“I know no one ever believes us nowadays – everyone thinks we knew everything. We knew nothing, it was all kept well secret.”
– are the hilariously shocking words of Brunhilde Promsel, the typist of Adolf Hitler’s think-tank and propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
In her interview to The Guardian and even in Christian Kroenes’ 2016 film, ‘A German Life’, she claims innocence and says that she had no idea of the genocide that her party members headed by Hitler and Goebbels were carrying out, that took away the lives of about 6 million Jews.
Pomsel served as the diligent typist and stenographer to Goebbels from 1942-45 and was one of the last eye-witnesses and the inner-circle members of the Nazis. She died very recently in 2017 at the age of 106.
“We Knew Nothing”:
Pomsel was a dedicated employee of Goebbels and spoke of her eccentric employer Goebbels in fond terms as “a good looking man … a bit short”. She told how she just carried out the orders that were given to her without questioning and she was proud of the fact that the “keenness to honour that trust was stronger than my curiosity”.
She also was appreciative of having been transferred to the Nazi propaganda ministry, and said, “Only an infectious disease would have stopped me”. She was quite content with her payslip that allowed several tax-allowances.
Pomsel maintains having said that she wasn’t interested in political affairs and so didn’t keep herself abreast with the Nazi party wrong-doings. And then, very scandalously, she said that she wasn’t guilty of anything, and even if she were, she was “not the kind of person to resist and wouldn’t dare to”.
Zero Conscience Or Another Set Of Lies?
She gave elaborate reasons as to why she didn’t find the disappearing of millions of Jews as problematic. It is hard to believe her excuses even for a second as they contain no practicality at all.
It isn’t that the Jews were all and at the same time put into concentration camps. Hundreds were killed in open too. So, it isn’t remotely possible that Pomsel never came across these atrocities that were happening just beneath her nose. Or, one could believe that she was so privileged an individual that she travelled in cars and stuff and never came across something like this.
She comes out as a totally indifferent woman who was just concerned about climbing the social ladder and securing her position in the upper rungs of society. She claimed that it was only “later” that she got to know about the Holocaust. Again, it seems highly unlikely that she was unaware of an occurring that had the entire world hanging at the edge, especially when it was happening in her own country, orchestrated by her own boss.
Pomself remained unrepentant until the end of her life. She said that her own conscience was clear and she thus does not feel guilty for anything. Pomself served a mere 5 years in prison, which was hardly a punishment, considering the scale of the spine-chilling genocide that she too played a part in…whether intentionally or unintentionally, which is something that is yet to be ascertained.
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