Born in Munich, Eva Braun was the second daughter of school teacher Friedrich "Fritz" Braun and Franziska "Fanny" Kronberger, who had worked as a seamstress before her marriage. Her elder sister, Ilse, was born in 1909 and her younger sister, Margarete (Gretl), was born in 1915. Braun's parents were divorced in April 1921, but remarried in November 1922, likely for financial reasons (hyperinflation was plaguing the German economy at the time). Braun was educated at a Catholic lyceum in Munich, and then for one year at a business school in the Convent of the English Sisters in Simbach am Inn, where she had average grades and a talent for athletics. At age 17 she took a job working for Heinrich Hoffmann, the official photographer for the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Initially employed as a shop assistant and sales clerk, she soon learned how to use a camera and develop photos. She met Hitler, 23 years her senior, at Hoffmann's studio in Munich in October 1929. He had been introduced to her as "Herr Wolff". Eva's sister, Gretl, also worked for Hoffman from 1932 onward, and the women rented an apartment together for a time. Gretl accompanied her sister on her later trips with Hitler to the Obersalzberg.
In early April 1945, Braun travelled from Munich to Berlin to be with Hitler at the Führerbunker. She refused to leave as the Red Army closed in on the capital. After midnight on the night of 28–29 April, Hitler and Braun were married in a small civil ceremony within the Führerbunker. The event was witnessed by Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann. Thereafter, Hitler hosted a modest wedding breakfast with his new wife. With Braun's marriage, her legal name changed to Eva Hitler. When she signed her marriage certificate she wrote the letter B for her family name, then lined this out and replaced it with Hitler.
After 1:00 pm on the afternoon of 30 April 1945, Braun and Hitler said their farewells to staff and members of the inner circle. Later that afternoon, at approximately 3:30 pm, several witnesses reported hearing a loud gunshot. After waiting a few minutes, Hitler's valet, Heinz Linge, and Hitler's SS adjutant, Otto Günsche, entered the small study and found the lifeless bodies of Hitler and Braun on a small sofa. Braun had bitten into a cyanide capsule, and Hitler had shot himself in the right temple with his pistol. The corpses were carried up the stairs and through the bunker's emergency exit to the garden behind the Reich Chancellery, where they were burned. Braun was 33 years old when she died.
The charred remains were found by the Russians and secretly buried at the SMERSH compound in Magdeburg, East Germany, along with the bodies of Joseph and Magda Goebbels and their six children. On 4 April 1970, a Soviet KGB team with detailed burial charts secretly exhumed five wooden boxes of remains. The remains were thoroughly burned and crushed, after which the ashes were thrown into the Biederitz river, a tributary of the nearby Elbe.
The rest of Braun's family survived the war. Her mother, Franziska, died at age 96 in January 1976, having lived out her days in an old farmhouse in Ruhpolding, Bavaria. Her father, Fritz, died in 1964. Gretl gave birth to a daughter—whom she named Eva—on 5 May 1945. She later married Kurt Beringhoff, a businessman. She died in 1987. Braun's elder sister, Ilse, was not part of Hitler's inner circle. She married twice and died in 1979.
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