Gertraud "Traudl" Junge (born March 16, 1920 in Munich as Gertraud Humps ; † February 11, 2002 ibid) was one of Adolf Hitler's four secretaries from 1942 to 1945 alongside Gerda Christian , Christa Schroeder and Johanna Wolf .
In 2002, shortly before her death, Junge and the journalist Melissa Müller published the book Up to the Last Hour - Hitler's Secretary Tells Her Life , which had already been written in 1947 but was not published at the time . It served as one of the foundations for the feature film Der Untergang (2004), in which she herself is portrayed as a secretary. André Heller and Othmar Schmiderer had previously recorded the documentary Im toten Winkel - Hitler's secretary (2002) in interview form .
Traudl Junge was born as the first child of the master brewer Max Humps and the general daughter Hildegard Humps (née Zottmann). Her younger sister was Inge Kaye (born Humps, 1923–2008).
Max Humps became unemployed early on and soon joined the Freikorps Oberland , a politically right-wing extremist association that fought with others against the Weimar Republic and was later banned. When Traudl was five years old, his father left his family and moved to Turkey , where he was able to work again in his profession. The mother Hildegard refused to move and asked for a divorce.
From then on, Traudl Humps and her family lived with General Maximilian Zottmann (1852–1942), the father of mother Humps. Traudl Humps later described this as pedantic, disciplined and orderly. In 1933 the young Traudl discovered her passion for dancing. She and her sister began to dream of a career as a dancer. However, the economic reality of her family prevented this. In 1936 she finished school prematurely with the secondary school leaving certificate . Reluctantly, she went to business school for a year with the prospect of a job as a secretary. This was followed by various occupations as an office clerk , as assistant to the editor-in-chief of a magazine for the tailoring trade and as a secretary in a company.
Hitler's private secretary
In 1942 Traudl Humps moved to Berlin and, through her sister, who was engaged as a dancer “Inge Zohmann” at the Deutsches Theater Berlin , got a job in the Reich Chancellery of Adolf Hitler with the help of Albert Bormann . First she sorted the dictator's mail. Then an internal secretary competition took place. She still dreamed of becoming a dancer and was not interested in a permanent position as a secretary. When the “Führer” was looking for a new private secretary because his experienced Gerda Christian went on vacation for a long time, Humps was not nervous and made the fewest mistakes in dictation. Together with a small group of other young colleagues, she was sent by train to the Fuehrer's headquarters in Wolfsschanze , where Hitler was staying at the time, and after a medical examination - surprisingly for her - was given the job in December 1942.
Humps lived and worked in Berlin , in the Berghof in Berchtesgaden and in the Wolfsschanze in East Prussia . With Johanna Wolf, Christa Schroeder and Gerda Christian, she formed the quartet of so-called Führer's secretaries. In the war years , when Hitler's aversion to the military increased, he only dined with the secretaries, which gave them intimate insights into his private life, his world of thought and his past. Humps and the others had to get used to Hitler's daily routine: getting up late, eating lunch, resting, drinking coffee, resting, late dinner, film screenings, endless nightly tea hours, going to bed late (around 5 a.m.). On June 19, 1943, Traudl Humps and Hitler's personal servant, Hans-Hermann Junge , an officer in the Waffen SS from Preetz in Holstein, married in Munich. He fell in Normandy on August 13, 1944 .
In early 1945, Traudl Junge and the other members of the Führer’s personal adjutant moved into the Führer's bunker under the Reich Chancellery , where she witnessed Hitler’s last weeks at close quarters. On the night of April 20-21, Hitler wanted to remove the remaining women from the bunker and have them brought to the Berghof in Berchtesgaden, including the secretaries. However, only Johanna Wolf and Christa Schroeder agreed to do so; Traudl Junge, Gerda Christian, Hitler's diet cook Constanze Manziarly , Bormann's secretary Else Krüger and Eva Braun stayed. On the evening of April 28, she attended Hitler's marriage to Eva Braun, and immediately afterwards Hitler dictated his political and private will . When the shot was fired at around 3:30 p.m. on April 30, with which Adolf Hitler shot himself, Traudl Junge was sitting in a side wing of the bunker and eating with the Goebbels children.
