This woman is, by far, one of the most recognizable on this list. Best known as Hitler’s secret girlfriend, Eva Braun also had an illustrious background. She trained as a photographer and as an occasional model/lab assistant at the photography studio of Heinrich Hoffman. It was here, aged seventeen, that she first met Hitler – twenty-three years her senior. They did not start meeting regularly until two years later. During their early relationship, Eva Braun attempted suicide twice. The first attempt, in August 1932, saw Eva shoot herself in the chest with her father’s pistol. The second, in May 1935, involved an abundance of sleeping pills.
Hitler treated her to a luxurious life. Though it may not have necessarily been as public as she would have liked, he did give her a lot of what she wanted materially. The couple spent a lot of time in ‘The Berghof’, Hitler’s home in the Obersalzberg of the Bavarian Alps. When the Second World War began, Eva sought safety here, and the place became one of the most well-known headquarters that Hitler had during the War.
Though today many conceive of Eva as Adolf Hitler’s part-time mistress, she was in fact married to the notorious Nazi leader for around forty hours. Why only forty hours? Well, their marriage took place within the Führerbunker, an air-raid shelter located in Berlin, Germany on the 29th of April 1945. “So what”? I hear you ask. Less than two days later, after saying farewell to friends and staff, the pair committed suicide together. Eva is believed to have bitten into a capsule of cyanide while her lover, Hitler, died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
Part of the misconception surrounding their relationship stems from the hidden nature of it. In general, she was kept away from the limelight. Rumour has it this was because Hitler felt being single made him more likeable and increased his popularity among German women; a demographic he was keen to keep happy. Consequently, despite being a key icon in Hitler’s inner circle, Eva did not even attend public events with him until mid-1944, less than one year before her death. Their relationship was so secret in fact, that the German public only became aware of it after their deaths.