Gerda Christian information/photo

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paul.i.w
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Gerda Christian information/photo

Post by paul.i.w » 26 Apr 2004 09:27

I wondered if anyone had more information on one of Hitler's secretaries, Gerda Christian? Are there any photos of her? What happened to her post war? I know she was engaged to Erich Kempka for a while and then married Christian, but she doesn't seem to have a very high opinion of him when he left the bunker.

Any more information appreciated!

Thanks

Paul

Max Williams
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Post by Max Williams » 26 Apr 2004 10:46

Her husband deserted her when the Russian army approached. Allegedly, she was raped by Russian soldiers. No wonder she had a low opinion of him!
Max
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Eva
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Post by Eva » 27 Apr 2004 02:53

Gerda Daranowski Christian: Born 13 December 1913 in Berlin. After completing school, she worked as a clerk for Elizabeth Arden in Berlin. Came to work in the Chancellery on 1 May 1935. Became Hitler's #3 secretary in 1937 at age 24. She was known as "Dara" or "La Daran" by the other women around Hitler and was considered the prettiest woman in the inner circle. She worked in the various Führer headquarters during the war. Married Luftwaffe major Eckhard Christian on 2 February 1943 (Christian was an adjutant to the Military Command Staff at Führer HQ) Resumed work for Hitler in mid-1943. Left the Chancellery/ bunker in the break out on 2 May 1945 and made her way to the west, where she was arrested by the Americans in early March of 1946. She wasonly held until 19 April 1946. Last anyone knew she was living in Northern Germany, although I am almost certain I have recently heard of her passing.

info from: The Last Days of Hitler by Anton Joachimsthaler (and believe me, the mini-biographies in the back of the book are the only bit of it worth reading.


E

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Mich
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Post by Mich » 27 Apr 2004 07:49

"Gerda Christian one of Adolph Hitler's personal secretaries expired 7-12-1997 in Düsseldorf, Germany age 83."

according to: http://www.msu.edu/~daggy/cop/bkofdead/obits-ce.htm

Best,
Mich.

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wenty
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Post by wenty » 01 May 2004 12:39

Yes, Gerda Christian died in 1997, Joachimsthaler's book states "Now lives in Northern Germany" but his book was published in 1995, 2 years before she died. Cheers. :|

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Johnny
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Post by Johnny » 02 May 2004 00:29

Eva wrote:...was considered the prettiest woman in the inner circle.


I'm having a hard time beliving that she would be concidered prettier than let's say Traudl Junge (I understand that you are qouting a source). However I've noticed both the glorification of looks and the judgemental tendencies of historical person's appearances in alot of books. Ewa Braun is usually depicted as being very good looking, by which standards I ask? And while some authors like Shirer have a very serious tone against the way the nazis treated people just beacuse of the way they looked he makes the exact same mistakes when he starts describing various high profiled nazis looks as that of a "nobody" or a "loser" or a "schoolteatcher" etc etc.

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wenty
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Post by wenty » 02 May 2004 09:58

Well, everyone has different tastes. Somebody might think Eva was prettier than Gerda or Traudl, and somebody else might think vice-versa to that. It's all a matter of what different people think and what they like. Cheers. :)

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Ove Kronborg
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Gerda Christian

Post by Ove Kronborg » 06 May 2004 12:38

You can read about Gerda Christian in Traudl Junge's book "Until the Final Hour : Hitler's Last Secretary" (Deutsch "Bis zur letzten Stunde"). Traudl Junge calls her "charming and good looking" and in the Wolfsschanze in Rastenburg she brought restlessness to several officers hearts.

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Johnny
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Post by Johnny » 06 May 2004 18:04

It's funny how fast the norm of beauty has changed over the years.

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sinatra1989
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Re: Gerda Christian information/photo

Post by sinatra1989 » 19 Jun 2009 15:07

Hello,
I know it's been a long time since the last posts, but I was wondering if anyone knew anything about Gerda Christian's memoirs?

It stated about them on this website: http://www.meaus.com/93-movie-der-untergang.htm

Supposedly called "behind the gates of power".

I have tried searching the entire internet and cannot find another reference to this at all.
Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Tom.

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Re: Gerda Christian information/photo

Post by palaisfan » 14 Dec 2009 04:24

Good question. I have a hope that the near simultaneous release of no less than three of the principal memoirs of the inner circle in english --- Linge, Schroeder, and just weeks from now, Kempka's, may finally "shake loose" the Gerda Christian memoirs and some publisher will tackle it.

Observation: I don't know how different in photographs or text the Christa Schroeder german original is from this new 2009 UK version, and it would be interesting to know. However, what is in this text is enough to get a good solid idea of the style Christa wrote in --- seems rather honest and straightforward, and what is more, often mentions Gerda (Dara) as "her younger colleague" and tells what Dara is doing at any given time too. So working from that, we can get an idea just how much more (not alot) Dara would have seen or heard different from Schroeder. There would be some, and her emphasis and what she recalled of Hitler's spoken words would be different and more detailed in places, less so than others. But on some of the great "secrets" probably not a lot of extra light. However, I suspect it would have many of the intriguing anecdotes and personal insights, especially into say, the Eva relationship, that the other works cited above have.

