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Blind Spot Hitlers Secretary (2002)

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That can really only happen...
...when a tyrannical system is so well-established...
...that it can dominate the entire fabric of society.
And the Germans are good at organizing.
People's consciences too?
Yes. You see, that's an area...
...where Hitler did a huge amount of harm.
He actually tried to manipulate the consciences of the German people.
He convinced them...
...they had a task to do, they had to exterminate the Jews, because...
...the Jews caused all our problems. It wasn't Hitler's own idea...
...it had been put forward much earlier.
That they had to make a sacrifice.
And I can remember a writer...
...she interviewed a soldier who had been stationed...
...in a concentration camp.
He was a guard, and she asked him:
"Didn't you feel any pity at all...
...for the people you treated so badly there?"
And he replied, "Yes, I certainly did feel pity for them...
...but I had to overcome it.
That was a sacrifice I had to make for the greater cause."
And that's what happened to conscience.
After all, Hitler always used to say:
"You don't have to worry, any of you...
...you just have to do whatever I say, and I'll take responsibility."
As if anyone can take charge of another person's conscience.
I do think you can make someone's conscience more sensitive...
...or desensitize it, or manipulate it.
Traudl Junge, n¨¦e Humps, was born in 1920...
...and was Hitler's secretary from 1942 until the end of the war.
She also took dictation for his last will and testament.
For more than 50 years she kept her memories to herself...
...and remained silent about her life, her adversities and her distress.
Frau Junge married Hitler's manservant...
...Hans Hermann Junge, in 1943.
Shortly thereafter he enlisted for frontline service...
...and was shot and killed 14 months later in France during a low attack.
Starting in the mid-1950s, she lived in a one-bedroom flat in Munich.
In April and June 2001 several meetings with Frau Junge...
...were arranged by author Melissa M¨¹ller...
...which resulted in this film.
The longer I live, the older I get...
...the more I feel this burden...
...this feeling of guilt, because I worked for a man...
...and I actually liked him, but...
...he caused such terrible suffering.
You see, details came out later about what really...
...happened in the concentration camps.
I read Viktor Klemperer's books, and it was much later, of course...
...but it did give me the very strong sensation that...
...all these problems at least began for the Jews...
...right at the start, in 1933 or 1934.
And the feeling that I was so unaware and so thoughtless....
I didn't notice or pay attention. That feeling...
...has oppressed me more and more.
It seems to me that I should be angry...
...with the child I was, that juvenile young girl...
...or that I can't forgive her for failing to recognize in time...
...what horrors that monster caused.
The fact that I didn't see what I was getting involved in...
...and above all that I just said "yes" without thinking at all.
After all, it wasn't as though I were a fervent Nazi.
And when I went to Berlin, I could have said:
"No, I don't want that job...
...I don't want to be sent to the F¨¹hrer's headquarters."
But I didn't do that, because I was simply too curious.
And I suppose I couldn't really imagine...
...that destiny would drive me on and leave me in a situation...
...that I had never aspired to at all.
But nevertheless...
...I find it hard to forgive myself for everything.
I mean, of course today there's no doubt about it. I have to say:
He was an absolute criminal.
He was a criminal-- It's just that I didn't realize it.
At some point afterwards I began to wonder if I should have seen that.
But then I think I was only 13 years old when he first came on the scene...
...and I was quite late developing in lots of ways...
...and after all, apart from me there were millions who didn't see that.
I mean, it's not as though everyone apart from me...
...realized what a criminal he was.
And I try to take heart from those thoughts.
And Hitler did somehow embody something monumental...
...at first, when I was a child.
The first time I met him he probably had a kind of paternal...
...protective attitude towards me too...
...and that's something I had longed for.
I'd never been able to follow my own inclinations...
...and I'd never had that feeling...
...of security in a complete family.
My mother did everything for us, it's true...
...but I used to envy children who could say things like:
"My father says so and so," or "My father thinks...."
I used to think having a father must be very important.
Then I started working for Hitler, and suddenly I had...
...that sense of security too.
There really was a certain kind of security in that...
...community, which cut itself off so much from the outside.
I think I matured late, as well.
I think I had a very subservient attitude toward him...
...as a father figure.
But that can easily...
...be transformed into hatred, if your father disappoints you.
Unfortunately, my family was completely apolitical.
My mother brought us up by herself, and her father...
...who was a general...
...was really a tyrant in the house.
Devil at home and angel in company, people always used to say.
He wasn't at all interested in politics...
...and the subject was never discussed.
We were brought up according to various other principles:
Doing without things, making sacrifices and backing down.
They were all seen as virtues, although...
...today the attitude is virtually the opposite.
And I think I was incredibly conformist as a child.
I always had to do without things and make sacrifices...
...because my mother had such a difficult time.
She ran the household for her father...
...and since she didn't have any money, as a divorced woman...
...he always made it clear to us that he was supporting us.
And there was always that pressure...
...that mental and moral pressure surrounding the whole situation.
I actually ended up with Hitler by complete coincidence...
...by chance and foolishness, I'd have to say.
When I was a young girl I didn't really have any exact ideas or plans...
...that I wanted to achieve in my life, or any sense...
...of wanting to be something.
And I couldn't go to high school...
...because the school fees were a problem for my mother.
So I had to leave secondary school after the first state examination.
And then they said, "You'd better go to commercial school...
...and get a job in an office, that's the quickest way to earn a living. "
And so that was to be my fate...
...and I couldn't see any other chance at all.
I suppose I also felt awkward because I was the oldest...
...and I was still at home...
...while my younger sister was out in the big wide world.
Then she came up with an idea. She said:
"l know, let's ask Albert Bormann...
...if he can get you transferred to Berlin."
And I said all right, without any idea at all, of course...
...what the consequences would be.
I ought to explain something else.
At that time, you see, which was 1941...
...I'd always thought that as well as working in an office...
...I could satisfy my passion for dancing...
...and I really wanted to go to dance school.
So in 1941 I took the entrance exam for dance school...
...and the result was very good, so I thought I could...
...escape from office work forever.
But they wouldn't let me leave the publishing company...
...where I was working, because during the war...
...you could only change your job with the permission of your employer.
And that made me so disappointed and so cross...
...that I poured my heart out to my sister...
...who was a dancer in Berlin by that time.
And then she got her best friend...
...to talk to her brother-in-law, Albert Bormann, and ask him...
...to have me transferred.
So that was a chance for me...
...to get away from home...
...and also get back at them in a way.
It was an act of defiance too...
...against my employer, who didn't want to let me go.
I should also say that when I was in Berlin...
...working in the F¨¹hrer's chancellery...
