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The Sweetheart!

Two photographs of a girl with a middle-aged man… both of them are smiling, as if they make each other happy. People will be surprised to see those images for a second time. The middle-aged man is Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the Nazi forces… the cruel and authoritarian ruler. Did that ruthless person smile like this?
There’s a lot more surprises waiting for the people! The girl, standing next to Hitler, is Jewish! Yes! Rosa Bernhardine Nienau (6) – called Bernile – was a German girl who became known as ‘the Führer’s sweetheart’ because of her close friendship with Hitler that lasted from 1933 to 1938. The friendship between a Jewish girl and the murder of six million Jews has recently been published (for the first time).


A photograph of Adolf Hitler together with Rosa Bernile Nienau, the Jewish girl, taken at Hitler’s home, the Berghof, in the Bavarian Alps, April 20, 1932. (Alexander Historical Auctions)

Hitler’s official photographer Heinrich Hoffmann clicked the two images at the Führer’s residence in the Bavarian Alps on April 20, 1933. Later, the Nazi leader personally signed the photo, in dark blue ink, writing: “The dear and considerate Rosa Nienau, Adolf Hitler Munich, the 16th June 1933.” The photograph of Hitler, embracing the little Jewish girl, was sold by Alexander Historical Auctions based in Chesapeake City, Maryland, US for USD 11,520 on November 13, 2018.
According to the German historians, Hitler used to pose for photographs with children mainly for propaganda purposes. However, they admit that his friendship with Bernile was special because Hitler was well aware of the girl’s Jewish heritage. Surprisingly, he decided to ignore it and that’s the significance of the two images.


Rosa Bernhardine with the Führer

Meanwhile, auctioneer Bill Panagopulos has revealed how the two persons of different age group and nature developed a friendship! Thousands of people gathered near the Führer’s residence in the Bavarian Alps on April 20, 1933 to wish their beloved leader on his 44th birthday. One of them was Bernile, who arrived there with her mother Karoline (recently widowed at the time). The Nazi supremo greeted her with a warm hug after he came to know that the little girl shared her birthday with him! The Führer also invited the mother-daughter duo inside his residence for strawberries and cream, and posed for photographs. Later, Hitler himself inscribed one of the photos with the words “The dear and (considerate?) Rosa Nienau” and delivered it to the child’s mother in Munich.


Not in Hitler’s hit-list!

Hitler had been in touch with Bernile for five years (from 1933 to 1938), as the girl and her mother visited the Führer several times. She also sent a number of letters to the man she came to refer to as ‘Uncle Hitler’. However, the Führer’s Private Secretary Martin Bormann advised him to maintain a distance with the Jewish girl in 1939. After considering the contemporary political scenario in Germany, Hitler accepted Bormann’s advice and ordered Bernile and her mother not to visit him again!
The Nazis didn’t kill the girl and her mother. It is reported that Bernile passed away on October 5, 1949 at the age of 17 of spinal polio in Schwabing Hospital.

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