Bernhardine Nienau, Chosen by Hitler

For several years before the war, Hitler entertained little Bernile at the Berghof. When her Jewish ancestry was uncovered, he unfriended her. Reluctantly.

Occasionally when Hitler was in Obersalzberg, he invited a child from the crowd of onlookers for tea and cakes at the Berghof.

Bernhardine – also known as Little Bernile, or Bernelli – was invited several times, and Hitler’s photographer Heinrich Hoffmann took many photographs of them together over a six-year period. Some of these photos were sold as picture postcards.

When Hitler’s aide Martin Bormann discovered that Bernile’s grandmother was Jewish, he banned the girl and her mother from the mountain retreat. Hitler never saw his “little friend” again.

But he complained to Hoffmann that “some people have a positive genius for spoiling all my little pleasures,” suggesting that he would have been happy to continue the relationship despite Bernile’s Jewish ancestry.

Born on April 20, 1926 (same birthday as the German leader, who was born in 1889), Bernhardine died in 1943 of natural causes.

See also: Hessy Taft.

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