- palaisfan

Gianni Lepri
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Re: Gerda Christian information/photo

Post by Gianni Lepri » 18 Dec 2009 16:04

I think that the news that Gerda's memoirs existed was reported by Joe F. Bodenstein in 2004 (http://www.meaus.com/95-the-downfall.htm). Quote: Gerda Christian, whose maiden name name was Daranowski, stresses in her memoires "Behind the Gates of Powers" (up to now hidden under lock and key Unquote.
Never substantiated though.

cheers
Mauvered

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Geoff Walden
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Re: Gerda Christian information/photo

Post by Geoff Walden » 31 Dec 2009 20:56

palaisfan wrote:Observation: I don't know how different in photographs or text the Christa Schroeder german original is from this new 2009 UK version, and it would be interesting to know. However, what is in this text is enough to get a good solid idea of the style Christa wrote in --- seems rather honest and straightforward, and what is more, often mentions Gerda (Dara) as "her younger colleague" and tells what Dara is doing at any given time too. So working from that, we can get an idea just how much more (not alot) Dara would have seen or heard different from Schroeder. There would be some, and her emphasis and what she recalled of Hitler's spoken words would be different and more detailed in places, less so than others. But on some of the great "secrets" probably not a lot of extra light. However, I suspect it would have many of the intriguing anecdotes and personal insights, especially into say, the Eva relationship, that the other works cited above have.
- palaisfan
The English translation is pretty good, except as noted in the introduction, several sections of the original German edition were omitted. These were mostly Schroeder's activities after the war, and several appendices in which she gives evidence for various statements. Also, the editor's notes (Joachimthaler's) in the German edition are far more extensive.

One thing about the English translation that really bugs me is the almost universal translation of "der Chef" as "the chief" instead of "the boss," which is much more appropriate in this usage of how the inner circle refered to Hitler.

There are indeed more photos in the German edition than in the translation (90 vs. 16).

I think Christa Schroeder's book is a very valuable insight into Hitler's inner circle. She was a stickler for accuracy, and I value her "reviews" of some post-war published books and memoirs that she took exception with. Also, she was the only one of the inner circle who went to the Obersalzberg in April 1945 (as opposed to staying in Berlin), who wrote about what happened there (the bombing, living in the bunkers, looting, moving to the last "Nazi command post" at Hintersee).

Does anyone have a similar comparison between the editions of Heinz Linge's book? (I don't have the German edition.)

Geoff Walden

palaisfan
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Re: Gerda Christian information/photo

Post by palaisfan » 01 Jan 2010 07:00

Geoff,

Thanks for the reply.
There are indeed more photos in the German edition than in the translation (90 vs. 16).
That is quite a BIG difference in photos. Since Christa Schroeder mentioned it so much, is there a picture of her in it, or the room in the Reich Chancellery she calls the "Stair case" room? Or any pictures of her typing---as it would show the background a little. A similar room of interest would be any that show the adjutant's office in the Old Chancellery she mentions as also typing in.

One other thing --- in her book (page 38 on the english edition) she mentions the staircase room as across from Hitler's living room. What is the german word used? Normally I hear it stated as near Hitler's study, but I have reason to believe Christa's description is more accurate. (Schroeder's description and use of `Hitler's study' and `Hitler's library' seem distinct in describing what is adjacent, and neither seem to refer to New Reichskanzlei spaces or to the so-called Red Hall Study, the big one that is more part of the New Reichskanzlei, but rather the small study on the north of the Berlin Congress/Reich Cabinet chamber in the old chancellery?).

thanks for any insights and may the new year see the continued success of your excellent site,

- palaisfan

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Geoff Walden
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Re: Gerda Christian information/photo

Post by Geoff Walden » 05 Jan 2010 02:32

Hi palaisfan,

Sorry to take so long to reply. I took a break from the computer over the holiday weekend. :)

I didn't find the term "Hitler's living room" in relation to the Treppenzimmer in the English translation (I looked on pages 37-39), so I can't say what the German edition has for this. Did I miss it, or did you mean a different page?

Her description sounds to me like this room was in the Old Chancellery (along with Hitler's study, library, bedroom, etc.), but I am really not very familiar with the Reichskanzlei layout.

There is no photo in the German edition specifically of the Treppenzimmer. There is a view down the hallway in the New Reichskanzlei that led to the old palace wing, and it says that the Treppenzimmer was also on "this end," by which I take it to mean the end nearest this hallway. But the photo does not show the Treppenzimmer, or any of that area of the old palace wing. There are pictures of her taking dictation, and in her office, but not in Berlin (mostly in FHQ Wolfsschanze).

Geoff

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