Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Blind Spot - Hitler's Secretary|
Actor: Traudl Junge
Directors: Othmar Schmiderer, Andre Heller
Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Documentary, Military & War
An interview with Traudl Junge, one of Adolf Hitler?s private secretaries from 1942 through the collapse of the Nazi regime, in which she tells it all. 2003 National Theatrical Release.
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Kendra M. (KendraM) from NASHVILLE, TN
Reviewed on 1/13/2008...
Traudl Junge appears pleasant, well-adjusted, and thoughtful in her old age. Dying on the day that the film won awards in Europe this movie is her final statement. But, the interviewers where horrible. They never asked the key questions, rather they just allowed her to remember events and talk for almost an hour about the final days in the Berlin Bunker.
As a historical record, it's invaluable. But, as an insight into the human workings of Nazism, there is unfortunately nothing new here. Nazism and fascism in general can only function on such a large scale as it did in Germany when otherwise thoughtful people like Ms. Junge choose to create a "blind spot" so that the truth won't get through.
Traudl Junge was Hitler's secretary from 42-45. It is hard to fathom that she knew nothing about anything, acknowledging only one moment when DER JUDEN were discussed with Hitler. Imagine the scene: Frau Von Schirach comes to the Berghof and tells Hitler to his face that what is being done to the Jews is horrible. She is of course dismissed. Traudl Junge's assertion that she was unaware of the horrors that her boss and her colleagues were perpetrating is difficult to accept, just as Albert Speer's similar assetions are difficult to believe (especially since armaments production and concentration camps that supported such production fell under his authority as armaments minister). It seems that more than being embarrassed for being such a thoughtless automaton and servant of the modern devil and the greatest force of evil in the world in the last one hundred years, Junge seems embarrassed that she had created such a hole of fakery and self-deception around herself.
I've not read her book, and am not certain that I will. But it is a failure on the part of the interviewers to not ask her more questions. I heard only one or two questions, the rest of the entire film was Traudl talking about her experiences. More of a reminiscence than an insightful examination of her past, this movie is an addition to the historical record.
The insights that Junge must have had as a human being working so closely with Hitler and his cronies and sycophants were mainly lost in the movie. One almost feels badly for Ms. Junge, but not quite.
Recommended with reservations.
Insight Into Hitler's Character & Last Days of Nazi Power
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 11/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Blind Spot" is an interview with Traudl Junge who, as a young woman, worked as one of Adolph Hitler's secretaries, living alongside Hitler and other prominent members of the 3rd Reich between 1942 and 1945. Before Frau Junge died, at the age of 81, she gave this interview to filmmakers André Heller and Othmar Schmiderer in which she recounts her experiences with and her impressions of Adolph Hitler and the last days of the Reich. Frau Junge (née Humps) was entirely unsophisticated in political matters and an aspiring dancer when she took a job as a secretary in the Chancellery in Berlin. At her well-connected brother-in-law's urging, and in spite of her initial disinterest, she applied for and got a better position taking dictation for the Führer himself. Hitler was kindly and protective toward her, and she liked him. Her close proximity to him gave her firsthand knowledge of Hitler's health, his ideals, his private manners and personal habits, his paranoia, and the attempts on his life, which she describes as best she can in "Blind Spot". Perhaps understandably, Frau Junge had considered her position close to the Führer and his generals as an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the War and of Nazi policies, as she would be so near their source. Not until later did she realize that, being privy to Hitler's inner circle, she was actually in a "blind spot", sheltered more than anyone from what was going on in Germany. Frau Junge's description of the activity within the Chancellory in Berlin during the last few weeks of the War constitutes at least half of the film. Her account of the bizarre events of April 1945 is truly gripping. The audience can sense the panic and hopelessness that permeated the Chancellory as the Nazi empire came crumbling down. Frau Junge's description of the harrowing political and emotional roller-coaster that impending defeat set in motion is striking.Blind Spot" is not a good film cinematographically. It consists only of interview footage, apparently taken in a living room or den, with an occasional glimpse of Frau Junge watching her own interview, which is awkward. But the film's content is revealing and provocative, a must-see for any student of World War II or for anyone curious to understand the character of Adolph Hitler. Traudl Junge's attitude toward her own role in the Nazi regime raises an interesting question. Frau Junge was not a member of the Nazi party, nor did she do anything to harm anyone. She took dictation. After the war, she felt no guilt about working for Adolph Hitler, and no one seemed to hold it against her. It wasn't until much later, when she realized that other young Germans had not all been so ignorant of Nazi policies and that many had died trying to fight them, that Frau Junge began to feel guilty for what she had not known and eventually fell into a serious depression. At the age of 81, she still seems preoccupied by feelings of guilt for having liked a man who caused so much suffering. This begs the question: To what degree are individuals responsible for the consequences of their ignorance and/or stupidity? In this Information Age, are we all obligated to understand the things we do and say, particularly if those things affect others? Are we to be condemned for the consequences of our ignorance if they are bad? If the answer is "yes", I fear that all of humanity would be damned. Perhaps the answer is, "It depends." Traudl Junge is no longer as naive as she was as Hitler's secretary. In "Blind Spot" she articulates real understanding that she has gained of how and why Adolph Hitler "manipulated the conscience" of an entire nation. Her insights are important and interesting. But I found the questions of guilt and ignorance that her experience raises to be the most relevant and provocative aspect of her story. In German with a choice of English, French, or Spanish subtitles. There are no bonus features on the DVD."
An important film
Peccator | Phoenix, AZ United States | 12/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I would have given this film four stars (the quality suffers, not the content), but I feel Norm's review diminishes the importance of the film. If you are at once creative and analytical, you'll find a rich depth. In the film, Frau Junge doesn't excuse herself; in fact, I think she is too hard on herself. And though she doesn't put on a Hollywood penance performance, she does maintain her dignity, having been troubled for the better part of a life. Her brutal honesty can be seen in a poignant moment when she makes a comparison between herself and Sophie Scholl, who was the same age as Junge.Although the film appears to have been shot and edited by first year film students, the film is important in that it portrays a slice of history firsthand. Frau Junge is clearly intelligent and remarkably clear about her experience. It is simply amazing how much detail she remembers, and after so much time! It's also obvious that this experience colored and directed the remainder of her life.I wish the film was longer. I'm no history buff, but the Junge's recollections kept me glued to the set, pausing on the subtitles. The tragedy of Junge's life is that she separated herself from her feelings and repressed her experience, when she could have found some therapy by writing a detailed first-hand historical account. I think it would have come natural, her mind being wonderfully linear and her articulation of events easy to follow.It will bother some people that Frau Junge's personal portrayal of Hitler, while unsympathetic, often countermands the megalomaniacal historical portrayal. But the reality of this film is that it is not about Hitler--it's an intimate portrait about a woman named Traudl Junge who was fated to a time and to a place."
Peccator | 01/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Frau Junge makes no excuses for her naivete and, in fact, blames herself for not seeking out the truth. She speaks of Hitler's days in the bunker with painful candor and apologizes after recalling his love for his dog (which he later tests his poison capsules on) which she thinks is, in the greater picture, a frivolous memory. She also recalls an attempt on Hitler's life, his last-minute marriage to Eva Braun and the announcement that Hitler's body had been burned per his last wish. Nobody else who was with Hitler on his last day has ever spoken out and this is a fascinating, historical and important testimony."