...I never saw Hitler face to face at all.
I used to open his mail...
...and read the love letters women would send him...
...but he wasn't there in person at all.
None of the others ever saw him either.
He was in his personal headquarters...
...far away from his outer office, you might say.
Then one day a typing competition...
...was announced, throughout the whole of the chancellery complex...
...and it was rumored that...
...Hitler was looking for a young girl to be his secretary.
Albert Bormann absolutely insisted that I should take the test.
So I did, but I genuinely didn't have any real ambition to get the job...
...because I was actually quite content with my life at that time.
Living with my sister was fine...
...and the job was quite interesting....
Anyway, I took the typing test...
...and apparently I was quite good...
...even though I had the feeling that I was awful.
In any case, one day, I think it was in...
...October or November, or later....
No, it was much later, it was early in December...
...and the 10 best girls from the typing test...
...were told to board the F¨¹hrer's special train...
...and taken to the Wolf's Lair, Hitler's headquarters in East Prussia.
At first we stayed on the F¨¹hrer's train...
...which was in the grounds of the headquarters...
...until Hitler had time to see us...
...which took days, in the end.
And then, one night we were taken through a dark forest...
...to the F¨¹hrer's bunker.
And that's where the decisive meeting actually took place.
It was a very unpleasant building, that bunker was...
...and in the anteroom, the servant's area...
...we all lined up. There were some...
...chairs with cork seats...
...and we waited until Hitler came.
Now, I'd only ever seen him...
...in newsreels and public appearances.
So I knew his military expression...
...with his arm outstretched.
And then a kindly old gentleman came up to us...
...speaking in a low voice and giving us a friendly smile.
He shook hands with each of us...
...Iooked straight into our eyes with that famous gaze of his...
...asked our names...
...said a few words to us with a sort of friendly, paternal air...
...and then disappeared again. When he went...
...he just said, "Good evening."
The experience of meeting him was completely different...
...than I had imagined beforehand.
It wasn't at all frightening, and there was a...
...harmless, peaceful atmosphere.
When it was over we said, "Now we're curious...
...to know who he's chosen." And then Bormann said:
"Not so fast, now you'll have a trial dictation."
So I went for a trial dictation.
But Bormann sent another girl along with me, just in case...
...because apparently Hitler...
...had already had a nasty experience one time...
...when he asked a secretary...
...to write down something he wanted to dictate.
She was so nervous that she had a sort of hysterical fit...
...and he was afraid of that happening again.
Well, I entered the room...
...and I could feel how cold it was. Hitler didn't like warm rooms.
And he was very friendly towards me, again.
"My child," he said, "Don't be nervous.
You can't possibly make as many mistakes as me.
Sit over here. Shall I fetch a heater for you?"
He meant an electric heater.
We had special typewriters that were quiet.
They were called Silenta typewriters.
And then he started dictating something.
Well, I started typing, but I knew my hands were trembling...
...so much that I didn't hit any of the right keys.
I stared down at the paper, and it looked like Chinese.
And then, thank God, or perhaps unfortunately...
...his servant came in, Linge, and said to Hitler:
"My F¨¹hrer, Ribbentrop is on the phone."
So Hitler picked up the phone and talked for a while...
...Iike any other boss would do.
And that gave me time to calm down and rewrite the sentence...
...in correct German.
Then he dictated some more, and it was fine.
It was actually quite easy.
At the end I gave him the paper, and I went.
He was quite happy, and I was quite happy.
I did find it exciting.
I didn't know what had happened to me.
Suddenly there I was, little Traudl Humps, sitting...
...opposite the F¨¹hrer.
And the F¨¹hrer himself, whatever you thought about him...
...was a great man in those days.
It was such an extraordinary situation...
...so incredible, such an adventure.
And then he called for me a few more times, to take dictation...
...even though there were other secretaries available...
...the two old secretaries.
I really liked being in the F¨¹hrer's headquarters, in the forest.
In fact, all my life I've disliked working...
...those rigid office hours...
...and sitting at a desk all day long.
And there was none of that there.
After all, Hitler didn't want someone in the outer office...
...a secretary sitting there all day long, managing appointments...
...and taking phone calls and making coffee for him.
The secretaries weren't stationed in an office at all.
They had their own apartments, their own rooms...
...and were only called to take dictation.
He only dictated public speeches...
...or private letters...
...or some other personal things.
We never had to write anything...
...about politics or military matters.
Then he called for me again...
...and the two old secretaries were standing to his left and right...
...and he said, "Fr?ulein Humps...
...now I should like to ask you...
...if you wish to remain with me."
And then he said:
"You know, it's always a problem for me...
...if I take pretty young secretaries.
Someone always marries them and whisks them off.
Maybe they should have to wear disfiguring ornaments...
...Iike Negro women, in their lips."
And I must have been mad, because I said to him:
"My F¨¹hrer, you don't have to worry in this case.
I've been without a man for the last 22 years...
...so it's no problem for me."
And he just burst out laughing.
At the time I didn't realize what nonsense I was talking.
"I've been without a man for the last 22 years!"
Now, I have to confess I couldn't really say "no" at that point.
I didn't have any reason to say, "No, I don't want to stay with you."
To be honest, I must admit I liked the idea.
In February '43, after Stalingrad...
...things were really quite different...
...though I didn't notice it very much because I was so new.
But the atmosphere in the F¨¹hrer's headquarters...
...must have changed at that time. There was an...
...oppressive atmosphere.
Up until that time...
...Hitler used to take his meals with his officers in the mess...
...which of course meant that...
...everyone would talk shop.
It wasn't very relaxing for him.
Then it occurred to him that he could take his meals with his secretaries...
...and we were told not to bother him...
...with questions about Stalingrad or other subjects.
He wanted to take it easy at mealtimes.
So it was arranged that of the four secretaries...
...two would have lunch with him each day.
The other two would have dinner with him...
...and the two from lunch would have a cup of tea with him at night.
You know, I never had the feeling...
...that he was conscious of pursuing criminal aims.
For him they were ideals.
For him they were great goals.
And human life meant nothing to him in comparison.
But that only became so apparent to me afterwards.
You see, in the inner circle surrounding him...
...in his private sphere...
...I was shielded from the megalomaniac projects...
...and the barbaric measures.
That was the awful thing, that's what gave me...
...such a shock later, when I realized what had been happening.
When I started working there I thought...
...I was at the source of information...
...and in fact, I was in a blind spot.
It's like...
...in an explosion, there's one place where calmness reigns.
And that was the great illusion...
...the great, not disappointment, but the great...
...Iie that I had made myself believe.
That same man who made speeches, when I think back...
