Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary
January 24, 2003
Quite a few documentaries have come out that discuss some event or person from World War II. As the participants are getting older, it is more important than ever for filmmakers to interview these people and get their stories down on film for future generations. It is important that we see these events and personalities from the point of view of someone who was there. Steven Speilberg is undertaking one of the largest ventures called The Shoah Project.
This film takes a look at the flip side of the Holocaust. Directors Andre Heller and Othmar Schmiderer make their feature film debuts by talking to Traudl Junge. She was one of Adolph Hitler’s three personal secretaries. Junge was with Hitler, Goebbels, and Eva Braun for their last days inside their bunker and was given the task of transcribing Hitler’s last will and testament.
During the film she describes for us many of the experiences that she had during her three years within the innermost circles of the Third Reich. She says Hitler was a “pleasant boss and fatherly friend”. She also says that he had a “policy of denial” and refused to discuss what was going on at the concentration camps.
However, one criticism of the filmmakers has been that they didn’t use this opportunity to ask some tough questions of Frau Junge. Having her tell her stories is invaluable, but many feel that they could’ve done much more with this topic. And on a tragic note, a few hours after the world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, Frau Junge passed away after a long bout with cancer on February 11, 2002. (Marty Doskins/BOP)