Did Adolf Hitler Have Girlfriend

Adolf Hitler ranks among the most reviled figures of all time, but despite the abhorrent acts of violence on his conscience, very little is known about his personal life including, perhaps more curiously, about his relationship life. From the surviving accounts and testimonies of those who knew him, what can be ascertained is that Hitler did have a girlfriend at one time – his half-niece, Geli Raubal.

Raubal, born in 1908 to Hitler’s half-sister Angelika (Angela) Raubal and her partner Leo Raubal, was 14 years the Führer’s junior and initially his housekeeper. Hitler had reservations about the relationship between Geli and his driver, Emma Ronge – who was also his masseur and chauffeur – and felt he had to ‘look after her’. Hitler already felt an irresponsible duty towards his older half-sister Angela, and this extended to Geli when she moved in with him.

Evidence suggests that for a period of about five years, between about the age of 19 and her tragic death at 23, Raubal and Hitler were involved in a passionate, if platonic, relationship. Rumours later circulated that their relationship was incestuous but there is no solid evidence to suggest this was the case.

Hitler himself have mentioned this special relationship when recalling his last years in Landesberg Prison where he was detained for a failed ‘beerhall putsch’ in 1923. In Mein Kampf, he wrote: “all my thoughts whirled around my beloved and only true mistress — my freedom”. The phrase “true mistress” was almost certainly a reference to Geli.

Geli Raubal was found dead in Hitler’s flat in 1931 – the official cause of her death was suicide due to a revolver wound in the neck. There have been several theories which propose that Hitler somehow had a hand in her murder, though none of them have been proven true. In her last moments, Raubal was packing her suitcase, having made arrangements to visit her mother in Hanover that weekend. What is known is that Hitler was devastated after her murder. Rumours remain of a suicide pact gone wrong, or murder due to a love triangle between Hitler, Geli Raubal and a third party, even a man.

Whatever the truth may be, it is clear that Hitler and his half-niece had a very real and complex relationship at one time. Their entanglement however has long been obscured by the deluge of attendant atrocities and manipulations effected by the later wartime Führer.

Social Acceptance

Social acceptance for the couple wasn’t just difficult but almost non-existent within Hitler’s increasingly powerful Nazi party, with some of the party’s members claiming it to be a ‘relapse’ on Hitler’s part from the ‘Aryan’ ideals and racial hierarchy of National Socialism. Miss Raubal’s surname, Raubal, was in fact Jewish, and this had surely featured in all the talk concerning her relationship with Hitler. With her, Hitler had fallen from a lofty social status within the Nazi Party, to the status of ‘commoner’. It is theorised that this pressure was ultimately too much for Hitler to bear.

Hitler’s confidants and inner circle were divided; some stayed loyal and deeply supportive of their leader’s relationship, while some felt it to be an unacceptable scandal. Either way, any public expression was untenable. The year was 1930, and with Hitler’s power slowly increasing and further advancing into the public eye, it was expedient to keep the focus on his alleged celibacy, sterility and selfless service to the German people and his direct paradox to the decadence of the Weimar Republic.

It had been accepted by Hitler’s inner circle that to not publicly acknowledge the relationship between Hitler and Geli Raubal was for the best. All evidence of the relationship was concealed. Even Hitler’s niece, Angella, later claimed to have little to no knowledge of Hitler’s relationship with her mother, Geli.

Several photos of the couple have surfaced, and tell a story of a close bond. There are glimpses of mutual love, and acceptance. It is thought Geli provided the tenderness and adoration Hitler was yearning inside, something his supremacist ideology and unyielding determination silenced.

Rise in Power

Hitler’s rise to power increasingly began to dominate his life, becoming the lead factor in all his decisions. Moving to the spotlight in 1933, and subsequently becoming the Nazi Prime Minister and later appointing himself Chancellor, his relationship with Geli was slowly digressed to the background.

Evidence suggests that by 1933 and Hitler’s rise to power, the couple’s relationship barely existed. After months of Hitler’s increasing preoccupation with his political career, his supporting inner circle, his political associates, and his party, the couple had grown estranged, finally succumbing to the fact that their relationship was no longer feasible.

It is plausible that Hitler was still very fond of Geli for years to come, ultimately showing in the way he provided for her accommodation, clothing and other luxury items. It has been claimed by some of those close to Hitler that he was haunted by his memories of Geli and that it often disturbed his thought process.

Hitler had to put the image of the Führer, the leader, before all else. His commitment to Germany, and refusal of anything to stand in the way of his plans. This itself could have potentially been one of the main causes of the demise of his relationship with Geli Raubal.

Geli’s Legacy

Whilst very little is known of Geli’s life – and mostly through secondary sources once removed decades later – what we can certainly tell is that her relationship with Adolf Hitler was a very real, albeit turbulent and ultimately tragic one. She has left behind a mystery and indeed a legacy which will unfortunately never be adequately explained.

Geli’s death did more for her own public image than her life ever did. Because her death was classified as a suicide, it was seen as an unfortunate and tragic element of Hitler’s life. In some sense, it rather romanticized the story. This conflict between the romantic narrative and the daily reality of her life is how Geli Raubal’s legacy has been preserved.

The vast majority of literature on Hitler’s personal life concludes that Raubal and Hitler’s relationship never involved sexual contact and was limited to a platonic level. As such, the evidence of their relationship is a piece of history for which we will never have conclusive answers.

Memorials and Evaluative Context

Despite its sensationalized presentation in popular culture, the circumstances surrounding Raubal’s death have been worked into a wider meta-narrative regarding the wider political situation of the time. It is primarily used to provide an evaluative context for Hitler’s political choices and public image.

Alongside this, the image of Geli Raubal’s death has been at certain points memorialised and employed as a means of critically interrogating the actions of Adolf Hitler and his associates. This has been most famously evidenced in the Ernst Lubitsch classic ‘The Fuehrer’ in which the character of Captain Weidling is seen ruminating on Raubal’s death, expressing his scorn and even providing a brief outline of the circumstances surrounding it.

This serves to explain the wider acceptance of Raubal’s death as an accepted juxtaposition of her truncated life, with her death being seen in a largely critical manner. Now, few things exist in Germany that directly memorialise Raubal, however in the hills of Unterjoch a roadside cross can be found which does pay token obeisance to her unfortunate female form.


From the limited evidence available, it is clear that Raubal and Hitler had known each other for several years, with both parties feeling a passionate, although platonic, connection. Cultural and political pressures eventually became too great, and the couple’s relationship was eventually dissolved. Despite the sensationalised or appropriated nature of their relationship, it is reasonable to assume it existed at one point, however brief or complex it may have been.

As the notion of Hitler the heartless monster greatly shapes society’s understanding of him, the testimony of those who knew him personally in this intimate context is a rare insight into the private world of the Nazi Party. Whether a calculated attempt to burnish his public reputation or a genuine bond, it is a poignant footnote in the history of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power.

Elizabeth Baker is an experienced writer and historian with a focus on topics related to famous world dictators. She has over 10 years of experience researching, writing, and editing history books and articles. Elizabeth is passionate about uncovering lost stories from the past and sharing interesting facts about some of the most notorious dictators in history. In her writing, she emphasizes how dictators can still affect modern-day politics and society. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington where she continues to write and research for her latest projects.

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