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Im Toten Winkel: Hitler's Secretary

Amazing interview with Traudl Junge who as a young woman was one of Hitler's secretaries and who was there in the Bunker in the final days of the war, even writing up his final political testament and personal will.

In a clever filmmaking device - where the camera is on her as she watches an earlier interview for the film - you can see her struggling with her guilt. A belated guilt that has grown over time: that she worked for and liked, in her naivete, someone who was responsible for such atrocities. And yet the Hitler she knew was friendly, soft-spoken, paternal. A man of contradictions who loved his singing dog (!) Blondie, yet killed her to test a poison capsule. A man who inspired both devotion and hatred by his staff and the world, sometimes within the same people.

Her account of the events leading up to Hitler's bunker suicide is so eloquent that the images she paints - of the banality, the surreal macabreness, the isolation and desolation, the moments of tenderness and horror - are more compelling than any fictionalised account I can imagine.

One of the best documentaries I've seen because - other than the "film the subject watching the subject" device mentioned above, it doesn't rely on any of the typical documentary methods - historical footage, music, lots of editing - for its power. Just one woman baring her soul in the months before her death.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 11, 2004 10:53 AM.

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