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Albert Speer, one of Hitler’s confidants, wrote that Eva Braun would prove “a great disappointment to historians”.

She may disappoint historians, but the woman who was Frau Hitler for just 24 hours, before engaging in a joint suicide pact in 1945, has proved an enduring fascination for other writers.

Eva Braun met Hitler when she was a 17-year-old, convent-educated shop-girl working for Hitler’s official photographer, and he was a 40‑year-old aspiring politician.

He had tickets to the opera, she accepted, and so began a tortured 12-year relationship that involved several suicide attempts and led Hitler’s chauffeur, Eric Kempa, to label her “the unhappiest woman in Germany”.

Europe has been a place of battles and political intrigue for centuries.

As we approach a vote on the UK's membership of the European Union, we look at what 50 writers, actors, historians, artists and comedians have said about Europe and its nations.

While Hitler’s maid, Pauline Kohler, wrote that “Hitler is not strongly sexed”, Eva Braun’s correspondence reveals nothing unusual – certainly not along the lines of fully clothed sex – except that once war had broken out, Hitler was unable to get interested.

She used to show her friends a 1938 photograph of Neville Chamberlain on a sofa in Hitler’s Munich flat, saying: “If only he knew what goings-on that sofa has seen!

Yet inevitably it is their sex life that has filled tomes, because in sex, we believe, a person’s deepest essence is revealed.” It would be surprising, as Amis says, that such a warped psychology as Hitler’s could ever be “a considerate and energetic lover”.Yet, once I began to write about the Nazi wives, I realised that the ability of mass murderers to compartmentalise their lives is one of their most disturbing aspects.Rumours of homosexuality had dogged Hitler since the early Twenties, repeated in Munich newspapers and bolstered by his close relationship with Ernst Röhm, the homosexual head of the Sturmabteilung, the Nazi Party militia.There is good reason to believe that he did have repressed homosexual tendencies, yet the dictator’s interest in women is also well-attested.In the latest attempt to understand the mentality that attracted an ordinary young woman to the megalomaniac dictator, Martin Amis, in promoting his novel The Zone of Interest, has volunteered the idea that the pair had sex without removing their clothes.

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