See Lot in the auction

Alon Fogelman

March 27, 2024


Hitler's Jewish girl

Hitler's sweetheart. It made him happy to see her in the Berghof until someone found out she wasn't pure Aryan." (Heinrich Hoffmann)

One of the most interesting stories related to Adolf Hitler's personal relationship with the Jews (and there were several such relationships) is the story of the girl Rosa Bernile Nienau [1926-1943] a German-Jewish girl, who was known as the "Jewish daughter of the Führer" due to her close friendship with Adolf Hitler that lasted from 1933 to 1938. Nienau's story actually begins on the day of the year she was born - April 20, 1926 - the same day in the year Hitler himself was born. Nienau was the daughter of Bernhard Nienau, a doctor (1887–1926), and Caroline, a nurse (1892–1962). Her father died shortly before she was born. Nienau, her mother Caroline and her maternal grandmother Ida (née Morgenstern) and Voit, moved to Munich around 1928. Wit, was a teacher of Jewish origin. So that in fact Bernil's grandmother on one side was Jewish.

The first meeting with Adolf Hitler

In the spring of 1933, probably on the initiative of her mother, the mother and daughter came to visit Obersalzberg. Amidst a stream of visitors, the mother managed to attract Hitler's attention. Apparently after she told him that he and her daughter were born on the same day, Hitler invited her to visit his place. The fact that Bernile's grandmother and mother were Jewish was known to Hitler in 1933. The daughter took a liking to the torturer, and he developed a "friendship" with the girl that lasted until 1938. Bernile would visit the Berghof from time to time. In the Federal Archives in Berlin there are 17 letters that the girl wrote to Hitler and his assistant Wilhelm Bruckner, probably with the help of her mother, between January 18, 1935 and November 12, 1939. In one of the letters sent to Bruckner in September 1936, she writes: "During the holidays we were on the Obersalzberg and I was allowed twice to visit the uncle Dear Hitler!... Mother also sends you greetings and lots of greetings and kisses from your Bernile!".

The end of the relationship when Hitler learned that Bernile is a Jewish

Hitler's unbelievable relationship with the Jewish girl during the years when he executed the plan to exterminate the Jewish people, came to an end when Martin Bormann - Adolf Hitler's unofficial deputy and personal secretary - learned that Bernile's blood was not completely German. From that day on, the girl and her mother were forbidden to appear in the Berghof. Hitler learned about this from his personal photographer Heinrich Hoffmann, when he told him that he was forbidden to continue publishing photographs of Hitler with his Jewish "daughter". In Hoffmann's book "Hitler as I saw him", he writes that Hitler said about Bormann: "There are people who have a real talent for spoiling my every joy." In Hoffmann's book there is a photograph of Hitler with Ninau and the caption: "Hitler's sweetheart. It made him happy to see her in the Berghof until someone found out that she was not a pure Aryan."

Around May 1938 the mother was officially asked to stop all contacts with the party leaders, and to stop visiting Berghof with her daughter. A year after Hitler's secretary ordered the severance of his relationship with the girl, World War II began. Rosa, like millions of Jews, did not survive the war. She died of polio at the age of 17 in a hospital in Munich, about a decade after her first meeting with the Nazi oppressor. Her grave is in the Western Cemetery of Munich.

Two photographs of Hitler with Nienau taken in the 1930s by Heinrich Hoffmann appeared in Dynasty auction 25 see here.

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