Hitler's maid on living with the Fuhrer: He loved midnight cake, lie-ins and tea from porcelain china cups
The former Nazi leader's maid opens about his unlikely habits
There aren’t many men who have been discussed or loathed as much as Adolf Hitler.
However, despite being written about by countless historians, his personal life is still shrouded in mystery. He kept his relationship with his long-term partner and eventual wife, Eva Braun, a secret from the German public up until they both commit suicide (ahead of the ending of the Second World War) – as part of his aim to uphold an image of a strong chaste hero.
He thought himself as attractive to the opposite sex and reportedly used his single status as a way of elevating his political standing – apparently, marriage would have decreased his appeal.
Little is known about their lives together - until now, coincidentally, as Israel celebrates its annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. One of Hitler’s maids, Elisabeth Kalhammer, has broken her silence on working for the Fuhrer – divulging some surprising details about his character and tastes. The 81-year-old worked at his mountain retreat in Bavaria, called Berghof, which he shared with Braun.
She landed the role after applying for an advert in the paper in 1943. She didn’t know that her boss would be Hitler, and, unsurprisingly, her mother advised her against accepting the post. Her first day involved passing through three SS guard posts, before entering her new place of employment.
“I felt queasy when I arrived,” Kalhammer told the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper in an exclusive first interview. “I was allowed to think but not to speak [in his presence].”
Although the then teenager wasn’t permitted to communicate with Hitler, she did gain an insight into his personality. Despite giving the impression that he kept to a strict diet (he had problems with his spleen), Hitler had a sweet tooth.
In fact, staff were asked to leave a special cake for him before he went to bed, which he then ate while the household slept. A ‘Fuhrer Cake’ – an apple cake strewn with nuts and raisins – had to be baked each day and left out every night. He was also partial to chocolate biscuits and scones with tea, which he would drink from a Nymphenburg porcelain cup. Kalhammer once broke one of the cups and lost several of her days off.
He was also a film-lover and had his own personal cinema installed in the house. He was apparently “spellbound” by Austrian-German singer, dancer and actress Marika Roekk. Staff were permitted to watch propaganda films.
He was also keen on frequent lie-ins, and would often not rise until 2pm.
Braun ran the household and treated the staff well. Friends often came to visit her and she was a fan of fashion fan, and always looked “elegant”.
“She was our best friend,” said Kalhammer. “She was always good to me. She behaved like the lady of the house, even though she was not married. She designed our uniforms. For Christmas she presented me with wool, to knit socks for the men on the front.”
The Berghof was a sanctuary for Hitler up until the end of the war, until it was bombed and evacuated in an air raid in April 1945.
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...
£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...