traudl junge

Eva Braun took a lot of trouble to amuse the Führer. Once she tried to draw the photographer Walter Frentz and her friend Herta into a conversation about new films. Hitler began quietly whistling a tune. Eva Braun said, ‘You’re not whistling that properly, it goes like this.’ And she whistled the real tune. ‘No, no, I’m right,’ said the Führer. ‘I bet you I’m right,’ she replied. ‘You know I never bet against you because I’ll have to pay in any case,’ said Hitler. ‘If I win I must be magnanimous and refuse to take my winnings, and if she wins I have to pay her,’ he explained to the rest of us. ‘Then let’s play the record and you’ll see,’ suggested Eva Braun. Albert Bormann was the adjutant on duty. He rose and put the record in question - I forget what it was - on the gramophone. We all listened hard and intently, and Eva Braun turned out to be right. She was triumphant. ‘Yes,’ said Hitler. ‘So you were right, but the composer composed it wrong. If he’d been as musical as me then he’d have composed my tune.’ We all laughed, but I do believe Hitler meant it seriously.
—  Traudl Junge, Until the Final Hour: Hitler’s Last Secretary
Hitler played all kinds of little games with [Blondi]. He got her to beg, and ‘be a schoolgirl’, which meant getting up on her hind legs and putting both front paws on the arm of Hitler’s chair, like a good little school pupil. Her best turn was singing. Hitler would tell her, in his kindest, most coaxing voice, ‘Sing, Blondi!’ and then he struck up a long-drawn-out howl himself. She joined in the high notes, and the more Hitler praised her the louder she sang. Sometimes her voice rose too high, and then Hitler said, 'Sing lower, Blondi, sing like Zara Leander!’ Then she gave a long, low howl like the wolf who was certainly among her ancestors. She was given three little pieces of cake every evening, and when Hitler raised three fingers of his hand she knew at once that she was about to get her evening treat.
—  Hitler’s Last Secretary: a Firsthand Account with Hitler by Traudl Junge

The following is part of an interview with Hitler’s secretary, Traudul Junge, who was with him from Autumn of 1942 until the collapse of the Nazi regime. 

Junge: That can really only happen when a tyrannical system is so well-established, that it can dominate the entire fabric of society. And the Germans are good at organizing.

Interviewer: People’s consciences too? 

Junge: Yes. You see, that’s an area where Hitler did a huge amount of harm. He actually tried to manipulate the conscience of the German people. He convinced them they had a task to do, they had to exterminate the Jews, because the Jews caused all our problems. It wasn’t Hitler’s own idea; it had been put forward much earlier. I can remember a writer… she interviewed a soldier who had been stationed in  concentration camp. He was a guard and she asked him, “Didn’t you feel any pity at all for the people you treated so badly there?” And he replied, “Yes, I certainly did feel pity for them, but I had to overcome it. That was a sacrifice I had to make for a greater cause.” And that’s what happened to conscience. After all, Hitler used to always say: “You don’t have to worry, any of you, you just have to do whatever I say, and I’ll take responsibility.” As if anyone can take charge of another person’s conscience. I do think you can make someone’s conscience more sensitive, or desensitize it, or manipulate it. 

Of course the horrors, of which I heard in connection of the Nuremberg trials, the fate of the 6 million Jews, their killing and those of many others who represented different races and creeds, shocked me greatly, but at that time I could not see any connection between these things and my own past. I was only happy that I had not personally been guilty of these things and that I had not been aware of the scale of these things. However, one day I walked past a plaque that on the Franz-Joseph Straße (in Munich), on the wall in memory of Sophie Scholl. I could see that she had been born the same year as I, and that she had been executed the same year when I entered into Hitler’s service. And at that moment I really realised, that it was no excuse that I had been so young. I could perhaps have tried to find out about things.
—  Traudl Junge in Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary
It was at an occasion of this kind that I first saw Eva Braun and was introduced to her.
She was very well dressed and groomed, and I noticed her natural, unaffected manner. She wasn’t at all the kind of ideal German girl you saw on recruiting posters for the BDM or in women’s magazines. Her carefully done hair was bleached, and her pretty face was made up - quite heavily but in very good taste.
—  Hitler’s secretary, Traudl Junge, in her book of memoars “Until the Final Hour”

Downfall (Der Untergang)

(2004) Rated R - 2hr 35m [German - Eng. Subs]

One winter night in 1942, a group of young women are escorted to Hitler’s headquarters. 22 year-old Traudl Junge gets the job despite her lack of experience in typing.

