Eva Braun spent her short life trying to win Hitler’s cold little dictator heart. And she was willing to go to desperate lengths to get it.

The woman who loved Hitler

Eva Braun was born in Munich in 1912. By all accounts, she was an average girl with an average family. She didn’t excel in school but was an accomplished swimmer and skier. There was certainly never an indication that her dating life was anything other than normal.

But at age 17, Eva took a job working for Heinrich Hoffman, the official photographer for the Nazi party. It was here that she met Hitler– and decided to embark on her life-or-death pursuit of love.

An unhappy romance

Eva was never quite as important to Hitler as she wanted to be. For years, he pushed her to the side as he carried on a strange obsession with his niece, Geli. Even after they got together, she was kept out of the public eye and relegated to an unsatisfying life in the background.

You see, Hitler fancied himself a sex symbol and a lady’s man. When they met, Hitler had his eye on Dutch journalist, Inga Arvard. He was afraid that if his relationship were to become public, the women of Germany would abandon him.

To gain Hitler’s attention, Eva made two suicide attempts: one in 1932 and another in 1935. The first time, she shot herself in the chest with her father’s pistol. The second, she tried to overdose on sleeping pills. Her efforts were not fruitless. After her second go at killing herself, Hitler was so impressed that he bought her a house (plus a Mercedes, a chauffeur, and a maid). Hitler became a committed lover.

Victory in death?

Despite their newfound relationship status, Eva was still Hitler’s dirty little secret. In fact, very few people outside of his tight-knit inner circle knew anything about her. Flash forward to 1945: the Red Army is invading Germany and closing in fast. Braun swears loyalty to Hitler, saying she won’t let him die alone.

As the Russians fought their way into the neighborhood, Eva achieved her decade-long goal and became Hitler’s wife. The pair killed themselves less than 40-hours later — but Braun must have been pleased. She was leaving the world as Mrs. Eva Hitler.