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cover: Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary

Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary

Director(s): Andre Heller, Othmar Schmiderer

Theatrical Release: 2002

Cast: Traudl Junge, Andre Heller

Genre(s): Documentary, biography, war, politics, Nazi

Countries: Germany (East/West), Austria


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Running Time: 90m.

Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary is a feature-length interview with 81-year-old Austrian Traudl Junge, who served as Hitler's personal secretary from 1942 to 1945, when she was in her early twenties. She saw Hitler in his everyday life, right up until his final days, and she witnessed, firsthand, the collapse of the Nazi regime. After the war, Junge was "de-Nazified" by Allied forces as part of a program of amnesty for young people. She remained silent about her experiences for nearly 60 years, until she agreed to be interviewed by artist Andre Heller, whose own Jewish father escaped Austria as the Nazis came to power. Heller and documentarian Othmar Schmiderer edited ten hours of interview footage into the 90-minute film, which uses no archival footage, photos, or background music. It's just Junge describing her experiences on camera and occasionally watching the video playback of herself as she describes those experiences. Junge denies any real knowledge or understanding of what the Nazis were doing while she worked for them. She discusses how she was taken in by Hitler, who seemed fatherly and kind. She describes his personality. She goes into harrowing detail about the last days in the bunker. At times, she seems overwhelmed by her sense of shame at her own ignorance and naïveté. Presumably unburdened after decades of guilt, Junge passed away just hours after Blind Spot was shown at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Panorama Audience Prize. The film was also shown at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival, and the 2002 New York Film Festival. — Josh Ralske (allmovie.com)
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