8.3/10 - IMDB

View Trailer || Add/Watch on Netflix

Clase 3. Conciencia y comunicación

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Foto de Traudl Junge, interpretada por Alexandra María Lara en la cinta La Caída

“Todos estos horrores que escuché durante el juicio de Nuremberg, estos 6 millones de judíos, de personas que pensaban diferente o gente de otras razas que perecieron. Eso me impactó profundamente. Pero no había relacionado eso con mi pasado. Me hice sentir bien conmigo misma, pensando que no había sido culpable de manera personal. Y que yo no sabía nada sobre la dimensión que tenía todo lo que pasó. Pero un día pasé cerca de una placa conmemorativa de Sophie Scholl en Franz-Joseph-Strassen. Descubrí que ella tenía mi edad cuando fue ejecutada, justo el mismo año en que yo fuí con Hitler. En ese momento, me di cuenta que la edad no es una excusa. Y que hubiera sido posible conocer las cosas que pasaban…”.

- Traudl Junge, secretaria particular de Hitler

En el siguiente video puedes ver un breve extracto de la entrevista que se hizo a Traudl Junge y su experiencia como secretaria de Hitler:

En la misma época que Traudl Junge trabajó como secretaria de Hitler, Sophie Scholl y otros compañeros de ella iniciaron un movimiento para denunciar los crímenes que estaban perpetrando los nazis contra personas de otros países y contra judíos.

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Foto de Sophie School

“Desde la conquista de Polonia 300.000  Judios han sido asesinados en este país de la manera más bestial …  El pueblo alemán aletargado en el torpe y estúpido sueño de animar a estos criminales fascistas … Cada  hombre quiere ser exonerado de culpas de este tipo , cada uno sigue su camino con la más plácida, la más tranquila de las conciencias. Pero no puede ser exonerado, sino que  es ¡culpable, culpable, culpable! ”

- Fragmento del segundo Follleto de la Rosa Blanca

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Hans Scholl, su hermana Sophie Scholl y Christoph Probst, estudiantes de la Universidad de Munich que se opusieron a las atrocidades del nazismo y publicaron el “Manifiesto de la Rosa Blanca”.


Actividad 3

1. De manera personal, lee el este Documento que habla sobre qué es la conciencia desde el punto de vista de Hanna Arendt

2. En un grupo de 5 que conformaremos en el salón, discutirás sobre el tema de la lectura y en grupo escribirán en un documento de Google un ensayo que explique por qué la conciencia es importante para las personas y para un país. Reflexiona sobre cómo la conciencia es necesaria a la hora de producir contenidos mediáticos o a la hora de comunicarnos con otras personas.

3. Cada miembro del grupo publicará una entrada en su blog, con un resumen del ensayo de una extensión máxima de un párrafo y un enlace al documento original en Google Documents.

4. En el campus virtual, enviarán un enlace a la entrada de su blog en el espacio para responder a las tareas.

La actividad se entregará el jueves 2 de febrero

Créditos de las fotografías

Foto tomada del sitio Meaus y usado bajo uso justo para la educación

Foto de Sophie School tomada del sitio A World to Remembver y es usada uso justo para la educación

La foto de los miembros del movimiento de la Rosa Blanca fue tomada de Wikipedia. No tiene autor conocido y se usa bajo uso justo para la educación.

TRAUDL JUNGE / IM TOTEN WINKEL: „ Als ich dahin gekommen bin, hab ich gedacht: jetzt bin ich an der Quelle der Information und ich war im toten Winkel! Das ist wie in einer Explosion, da gibt es einen Punkt, wo Stille herrscht. Und das war die Größe Illusion. Nicht die große Enttäuschung - die große Lüge, die ich mir da vorgestellt hatte.“

Contrast: Sophie Scholl and Traudl Junge

So I thought it’d be interesting (well, for me) if I started “contrasting” different facets of history on this tumblr blog, so I’m going to start with Sophie Scholl, a leading member of The White Rose, a Nazi resistance group, and Traudl Junge, Hitler’s youngest secretary.

