Here’s a striking secretary image: Brunhilde Pomsel typing away as Joseph Goebbels waxes poetic on a “Jew-free” Germany.
In a deliberately titillating story about “Nazi Secretaries” The Daily Beast reports some tidbits about the ladies who compromised their conscience for powerful men in uniform. Pomsel, for example, said she supported the Nazis because, well, it was trendy. “I joined the party in 1933—why not? Everyone did,” she told the German newspaper Gild in her first ever interview. Goebbels’s former secretary, now age 100, waited a long time before gabbing to the press. The shocking revelation of her story? Goebbels was apparently an awful guy. “You couldn’t get close to him,” Pomsel told the paper. “He never once asked me a personal question. Right up until the end I don’t think he knew my name.”
Hitler, on the other hand, was apparently a doll of an employer, according to The Daily Beast. His secretary, Traudl Junge, who transcribed his last will and testament before he killed himself in the Reich Chancellery bunker, described him as fascinating and amiable. “He was a pleasant boss and a fatherly friend. I deliberately ignored all the warning voices inside me and enjoyed the time by his side almost until the bitter end. It wasn’t what he said, but the way he said things and how he did things,” she said.
That Hitler did have a way of doing things.
Another World War II leader, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, was, according to his secretaries, no picnic. Writer Andrew Roberts notes that Churchill’s wife, Clementine, wrote him in June 1940 that he should be nicer to his staff: “There is a danger of your being generally disliked by your colleagues and subordinates because of your rough, sarcastic and overbearing manner.”
As Roberts notes, if history were written by the secretaries, “Churchill would be the villain and Hitler the hero.”
As if real history weren’t scary enough.
Read more at The Daily Beast
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