London - Filmed interviews detailing Adolf Hitler’s fan mail, how he poisoned his dog and why his body was burned have been shown for the first time.
The footage, screened on German TV, was shot three years after the end of the Second World War by an American unit to quell rumours in the US military that Hitler had survived and fled to Argentina.
It was long thought lost until some of it was found last year in an archive in Nuremberg.
Traudl Junge, Hitler’s favourite secretary, talked on camera about how the Fuehrer got “love letters” from besotted followers up until his suicide in his Berlin bunker in April 1945.
“We all tried to distract him, with talk about films, or gossip, anything that would take his mind off the war. He loved gossip,” she said. “When I came to type his final testament... I thought he would justify his actions. But he repeated only the old slogans which he had used in his speeches.”
Others interviewed included notorious film director Leni Riefenstahl and the family of Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun.
One minor aide said that after Hitler and Eva married on April 29, 1945 – the day before they committed suicide – there was a “little party” in the bunker: “There was champagne but Hitler didn’t drink any. He was concerned about getting his last will and testament down.”
Air force aide Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven told how Hitler’s beloved alsatian Blondi was poisoned: “He watched as cyanide was slipped into its mouth. Hitler was emotionless. He only wanted to know if it worked and it did.” The wife of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, would use the capsules to kill her six children.
Erich Kempka, Hitler’s chauffeur, said he was ordered to bring petrol so Hitler’s corpse could be burned “so that he would not be exhibited at a Russian freak show”. Hermann Karnau, an SS bodyguard told how he returned to the bunker saw the bodies of Hitler and Eva.
“They had been set on fire. When I went to try to move them into a hollow in the ground, they disintegrated. I recognised that it was Hitler from his uniform and his distinctive moustache.”
Arthur Kannberg, Hitler’s butler, spoke of a “secret stash” of treasure which Hitler hid near his home at Berchtesgaden. It has never been found. - Daily Mail