He is one of history's most dangerous men, responsible for the entire world going to war. The magnitude of what he did is incomprehensible, and the damage irreparable. Adolf Hitler was less of a man and more of a monster. The creator of the Holocaust. The dictator of the hideous "racial cleansing."
The so-called Fuhrer might have had a brilliant mind, so much so that TIME once named him Man of the Year, in 1938. But his mind was also toxic, it was where evil would dwell.
We all know that Hitler's first love was the war that he sought to win, the glory that he wanted to achieve, the world that he wanted to conquer.
But there was one more love in his life. Young Eva Braun.
The woman who confused historians and the world in general. Why would someone fall for a man so evil? It all started in 1929 with an opera ticket that the then 40-year-old Adolf had. Eva was only 17 at the time and agreed to accompany him.
It remains a mystery as to how he treated her in private quarters. For when in public, he did his best to hide her, not even permitting photographs. He did not want people to think that he had any other love than the love for his country. He was to remain married to Germany.
It is said that she had resigned to the fact that she was in love with him, but marriage was never on the cards. There were rumours that she had attempted suicide as well. Hitler's personal chauffeur had called Eva, "The unhappiest woman in Germany."
But for some reason, she still decided to stick around. Hitler's interest in her and in other relationships was well shrouded. And it was the era of propaganda. So it's impossible to know how much of it was true.
Eventually it boiled down to the April of 1945. Hitler and a handful of his personnel were in the Führerbunker; an anti air-raid bunker in Berlin. The war was about to end. The Nazis were about to be ousted by the Allies as Russia's Red Army was closing in on Hitler's HQ.
Eva was in the bunker too. Even when defeat and death seemed certain for the fascist leader, she decided to stay.
"Miss Braun is, besides my dog Blondi, the only one I can absolutely count on," were Hitler's words, and he wasn't wrong in saying that. She was ready to die with him. All she had ever asked for, was to be his wife. That day she got her wish.
Part of Hitler's will said:
I have now decided, before the closing of my earthly career, to take as my wife that girl who, after many years of faithful friendship, entered, of her own free will, the practically besieged town in order to share her destiny with me. At her own desire she goes as my wife with me into death.
The ceremony was performed on 29th of April, 1945. Their marriage was her reward for so many years of loyalty. She bent down to sign the certificate, was about to write Eva Braun, stopped, scratched the 'B' and wrote Hitler instead.
The next day, after his final staff meeting, he poisoned his beloved dog, Blondi, and her pups, to test how effective the cyanide was. He was scared and paranoid about the fact that it may not work and he may be captured. The dogs died.
Then post-lunch, at around 3 pm, his wife and him, went into their private room.
Eva bit into a cyanide tablet. So did he. Still paranoid, he shot himself too.
Seeing people like Hitler from the angle of a relationship with someone, a wife for that matter, makes him fall in the human category. But make no mistake about it, he was no where close. What he did will forever remain inhuman. He might have been Eva's husband, but for the world, he'll always be a tyrant.
It was 30th April, 1945. Eva
Braun Hitler was found by bunker residents on a sofa, with her newly-wed husband. Her head was on his shoulders, as though she was sleeping. There was blood trickling from his head. A pistol was lying on the floor. Exactly how it was planned.
It was the day Hitler died.