Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Until the Final Hour or Blue Skies No Fences

Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary

Author: Traudl Jung

Traudl Junge -- nйe Humps -- turned 20 in 1940 and dreamed of a career as a ballerina, but to support herself she became a secretary. Two years later the "opportunity of her life" beckoned, when Adolf Hitler, then at his headquarters in eastern Prussia known as the "Wolf's Lair," chose her from among ten candidates as his assistant. For the next two and a half years she was at his side -- at the "Wolf's Lair," at Berchtesgaden, in the besieged Berlin bunker in the spring of 1945 -- typing his correspondence, his speeches, even his private last will and testament. After the war people of all stripes -- writers, journalists, filmmakers -- approached her to find out -- how he really was, -- and in 1947, at the urging of a friend, she set out to write this journal. As she learned more and more about the horrors of the war and of the Holocaust, she put it aside, almost in shame, wracked with guilt that she had not seen past the pleasant faзade of this man who was, she now realized, evil incarnate. Finally, the writer Melissa Mьller persuaded her to allow her journal to be published, with a new foreword explaining her position. By its description of the outwardly, very normal, almost mundane quality of day-to-day life with Adolf Hitler, this work once again confirms, as did Victor Klemperer's I Will Bear Witness, Hannah Arendt's perceptive notion of the "banality of evil."

The Washington Post

Mueller's extensive postscript leaves no doubt that for the rest of her life Junge was haunted by those two years. Not long before her death she said: "Today I mourn for two things: for the fate of those millions of people who were murdered by the National Socialists. And for the girl Traudl Humps who lacked the self-confidence and good sense to speak out against them at the right moment." How many others could, and should, say the same? — Jonathan Yardley

New interesting textbook: Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution or Slouching Towards Gomorrah

Blue Skies, No Fences: A Memoir of Childhood and Family

Author: Lynne Cheney

and/or stickers showing their discounted price. More about bargain books

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