...with that rolling R and all that roaring...
...and clipping his words...
...I never heard him speak like that in private.
He could speak in such a flattering-- Such a modulated tone.
In his private life he had that gentle Austrian intonation too...
...and he used some words that were typically Austrian.
For example, nimmermehr, or "nevermore"...
...isn't used in Bavaria or the rest of Germany.
"l heard it nevermore." And things like that...
...did fascinate me, really.
The courteous manner...
...he displayed in his private life.
Apart from his stomach and digestive disorders, he gave...
...the impression of being very healthy.
And he had to cope with...
...an unhealthy way of life.
Far too little fresh air, far too little exercise.
He didn't smoke or drink alcohol...
...although being healthy is more than that.
But his problems were all connected with the stomach and digestion.
And maybe that's the underlying reason why he...
...had a vegetarian lifestyle, or such an unbalanced lifestyle.
He was very dependent on Dr. Morell, his personal physician.
And the doctor was a very exotic character.
He had been a ship's doctor, and he'd lived in lndia for years.
His approach to medicine was what I would today describe as "holistic."
With some homeopathic elements...
...and natural remedies.
Dr. Morell had to help him a lot...
...constantly giving him some sort of pills for his digestion...
...or for gas, and he also gave him...
...hormone and vitamin injections. He used to swear by them.
I often used to ask Hitler's servant about his personal habits...
...and he would tell me some things himself.
For example, he never liked being touched.
He didn't think much of massage or other things...
...to do with the body.
And one time he said to me:
"l can't wear shorts because my knees are so white.
I'm not the athletic sort."
Or he once said:
"Eva always wants me to keep my back straight...
...but I always say she should try it with such heavy keys in her pockets."
He used to talk a lot about private matters...
...and also about quite personal things.
For instance, once the war had started he never...
...wore anything but army gray.
Before the war he wore tails for formal occasions...
...or his brown SA uniform.
It was a matter of principle for him.
He was a clean, well-groomed man.
For instance, he always...
...washed his hands when he had been stroking his dog.
His dog Blondie meant an awful lot to him.
Blondie could provide a whole evening's entertainment.
He was convinced that she was incredibly clever and sophisticated...
...an absolutely wonderful dog all around.
And she had a real fixation with him too.
Even though she had been trained by a dog trainer...
...and was very well looked after.
I don't think Hitler fed the dog himself.
But I remember now that in Hitler's small bedroom in the bunker...
...there was a big wooden box for Blondie, as well.
It was very large, in case she had puppies.
It was crowded in there with us all gathered around the bed.
If you wanted to leave, everyone had to stand up.
Well, anyway...
...Blondie could do all sorts of tricks too.
She could bark when given a command...
...and not just bark, she could sing!
She could make a sort of howling noise, and if Hitler said:
"Sing deeper, Blondie, sing like Zarah Leander"...
...Blondie would sing an octave deeper.
He was very proud of that trick.
He was also immensely proud that she always obeyed him.
She really did obey his every word.
Sometimes he'd go for a walk with her in the grounds...
...where lots of obstacles had been built...
...and he was really pleased to see how clever she was.
Sometimes he'd throw a dumbbell for her...
...but then she'd just pick it up at one end...
...and it would hang down sideways.
Then he used to show us what she would do.
He'd put his head on one side...
...and imitate Blondie gazing up at him, to check...
...he was looking. And he'd have to say, "Blondie, properly!"
And then she'd put it down properly.
He used to tell lots of stories like that...
...and I think he really enjoyed it.
When I think about it now, and listen to what I'm saying...
...all of these...
...Iittle stories sound so banal.
I think those characteristics of his...
...the personal mannerisms he had...
...aren't really at all important now...
...because the total effect was so terrible.
I mean, at the time it was quite important for me, of course...
...to see his human side.
But today it's almost as though...
...I'd rather not describe these things so clearly.
Was there a moment...
...a certain time, when you had the feeling that...
...the issue of the Jews came up?
I'll tell you about one incident...
...which took place at the Berghof...
...when Himmler was also present, I think it was the only time.
Then he talked about concentration camps.
He said that there was...
...what was called a "method"...
...and it was managed quite cleverly. So for example...
...if someone was an arsonist, he was put on fire duty...
...and you could be quite sure there would never be a fire.
That comment was the only time...
...that the term concentration camp was ever mentioned there.
The word Jew was virtually never used...
...in everyday speech.
The fact that Hitler would, at times...
...say something in his speeches about "international Judaism"...
...or "the Jews," that was virtually ignored.
Nobody ever raised the subject...
...at least, not in our presence.
Actually, the only time I can remember...
...the subject really being an issue...
...was one evening at the Berghof...
...when Frau von Schirach was a guest.
I wasn't there at the time, I only heard about it.
I was out of the room when it happened.
She was on fairly cordial terms with Hitler...
...and she suddenly raised the subject. She told the F¨¹hrer directly...
...that it was quite terrible, the way...
...the Jews were treated in Amsterdam. They were packed into trains...
...she said, and it was an inhumane way to behave.
It must have made him very angry...
...and he said to her:
"Don't interfere in things you don't understand.
This mawkishness and sentimentality."
He really was very annoyed.
He walked right out of the room and didn't return.
And Frau Schirach was never invited to the Berghof again.
I think my husband told me about it. He was there at the time.
It's something I often thought about since then....
You couldn't discuss anything with him...
...that was somehow sensitive...
...or difficult.
It was one aspect of him. And that was really the only time...
...a conflict situation developed.
But I sometimes think...
...if I ever had the opportunity...
...to meet Hitler again, in this life...
...or in some other world...
...I really would like to ask him...
...what he would have done if he had found some Jewish blood...
...in his own family. Would he have gassed himself?
He didn't think in human dimensions.
Humanity was never of any importance to him.
It was always the concept of the superman...
...the nation, always this abstract image...
...of a vast German Reich, powerful and strong.
But the individual never mattered to him.
Though he always said he wanted to make people happy.
He started a variety of welfare...
...and recreational organizations in the Third Reich.
Personal happiness was never of the slightest importance to him.
Love was quite alien to him?
He never really spoke about love.
In fact, I never heard him say the word.
That has just occurred to me.
His ideas on the subject...
...were really what you'd almost call primitive.
The greatest hero deserves the most beautiful woman.
He once said that Robert Ley, the politician, had a beautiful wife...
...and she must have been beautiful.
But in the same way that Brigitte Helm was...
...as if she were made of marble, that amazingly regular, blond beauty.
Although I think she was incredibly boring.
He couldn't understand how a man with such a beautiful wife...
...could be unfaithful with a less beautiful woman.
