Brunhilde Pomsel, former secretary to Joseph Goebbels has died aged 106. She died in her sleep in her Munich flat. Her death was confirmed on Sunday night by Christian Kroenes, who produced and directed a documentary film about her.
Pomsel began working for Adolf Hitler’s propagandist in 1942. Goebbels propaganda targeted Jews, aiming to make their hideous mistreatment and the holocaust justifiable to the average German in the street.
Goebbels and his wife killed themselves and their six children in Hitler’s bunker at the closing stages of the war. After the conflict Pomsel disappeared from public sight.
In 2011, however, Pomsel resurfaced after giving an interview to a German newspaper. She was one of the last surviving members of the German leadership’s inner circle and her resurfacing prompted interest in her insights.
In Kroenes documentary she talked about her three years working with Goebbels. He used newspapers and radio to spread propaganda about Jewish people.
In the film she said, “I wouldn’t see myself as being guilty. Unless you end up blaming the entire German population for ultimately enabling that government to take control. That was all of us. Including me.”
In the Bunker
She also describes being in Hitler’s bunker in 1945. She was instructed to keep Hitler’s inner circle topped up with alcohol so they were desensitised to the reality of losing to the Russians, their most hated of enemy.
Pomsel was born in 1911 and started an apprenticeship with a Jewish wholesale manufacturer in 1926.
However, due to the treaty of Treaty of Versailles and the Great Depression which led to the rise of Hitler, she became unemployed.
Subsequently, she became a shorthand secretary for Dr Hugo Goldberg, a Jewish insurance broker.
In 1933 her boss fled Germany as Hitler’s power grew. After this she managed to get work working for author Wulf Bley, who had close ties to the Nazi party and she used her connections to get a job in German broadcasting.
Goebbels offered her an assistant job which she accepted. She always insisted she did not know about the holocaust.