In the end of the movie “Downfall,” a German movie about the last days of WWII in Hitler’s bunker (SO TERRIFYING… it was really not a good idea to watch it on Christmas Eve), they show a clip of real-life Traudl, who is then around 80 years old (she died in 2002 I think; she was interviewed for a documentary called “The Blind Spot”) saying that although the Western Allies labeled her as a “young follower” therefore letting her go, one day she passed a memorial plaque for Sophie Scholl, and realizes that Sophie was born the same year as her and executed the year she started working for Hitler. Traudl then makes the point that youth is not an excuse for being politically oblivious or something like that.

As you can tell in the movie “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days,” one of the best movies in the history of the planet, Sophie was super brave. She defied those Nazi turds until the very last moments of her life.

Let me briefly explain who Sophie was and what she did that led to her extremely unjust execution if you haven’t heard of her before:

She was in college at University of Munich with her older brother, Hans, and she and him distributed a bunch of these anti-Nazi flyers about how the Germans practically sacrificed thousands of their soldiers in Stalingrad that Hans and his friends wrote. But they were arrested and cruelly executed by SS officers along with Hans’ friend Christopher Probst.

So the question is, how did two girls of the same age, living in the same country (even the same area; Traudl was from Munich), receive such radically different impressions of the Third Reich?

Traudl’s family weren’t enthusiastic Nazis and they even advised her to not get involved with Hitler. But that’s really all I know about her background. Sophie on the other hand was religious and her talent in painting and drawing introduced her to modern artists that the Nazis labeled as “degenerate.” (Hitler believed that modern artists couldn’t see colors and forms as they really were and that there was something wrong with them, another point altogether). So maybe Sophie was mad when Hitler banned modern art? Maybe that’s why she was turned against the Nazis at a somewhat young age?

Well, according to Sophie’s Wikipedia page, because of her theological beliefs she hated how the Nazis thought that some people had less worth than others.

Also, Sophie loved kids and somehow found out about how the Nazis were killing mentally challenged children. But a lot of people found out about it I think and they didn’t protest it. I wonder if Traudl did? 

ANYWAYS, what befuddles me is how Sophie and Traudl saw the Third Reich so differently from each other. Was is because Sophie was just plain smarter that Traudl, or because of the way that they were raised? How could Sophie see through the propaganda and Traudl couldn’t?

Too bad there’s not much more information about Traudl! I need to watch more WW2 movies do more research.

Downfall (2004)

(viewed on 8/1/11)

I capped off my first WWII series (there are enough movies on my list to do another) with Downfall.  Most people know this film from the multiple Hitler-freak-out parodies that have been made over the years.  I really enjoyed the Carmageddon one

It wasn’t until my cousin Erica suggested Downfall to me this summer that I even thought about apart from the parodies.  It’s a rare thing to find Hitler portrayed in a film, let alone the subject of it.  The actor who plays Hitler is fantastic.  Can you imagine taking that role?  What’s worse: your first big tv role is a naked prostitute on Game of Thrones, or you get the role of Hitler that will be parodied thousands of times?  Either way, it’s not a fun call to your friends and family. 

The story of Hitler’s last days in his bunker is told mainly through the eyes of his secretary, Traudl Junge, a woman in her mid-20s.  I have a real problem with this lady.  She claims that she always thought she was just too young to realize what was going on and what Hitler was doing, until she saw Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, and realized that she WASN’T too young and she should have never been Hitler’s secretary or should have questioned his work a bit.  I tried so hard to put myself in this person’s shoes, but I can’t seem to understand.  Maybe you need a concrete system of denial to get through life after being Hitler’s secretary, otherwise you’d probably die of guilt.  She was 25, not 12!!  Ugh.

At least the film was made.   It’s a terrifying display of what people are capable of when they BELIEVE.