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Hitler, the Painter Night of the Broken Glass
Hitler and his Young Niece - Tales from History
4933    Dibyendu Banerjee    02/10/2019

There was something different about Geli Raubal. She was not like the other girls of her age.She was described by Frau Braun, one of her friends, as an unusual beauty and oddly enchanting, a young woman with a natural charm, who aspired to be a singer one day. In 1925, when she was just 17 years old, her mother was invited by her half-brother, a man named Adolf Hitler, to become his housekeeper of his Munich apartment.


As she arrived at his home with her two daughters, Geli and Elfriede, he took an immediate liking to his tall, brown-haired, brown-eyed half-niece Geli. To Geli, Hitler was a father figure and was known to her as Uncle Alf, 19 years her senior. However, he was passionate and intense and saw something in her he loved. Gradually, she became Hitler’s world, his obsession and as he became increasingly possessive, she became potentially his prisoner.

hitler and his young niece Geli Raubal
Hitler with his young half-niece Geli Raubal

However, the actual nature of the relationship between Geli and Adolf Hitler is shrouded in the mist of mystery. The different anecdotes and stories concerning the two suggested a forbidden love affair, scandalous sexual meetings, incest and a relationship riddled with jealousy. There is no doubt that each of the stories had some semblance of truth to them. There was no doubt that Hitler was infatuated with his half-niece and there is very little doubt that she returned at least some of the affection.


As she was very much confused about her future prospect, Geli enrolled in a medical school. However, as her uncle became increasingly suspicious of her movements and activities, she never got the opportunity to finish her degree. She was in a relationship with a man named Emil Maurice, who was Hitler's chauffeur. Unfortunately, in December 1927, as he came to know about the affair, a furious 38-year old Hitler dismissed the man from his personal service and strictly instructed them not to see each other in future.

hitler and his young niece Geli Raubal
Geli Raubal and Hitler

After two years of housekeeping, Hitler asked Angela, his half-sister, to move out to look after his larger home, Berghof villa in Berchtesgaden. However, he asked Geli to stay behind and live with him in his Munich apartment, if she likes. Geli agreed, though many believe that she had no choice. Nevertheless, the truth was, for the next four years, it would be her and Hitler alone in the Munich apartment.

hitler and his young niece Geli Raubal
Geli Raubal and Hitler lounging on the grass outside his home

It was believed by many that there was a constant air of jealousy surrounding the pair. Hitler was jealous about the numerous men she flirted with and Geli was jealous of Eva Braun, a young model employed by Hitler’s photographer, who she felt fawned over her uncle. Probably, this jealousy drove Hitler to become overly possessive of Geli. While they lived under the same roof, he controlled her social life, dictating whom she could see and when. Once a free and impulsive woman, Geli was no longer allowed to leave the apartment without being accompanied by Hitler or one of his trusted men.

hitler and his young niece Geli Raubal
The Hitler family on an outing, with Geli and Hitler second and third from the right.

While the Historians admit that, Hitler had developed a romantic obsession about Geli, they argue over whether their relationship was a sexual one. Evidence suggests it was, as Hitler was in the possession of lots of pornographic sketches of Geli. Those drawings, sketched by Hitler himself, are depraved, intimate and with every anatomical detail. One of the political opponents of Hitler even claimed that, Geli personally confided him about the unusual sexual acts, that Hitler forced her to perform, which were disgusting and sickening.


However, others suggest that Geli had an infatuation with her uncle, enjoyed his attention and displayed jealousy when he spent time with the young beautiful model named Eva Braun. According to a son of Hitler's brother, the family was aware about the long intimate relationship of the pair and by 1931, she was expecting a child. However, that claim has never been confirmed. Nevertheless, by that time, Geli was virtually a prisoner, desperate to travel to Vienna to continue her singing lessons, which was specifically negated by Hitler on 18 September 1931and after that, he reportedly left for a meeting in Nuremberg. The tragic episode of Geli Raubal ends there.

hitler and his young niece Geli Raubal
Nude sketches of Geli, signed by Hitler

On 19 September 1931, the body of a 23 years old woman, named Geli Raubal, was discovered in her bedroom in a pool of her own blood with a gunshot wound to her chest. There was a pistol beside her body, which was Hitler's Walther pistol. Her death was officially ruled a suicide.

However, there are a few loose ends about the unnatural death of Geli, which do not quite add up. There is no concrete proof that Hitler was not present in the apartment at the time of the incident. A young woman was found shot with his gun a few steps away from his bedroom and Hitler got the presumption of innocence as he and his friends reported that he was away from home and was not there at the time of the incident. It cannot be denied that Hitler was an exceptionally powerful man, more than capable to cover up a crime and at a closer look it appears that, she might have also been Hitler's first victim. More than 60 years since the incident, the ‘Vanity Fair’ remarked that the story of the unfortunate death of Geli Raubal is soaked in historical irony.

hitler and his young niece Geli Raubal
Geli Raubal at the beach
Hitler, the Painter Night of the Broken Glass
Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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