He couldn't imagine that a woman could have any other...
...qualities apart from flawless beauty.
I don't think he really knew very much about women.
And I never had the feeling that his relationship with Eva...
...had a very strong erotic element.
He certainly exerted considerable attraction, but...
...I don't know whether I'm right about this, but I had the impression...
...that he felt uneasy about anything erotic.
I can't really explain it.
I think he wasn't prepared to let himself go.
And that's a very important part of an erotic relationship, after all.
He really liked arranging marriages...
...but if he was ever asked why he didn't marry, he'd say:
"l wouldn't be a good husband. I couldn't allow myself to be."
And he probably wanted to maintain the image of an unmarried man...
...for the sake of the female voters.
I mean, women were crazy about him.
I really don't know why.
He did once say something else on the subject.
He said, "Children are always a risk.
Sometimes the children of a genius turn out to be cretins."
And even though I was such a naive young girl...
...it struck me as very odd.
How can anyone regard himself as a genius?
It made me flinch inside.
The 20 of July, 1944...
...was a particularly hot, oppressive day.
Frau Christian and I took advantage of the weather that morning...
...to go for a bicycle ride outside the restricted area, to a little lake...
...where we could swim around and lie in the sun for a while.
We didn't say a word to each other, we were just dreaming.
When the sun was high in the sky, and we knew it must be noon...
...we decided it was time to start back.
We didn't know if the situation report meeting had started...
...and we might have been needed earlier in any case.
When we got back to the camp...
...the officers' cars were parked there, so the meeting was still in progress.
We went to our room...
...and all of a sudden there was a terrible bang.
There were often loud noises...
...if a deer stepped on one of the land mines...
...or there was an air-raid exercise, or a new weapon was being tested.
We didn't think anything of it.
But then suddenly there was a huge uproar outside.
Someone called the doctor.
We raced out of the barracks, and somehow we could tell...
...that something had happened.
Then we ran towards the F¨¹hrer's bunker...
...and there were soldiers running towards us, saying:
"You can't go any further, there's been a bomb explosion."
But we didn't know whether the F¨¹hrer had been hit...
...or any details about what had happened.
Then we headed for the building where the meeting had taken place...
...and we wanted to go inside...
...but just then someone came...
...towards us covered in blood, General Jodl, I think...
...and Major Weizenegger, one of the staff officers...
...and they said to us:
"There's no access here, you can't go on. You'll have to turn back."
It really was a big shock for us...
...because it made us wonder what would happen to us...
...if the F¨¹hrer really had been killed...
...how things could carry on.
There were all sorts of wild thoughts in our heads:
"What will happen to us?"
Or, "Who could continue to lead us in the war after the F¨¹hrer?"
It really was an atmosphere of extreme panic.
We went back to our room...
...and waited there. Then Otto G¨¹nsche came to see us.
He looked very disheveled and anxious...
...but he said, "No need to worry, nothing happened to the F¨¹hrer.
He's in his bunker now...
...and you can go and see him, if you like."
So we made our way to the F¨¹hrer's bunker...
...and he was standing in the anteroom.
He looked so funny, we almost burst out laughing.
His hair was standing on end...
...his trousers were hanging in tatters...
...but he greeted us with an almost triumphant smile, and said:
"l have been saved.
Destiny has chosen me, providence has preserved me.
It is a sign that I must see my mission through to the end.
Those cowards were too scared to open fire and risk their own lives...
...they planted a bomb."
He was raging and cursing...
...and he thought the construction squad...
...that had just built the barracks...
...might have hidden a bomb in the floor of the building.
Then we left him.
He told us with great pride...
...that Dr. Morell had taken his pulse, and it was quite normal.
He just had some bruises on his right arm, which hurt him...
...so he kept it inside the jacket of his uniform.
At the time we were very relieved...
...because after all, we had been spared a huge change...
...that would have affected us in ways...
...we could hardly imagine.
We had dinner with him that evening.
No, that afternoon Mussolini came for a visit.
Hitler was very proud when he showed him the site of the explosion.
He explained that the building...
...had been completely destroyed. It was a fairly flimsy structure.
And of course he stressed again...
...that it was an act of fate, an act of divine providence...
...that the meeting had not been held in the bunker...
...as originally planned.
Since the bunker wasn't finished, it had been moved to the barracks.
If it had been in the bunker, he said:
"l would no longer be alive."
But very soon afterwards something came to light...
...that shocked him to the very core.
He was in talks...
...to establish how the attack had been mounted...
...when suddenly the telephone operator came up to him and said:
"My F¨¹hrer, Colonel Stauffenberg...
...has left the barracks.
He said he was going to make a phone call, but he didn't."
Apparently he used that as a pretense to leave the barracks...
...but the telephone operator said, "He didn't make any phone calls."
So straight away suspicion fell on certain officers...
...instead of the construction squad...
...and of course the information was sent to Berlin immediately.
Goebbels was informed, and in Berlin...
...the whole apparatus was set in motion.
The Army Supreme Command stepped in, or was informed...
...and Goebbels contacted Colonel Remer...
...who was in command of the greater Deutschland regiment.
They occupied the radio station, and other important sites too, I think...
...so everything went very, very wrong for Stauffenberg.
Meanwhile...
...in the F¨¹hrer's headquarters...
...this betrayal by senior staff officers naturally...
...caused a huge panic.
Hitler flew into a rage.
He started cursing the cowards who wanted to get rid of him...
...and had absolutely no idea...
...what would happen in Germany and throughout Europe...
...if he were no longer alive...
...if Judaism were once more in power, full of hatred that would destroy...
...Germany, the whole of Europe and the entire culture.
"They have no idea," he said...
..."what our enemies plan to do with Germany and Europe."
The Western powers would never be powerful enough...
...to resist Bolshevism, he claimed.
Only he had the capacity to do that...
...and he would not be prevented from carrying out his mission.
There was no other solution, Germany had to win the war.
By this time he had worked himself up...
...into an almost euphoric mood.
And the incident made him feel even more certain he was on the right path.
I have often wondered whether...
...it might have been possible before then, when the situation wasn't...
...so absolutely terrible, for him to say:
"l can't win the war."
Perhaps he would have said at some point:
"l have to make peace." But after the attack...
...any hope of that was completely in vain.
He felt so reinforced in his beliefs...
...and that evening he made a speech to the German nation...
...saying he had been saved in a miraculous way and...
...telling us we had to stake everything on winning the war.
"We must triumph!" That stupid, "We must triumph...
...because triumph we must!"
Hitler always used to say, "lt is impossible...
...for Bolshevism to be victorious.
I am the only one who can prevent that.