Captured after Hitler's death
After Adolf Hitler's suicide, she joined a group of around twenty people led by SS Brigade Leader Wilhelm Mohnke , who managed to leave the Reich Chancellery on the night of May 1st and turn one into a bunker in the morning hours To reach the beer cellar, which was surrounded by Soviet soldiers. With her colleague Gerda Christian , Martin Bormann's secretary Else Krüger and Constanze Manziarly , she received the order from Mohnke to continue wearing civilian clothes and to hand over a last report previously written by Mohnke to Hitler's successor Karl Dönitz . The following night she was separated from her companions. On the following days she left Berlin and fled across the country towards the British zone. The news of the official end of the war did not reach them. Together with other refugees, she finally reached Wittenberge , where, however, she was unable to cross the Elbe in order to reach the American zone. At the beginning of June, Traudl Junge reached Berlin again after another walk. Meanwhile, was Donitz government in the special area Mürwik been arrested. In Berlin she lived with a friend under the pseudonym Gerda Alt until she was arrested by the Soviets on June 9th . She was classified by the Allies - also because of her young age - as a fellow traveler and therefore went unpunished.
After the war
In 1947 an entrepreneur friend of mine suggested that the boy should write down her experiences in book form. However, the text was not published on the grounds that "the readers would not be interested in such stories".
In the mid-1970s she was interviewed for the book Die Katakombe - Das Ende in the Reich Chancellery by Uwe Bahnsen and James O'Donnell and for the British documentary Die Welt im Krieg ( The World at War ) by Michael Darlow.
In 2000 Junge met the journalist and writer Melissa Müller , whom she introduced to the artist André Heller . With the director and cameraman Othmar Schmiderer , he recorded Junge's memories of her life as Hitler's secretary in interview form as a documentary film Im toten Winkel - Hitler's secretary ; the film, released in 2002, received the audience award at the Berlinale 2002 . Müller published the manuscript, which was revised by Junge and her, as a book Until the Last Hour - Hitler's Secretary Tells Her Life , which had been in Junge's drawer since 1947; shortly after its publication, Traudl Junge died of cancer on February 11, 2002. The book served as one of the foundations for the film Der Untergang, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and published in 2004 (screenplay and production by Bernd Eichinger ), which contains two interview scenes from the film Im toten Winkel - Hitler’s secretary and that by Alexandra Maria Lara depicted secretary forms an important role as a leading figure for the audience.
- Traudl Junge, Melissa Müller: Until the last hour - Hitler's secretary tells her life. List-Verlag Taschenbuch, 2003, ISBN 978-3-548-60354-4 (8th edition 2011). ( No. 1 on the Spiegel bestseller list from March 4 to 10, 2002 )
- André Heller, Othmar Schmiderer: In the blind spot - Hitler's secretary , 2004.
- Oliver Hirschbiegel: The Downfall , 2005.
- The World at War - Complete Edition. 12 DVDs, 2011.
- Traudl Junge in theInternet Movie Database(English)
- Literature by and about Traudl Junge in the catalog of the German National Library
- Jürgen Langowski: Adolf Hitler, The Testaments. In: NS-Archiv.de. (written down by Traudl Junge).
- Cristina Nord: As if she had only experienced everything yesterday. In: taz.de . May 2, 2002 (interview with the director Othmar Schmiderer).
- Werner A. Perger: National Socialism: The cozy older gentleman with the low voice. In: Die Zeit 7/2002. February 7, 2002 .
- Nils Minkmar: Eichinger's Hitler Film: Who Was Traudl Junge? In: FAZ.net . September 15, 2004 .
- Armin Dieter Lehmann, Tim Carroll: In Hitler's Bunker: A Boy Soldier's Eyewitness Account of the Fuhrer's Last Days . Globe Pequot, Guilford 2005, ISBN 978-1-59228-578-5 .
- Traudl Junge, Melissa Müller: Until the last hour - Hitler's secretary tells her life. Munich 2002, pp. 213 f., 234 ff.
- The World at War (1973–1974). In: fernsehserien.de . Retrieved March 16, 2020 .
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Boy, Gertraud; Humps, Gertraud (maiden name); Alt, Gerda (pseudonym)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German private secretary of Adolf Hitler|
|DATE OF BIRTH||March 16, 1920|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Munich|
|DATE OF DEATH||February 11, 2002|
|Place of death||Munich|