Website notes on the article by Gitta Sereny


1. Traudl Junge was selected to join Hitler's staff in November not December 1942. It is worth noting incidentally that Gitta Sereny never fails to remark on the physical beauty of female interview subjects (". . . slim, elegant, white-haired but smooth-skinned and quite beautiful.")

2. Ian Kershaw's Achilles Heel is surely his limited knowledge of the German language. Invited by David Irving to testify as an expert witness (in the Lipstadt trial) on the meaning of words during the Third Reich, Kershaw apologised in a courteous letter that his knowledge of the language was insufficient. His bibliography shows however that he is an assiduous reader of the books of other historians of the period who are proficient in the language (including Mr Irving).

3. Sereny's curious use of the word "tried" in this sentence might be taken to deflect the suspicion that she never managed to speak with Traudl Junge before this interview. Mr Irving first interviewed the secretary in 1967; she was kind enough to give him a complete typescript of her then unpublished post-war memoirs, written in about 1947, on which he relied during the writing of his work Hitler's War.

4. How sad -- and how very typical -- that after reproducing the verbatim passages of the interview where it touched upon far more mundane matters, Sereny fails to give her readers the precise words in which Traudl Junge revealed this remarkable fact, namely Hitler's personal involvement in the "final solution."

5. "Two hours before Hitler killed himself . . ." More Sereny sloppiness. The Testament was dictated shortly after midnight on April 29, 1945, some thirty-six hours before his death. Hitler killed himself at 3:30 p.m. on April 30, 1945.