I just finished reading a very interesting historical fiction, The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring. It’s a study of Eva Braun, Adolf Hitler’s longtime mistress and his wife of less than two days, before the couple committed suicide in 1945. Much has been written about Braun, a simple shop girl, who met Hitler when she was seventeen. Ring’s book tries to imagine this relationship through the eyes of Braun, a young and vulnerable woman, and through her relationships with three generations of fictional characters in Germany, England and America.
While I’m working on my review of this excellent book about the difficult and painful subject of Hitler and World War II, here’s some background on Eva Braun.
- Eva Braun was born in 1912, in Munich, Germany. Her father was a school teacher and her mother was a seamstress. She was the middle sister in a family of three girls.
- Braun’s parents divorced in 1921 and remarried in 1922.
- Braun attended a convent for one year. She was not a serious student.
- She worked as an assistant in Heinrich Hoffmann’s photography shop, the official photographer for Hitler, who at the time was a fast-rising political leader. Braun met Hitler in 1929.
- To explain her presence at many Nazi Party gatherings, Braun became a photographer for Hitler. During their retreats to Berghof, Hitler’s mountain hideaway, she took many pictures of and filmed Hitler and his party members.
- Braun was not interested in politics or the war. She loved fashion and movies and was very athletic. She never joined the Nazi Party. She preferred to live in her personal hyper-focused world, apart from the horrors of World War II and enjoyed the luxuries afforded by Hitler.
- Braun’s sister, Gretl, married Hermann Fegelein, a member of the SS elite guard and liaison to Heinrich Himmler.
- Before her death in 1945, Braun had attempted suicide twice, presumably to get Hitler’s attention.
- Hitler was convinced that his political success was directly tied to his image as a bachelor. Their relationship was top secret and was not revealed to the public until after their deaths.
In The Munich Girl, Ring presents Braun as an unhappy and lonely girl and she tries to understand how Braun became involved with the most despised man in world history.
About the Author (from The Munich Girl)
Phyllis Edgerly Ring lives in New Hampshire and returns as often as she can to her childhood home in Germany. Her years there left her with the deep desire to understand the experience of Germans during the Second World War. She has studied plant sciences and ecology, worked as a nurse, been a magazine writer and editor, taught English to kindergartners in China, and frequently serves as workshop facilitator and coach for others’ writing projects. She is the author of the novel, Snow Fence Road, and the inspirational nonfiction, Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details. She is co-author, with Ron Tomanio and Diane Iverson, of With Thine Own Eyes: Why Imitate the Past When We Can Investigate Reality?, an exploration of how to achieve balance between the material and spiritual aspects of life.
Click here to read my review of The Munich Girl.
For more information about Ring, click here to visit Who’s That Indie Author? Phyllis Edgerly Ring.
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