Without Germany, the Western powers are not strong enough...
...to halt this avalanche."
He was convinced of that...
...but he must also have seen that victory was impossible.
I actually think...
...he had lost touch with reality.
He simply no longer...
...had his feet firmly on the ground.
So then he wanted to make a clean sweep...
...and drag everyone else down with him.
As for myself, deep in my heart...
...I did have some doubts, and I wondered:
"ls all this absolutely right?"
But then to question the situation...
...actually to initiate a discussion...
...would have taken more courage.
And I think it's also the case that if you value and respect someone...
...you don't really want to destroy the image of that person...
...you don't want to know, in fact...
...if disaster lies behind the fa?ade.
I don't think he considered war a light-hearted matter.
He regarded it as a terrible thing...
...although he never said so.
For instance, whenever there were reports of air raids...
...and people described the situation, or if I said something like:
"My F¨¹hrer, you can't imagine how miserable it is...
...for all those homeless people whose houses have been bombed...
...it's just so terrible."
He'd stop me right away and say:
"l know exactly how it is, but we shall strike back.
We shall take revenge, and with our new weapons...
...everything will change. Vengeance will be ours!"
He would always say that, and in particular he'd say that...
...we would rebuild everything after the war and make it better than ever.
I think there was a general policy of denial.
He never did see a city that had been badly bombed.
We traveled through Germany in the special train with the blinds down...
...and when he reached Anhalter Station in Berlin at night...
...the chauffeur would take the streets that weren't so badly damaged.
Another thing, he would never have flowers in his room.
He hated to have dead things around.
And that's strange, when you think about it.
Someone who kills thousands of people...
...doesn't want dead flowers in his room, beautiful flowers.
With a sort of last thirst for life, Eva Braun tried...
...to organize one final party.
She took the people who were still there...
...back up to her old living quarters...
...and played one single record called, "Red Roses Tell You of Love. "
There was dancing and champagne...
...and she was almost hysterically cheerful.
But there was a forced, desperate atmosphere...
...and it was eerie.
The Russian rocket launchers provided an accompaniment.
I was there for a while, but then I left.
I was in a very miserable mood.
Then I went down to the bunker, where I had sleeping quarters...
...and I tried to get some sleep.
The following day, which was the 22 of April...
...Hitler called a meeting to discuss the situation.
All the officers from the general staff came along...
...General Krebs, General Burgdorf...
...and all the adjutants.
All of a sudden...
...he opened the door of the conference room...
...walked out into the anteroom, to his study...
...and sent for us.
I mean the women who were still there:
Frau Christian and me...
...and the cook, Fr?ulein Manzialy...
...and Eva Braun. And he said:
"All is lost. You must leave Berlin at once."
His face was like a mask of stone.
In fact, it already looked as though he were wearing a death mask.
We stood there, completely stunned...
...and then Eva Braun walked up to him...
...took both his hands in hers and said:
"But you must know I'll stay with you. I shall never leave you."
And then he leaned forwards...
...and for the first time that anyone had ever seen...
...he kissed her on the lips.
Then Frau Christian and I both said:
"I'm staying here."
I don't know why I said it.
I suppose I couldn't imagine where else to go.
And I felt quite anxious, in a way.
I was scared of leaving that secure environment.
Maybe I didn't really believe it was so serious, as well.
Then he said, "l shall shoot myself."
And he added:
"l only wish my generals had as much courage as you."
Then we left the room...
...and everyone from the meeting was standing there.
Their faces were either red or as white as corpses.
And they stood completely still.
I don't remember what I did after that.
The whole situation had somehow...
...Ieft me in a state of shock.
But life went on, at least for a while.
Hitler insisted there was no way of saving the situation...
...although the generals kept on trying...
...to persuade him there were some possibilities.
But after the 22 of April...
...there was one disaster after another.
Then all personnel who could be spared left and headed south.
Hitler's chief adjutant, a man called Schau...
...was an old warrior from the early days, a loyal follower...
...and he had to pack...
...all the private documents and papers in a box.
He burnt some of them in front of the bunker...
...and he put the others in the last plane to leave.
Then he had to get away himself.
He had to set off for Munich, so he could do the same thing there.
Sort through all the files and documents...
...and destroy some of them.
He parted from the F¨¹hrer with tears in his eyes.
Fr?ulein Wolf and Fr?ulein Schr?der also had to leave Berlin...
...and those of us who were left started to lead a sort of shadowy existence.
We lost track of whether it was day or night.
We would have meals without knowing what we were eating.
We still tried to conduct conversations...
...but from that point on, most of the talk was really about...
...the best, most certain and most painless way...
...to put an end to our lives.
Naturally we said to Hitler, "Why don't you try to get away?"
His reply was, "l do not wish to fall into enemy hands alive."
So we said, "Why do you insist on killing yourself?"
He said, "l do not want the enemy to take me alive.
I have no strength to fight at the head of my troops...
...and none of my loyal followers will shoot me when I ask them to.
So I shall have to do it myself."
At that point he obtained some poison capsules from Himmler.
We asked for some too.
The stories about what the Russian troops...
...did to the women when they occupied German towns...
...were so terrible and frightening...
...that we also asked...
...if we could have cyanide capsules for use in an emergency.
He gave us some tablets, and as he did so, he said:
"l would have preferred to give you a nicer farewell gift."
We were also allowed to learn to shoot.
Although for some time we had been shooting at targets...
...in the grounds of the chancellery.
We had requested this before, back in East Prussia...
...but he had refused. Now he granted our request.
Eva Braun joined in.
A couple of days later, it must have been about the 24 of April...
...Goebbels happened to see me in the corridor, and he said:
"Frau Junge, my family will now be moving into the F¨¹hrer's bunker.
See to it that the children are given somewhere to sleep."
I passed the message on to the household steward...
...or the director of the F¨¹hrer's living quarters...
...and a room was provided for the children.
There were bunk beds for the children, all set up.
Not long afterwards Frau Goebbels came along with the six children.
The children were in a good mood and happy...
...that they could be with Uncle Hitler.
I suppose someone said, "We'll be safer in here."
I don't think they had begun to suspect...
...that it was going to be a very, very bad time all around.
Naturally all through this period...
...there was a terribly tense atmosphere everywhere.
What was going to happen in this last round of attack and defense?
Reports would come from the front...
...but without providing any real news. There were always crisis meetings...
...that broke up without any hope.
There were no more attacks...
...and there was no more defense.
Because Hitler had given up all hope...
...and he had withdrawn, withdrawn into himself.
He became completely numb and apathetic...
...and he would just sit in the corridor with one of the puppies.
