Bernhardine Nienau was born on April 20, 1926 in Dortmund, but was immediately nicknamed Bernile. In the spring of 1933 it was in the front rows of visitors to the Obersalzberg and captured Hitler’s attention. From a simple contact between a leader and a child, a “friendship” was born that lasted until a few years before that this child no longer lived on this planet. In the Federal Archives in Berlin at least 17 letters of this girl are kept and at least those that were written at an early age were presumably written with the help of her mother.

“Monk. September 27, 1936. Dear Uncle Brückner! Today I tell you a lot of things. During the holidays we have been on the Obersalzberg and have been twice to dear Uncle Hitler! […] Now I worked on the Christmas work. […] I am preparing a pair of knit socks for Uncle Hitler, I asked him if it is the same size as last year. He said yes! This year I managed to work wool for a fine shirt, for only the heel helps me Mutti. They are very hot; Uncle is always traveling so much, he shouldn’t be cold on his feet. […] Mutti also many greetings and many greetings from me too, Your Bernile! ”


Despite the fact that the Nazi Hierarchy around Hitler, knew that Bernile and her mother were of Jewish descent, Hitler refused to listen to the higher ranks, rather ordered that exceptions be made to the Nuremberg racial laws for the “half-breeds”.

The Reich minister, Martin Bormann, forbade both mother and daughter to continue appearing at the Berghof. Hitler who was very apprehensive of this indirectly, since his personal photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann, had complained of the prohibition of Bormann in order to continue publishing photos taken with the small girl Bernile. The Fuhrer said: “There are people who have a real talent to ruin all my joys …”. Bernile’s mother takes advantage of her influence towards the leader to obtain an adjustment of her late husband’s pension. Bernile died on October 5, 1943, at the age of 17 in the Schwabing hospital due to polio. Her tomb is located on the Westfriedhof in Munich.


Hitler called Bernile his “honey” stating that she was little and a joy and precious like a treasure.

Between 1936 and 1938 the Nienau were privileged guests at the Berghof.

Adolf and Bernile shared the same birthday on April 20th.

The photo was taken in 1933 together with the favorite flower of Hitler and the Nationalists that is Edelweiss. It has a handwritten dedication written by Hitler which reads: Der lieben und Braven Rosa Nienau, Adolf Hitler, München, den 16 / June 1933 (For my dear and good Rosa Nienau, Munich, June 16, 1933 Adolf Hitler) .