Brunhilde Pomsel, Joseph Goebbels’ former personal secretary, dies at 106

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Brunhilde Pomsel, Nazi chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels’ former personal secretary, has died.

Pomsel died in Munich on Friday at the age of 106, the Associated Press reported, saying her death was confirmed Sunday to the news agency by Christian Kroenes, a director and producer of the film “A German Life.”

The documentary looks at Pomsel’s story –  from working for leading Nazis to hiding out in Hitler’s infamous bunker. The film was made when Pomsel was 105, in the wake of an interview with her published in a German newspaper in 2011, which brought her out of obscurity.

Kroenes told the Associated Press that Pomsel had been lucid when he last spoke to her on her birthday on Jan. 11.

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In an interview with the London-based The Guardian last year, Pomsel expressed little guilt about her role in the heart of “the Nazi propaganda machine,” saying most people who say they would have stood up to the Nazis are mistaken.

“The whole country was as if under a kind of a spell … I could open myself up to the accusations that I wasn’t interested in politics but the truth is, the idealism of youth might easily have led to you having your neck broken,” she said in the interview.

She called working for Goebbels “just another job.” She also said she did not know about the genocide of the Jews. “I know no one ever believes us nowadays – everyone thinks we knew everything,” she said. “We knew nothing, it was all kept well secret.”

She later  became a secretary at the state broadcaster, where she went on to become the director of programming. She retired in 1971 at the age of 60.