Blondie had had puppies by then.
They lived in a small room in the bunker...
...a washroom.
He would sit there with a puppy in his lap, staring ahead blankly.
We didn't know what he was waiting for...
...but the officers kept on trying....
Suddenly they came along with a suggestion that General Wenck...
...who was heading west with his army at the time...
...could turn back...
...and meet up with General Steiner coming down from the north.
Then it should be possible to save Berlin.
That gave Hitler a new lease of life.
He started to show an interest in the situation again...
...there were more meetings, and we would sit around.
By now we didn't know if it was day or night.
There were no more regular mealtimes.
Nothing was done with any ceremony anymore.
People even started smoking in Hitler's presence.
There were still conversations around the dinner table.
And still tea in the evening.
Though Hitler was very apathetic then...
...and the mood was very subdued...
...which was naturally to be expected.
And there were also a few attempts...
...at a kind of gallows humor like, "Chin up while you've still got one!"
It was an awful time.
We all acted somehow as if we were...
...automatons, without....
I simply can't remember any genuine feelings at all.
It was like drifting...
...and not really being yourself at all.
You have to imagine what the situation was like.
The deafening roar...
...of artillery and air raids...
...the completely ghostly atmosphere...
...against a background of constant noise.
But despite everything...
...sometimes when there was a break in the shelling...
...and it was quiet up top, I'd go outside with...
...Eva Braun and Frau Christian, into the grounds.
And it was spring up there!
The narcissuses were in bloom, there were buds on the trees...
...the sun was shining, and somehow that raised our hopes again...
...made us feel alive again...
...because nature had not come to a standstill.
Afterwards we would go back down into the bunker feeling quite refreshed.
And everyone would be sitting around...
...hopeless and full of despair.
Eva Braun was with us the last time...
...we went up to the grounds for a walk...
...and in the grounds of the next building, the Foreign Ministry...
...she saw a very beautiful statue of a nymph beside a fountain.
She was so impressed that she went back into the bunker...
...and said to the F¨¹hrer, "You know, there's a statue up there...
...and if you win the war, I'd like you to buy it for me."
And then he said:
"But I don't know who it belongs to. It's state property.
I can't just buy it and put it in your private garden."
It's amazing, the things that went on. Then she said:
"But if you do manage to triumph over the Russians...
...you could make an exception just this once."
And it was really bizarre, you see, because conversations like that...
...actually did take place, and then afterwards we would go back...
...to discussing the best way to commit suicide.
The surest way is to shoot yourself in the mouth.
If you shoot yourself in the head...
...you might end up like General Stiegler in Paris...
...who shot himself in the head after the attack and only blinded himself.
And Eva said, "l want to be a beautiful corpse...
...so I'll take the poison."
That paradoxical roller coaster of emotions left you...
...feeling completely drained inside...
...and quite numb.
Being in that situation, as I remember it...
...was like being in a trance or a state of shock...
...where you function automatically...
...without analyzing your emotions or even really feeling them.
And some of the situations that arose were so weird.
Suddenly there was a rumor that Himmler...
...had been holding peace negotiations with Count Bernadotte.
Then Hitler became incredibly worked up and suspicious...
...because he thought one of the liaison officers with Himmler...
...General Fegelein or an SS doctor called Stumpfegger...
...might be involved in a conspiracy with Himmler...
...to bring him out of the bunker alive.
He even turned Dr. Morell away...
...when he came to give him his usual injections:
"Get out of my room and leave this place at once!"
He was afraid...
...that someone might have been bribed...
...to make an attempt to get him out of Berlin alive.
He had told everyone he wouldn't go, but they had all tried to persuade him.
Then Eva Braun, who suddenly developed a loyalty complex, said:
"And where's Speer? Speer's your friend, isn't he?
He should be at your side during this difficult time."
And he said, "Listen, my child...
...Speer has important things to do outside.
His place is where he has work to do, not in here with me."
And she replied, "But he is your friend, so he's bound to come."
In fact, Speer actually did come.
Yes, Speer came...
...and had a long talk with Hitler.
I don't know what they discussed. Hitler didn't say anything about it.
But Speer couldn't persuade him either...
...and I don't even think he tried.
I almost think that at that moment...
...Speer had decided not to carry out the scorched earth policy.
Afterwards it was said...
...that he somehow tried to gas everyone in the bunker...
...with gas in the air shaft.
But I'm not sure if that is true or if he intended to do it.
And then there was another startling turn of events.
G?ring had been appointed vice-chancellor by that stage...
...and he was at the Berghof.
Suddenly he sent a telegram saying, "My F¨¹hrer...
...since you have no more scope for action or decisions in Berlin...
...I shall consider myself appointed your successor...
...if I hear nothing from you by 2200."
This telegram had been received by Martin Bormann...
...who still controlled the information that reached Hitler.
Nothing ever landed on Hitler's desk without Bormann seeing it first.
Bormann had handed the telegram to Hitler...
...and presumably offered his interpretation.
In any case, Hitler regarded it as high treason...
...and no doubt Bormann reinforced that view.
He gave the order for G?ring and his entire staff to be arrested.
This act of betrayal made him much, much more suspicious.
He even ordered...
...his brother-in-law, Fegelein, to be shot.
Although he had released Fegelein from his duties on the 22 of April:
"You may leave if you wish."
The people who had stayed behind had declared...
...that it was their choice, but one day Fegelein vanished.
Fegelein wasn't just liaison officer with Himmler...
...but also Eva Braun's brother-in-law.
He had married Eva's sister, Gretel.
And Gretel was expecting a baby. She was in Munich.
Fegelein suddenly went missing.
Suddenly he wasn't to be found in the bunker.
Hitler wanted to see him, but he couldn't be found.
Then Eva managed to contact him in his apartment...
...and he said to her, "I'm begging you...
...come to Munich with me. You'll die if you don't get away!"
And Eva replied, "Hermann, you know I'll never leave.
I want you to come here at once. The F¨¹hrer needs you."
Fegelein didn't turn up...
...so someone was sent to fetch him, and he was completely drunk.
Then Hitler had him shot.
Eva shed many tears about that...
...but she did accept it.
It was one more betrayal at a time...
...when there was no hope left, a time when Hitler wanted to kill himself.
I could hardly comprehend what was going on...
...because it was all so ambiguous.
And then, on 26 of April...
...when everything was in flames around us...
...with smoke billowing around...
...and there were bomb craters everywhere...
...on the main road in front...
...of the Brandenburg Gate, a Storch light plane landed.
It was Hanna Reitsch, the aviator, and General von Greim.
He was wounded. Enemy fighters had attacked them...
