Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary

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Arcade Publishing, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 261 pages
33 Reviews
In 1942 Germany, Traudl Junge was a young woman with dreams of becoming a ballerina like her sister, when she was offered the chance of a lifetime. At the age of twenty-two she became private secretary to Adolf Hilter, and she served him for two and a half years, right up to the bitter end. Her memoir, which she wrote not long after the war when the memories were still fresh, offers a unique and chilling glimpse of the human face of this man known to posterity as a monster.
As part of the secretarial pool, Junge observed the intimate workings of Hitler's administration. She traveled back and forth with him between the Wolf's Lair in eastern Prussia and Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps, and finally to the bunker in Berlin. She typed correspondence and speeches, including Hitler's public and private last will and testament. She and the other secretaries ate their meals and spent evenings with him, as well as with Eva Braun and high-ranking Nazi officials. She was close enough to hear the bomb that was intended to assassinate Hitler in the Wolf's Lair. She heard the shot with which Hitler ended his life, and smelled the bitter almond odor of Eva Braun's cyanide pill.
But while Junge was witness to crucial events in Hitler's last years, it is her precise, detailed observations of the outwardly normal, almost mundane quality of day-to-day life with Hitler that prove most disturbing in her memoir. In this she confirms once again - as did Victor Klemperer in his diary I Will Bear Witness - what Hannah Arendt has called the banality of evil.
  

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Review: Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary

User Review  - Sakura - Goodreads

As it appears on The Accidental Reader Being a ww2 history reader and enthusiast I came across this book in the library. The 2004 movie downfall was based on this unique memoir. This memoir was ... Read full review

Review: Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary

User Review  - Peter - Goodreads

This was a book club choice. Wouldn't necessarily something I would gave read - but that's one advantage of the divergent interests in our group. Other reviewers have used the "banality of Evil ... Read full review

Contents

A Childhood and Youth in Germany
5
My Time with Adolf Hitler
27
Confronting Guilt A Chronological Study
216
Acknowledgements
246
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Anthea Bell was born in Suffolk, was educated at Somerville College, Oxford, and works as a translator, primarily from German and French. Her translations include works of non-fiction, literary and popular fiction, and books for young people including classic German works by the Brothers Grimm, Clemens Brentano, Wilhelm Hauff and Christian Morgenstern. She has been the recipient of a number of translation prizes and awards including the 1987 Schlegel-Tieck Award for Hans Berman's The Stone and the Flute, the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation for Christine Nöstlinger's A Dog's Life, the 2002 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize for her translation of W.G. Sebald's novel Austerlitz, and the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize in 2009 for How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone.

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