Ilse Braun (1909 – 1979) was one of two sisters of Eva Braun. Born in Munich, Ilse was the oldest daughter of school teacher Friedrich "Fritz" Braun and seamstress Franziska "Fanny" Kronberger. She became the sister-in-law of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler following his marriage to Eva on 29 April 1945, less than 48 hours before the couple committed suicide together on 30 April 1945.
Braun moved out of her parents' home in 1929 and took a position as an assistant to Dr. Martin Levy Marx, a Jewish otolaryngologist and surgeon. She was provided with a room at the office of her employer, and left his employ only when he made preparations to emigrate to the United States in 1937 in the face of persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. Non-Aryan doctors had been excluded from payments under the national health insurance plan in April 1933, and the passing of the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour in 1937 meant he and Braun risked arrest on charges of "defiling the race". Marx's license to practice medicine was revoked in 1938 and he was expatriated in April 1939. His doctorate was revoked in October 1939; he had already emigrated to the United States by then. Braun stated after the war that she and Eva had tried unsuccessfully to intercede on his behalf.
Eva overdosed on sleeping pills on 28 May 1935 in a suicide attempt.[a] Ilse discovered her that night, gave first aid, and called a doctor. Ilse removed the relevant pages from Eva's diary to protect Eva's relationship with Hitler; the diary indicated that he had failed to make adequate time for Eva. This was Braun's second suicide attempt—she had shot herself in August 1932.
Braun began working in the Berlin office of Albert Speer on 15 March 1937. Speer, an architect, had just been appointed General Building Inspector for the Reich Capital. Braun was one of his first employees. She left Speer's employ and married a man named Höchstetter in October that same year. Braun and Höchstetter divorced after three years of marriage. After graduating from a journalism programme, Braun began work as an editor at Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, a conservative newspaper. She remarried in 1941 to a man named Fucke-Michels, and moved to Breslau, where she was employed by the Schlesische Zeitung.
Braun had no involvement in politics. Unlike her sisters Eva and Gretl, she was not a member of Hitler's inner circle or a regular visitor to the Berghof in Bavaria, though she fled there at the end of the war. She loved to dance, and became a European amateur champion in ballroom dancing. Braun lived with her mother in the family home in Ruhpolding in Upper Bavaria after her father's death in 1964. She died of cancer in Munich in 1979, and is buried there, next to her niece, Eva Fegelein (daughter of Gretl Braun). She had no children.
- It is possible that this suicide attempt never happened; see Goeschel 2009, p. 150.
- Beevor, Antony (2002). Berlin: The Downfall 1945. Viking-Penguin Books. ISBN 0-670-88695-5.
- Brouwers, Jeroen (1995). Adolf & Eva & de dood. Amsterdam: Arbeiderspers. ISBN 90-295-0768-3.
- Goeschel, Christian (2009). Suicide in Nazi Germany. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-953256-7.
- Görtemaker, Heike B. (2011). Eva Braun: Life with Hitler. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-307-59582-9.
- Gun, Nerin E. (1974). Hitler y Eva Braun, un amor maldito (in Spanish). Barcelona: Editorial Bruguera. ISBN 84-02-03806-9.
- Lambert, Angela (2006). The Lost Life of Eva Braun. London: Century. ISBN 1-84413-599-3.