June 1, 1900|
Munich, Bavaria, Germany
|Died||June 5, 1985
Munich, Bavaria, Germany
|Known for||A private secretary of Adolf Hitler's before and during the Second World War|
Johanna Wolf (1 June 1900 – 5 June 1985) was Adolf Hitler's chief secretary.
Wolf was born in Munich and joined Hitler's personal secretariat in 1929 as a typist, at which time she also became a member of the Nazi Party. When Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933 she became a senior secretary in his Private Chancellery. Wolf, Hitler’s senior secretary, was one of his oldest and longest tenured secretaries. While he addressed his other secretaries formally as “Frau” or “Fräulein”, he called her “Wölfin” meaning She-Wolf because of his obsession with wolves. Ms. Wolf and Hitler had a very close relationship. She was often thought of as the best possible source for people to go about Hitler. As a dedicated Nazi she was a trusted member of Hitler's entourage, and remained with him when he withdrew to the Führerbunker in central Berlin as the Red Army approached in 1945.
On the night of 22 April 1945, Hitler, having decided to stay and die in Berlin, sent Wolf and Christa Schroeder by aircraft out of Berlin to Salzburg and then to his house at Berchtesgaden in Bavaria. She remained there until 2 May and then traveled to her mother's residence in Bad Tölz.
Wolf was arrested and taken prisoner on 23 May in Bad Tölz when the Americans occupied Berchtesgaden. Together with Schroeder, she remained a prisoner until 14 January 1948. Wolf moved to Kaufbeuren afterwards and died in Munich on 5 June 1985 at the age of 85.
Loyalty to Hitler
Although Wolf served under Hitler for many years, unlike other secretaries such as Traudl Junge, she refused to consent to any interviews or reveal any information, even when, during the 1970s, she was offered a large amount of money to write her memoirs. Whenever asked to do so, Wolf stated that she was a "private" secretary and believed it was her duty to never reveal anything about Hitler. When Wolf was taken prisoner, Leni Riefenstahl, a German filmmaker, eventually got her to disclose some information about Hitler. Wolf revealed that people close to Hitler were not able to escape his magnetism until his death, even though he was quite emaciated. She was so loyal to Hitler that she wanted to die with him. She also claimed that Hitler was not aware of all the terrible things that were happening in Germany during his reign, that fanatics exerted more and more influence on him, and that they gave orders Hitler knew nothing about.
The Führerbunker was located beneath Hitler's New Reich Chancellery gardens in Berlin, Germany. Adolf Hitler and his staff took up residence in the bunker in January 1945 and until the last week of the war it became the epicentre of the Nazi regime. It was here during the last week of April 1945 that Hitler married Eva Braun shortly before they committed suicide. Wolf told Leni Riefenstahl she really wanted to stay with Hitler at Führerbunker, but she departed because Hitler urged her to leave the Reich Chancellery for the sake of her 80 year old mother and he forced her and others to leave on the last flight out of Berlin.
- Joachimsthaler, Anton (1999). The Last Days of Hitler: The Legends, the Evidence, the Truth. Trans. Helmut Bögler. London: Brockhampton Press. ISBN 978-1-86019-902-8.
- Kershaw, Ian. Hitler: 1936-1945: Nemesis, Vol. 2. N.p.: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001. Google Books. Web. 31 Jan. 2010. 
- Riefenstahl, Leni. Leni Riefenstahl: A Memoir. N.p.: Picador, 1995. Google Books. Web. 28 Jan. 2010. 
- Waite, Robert. The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler. N.p.: n.p., 1993. Google Books. Web. 31 Jan. 2010.