...and Greim had a bullet in his leg.
Dr. Stumpfegger tended his wound...
...and Hanna Reitsch beamed as she approached...
...her beloved F¨¹hrer. I never saw a woman...
...greet the F¨¹hrer with such obsessive devotion...
...with such willingness to die for him.
She wasn't passive, like Eva Braun. She was a fighter.
Then she sang some lullabies with the Goebbels' children.
Greim was intended to succeed G?ring...
...so Hanna Reitsch was ready to make-- What should I say...
...a rallying call when she flew out of Berlin again.
And she got away safely.
But it was a macabre incident at the time.
Suddenly someone from the outside world burst into...
...that trap we were in, and then flew off again...
...spreading a message of hope.
We were left behind...
...and it was only three more days to the bitter end.
I don't really know how we carried on, it was a shadowy existence.
We kept on handing round cups of tea and sitting there...
...still hoping for something, still waiting.
But the counterattack with Wenck and Steiner never came off.
Other things did happen, though.
A girl who worked in the kitchen got married.
They fetched a registrar to the bunker.
Then someone brought the bride's parents in from the bombed city.
They got married, and then there was a party.
With the thunder of the artillery and shells bursting all around.
I think people were even dancing.
Someone had an accordion.
It really was a bizarre moment.
And then Hitler...
...decided to poison his dog.
After Fegelein was executed...
...and Himmler's treason became known, Hitler no longer trusted...
...the cyanide Himmler had given him.
He wanted to test it on his dog to make sure it worked.
So then poor Blondie was poisoned.
The poison worked very well.
It left that smell of bitter almonds in the bunker...
...which was terrible.
I remember thinking, "That is the worst thing of all...
...dying down here in the bunker."
But that was only part of my feeling...
...because I also felt there might just be some way out.
I was sitting outside the bunker one other time...
...with Eva Braun, in the open air...
...and at one very silent moment she said:
"Go on, give me a cigarette too."
And then she said, "l shall be weeping this evening."
And I said, "What do you mean? Has the time come?"
"No, no," she said, "not that."
And that evening, it was the 28 of April.
That evening...
...was when Hitler....
How did it happen?
Yes, Hitler married Eva Braun.
A registrar was fetched again...
...and the two of them were married...
...to the thunder of the Russian artillery.
When she signed her name Eva started writing a B, and then...
...she changed it to an H.
So she emerged from that inferno as Frau Hitler...
...and walked past the staff, who were lined up...
...saying to them, "You may now call me Frau Hitler."
Before then the staff had always referred to her as "Fr?ulein."
Then they all went into the room were Hitler took tea in the evenings.
I was going to follow them.
But he said, "My child, have you rested a little?"
I said, "Yes."
And he said, "Please come into the next room...
...I have some dictation for you."
And I thought to myself, "What does he want to dictate now?"
I went into the room, which was very bare...
...with just one big table...
...a bench against the wall and a few armchairs.
And he said, "Fetch a shorthand pad."
That was the first time.
I had never in my life taken shorthand from him.
I didn't have a pad with me, so I had to go and find one.
I sat down, and he started speaking.
Leaning forward at the desk, resting on his hands...
...and with a blank expression, gazing into the distance.
He said, "My political testament."
And I thought to myself:
"Now I'm going to find out what really happened.
Now I'm going to find out why the war is lost.
He's going to make excuses and provide justifications.
Now he's going to explain everything."
Then he started speaking, and all of a sudden...
...it was all the old phrases, "The Jews are to blame."
And, "The struggle was necessary...
...in order to prevent a worse fate and save the world."
And, "The German people were not ready for their mission...
...so they must perish." And, "National Socialism will die...
...and nevermore rise again."
But he also named a government to succeed him.
Even while I was writing I thought I hadn't heard properly.
It was so incredible, it made no sense at all.
I finished writing that text.
And then he made his private testament.
If we were going to lose the war, and the enemy was...
...going to treat us the way he always predicted...
...then there would be no point writing either of those documents.
But he dictated them, he remembered his housekeeper.
He disposed of his pictures...
...he settled a few more details, and then he said:
"Type up three copies as quickly as possible, my child."
So I went into a room...
...which was a sort of office that the telephone operator also used.
I brought my typewriter, and I started...
...typing up my shorthand notes.
I made far fewer mistakes than usual. I don't know why.
I was typing so mechanically.
Normally I very often made typing mistakes...
...but this time I think there were only two little mistakes.
You must remember there was no Tippex in those days...
...and no correction key, so you had to rub out any mistakes.
With copies you had to put something in between...
...so it didn't go through.
I wrote it up...
...and I was able read it properly. He kept on coming over.
By now everyone was sitting in Hitler's little living room...
...and celebrating the wedding.
They toasted with champagne.
I wasn't there, but it must have been macabre.
There was just Goebbels, Bormann...
...one of the adjutants who were left...
...Frau Christian...
...and of course Frau Goebbels.
Hitler kept coming over and asking, "Have you finished yet?"
I was working as fast as I could.
Then Goebbels came in.
His face was almost covered with tears...
...with a completely bleak, defeated expression...
...and he said, "Frau Junge, the F¨¹hrer has ordered me...
...to leave Berlin.
But I can't do it, I am the governor of Berlin...
...my place is in Berlin, and at his side."
Then he dictated an appendix to the testament...
...stressing that he was in a horrible situation...
...because he could not obey Hitler's last order...
...acknowledging that he would be described as disloyal, but insisting...
...he couldn't act any other way.
He said his place was there, and he would put an end to his life.
But first, I must tell you this.
First Goebbels told the people of Berlin...
...that their F¨¹hrer was in Berlin...
...and would take charge of defending the city.
Because it was always the way, wherever Hitler was...
...the defenses held, and defeat was impossible.
That was one of the many big lies.
Well, I wrote all that, and then it was taken away.
The three copies were to be sent by three couriers:
One to D?nitz...
...one to Schrammer...
...and I don't remember about the third.
Anyway, the three copies of the testament were sent on their way.
Then Hitler said as soon as he received confirmation one arrived...
...it would be time for him to make his farewell.
So we were left waiting again.
I destroyed the carbons and the shorthand notes, of course.
I don't remember how we got through that time.
There wasn't that much left, but it was still two days...
...and two nights.
It was a nightmare.
And the children were still in the bunker...
...with Frau Goebbels wandering around like a ghost...
...with the poison in her bag.
At least we only had our own deaths to consider...
...but she went through that six times.
She couldn't talk to her children anymore, either.
The children had been told, "You will have to be vaccinated...
...because you're living so close to Uncle Hitler...
...in the bunker, where there are lots of people."
