LONDON – Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s wife, Eva Braun, may have been of Jewish descent, according to a DNA analysis carried out for a British television documentary.
The anti-Semitic German leader married his long-term lover shortly before they committed suicide in a Berlin bunker in 1945.
The program, set to be screened by Britain’s independent Channel 4 on Wednesday, said hair samples show Braun may have had Jewish ancestry herself.
Scientists commissioned by the Dead Famous DNA program tested hair that is said to have come from a brush, found at Hitler’s mountain retreat, that was used by Braun.
In the DNA taken from the hair, they found a sequence passed down through the maternal line — haplogroup N1b1 — that is “strongly associated” with Ashkenazi Jews.
Ashkenazi Jews dispersed into Central and Eastern Europe in the early Middle Ages, and some converted to Catholicism in Germany in the 19th century.
“This is a thought-provoking outcome — I never dreamt that I would find such a potentially extraordinary and profound result,” presenter Mark Evans said.
The hairs came from a monogrammed hairbrush found at Hitler’s Bavarian residence by American army intelligence officer Paul Baer, a U.S. 7th Army captain, who had privileged access to the property and took a number of items from Braun’s private apartment.
Photographs taken at Berghof in 1945 show him with the hairbrush.