Traudl Junge was Adolf Hitler's private secretary, from Autumn 1942 until the collapse of the Nazi regime. She worked for him at the Wolfsschanze in Obersalzberg, on his private train and, finally, in his bunker in the besieged capital. It was Traudl Junge to whom Hitler dictated his final testament. In her first ever on-camera interview, 81-year-old Junge talks about her unique life. In the spring of 2001, Andre Heller succeeded in convincing Traudl Junge how valuable it is to record her unique memories. Fifty-six years after the end of the Second World War, an important eyewitness reveals her experiences to us. What she saw and heard turned her into an furious opponent of National Socialism; an opponent, moreover, who is still painfully aware and seems incapable of forgiving the young girl she once was--for her naivete, ignorance, and her liking for Hitler. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The official sites of this film claim that these interviews are Traudl Junge's first public appearance, that she "kept quiet for nearly 60 years". See more »
But one day I walked past the memorial plaque for Sophie Scholl on Franz-Joseph-Straße and there I realised that she was my age group and that she was executed the year I came to Hitler. That moment I felt that being young actually isn't an excuse and that maybe one could have learnt about things.
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The film consists entirely of headshots of Traudl Junge talking about her experiences as secretary to Adolph Hitler from 1941 to the end of World War II. The film is in German with English subtitles; at times the subtitles were hard to read because of a light background.
A slide at the beginning of the film said this was the first time Frau Junge had spoken about her experiences. I seem to recall she was interviewed in the 1970s television series, "The World at War."
The film starts slowly as Frau Junge tells about her background. Her parents were divorced when she was young and she was raised by her mother. She got the job working for Hitler through a family connection. Junge explains she was one of four secretaries who worked for Hitler.
When she starts talking about Hitler she notes that he never talked about Jews or the death camps. She claims not to have known of the Final Solution. I do not doubt Junge's veracity. I do worry this will give ammunition to Holocaust deniers. (How could the German government be perpetrating these murders and Hitler's secretary didn't know.)
The most interesting part of the film is Junge's recounting of life in the bunker at the end of the war. She said that they lost track of time and were, for example, eating at odd times. They had no idea of what was going on outside.
Hitller and the other officials in the bunker mad plans for suicide. Hitler had gotten some cyanide tablets from Himmler. After a rumor started that Himmler had opened negotiations with the allies, Hitler tested the cyanide on his beloved dog, Blondie. The dog died.
Junge was present at Hitler's marriage to Eva Braun. After the wedding, Hitler dictated his "political testament" to Junge. She said she had expected him to reveal what had gone wrong, instead, Hitler dictated his usual diatribes against the Jews and blamed the German people for being unworthy of his vision.
The film ends with Junge observing that Hitler was wrong about what would happen after the war.
Anyone at all interested in World War II should see this film.
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