London: Nazi chief Adolf Hitler himself killed his niece Angela (Geli) Raubal, with whom he had a sexual relationship, while Munich police manipulated evidence to make the murder look like a suicide.
Seventy-five years ago, this week, Munich police found Angela face down in a pool of blood, her blue nightdress drenched and torn from the single bullet from Hitler’s Walter that had pierced through her heart.
But chief police investigator Heinrich Muller, who later went on to become the Gestapo chief and the Bavarian Minister of Justice who became the Reich Minister of Justice when the Nazis rose to power in 1933, quickly closed the case without an autopsy.
Angela’s body was also quickly taken out of Germany and buried in Vienna. Contrary to the norm, she was given a Catholic burial. Suicide victims are not allowed a catholic burial in the church cemetery, as taking one’s own life is considered a sin.
The priest, Father Johann Pant, wrote to a French newspaper in 1939: "They pretended she committed suicide. From the fact I gave her a Christian burial you can draw your own conclusions".
Angela was normally a very bubbly girl and when she reportedly committed her suicide, she was in the middle of writing a cheerful letter to a friend.
According to The Mirror, the Nazi party leadership was extremely worried about Hitler incestuous relationship. By 1931, the Nazis were increasingly getting popular there were fair chances of the party making a breakthrough in the Germany political scene.
A scandal would have completely ruined Hitler’s and the Nazis chance of victory in the elections.
On September 18, 1931, Hitler was due to leave Munich, where the Nazis had their headquarters, for a rally in Hamburg.
Neighbours claimed to have heard Geli shouting to Hitler from their second-floor balcony as he was getting into his car.
Hitler shouted back: "No. For the last time, no." Geli shut herself away in her bedroom.
Next morning servants broke open the door and found her body.
It is not known what they found or what they did before they called the police, but they settled on the story that Angela had committed suicide because she was worried her voice was not good enough to be a singer.
Eighteen months later when the Nazis came to power, they were able to doctor police records to fit the story:
"Detectives found Geli in a blue nightdress, lying face-down on the floor. Her arm was stretched towards
Hitler's Walther pistol on the couch. She had bled from a bullet hole over the heart, which had pierced her lung".
Hitler said he was 100 miles away in Nuremburg when he heard the news of Angela’s death, but at least one police investigator believed he was in the flat when the fatal shot was fired.
He wanted to charge Hitler with Angela’s death but was overruled by pro-Nazi officials.
Fritz Gerlich, a German journalist, claimed that instead of leaving that Friday, Hitler had dined with Angela in a restaurant and that Hitler, who seldom touched alcohol, drank beer.
When they went back to the apartment, there was a row and he shot her.
From the rigor mortis, police doctors placed the time of her death as the previous evening, though there was no inquest.
Also surprising was the fact that the bullet had entered above the heart and lodged in her lower back at hip level, meaning the gun had to be pointing downwards and the hand holding it higher than her heart - a strange way to commit suicide.
This apart, none of Hitler's servants admitted hearing a shot but they soon began to contradict themselves. Three different people claimed to have broken down Angela’s door.
According to the paper, the anti-Nazi Munchener Post had at that time reported that Angela’s nose had been broken and there were other injuries on her body as well.