Hanfstaengel, Hitler: The Missing Years (1957) pages 167-168
(41) Ronald Hayman, Hitler & Geli (1997) page 180
(42) Alan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (1962) page 394
(43) Ernst Hanfstaengel, Hitler: The Missing Years (1957) page 100
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