The woman who called Hitler "Uncle Adolf" has died

Edda Göring with her mother and fatherEdda Göring with her mother and father (Image: Bettmann)

After all, nothing was too much for the daughter of Hermann Göring, First World War flying ace, creator of the Gestapo, commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe and No 2 to Adolf Hitler.

In the absence of any progeny from the Führer himself, the blonde-haired Edda, born in June 1938 – just over a year before the Second World War broke out – became a pet of the Nazi media.

Some described her as the Shirley Temple of the Third Reich but a reporter for Life probably put it best when he wrote that she was "a sort of Nazi crown princess".

Edda was just seven years old when the silver spoon was dashed from her mouth, however. After the Nazis' defeat her father – one of the prime architects of the Final Solution that led to the systematic murder of six million Jews – was captured, imprisoned, tried and sentenced to death at Nuremberg.

After being refused a request to be shot as a soldier rather than hanged like a common criminal, he dodged the noose by swallowing a cyanide capsule the night before his scheduled execution.

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All of a sudden Edda– who has died aged 80 – was just another member of the "Nazikinder", the children of the German high command condemned to spend the rest of their lives in the shadow of their fathers' atrocities.

While others, such as the sons of Nazi Party chief Martin Bormann and Aribert "Dr Death" Heim, expressed horror at their parents' crimes as grown-ups and Gõring's great niece, Bettina, even had herself sterilised to avoid "passing on the blood of a monster", Edda never admitted any shame about her roots.

She insisted that her father "did what he could to stop communism in Europe", and refused to accept his leading role in the Holocaust, saying: "Hermann Gõring was a great gentleman who made some mistakes."

The fact of Edda's death, on December 21 last year, has just been revealed and it seems controversy has attended her from conception to death.

Even when she was still in her mother's womb there were mischievous jokes about the upcoming "virgin birth".

Gõring had been shot in the groin during Hitler's failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 and many assumed that this had done so much damage that he would be unable to conceive children.

His first marriage – to a Swedish woman called Carin, who died in 1931 – was indeed childless and so there was widespread surprise when his second wife Emmy Sonneman, a German actress whose parents owned a chocolate factory in Hamburg, fell pregnant.

In 1940, the publisher Julius Streicher infuriated Göring when his anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer reported that Edda had been conceived through artificial insemination.

At the age of five months she was photographed at her baptism in Berlin stroking the cheek of her godfather... none other than Hitler himself, who had given her parents a christening gown embroidered with swastikas.

But Edda's most valuable christening present came from the city of Cologne: artist Lucas Cranach The Elder's 16th-century masterpiece Madonna With The Child.

It was laid at her cot by the city's Oburgermeister, the equivalent of a British Lord Mayor.

The painting was to become the subject of a lengthy legal tug-of-war between Edda and Cologne's city fathers

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