Schirach-Hoffmann, Henriëtte, born 02-02-1913 in Munich, was the daughter of Hitler’s personal photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann, Henriette Hoffman 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. Eva Braun (see parents Braun) later Mrs Hitler was working in the shop of Hoffmann with Henriëtte and met Adolf Hitler, in 1929.
Later that year, on 31-03-1932, she 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 Julius Röhm. The couple got four children, three sons, Klaus, Robert und Richard and one daughter Angelika Benedikta. Richard has 1080 letters from his father from the Spandau prison. She also became grandmother of Ariadne von Schirach . a German author and philosopher and daughter of the writer Richard von Schirach. Henriette identified herself with the goals of her husband, who held sole control over the educational system of the German Reich. He was appointed by Hitler to the Gauleiter and Reich Governor in Vienna and moved with his family to the prestigious Vienna Hofburg . Through Henriette, Baldur caught the attention of the Nazi elite. Von Schirach quickly moved up the ranks, and his picture as the loyal German, was widely dispersed around Germany. They became regular guests at the Berghof in Berchtesgaden and Henriette was good friends with another regular visitor Annie Ondra, married Max Schmeling
Baldur was ultimately appointed Gauleiter, governor, of Vienna. He was both an anti-Semite and anti Christian. Over the next few years von Schirach was responsible for sending Jews from Vienna to Nazi concentration camps in occupied Poland. During his tenure 65.000 Jews were deported from Vienna to Poland, and in a speech on 15-09-1942 he mentioned their deportation as a “contribution to European Culture.”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 von Schirach 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. Others who spoke out, and not directly to Hitler, suffered much worse fates.
Baldur von Schirach, the model Aryan who oversaw the deportation of 180.000 Viennese Jews as Governor lost all influence with the party. He also began to plead for better treatment of the Jews. Henriette von Schirach was imprisoned, with her children in a women’s camp, Rum near Insbrück on 24-12-1945, and later she was convicted of being an “Altparteigenossin” or “old party member.”
She was released in the spring of 1946 and became involved with Oberstleutnant Peter Jacob of the 2nd Gebirgsjäger Regiment 143, belonging to the 6th Gebirgs-Division. Eugen Karl “Peter” Jacob was from 1947 the ex husband of the film maker Leni Riefenstahl. Baldur von Schirach was brought before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. He was one of two men to publicly denounce Hitler, the other was Albert Speer
. Von Schirach claimed he had no knowledge of the death camps. Baldur von Schirach got 20 years in prison after the Nuremberg processes and the couple divorced in 1950, because of another man in her life, but still tried to get Baldur free from prison, without result. Baldur von Schirach died, age 66, on 08-08-1974, lonely and desolated in Kröv.
Death and burial ground of Schirach-Hoffmann, Henriëtte “Henny” von.