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Hitler's Last Secretary: A Firsthand Account of Life with Hitler Paperback – September 1, 2011


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Hitler's Last Secretary: A Firsthand Account of Life with Hitler + Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing; 1 edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611453232
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611453232
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Like her infamous employer, author Junge struggled with unfulfilled artistic dreams: she traveled to Berlin in 1942 to pursue a career as a dancer and ended up taking dictation for Adolf Hitler. "There were very few days when I didn t see Hitler, talk to him, work with him or share meals with him," she remembers. Junge s account, undoubtedly a primer on the so-called "banality of evil," is a detailed, efficient and humorless memoir of the three years she spent as Hitler s secretary. Her tale full of trivial tidbits and, often interchangeably, chilling observations draws a picture of a man at once astonishingly uninspired, quixotic and devoted to his cause. It also documents how the Fuhrer served as a father figure to Junge, whose own parents were divorced. She reveals that her post-war disdain for Hitler resembled that of an abandoned child: she hated him after his death, she says, "for his failures." This moral equivocation may seem disturbing in hindsight, but the irony of Junge s proximity to Hitler was that she was all but shielded from the heinous realities of the war. The most compelling part of this memoir comes near the end when, upon escaping Berlin after the Allied advance in 1945, Junge makes her way from village to village, encountering the remnants of battles. This picture of a fugitive literally running away from herself suggests why Junge, unable to fully accept the nature of her complicity with the Reich, took 30 years to write her story; it also proves far more interesting than learning what Hitler ate for breakfast. 15 photos. --From Publishers Weekly

recommended to anyone interested in modern euorpean history.Brings to life the confines of the Hitler circle from a birds eye point of view, Comment | --Heather Caselaw

Very interesting and factual account of the lifestyle of Hitler and his last days from his secretary. Very interesting if you enjoy that era of history --Colin --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Traudl Junge was born in Munich in 1920. From the end of 1942 until April 1945 she was Hitler’s private secretary. After the war she was sent to a Russian prison camp and later returned to Germany. She died on February 10, 2002, shortly after the publication of the German edition of her book.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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It's an easy read.
Ralph A. Holmen
Another very interesting observation she makes, is the power of his personality, how it superceded all else, all individual thought.
Katielee
It gives a good inside into Hitler's inner world, especially the last days, and in the bunker.
ash

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Virginia C. Hughes on February 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first saw Traudl Junge in an interview embedded in the movie "Downfall". She was an elderly woman who appeared to be struggling with guilt for her association with Hitler. She appeared very sincere and admitted that even though things were not discussed in depth in the Bunker and other residences she visited, she could have found out more about the death and destruction spearheaded by Hitler.

This 250 page paperback is a first hand account of Traudl Junge's association with the administration of the Third Reich as her job as secretary to Adolf Hitler. She was in her early 20's when she landed the job in Berlin in 1943. Germany was losing the war yet in her position she was sheltered from the world around her and by her account she was protected by Hitler; he seemed to be a father figure to her, very caring and interesting to talk to.

She writes of her time in the Reich's Chancellery, the Berghof, and the Bunker in East Prussia. She speaks of the many characters she came in contact with and how Hitler's personality garnered respect from all he commanded. She rarely saw Hitler's dark side; he was the consumate entertainer and host in his home, held lunches and dinner's for 25 people, and traveled to see heads of state, and she was part of the entourage.

She was not an ardent Nazi, did not come close to the horrid SS women of Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, she simply was there for the job but admittedly in awe of the Fuhrer. She liked the idea of a national community and everybody working together for a better Germany. She saw Hitler as a genial host on one hand and military supreme commander on the other and had a difficult time reconciling this dichotomy. she believed Hitler lived for his mission, for the idealogy of national socialism for a greater Germany.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sheila on September 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Hannah Arendt, while observing Adolf Eichmann during his trial for Nazi war crimes, was struck by how very ordinary and unsinister he appeared. This led to her calling him the embodiment of the "banality of evil", disputing the idea that most Nazis were sociopaths and very different from ordinary human beings.

This book is a narrative illustrating that concept. Traudl Junge goes to work as a secretary for Hitler, not because of any burning ideological reasons, but simply because she wants to leave a job she dislikes. She wants to leave to become a dancer, but state regulations at the time require she do something that helps the state. Through a colleague related to Albert Bormann, she is invited to apply for the position of secretary for Hitler and is chosen from among several young women.

Here is where the story becomes absolutely fascinating and this is why: Junge wrote her account in 1947, only 2 years after the end of the war. While Hitler already was seen as an evil man by the Allies, the full extent of what had happened was just beginning to be known. So Junge has the freedom to simply detail her daily life with Hitler, unencumbered by the weighty responsibility she might have felt later on to villify him.

And so we see a Hitler who loves his German Shepherd,Blondi, and jokes with Eva Braun about how her two Scotch terriers are "nothing but a couple of dusting brushes"....a man who awkwardly tells young Traudl she should come to him if any of the young soldiers ever harass her... an wonderful conversationalist who loves to retell pranks he did as a young man....a father figure to Junge who made her feel protected. All in all, her experience was such that she decades later says, "I can still look back to that time with warm emotions.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By belmont22 on June 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read many books on Hitler over the past 30 years. Frau Traudl (Humps) showed a different side to der Fuhrer, a more human personality, than the one presented by the world press. Almost a patriarchal boss to his underlings. I saw the movie Downfall, which starts out showing Hitler's selection of her as his secretary. The movie goes off in another direction from where Frau Traudl's book takes you. She recounts her time with Eva Braun and brings her to life. There are a lot of stories that I never knew about Eva and Adolph. It was an honest assessment of her time with him. She liked him and she is honest in stating that feeling. She eventually recants that view, years after the fact. I have read and enjoyed the book. I will probably re-read it again in several years. Buy it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jack Hermann on December 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This autobiography is more a curiosity than a historical work. While Junge appears to have made an honest effort to describe her life, her memory on details is not always accurate. Fortunately for the reader the editor notes many of the errors, at least those that can be checked on.

I suppose the primary value of the book is that it gives a glimpse into the lives of fairly low level staff that had daily interaction with Hitler during the last years of the war, and it describes how Hitler related to those staff. Junge also provides some description of the informal relationships Hitler had with a few high ranked officials, and how those officials interacted among themselves. However, Junge’s exposure to high officials was limited, and she had almost no exposure to the working meetings and conferences Hitler held with his officials. I found it interesting that Hitler was fairly successful in compartmentalizing his emotions and behaviors. His office staff almost never witnessed his emotional outbursts and irrational and ruthless behaviors that have been well documented by others. Moreover, to Junge and other staff he was considerate and even paternalistic.

The book is easy to read and I think worthwhile if you are interested in Hitler and life during the Third Reich for those who could be trusted.
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