Hitler’s “sunshine” Henriette Hoffmann.


Henriette Hoffmann was the daughter of Hitler’s personal photographer, Heinrich Hoffman. She was brought up surrounded by the Nazi leadership. Due to Hitler’s close relationship with her father, she first met the future Fuhrer in 1922, at the age of nine.  For the next decade Hitler, who called Henriette “my sunshine,” was a frequent guest at the Hoffman household. As he frequently visited the Hoffman family home, she got to know Hitler very well over the next few years. Henny became a close friend of Hitler’s niece, Geli Raubal.  Hitler told General Otto Wagener  : “I can sit next to young women who leave me completely cold. I feel nothing, or they actually irritate me. But a girl like the little Hoffmann or Geli (Raubal) – with them I become cheerful and bright, and if I have listened for an hour to their perhaps silly chatter – or I have only to sit next to them – then I am free of all weariness and listlessness I can go back to work refreshed.” According to several sources, Hitler “made a clumsy attempt at some physical contact” with Henriette.When she was twelve Hitler took her to the Bayreuth festival. Henriette Hoffmann also became friends with Eva Braun who had been given an apartment in the Reich Chancellery. However, she had to enter it through the servants’ quarters. Henriette later commented: “It was furnished like a guest house, deep armchairs covered in rustic material, pots of flowers, cupboards painted with gentians, whole years’ editions of film magazines. She had film stars’ clothes copied, knew which star sign they were born under, and was interested in their lives.” Henriette added that she often had her two dogs by her side and “was smoking fast and nervously, as she always did when she knew that Hitler was not nearby.” On 03-31-1932, Henriette married Baldur von Schirach, a member of Hitler Youth and an upcoming Nazi official, later the Youth leader.  The witnesses were Adolf Hitler and Ernst Röhm . Throughout the early years of the war, Henriette and Baldur von Schirach were part of the Party inner circle and were frequent personal guests of Hitler. However in 1943, Henriette von Schirach’s actions caused a definitive break with that inner circle – when Henriette appealed directly to the Fuhrer for something no one else would. According to the book Hitler’s Henchmen, Henriette was invited to visit the Netherlands in 1943 by friends in the German occupation army. While in Amsterdam she witnessed crowd of Jewish women being brutalized and rounded up for deportation. Henriette returned to Germany and telephoned her connections at the chancellery to make an appointment with Hitler.

One fall night Frau von Schirach was finally able to speak to the Fuhrer at a Nazi function. “Hitler turned to me and asked in a friendly tone: You have just come back from Holland, have you not?” Henriette presumed on her long friendship with Hitler to describe what she had witnessed in Amsterdam: “I took a deep breath and answered: Yes, that is why I am here. I wanted to speak to you about some terrible things I saw; I cannot believe that you know about them. Helpless women were being rounded up and driven together to be sent off to a concentration camp and I think that they will never return. He looked at me aghast and at the same time surprised and said: We are at war. He very cautiously stood up. At that moment he screamed at me: You are sentimental, Frau von Schirach! You have to learn to hate! What have Jewish women in Holland got to do with you? I walked out of the room and once in the vestibule I began to run. One of Hitler’s adjutants came running after me. The Führer was furious. I was asked to leave the Obersalzberg immediately.” For speaking directly to the Fuhrer about the most forbidden subject in Germany, Henriette got away relatively unscathed – she and her husband were banished and never again appeared at another Nazi function.

Henriette was imprisoned with her four children, Angelika Benedicta, Klaus, Robert, and Richard, in a women’s camp in Bad Tölz on 12-24-1945, and later she was convicted of being an “Altparteigenossin” or “old party member.” She was released in the spring of 1946 .

In 1949 she asked for a divorced from Von Schirach, who served a sentence of twenty years in prison. At that time she had a relationship with Peter Jacob, Leni Riefenstahl’s former husband  Leni Reifenstahl On 20-07-1950 she was formally divorced. In 1956 she travelled to London to ask the British Foreign Minister Selwyn Lloyd for the release of Von Schirach, but he wasn’t released until 1966.  Henriette Hoffmann died at Schwabing on 27th January, 1992, age 78 and is buried with her family on the Nordfriedhof of Munich..




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