The Incredible Story Behind This Photo of Adolf Hitler and a Jewish Girl
The Incredible Story Behind This Photo of Adolf Hitler and a Jewish Girl
The Incredible Story Behind This Photo of Adolf Hitler and a Jewish Girl
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The Incredible Story Behind This Photo of Adolf Hitler and a Jewish Girl

By Nancy Youm

The photo is a testament to the friendship between the Nazi leader and a Jewish girl in the early 1930s.

The photo tells a little-known story about Adolf Hitler. Rosa Bernile Nienau, a 6-year-old Jewish girl, met the dictator in Bavaria in 1933. At the time, it was common to see pictures of Hitler in the company of children: they were Nazi propaganda tool aimed at winning the sympathy of the people by showing the more human side of the leader.

Born the same day as the dictator

Bernile had been chosen to pose with the dictator in June 1933, probably because she was born on the same day as him. The girl, who had celebrated her sixth birthday a few weeks earlier, traveled to the Bavarian Alps, to the of the German head of state's renowned 'eagle's nest' (where he had his second home, as well as several headquarters), to spend quality time with him.

However, shortly before this reception, Adolf Hitler's entourage found out that Bernile's grandmother was Jewish. Surprisingly, that didn't seem to be an issue for the dictator, who befriended the girl anyway, and even offered her a signed copy of the photo, dated June 16, 1933. Between 1935 and 1938, Bernile wrote Adolf Hitler 17 times, until eventually, the dictator's secretary, Martin Bormann, asked her to stop.

'Hitler was furious'

A representative of the auction house, Alexander Historical Auctions, who just sold the photograph for a staggering $11,520, says:

Hitler was furious with those who had denounced his young friend.

The dictator reportedly responded by saying:

There are some people who have a positive genius for spoiling all my little pleasures.

Andreas Kornfeld, vice president of sales at the auction house, says:

It's probably one of the most unique items I've seen in my time with the auction house. Being German, I'd never heard the story, and I've seen the picture many times, but it would never have occurred to me the story behind the picture, which is mind blowing.

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