Was Hitler’s Wife Jewish?

New evidence suggests that Hitler’s wife Eva Braun was Jewish, or at least of Jewish descent. Read More

By / April 4, 2014

New evidence suggests that Hitler’s wife Eva Braun was Jewish, or at least of Jewish descent.

The discovery was made by UK television show Dead Famous DNA (yes, really), which bought and tested hair samples acquired from a brush found in Braun’s apartment. According to The Mirror, “scientific analysis found a sequence in the DNA, passed down from mother to daughter, which is strongly associated with the Ashkenazi Jews ethnic division.”

Said host Marks Evans: “I never dreamt that I would find such a potentially extraordinary and profound result. Racism and fascism, ideas that one racial group is superior to another, made a mockery of by studying dead famous DNA.”

Hitler and Braun were married on April 29, 1945 at the Berghof, Hitler’s mountaintop residence, where Braun had spent the duration of the war, hidden away from public scrutiny. The day after their wedding, the couple committed suicide—Braun by biting into a cyanide pill; Hitler by shooting himself in the head. Paul Baer, a U.S. army captain stationed at the Berghof at the end of the war, took Braun’s hairbrush home as a “souvenir,” along with some other Nazi artifacts. The hair sample (which Baer’s son later sold to dealer John Reznikoff) and the hairbrush have apparently been “authenticated,” but Braun’s two surviving relatives refuse to undergo DNA testing, so it’s impossible to be certain that the hair was indeed hers.

Also worth noting is the sheer ridiculousness of the premise of the television show behind the discovery. Basically, Evans goes about acquiring dubious DNA samples—which have often deteriorated as a result of sunlight or exposure—from equally dubious sources, and sensationalizing the findings on TV. He paid the notorious Holocaust denier David Irving £3,000 (almost $5,000) for a lock of Hitler’s hair, which is so creepy and distasteful I don’t even know where to start. The Mirror also notes that “the lab frequently discovers [samples] don’t ­contain enough DNA for testing.”

All of this is to say: buyer (and viewer) beware! We’ll probably never know with any certainty if Hitler’s wife was of Jewish descent, but authenticity aside—this is reality TV, after all—the hypothesis makes for compelling viewing, and ratings for the April 9 episode will likely be off the charts. Who needs authentic DNA when you have an authentic marketing coup?

(Image: Eva Braun with Adolf Hitler at Berghof, 1942. Via Wikipedia commons.)