Did Eva Braun Say She ‘Hated Seeing Children Separated from Their Parents’ But Not to Blame Hitler?

A satirical quote attempting to draw a comparison between Melania Trump and Adolf Hitler's mistress was mistaken for real by some readers.

Claim

Eva Braun, Adolf Hitler's mistress turned wife, said that she hated seeing children separated from their parents but that people shouldn't blame the Führer.

Rating

Origin

In June 2018, as outrage erupted over the White House’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy which resulted in children being separated from their parents along the southern border of the United States, a spokesperson relayed a purported message from Melania Trump:

“Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform,” her communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told CNN on Sunday. “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”

Shortly after this statement was released, an eerily similar quote from Eva Braun — Adolf Hitler’s longtime mistress, and briefly his wife — appeared online

“I hate to see children separated from their parents like this, but we can hardly blame Adolf,” Eva Braun, 1939. 

The Daily Edge Twitter account (not to be confused with the legitimate Irish news publication of the same name) posts political news and commentary, but it is also known for sharing “liberal humor” in order “to support #TheResistance.”

This Eva Braun quote appears to fall into the category of “satire.” We found no record of Eva Braun uttering these words in 1939 or at any other time; it appears that this fake Braun quote was invented in response to Melania Trump’s statement. 

The quote also doesn’t seem to fit within Braun’s worldview. Although she was not an official member of the Nazi Party, Braun was loyal to Hitler. Heike G. Görtemaker, a German historian and author of the biography Eva Braun: Life with Hitlersaid that Braun was an enthusiastic accessory to Hitler’s philosophy:

Braun became part of the Nazi propaganda machinery. She served not just as decoration; she took pictures and films portraying Hitler at his Berghof retreat as a likeable caring person and family man, fond of children. But he wasn’t a family man. And she sold these so-called private pictures to Heinrich Hoffmann, and in doing so earned a lot of money — she got 20,000 marks for one of her [home] movies. She was very rich.

[…]

Yes. It is true that Braun did not belong to the [Nazi Party]. But that fact does not mean that she rejected the Nazi state or was opposed to it in any way. On the contrary, her life, like that of everyone else around Hitler, was shaped by his worldview — by his charisma and his power.

[…]

It cannot be verified that she knew about the Holocaust, but she certainly was informed about the persecution of Jews and the deprivation of their rights. It is also clear that she supported this policy. Despite the fact that she did not appear in public, she was not a passive bystander.

Görtemaker also told the Observer that Braun was far more than a bit player or a victim:

“Eva Braun features in films, plays, novels and historical memoirs,” Görtemaker told the Observer, “but is always portrayed as the dumb blonde who had the misfortune to fall in love with a devil, and this is an image that needs to be ­corrected. She was capricious, an uncompromising advocate of unconditional loyalty towards the dictator who went so far as to die with him, and he adored her.”

  • Bennett, Kate.   “Melania Trump ‘Hates to See’ Children Separated From Their Families at Borders.”
        CNN.   18 June 2018.

  • Connolly, Kate.   “Nazi loyalist and Adolf Hitler’s Devoted Aide: The True Story of Eva Braun.”
        The Guardian.   13 February 2010.

  • Ernsberger, Richard.   “Why Eva Braun Deserves No Sympathy: Conversation with Heike Görtemaker.”
        Historynet.com.   30 January 2012.

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