A firsthand account of Adolf Hitler from the woman who worked at his side, stayed with him in the bunker, and was featured in the film Downfall. In 1942 Germany, Gertraud “Traudl” Junge was a young woman with dreams of becoming a ballerina when she was offered the chance of a lifetime. At the age of twenty-two, she became private secretary to Adolf Hitler and served himA firsthand account of Adolf Hitler from the woman who worked at his side, stayed with him in the bunker, and was featured in the film Downfall. In 1942 Germany, Gertraud “Traudl” Junge was a young woman with dreams of becoming a ballerina when she was offered the chance of a lifetime. At the age of twenty-two, she became private secretary to Adolf Hitler and served him for two and a half years, right up to the very end. Junge observed the intimate workings of Hitler’s administration: She typed his correspondence and speeches—including Hitler’s public and private last will and testament—and ate her meals and spent evenings with him. She was close enough to hear the bomb intended to assassinate Hitler in the Wolf’s Lair—and to smell the bitter almond odor of Eva Braun’s cyanide pill in Hitler’s bunker and ultimate tomb. In this intimate, detailed, and chilling memoir, Junge explains what it was like to spend everyday life with a human monster....
|Title||:||Hitler's Last Secretary: A Firsthand Account of Life with Hitler|
|Number of Pages||:||272 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Hitler's Last Secretary: A Firsthand Account of Life with Hitler Reviews
Reading Traudl Junge's book, Hitler's Last Secretary, is like being in the back seat of a car being driven over a cliff. The reader knows what's coming, knows the nature of the driver--Adolf Hitler--sees the shadow of tragedy in every paragraph, yet is also aware of the passenger (Jungl), riding shotgun, who cheerfully narrates the view.Junge had an up-close view of the Führer's last three years. As his personal secretary and frequent dining companion, she was in the Eagle's Nest (Hitler's Alpine home), the Wolf's Lair (his command center in East Prussia), and in the Bunker in Hitler's last days. Editing her memoirs ten years after the war, the book preserves both Junge's youthful naivete (she was only 25 when the war ended) and features moments of candor.The value in Junge's book are insights into Hitler's lifestyle--he's more human here than in other, more remote accounts. Junge shows his romantic side--she had fancied Hitler's valet, an SS officer, and Hitler pushed them to marry, even as he waited until his final hours to tie the knot with Eva Braun. Hitler's vegetarianism and abstinence from cigarettes and alcohol frustrate the other members of his entourage, but he is tolerant in this regard. She even shows his physical breakdown as the war wears on.As for historical episodes, her recounting of the July 20, 1944 assassination attempt by Von Stauffenberg is riveting. That episode, and the final days in Berlin--including her remarkable escape--are the best historical reasons to read the book.But I was looking for something more metaphysical. Signs that Junge understood the broader, more tragic picture--or that even Hitler did. For example, Heinrich Himmler appears a number of times--and Junge takes dictation from the Führer for three years, yet the reader is more likely to understand the artworks at the Berghof than the content of Hitler's memos--only his final political will & testament gets any sort of summation. Initially, this seems to lighten Hitler's culpability, but it may indicate an effort on Junge's part to protect herself or friends from prosecution.The real world breaks into the Hitler Bubble several times, though. Junge describes an encounter with Henriette von Schirach, wife of Nazi Youth leader and Vienna Gauleiter, Baldur von Shirach, describes to Hiter a scene she had witness during a visit to Amsterdam. "My Führer," she says, "I saw a train full of deported Jews in Amswerdam the other day. Those pooe people--they look terrible. I'm sure they're being very badly treated. Do you know about it? Do you allow it?" (88).According to Junge, "There was a painful silence. Soon afterwards Hitler rose to his feet, said goodnight and withdrew."That's not how others describe the exchange. But in Junge's memory, there is Hitler's silence--and her own.For those who, like me, are fans of the movie, Downfall, which used Junge's account and others' to vividly portray Hitler's last days in the bunker, this book will be a welcome look back. It also calls upon readers to confront up-close a man at whose behest Junge and others caused so much suffering.
One of Hitler's secretaries recollects her years with Hitler. A young girl whose world mostly focused on her immediate circumstances while working for Hitler, she reflected on the evil regime she served only after the war. An afterword tries to provide perspective on her life, and she has at least some insight after her service to Hitler. Although the perspective of others seems deeper than Mrs. Junge's, no one can know what she truly thought or felt. Her close association with this monster seems banal, yet the actuality of what Hitler did is far from that. It was an interesting account of a horrid episode of humankind, so surrealistic that some still try to deny its occurrence. It did, indeed, occur, and that is the great contribution of this accounting.
It was hard to put down, and that was a good thing. Junge's experience and perspective is unique and is a good example of seeing only what you want to see. She has a fatherly experience with Hitler and does not perceive the megalomaniac that destroys Germany. It is interesting, to say the least.
the banality of evil
I wanted to stop reading it but just could not. Cannot believe that someone lived through that time and so close to the monster and state that they did not know the depth of what was occurring other than a war for the country.