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One of Hitler’s private secretaries dead at 83

July 16, 1997

DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) _ Gerda Christian, a personal secretary to Adolf Hitler who stayed with the Nazi dictator until his final days in a Berlin bunker, has died at age 83.

Christian died in a Duesseldorf hospital from cancer of the lungs, stomach and intestines, the Bild newspaper reported Tuesday. Her neighbors confirmed her death, though it was not immediately clear when she died. She entered the hospital in May.

Christian refused to talk about her work with Hitler. ``What am I supposed to say about that?″ she once said. ``Whatever I say would certainly be misinterpreted.″

However, the newspaper said she told close friends she had no complaints about her time with the Nazi leader.

She led a withdrawn life after the war, finally settling down in Duesseldorf.

Christian and Hitler’s other private secretary, Gertrude Junge, remained with the Nazi ruler during his final days. They were among the inner circle of associates who attended his bunker wedding to longtime mistress Eva Braun. Hitler and Braun committed suicide the next day _ just a few days before the war ended in Europe _ though it was not clear if Christian was with him.

According to one reference book, Hitler himself supplied poison pills to both secretaries, apologizing for the poor parting gift and praising their courage.

Christian was wanted as a witness by the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, but she went into hiding after being furloughed from a U.S.-run women’s internment camp near Frankfurt. She never testified, according to several books.

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