Blind Spot: Hitlerís Secretary (9)

 Copyright © 2003 by Tony Medley

 

 Ninety minutes of an 81 year-old woman talking.  Thatís what this is.  Sounds dreadful, right?  I say you wonít soon spend a more fascinating 90 minutes.

 Traudi Junge became Hitlerís secretary in 1942 when she was 22 years old and continued until his suicide in the bunker in April of 1945.  Apparently nobody was interested enough to talk to her until the turn of the century when Andre Heller interviewed her on film in three separate interviews.

 What is surprising is Jungeís eloquence.  She is an intelligent, articulate, reflective woman who tells her story in an interesting, compelling manner.  Blind Spot is a straight interview with no reverses or changing camera angles; just one head and shoulder shot, occasionally moving in for a closer shot.  She just talks about her life with Hitler.  What we get is a view of Hitler never before seen.  This isnít the raving maniac so often pictured in the movies.  Jungeís picture of him is quite different, and logical, about how he lived his every day life and how he treated the people who worked for him.

 Junge didnít recognize Hitler for the evildoer he was until much later, and she is frankly troubled by her unquestioning acceptance of him.  She is a knowledgeable reporter of Hitlerís every day life, which has been shrouded in a cloud of indifference.  Apparently nobody cared what he did every day and how he treated the people around him.  Maybe they thought this too mundane considering that he was responsible for Stalingrad, Dachau, a World War, and tens of millions dead.  But he did have to get up every morning, eat breakfast, go to the office, and deal with people.  The way he approached the ordinary details of living is absorbing, and a subject never before considered.

 The last half of Blind Spot covers Jungeís remembrances of the final days in the bunker in April of 1945, and gives a view of those days from a non-ideologue who lived through it, from a brand new perspective.  This is not your garden-variety story of the Third Reich.  Far from it.  Itís the story of how an historical monster lived his everyday life and interfaced with the people around him, from secretaries to Generals to Eva Braun. I was captivated.  In German with subtitles.

 February 20, 2003

 The End

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