The oldest, Helga, was 10 years old...
...and she had such sad eyes.
She was so quiet that I felt...
...she somehow sensed what was going on.
That was awful.
I simply don't remember how we spent the last days.
I can only remember one day, the 30 of April...
...at about lunchtime, the children looked so lost.
I said, "Didn't you have any lunch?" "No, we're hungry."
So I took them to a place on the stairs...
...between the central section of the bunker and the F¨¹hrer's quarters...
...where there was a sort of platform...
...with a round table and a bench.
I made some lunch for the children.
Bread and butter with marmalade, I think.
They really enjoyed it...
...and they started counting the direct hits...
...because they felt so safe down in the bunker.
They knew there was no danger under 11 meters of concrete.
I'm sure I remember there was a bang...
...and Helmut said, "That was a direct hit!"
And it seems to me that was the shot when Hitler--
Oh, I forgot, of course, Hitler said goodbye first.
That was on the 30.
Suddenly Linge appeared and said:
"Frau Junge and Frau Christian!"
We went to the big corridor outside Hitler's room...
...and G¨¹nsche said:
"Come here, the F¨¹hrer wants to say farewell."
I walked up to him like a waxwork doll...
...and he was standing there with a completely distant expression.
He had already departed from this world.
He shook hands with me and gazed ahead blankly...
...and then he said something I couldn't make out.
So I never understood the last words he spoke to me.
He turned round and shook hands with Frau Christian...
...and Frau Manzialy.
Then Eva Braun gave me a hug and said:
"Frau Junge, try to get back home...
...and say hello to Bavaria for me."
I should also tell you about Eva Braun's maid, Liesl.
She said to Frau Goebbels again and again:
"I'll take the children with me and try to get through!"
But Frau Goebbels just said, "No, that's impossible.
In a Germany, without National Socialism...
...my children would have no chance.
I shall not expose them to scorn and ridicule."
You see, we didn't know...
...we simply couldn't imagine...
...what life outside would be like.
We had been so isolated all that time...
...so cut off from real life, from the war and everything else...
...and we had absolutely no idea...
...what would happen after National Socialism.
Apart from the terrible visions Hitler had portrayed...
...although they weren't at all clear.
All the men would be castrated...
...Germany would be completely razed to the ground...
...reduced to a primitive state without any industry...
...and all the women would be raped.
They were visions from Bosch.
I was unable to imagine how life could continue.
So Liesl set off without the children...
...and Hitler said his farewell.
I was sitting on the stairs with the children...
...there was a bang, and Helmut said:
"That was a direct hit!" And I was convinced...
...that was the final shot.
I stayed where I was, and after a while...
...Otto G¨¹nsche came up the stairs...
...from the F¨¹hrer's bunker...
...as white as a sheet...
...and he said, "l have just obeyed the F¨¹hrer's last order.
I have burnt his body."
I didn't go down to have a look for myself.
I went off somewhere so I could be alone.
There's a gap in my memory at this point.
Something was finally over.
It's a black hole in my mind.
And the first thing I remember...
...is coming back to find the others...
...and they were all sitting around in the big corridor...
...drinking and smoking.
There was Bormann, General Burgdorf...
...Goebbels was still there...
...the adjutants, Linge and G¨¹nsche.
You know, I felt such hatred for Hitler...
...because he had abandoned us...
...a very personal hatred...
...because he had simply gone off...
...and left us stuck in that trap.
Suddenly the other people hanging around...
...were like lifeless puppets when the person pulling the strings lets go.
None of us had lives of our own.
We all had poison in our pockets, but that was all.
I really had no idea what my next step should be.
Now I must have a break.
After Hitler's death, Frau Junge managed to escape from his bunker.
But her attempt to reach her mother in southern Germany failed.
On June 9, 1945, she was arrested by the Russians...
...and remained their prisoner until December 1945.
Under house arrest, she was allowed to work in the Charit¨¦ Hospital.
With the help of an Armenian who had served as interpreter...
...during her interrogation by Russian officers...
...she managed to escape to the Western Sector.
In May 1946 she reached her home in Bavaria.
There she was imprisoned by the Americans...
...for three weeks in the Starnberg Castle prison.
After her release there was no real interest in her story.
In 1947 Traudl Junge, who had never been a member of the Nazi Party...
...was "de-nazified" without any charges against her.
As a so-called "juvenile fellow traveler," she was granted juvenile amnesty.
In the early days after the war...
...the past wasn't an issue, strangely enough.
It wasn't a subject to be discussed in public either.
And there weren't any books about it.
In politics there wasn't yet the process...
...of coming to terms with the past.
Not even the Nuremberg Trials started that process...
...the way it happened later, in the '60s.
I don't know exactly why, but...
...suddenly there were so many books.
And lots of voices were raised.
We heard about the SS state...
...and then the diary of Anne Frank...
...and there were people who had survived the whole thing.
People who had resisted also spoke out.
The thing that made a very strong impression on me...
...was that after the war...
...the world wasn't at all the way Hitler had portrayed it...
...and predicted it would be.
Suddenly there was a spirit of freedom...
...and especially the Americans--
I didn't get home until a year after the occupation.
But especially the Americans...
...turned out to be very good democrats...
...and very helpful people.
The care parcels started coming. I suddenly realized...
...that none of it was true.
So in the early years it didn't really occur to me...
...to come to terms with my past.
Naturally all the horrors that emerged in the Nuremberg Trials...
...about the six million Jews...
...and people of other faiths and beliefs...
...who lost their lives-- All that struck me as very shocking.
But I wasn't able at first to see the connection...
...with my own past.
I still felt somehow content...
...that I had no personal guilt and had known nothing about it.
I had no idea of the extent of what happened.
But then one day...
...I was walking past the memorial in Franz Josef Street...
...to Sophie Scholl, a young girl who opposed Hitler...
...and I realized that she was the same age as me...
...and that she was executed the same year I started working for Hitler.
At that moment...
...I really sensed...
...that it is no excuse to be young...
...and that it might have been possible to find out what was going on.
After the war Traudl Junge worked as a secretary at the magazine Quick...
...as a consultant to director G. W. Papst on his film Der letzte Akt...
...about Hitler's final days, on the staff of a literature magazine...
...and as a science journalist.
Due to severe depression she went into early retirement.
From then on she spent a large part of her free time reading to blind people.
On the day this film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival...
...on February 10, 2002...
...Traudl Junge died of cancer in a Munich hospital.
Shortly before her death, in a telephone conversation...
...with Andr¨¦ Heller and Othmar Schmiderer, she said:
"l think I'm starting to forgive myself."
B-Happy
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