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Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary
DVD disk
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Traudl Junge, born in 1920, was Adolf Hitler’s secretary from 1942 until the end of World War II. For more than 50 years, she kept her memories to herself and remained silent about her life during that time, having lived in a one-bedroom apartment in Munich since the mid-1950’s. Author Melissa Muller arranged several meetings with Traudl Junge in April and June of 2001 which resulted in this documentary. It was completed only months before Traudl Junge’s death in 2002.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This documentary really hooked me. Clearly, I am not the only one who enjoyed it either as it was the winner of the Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival last year as well as the Best Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival. One of the best aspects of this film was the secretary’s insight into the final days in Hitler’s bunker and the events that took place before Hitler took his life there in April 1945. I couldn’t take my eyes off the subtitles. I was personally somewhat aware of the events and people during that time, so this made the documentary even more interesting to me. Familiar names kept popping up, the Berghof, Bormann, Goebbels, Goering, Himmler and of course, Hitler’s love and eventual wife, Eva Braun. Traudl Junge also recounted how she took dictation for the Fuhrer’s last will and testament, and she shares some anecdotes too. One in particular took me by surprise: how Hitler did not like flowers in any of his rooms as they were “dead”.

During this riveting account by Junge, the viewer can feel that she is struggling with her conscience and having trouble forgiving herself, although towards the end she sort of does. She says that Hitler always told the German people, “You don’t have to worry, any of you, you just have to do whatever I say, and I’ll take responsibility”. She replies to this, “As if anyone can take charge of another person’s conscience”. She explains her reasoning behind the tragedy of the Third Reich. No one, not even her, saw what was really going on during Hitler’s time, hence the title. Although she does talk a bit about her childhood and her family, the documentary clearly focuses on her time with the Fuhrer and most specifically on his final days. Junge’s revelations are well-spoken and clearly thought out. She may have been 81 when this was made, but she had a razor-sharp memory and very clear thoughts. She feels this burden of guilt because she worked for a man who caused such horrible suffering for so many millions. It is a documentary that will make you think, and is obviously not light entertainment. It is amazing to have a first-hand account of someone so close to the Fuhrer, one of the leading monsters of this past century, and this lady has that and then some.
THE EXTRAS
Almost nothing. This DVD includes two trailers, one for “Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary” and another one for “The Endurance”, which is a documentary of the "greatest survival story ever told". Quite unimpressive, considering that they could have included extra features such as footage from the Berghof, still photos of the principal characters and other historical background info. It felt a bit weird listening to her talking about this and that without ever seeing a photo of this and that.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you're a fan of historical films, anything Hitler-related or WW II, you will surely enjoy renting or owning this DVD, although you shouldn't expect any pertinent extras. It is a unique look into an important time of our history and tells of things we previously did not know. It was never slow or boring and kept my interest throughout. Now if only Mussolini’s and Stalin’s secretaries could step forth and share their private thoughts on their bosses, then I would be satisfied.
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