I have a lot of time for people who have gone through fire and have endured; especially those during World War II. I have listened to many brave people who lived through those times. They have lessons to teach me. Usually I want to spend as much time with them as possible. We have to do that in order to NEVER FORGET and NEVER STAY SILENT.
This article on the Guardian site is about a woman I would rather have not known about. Wisdom does not come with age with some people. It’s a harsh judgement to pass to someone who has lived to 105 years of age but there is no other way to describe one Brunhilde Pomsel. Who, you ask? Brunhilde Pomsel was the secretary (or one of the secretaries) to that maniac Joseph Goebbels.
Brunhilde Pomsel worked at the heart of the Nazis’ propaganda machine. As a film about her life is released, she discusses her lack of remorse and the private side of her monstrous boss
Articles about Nazis shouldn’t anger me because we all know the the depths of depravity these “people” had shown towards others who were seen as “inferior”. Yet this woman who is still alive and appears to be quite happy with her lot in life (at 105 years of age) shows no remorse. Absolutely none. She knew nothing. Saw nothing. Did nothing.
She utters that infamous Sergeant Shultz line (from the comedy show Hogan’s Heroes) “I know nothing!” – Rats ass she didn’t know anything. I don’t believe for one minute this woman was not aware of what was going on. She was typing up the lies, she was privy to the truth and yet she didn’t know anything?
Why is she coming out of the termite infested woodwork? She says:
“It is absolutely not about clearing my conscience,” she says.
Want to know what she was doing while she claimed she didn’t know anything?
While she admits she was at the heart of the Nazi propaganda machine, with her tasks including massaging downwards statistics about fallen soldiers, as well as exaggerating the number of rapes of German women by the Red Army, she describes it, somewhat bizarrely, as “just another job”.
Hm. That’s knowing something was ‘off’ right?
Does she recognise that she did something wrong? My heart hurts from reading this article…
“It is important for me, when I watch the film, to recognise that mirror image in which I can understand everything I’ve done wrong,” she says. “But really, I didn’t do anything other than type in Goebbels’ office.”
Does she feel ANY remorse?
Often, end-of-life statements such as these are suffused with a sense of guilt. But Pomsel is unrepentant. As she holds court, gesticulating wildly, with a broad grin on her face, it seems as if she even takes something restorative from her insistence that she simply acted the same way as most other Germans.
Denial. Wash, Rinse, Repeat for seventy plus years.
So why didn’t she stand up to Nazism?
Pomsel describes herself as a product of Prussian discipline, recalling a father who, when he returned from fighting in the first world war, when she was seven, banned chamber pots from the family bedrooms. “If we wanted to go to the toilet, we had to brave all the witches and evil spirits to get to the water closet.” She and her siblings were “spanked with the carpet beater” whenever they were disobedient. “That stayed with me, that Prussian something, that sense of duty.”
Eh..what? The Prussian thing was to capitulate? She missed the part about being brave…obviously she didn’t get spanked enough to learn the lesson about bravery. What she did wasn’t brave. It was cowardly. So her father instilled in her the notion that instead of fighting she should fold like a sack of potatoes and go to work for the evil people? I’m lost.
The following quote from the article just hit me between the eyes:
She notes how life for her vivacious, red-haired Jewish friend, Eva Löwenthal, became increasingly difficult after Adolf Hitler came to power. Pomsel was also shocked by the arrest of a hugely popular announcer at the radio station, who was sent to a concentration camp as punishment for being gay. But she says that largely, she remained in a bubble, unaware of the destruction being meted out by the Nazi regime on its enemies, despite the fact she was at the physical heart of the system.
She was TYPING the propaganda…she didn’t know it was lies? Was she too young to realise what was going on? The woman was 31 years old and LOVED getting paid a lot of money so everything was just perfect.
“I know no one ever believes us nowadays – everyone thinks we knew everything. We knew nothing, it was all kept well secret.” She refuses to admit she was naive in believing that Jews who had been “disappeared” – including her friend Eva – had been sent to villages in the Sudetenland on the grounds that those territories were in need of being repopulated. “We believed it – we swallowed it – it seemed entirely plausible,” she says.
What a load of bulldust.
This woman makes my skin crawl…she fondly remembers her boss who had really nice hands….
She recalls her boss as being “short but well kept”, of a “gentlemanly countenance”, who wore “suits of the best cloth, and always had a light tan”. “He had well-groomed hands – he probably had a manicure every day,” she says, laughing at the thought.
I’m gobsmacked but it gets worse.
She was sentenced to five years’ incarceration in various Russian prison camps in and around Berlin. “It was no bed of roses,” is all she will say about that time. It was only when she returned home that she became aware of the Holocaust, she insists, referring to it as “the matter of the Jews”.
She got five years and it was “no bed of roses”. Oh the poor darling. Look at how she refers to the Holocaust. “The matter of the Jews”.
So what happened to her Jewish friend Eva? i suppose she went looking for her since she thought she was being sent elsewhere to repopulate area, right? So after she got out of jail for aiding and abetting war criminals, she went to search for her friend, right?
But it would take her a full six decades after the end of the war before she made any inquiries about her Jewish schoolfriend, Eva. When the Holocaust memorial was unveiled in 2005, she took a trip from her home in Munich to see it for herself. “I went into the information centre and told them I myself was missing someone, an Eva Löwenthal.” A man went through the records and soon tracked down her friend, who had been deported to Auschwitz in November 1943, and had been declared dead in 1945.
“The list of names on the machine on which we found her just kept on rolling non-stop down the screen,” she says, leaning her head back, the finger tips of one hand tracing the line of her necklace.
SIXTY YEARS! It would take SIXTY YEARS for her to remember her friend Eva. In her 105 years on this earth, this selfish, arrogant woman has lived a life of luxury (except for maybe five years that were not ‘a bed of roses’). I guess my grandmother was right when she said that if someone doesn’t have compassion, love and integrity from an early age, they never will.
I don’t believe in hell but sometimes I wish it did exist.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing…