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Hitler's secretary dies aged 81

Junge said she admired Hitler
Junge said she admired Hitler  

BERLIN, Germany -- The woman who was by Adolf Hitler's side throughout his wartime leadership and was privy to his last days has died.

Traudl Junge was the Fuehrer's secretary from 1943 to 1945 and took down his last will and testament.

She spent more time in his company than most, remaining on call around the clock.

She died on Monday in a Munich hospital just hours after a documentary on her life had been screened at the Berlin International Film Festival.

She was 81 and had been suffering from cancer.

Austrian director Andre Heller, who culled 10 hours of interviews for the 90-minute documentary, said Junge agreed to speak out because she knew she did not have long to live.

Heller said Junge told him: "I have finally let go of my story. Now I feel the world is letting go of me."

Her death also comes days after the publication of her memoirs, In the Final Hours, drawn from notes she compiled in 1946. Europe
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She has said: "I admit, I was fascinated by Adolf Hitler.

"He was a pleasant boss and a fatherly friend. I deliberately ignored all the warning voices inside me and enjoyed the time by his side almost until the bitter end.

"It wasn't what he said, but the way he said things and how he did things."

In the documentary -- Blind Spot -- Junge said she applied for the job as one of Hitler's secretaries at the age of 22 because she was taken with his magnetic power.

It was during Junge's years serving Hitler that most of the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust died, although she said she never heard Jews discussed.

She said it was only after the war, when she learned what many already knew about the Holocaust, that she felt wracked with guilt for having liked the "greatest criminal who ever lived."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has criticised the screening of the film, calling Junge's recollections "sheer fantasy" and "revisionism" and saying that everyone who was close to Hitler heard him "rant and rave about the Jews."


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