On a Possessive Uncle

Maria adored her father. As a little girl, the pair were inseparable. She was definitely a daddy‘s girl. Sadly, Maria‘s dad died when she was very young, and her mother, who been a housewife, had to find work outside the home to support the two of them.

As often happens with close families, Maria‘s uncle agreed to have his sister and his niece come live with him and the sister act as a sort of housekeeper because he was a bachelor. By that time, Maria was a teenager, and the uncle agreed to help her get into a good school in the town where he lived.

Everything seem to be good for all involved—but only for a short time. Soon, Maria‘s uncle began to take an unusual interest in her activities. He began to closely scrutinize her friends, questioning where she was going, and becoming unusually overprotective. As Maria got older, she went behind her uncle’s back and dated one of the employees who worked for her uncle. The uncle fired the young man and forbade Maria from ever seeing the young man again. Maria was heartbroken.

By the time she was in her early 20s, Maria was practically a prisoner in her uncle’s house. The gossip was that he was secretly in love with her, obsessed with her every move, and forcing her only interactions to be with her mother or with him.

Well, it’s fairly obvious what the end result of the situation would be. When she was 23, Maria took her uncle’s pistol and shot herself. Later family gossip said that the uncle himself killed her or that Maria was pregnant by him and preferred to end her life rather than live and bear his child. We will never know for sure. The uncle was powerful enough to have the whole situation swept under the rug and a very private police investigation ruled it a suicide beyond a shadow of a doubt. Interestingly, the uncle didn’t even show up to attend Maria’s small funeral.

In later life, Adolf Hitler would confess to close friends that his niece Maria “Geli” Raubal was the only woman he ever truly loved.

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