Even 71 years after she last typed a letter for one of the most infamous monsters of the Adolf Hitler regime, a former secretary for Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels refers to the murder of six million people as “the matter of the Jews” and says telling her life story has nothing to do with “clearing my conscience.”
Brunhilde Pomsel, 105, spoke to The Guardian shortly after a film about her time as a Nazi aide, “A German Life,” was released at the Munich Film Festival. Pomsel was one of Goebbels’ six secretaries, hired by the ministry of propaganda in 1942 when she was 31 years old.
She described Goebbels – who rallied Germany to Hitler’s cause and covered up the German ruler’s crimes – in glowing terms, commenting on his “gentlemanly countenance” and remarking about his well-kept nails.
“He had well-groomed hands – he probably had a manicure every day,” Pomsel told The Guardian, laughing. “There was really nothing to criticize about him.”
She said her work for the Nazi regime was “just another job” and scoffed at those who questioned how so many people – including someone such as Pomsel – could have gone along with Hitler’s genocidal agenda.
“Those people nowadays who say they would have stood up against the Nazis – I believe they are sincere in meaning that, but believe me, most of them wouldn’t have,” Pomsel said.
Historians said Goebbels killed himself the day after Hitler did the same, as Allied forces closed in on Berlin in the spring of 1945.