She Was Inside the Nazi Regime, Still Says She Knew Nothing

Brunhilde Pomsel gives an interview at age 105
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2016 6:49 PM CDT
Updated Aug 20, 2016 6:55 AM CDT

It was only after World War II, after she had served five years in a prison camp and returned to Berlin, that Brunhilde Pomsel says she learned about "the matter of the Jews." That's her circumlocution for the Holocaust, and it's a fairly surprising assertion considering the now 105-year-old's role as secretary to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. She speaks to the Guardian in what Kate Connolly describes as "one of the first, and last, in-depth interviews of her life," spurred by the release of a documentary about her called A German Life. So many decades later, Pomsel is "unrepentant," writes Connolly, insisting there is nothing weighing on her conscience and that she "really ... didn't do anything other than type." In the film she casts herself as too "dumb" and "superficial" to comprehend what was happening, reports the New York Times.

That's not to say all that typing was innocuous: She recalls beefing up the count of the number of women raped by Red Army soldiers, and expresses pride that Goebbels trusted her with the case file of a young woman who was executed for treason. In terms of other recollections, Haaretz reports the film provides little untold insight into Goebbels beyond an affection so deep for his dog that he once had it flown to him in Venice, "but it does shed light on human nature." As for Eva Löwenthal, her Jewish friend who went missing, Pomsel says she completely accepted the story that was being told: that Jews were sent to empty homes in Czech lands Germany had annexed. It wasn't until 2005 that she sought the truth of Löwenthal's fate: Records showed her friend ended up in Auschwitz in November 1943 and was dead by the war's end. (Also making headlines: Himmler's lost diaries.)

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