New York Post:
In October 1943, Adolf Hitler’s private secretary Martin Bormann fell head over heels with a woman he flirted with at a ball.
The woman, Manja Behrens, was a dental assistant turned actress, who’d appeared in a couple movies. Although Bormann was married, he pursued Behrens relentlessly until she finally gave in.
A few months later, Bormann was forced to confess to his wife, Gerda, that he’d fallen “madly in love” with his mistress. Gerda, instead of being stung, had a novel solution. Why not establish a polygamous household together?
“One year [Manja] has a child, and the next year I do, so that you will always have a wife that is mobile,” Gerda gushed to her husband. “We’ll put all the children together in a house on a lake.”
She went so far as to suggest a contract be drawn up, granting the mistress the same rights as the lawful wife. Gerda even thought a law should be passed in Germany “which would entitle healthy, valuable men to have two wives.”
For Bormann, a man with an “unrestrained libido” that he satisfied “without regard to social convention,” this was a perfectly acceptable idea.
But the threesome didn’t last long. Manja struggled with the arrangement and left, choosing instead to work 15-hour shifts at an armaments factory.
Bormann’s tale is just one of the many bizarre romantic Nazi relationships detailed in “Nazi Wives: The Women at the Top of Hitler’s Germany” (St. Martin’s Press) by British historian James Wyllie, out Nov. 3.
“I think rightly so historians have been focused on what their husbands were up to,” Wyllie told The Post. But, “the wives were very interesting.”
Take Ilse Hess, the wife of Rudolf Hess, deputy fuhrer. She was the daughter of a respected doctor who was killed during WWI. While still a schoolgirl, she first met the then-26-year-old Hess when they were both staying at the same hostel.
Ilse was smitten and pursued him, but Hess resisted. He was still a virgin and had a tortured relationship with his body and desires, at times craving a “monk-like existence.”
The couple dated for several years during which Hess “showed absolutely no interest in sex,” the author writes. The two were bound by a shared love of classic German culture and poetry.
The article continues with the love interests of Goebbels, Borman & and Himmler …