My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read this book out of curiosity to find out what Hitler was like behind the public facade when he was backstage with his personal staff. I had done some research on the subject myself, but other books of the interest seemed to be written to provoke spotlight publicity and sensationalism by those who professed to work for him on a personal level, as a chauffeur or a secretary, or a bodyguard. I am not questioning the validity of their work experience, personal integrity, or character but the intention of publicizing such experience as if it were an excuse for asking for a public pardon for having worked for the Fuhrer. One of such illustrative example is Traudl Junge’s well known memoir on her time as a Hitler’s secretary in which she keeps trying to tell readers that she wasn’t part of the evil reich.
However, this book is relatively devoid of such grandiose content, pomposity of authenticity, and glorification of the fallen reich, which of course, the author could be unable to manifest anyway. Rather, Ms. Schroeder’s coldly objective narrative carries a certain tone of authority in recounting her work experience as senior personal secretary to Hitler who was so reliable and trusty that she was always available and ready to work on call even in the middle of night. Unlike her junior secretary Traudl who was a bit of a celebrity by appearing on as many interviews as possible while she was alive, Ms. Schroede rarely made public appearances and stayed out of limelight.
If you want eye-catching episodes or Hitler’s personal secrets, this is not a book for you. As the title of the book says, Hitler was her chief, her boss by whom she was employed for her secretarial service. That Hitler was kind and understanding to his secretaries and some of his other attendants could be a revelation in this book. For the clarity of the contents and the author’s objective approach to the subject matter, this book is distinguished from other books of similar subject matter.
Caveat: For some more information on Christa Schroeder, Wikipedia will provide readers with a concise biography as linked herein. Hitler’s Senior Secretary