Braun, Margarete Berta “Gretl”, born 10-10-1987 in Munich, was the youngest of three daughters of school teacher Friedrich “Fritz” Braun and seamstress Franziska “Fanny” Kronberger.
After dropping out of secondary school in Medingen at the age of sixteen, she worked as a clerk for the photography company of Heinrich Hoffmann , the official photographer for the Nazi Party, who also employed her sister Eva Braun, who was also a girlfriend of Hoffmann’s daughter Henriette.”Henny”. Hitler provided the sisters, Gretl in the middle, Ilse Braun on the right with a three-bedroom apartment in Munich in August 1935, and the next year with a villa in Bogenhausen. A postman, Georg Otter, later recalled: “They were charming young ladies who gave me generous tips and sometimes a cigar. No, I didn’t deliver any official mail with an eagle and swastika stamp, but piles of letters, from Berlin, too. The younger one often came to wait for me at the gate, for the young ladies had devilish little dogs who barked all the time… I remember the blue of the envelopes and the initials EB on the flaps.” Their father Friedrich “Fritz” was not pleased with this arrangement and wrote to protest about it. The sisters were keen photographers; in 1943 Gretl attended the Bavarian State School of Photography.
Gretl Braun spent much time with Eva at Hitler’s Berghof in the Obersalzberg of the Bavarian Alps, where she enlivened the formal atmosphere by having fun, smoking, and flirting with the orderlies. According to Hitler’s secretary, Traudl Junge, Hitler explained to her at length why he detested smoking, but she would not give up the habit. Gretl fell for Hitler’s SS adjutant Fritz Darges, but he was suddenly dismissed by Hitler and posted to command a unit on the Eastern Front following an insubordinate comment at a meeting in 1944.
On 03-06-1944 she married SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein, who served as Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler‘s liaison officer on Hitler’s staff. Their wedding took place at the Mirabell Palace in Salzburg with Hitler, Himmler, and Martin Bormann as witnesses. Her sister Eva made all the wedding arrangements. A wedding reception at the Berghof and party at the Eagle’s Nest at Obersalzberg lasted three days. The marriage provided Hitler with a formal link to Eva and a reason to include her at public functions. Fegelein was a known playboy and had many extramarital affairs.
Three days after Gretl’s wedding, the Normandy Landings took place. The social scene at the Berghof effectively ended on 14-07-1944 when Hitler left for his military headquarters, never to return. A week later Oberst Claus von Stauffenberg would try to kill Hitler, the July 20th 1944 complot. On 19-01-1945 Gretl and Eva arrived at the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, but they left for Berchtesgaden on 09-02-1945. Eva later returned alone. On 23 April she wrote her last letter to Gretl and included a request for her to destroy all her business papers, but to retain the personal correspondence or bury it. None of these documents have been found.
Gretl was pregnant and still at the Berghof when her husband was arrested for desertion on 28-04-1945 in an apartment in Berlin, having gone missing from the Führerbunker. Initially, out of consideration for Eva, Hitler considered ordering Fegelein assigned to the defence of Berlin. However, after learning of Himmler’s offer to surrender to the western Allies, Hitler ordered Himmler arrested and to shot Fegelein Hitler married Eva Braun in the early morning hours of 29-04-1945 On the afternoon of 30-04-1945 the couple committed suicide. On 05-05-1945 at Obersalzberg, Gretl gave birth to a daughter , whom she named Eva Barbara in memory of her sister.
Eva “Evi” Barbara committed suicide on 08-04-1971, age 25, by taking poison (E606, which is a toxic substance found in pestisides) after her boyfriend was killed in an automobile accident sometime in 1975.
Death and burial ground of Braun-Fegelein, Margarete Berta “Gretl”
Gretl Braun married Kurt Berlinghoff on 06-02-1954 in Munich. She died on 10-10-1987 in Steingaden, Bavaria, aged 72 Kurt Berlinghoff, born on 07-09-1907, died age 91 on 01-01-1999 in Munich. Gertl’s and Eva’s other sister Ilse Braun,
a anti Nazi died on 28-06-1979, age 70, she married twice, second time with Mr. Fucke-Michels and had no children and all were buried together on the Waldfriedhof, Neue Teil, New Section, in Munich. Alas the gravestone is meanwhile removed. My website friend Gerrit Kempas from Germany found the graveside and sent me the grave photo’s. with thank.