Elisabeth Kalhammer, 92, is the last living women who lived alongside Adolf Hitler in the final years of World War II. From 1943 to 1944 the Austrian girl served as a made in Hitler’s private estate in the Alps – “The Berghof.” For 70 years she kept her secret, and except for a small interview for the local newspaper she never told about her life at the mansion to anyone. In an exclusive interview to IPBC reporter, Antonia Yamin, Kalhammer provides a unique and rare glimpse into one of the best preserved places in the Third Reich.
Kalhammer tells of the moment when the Austrian Employment Bureau told her about the job. “The official said she has something very special for me and that thousands of girls would want to be in my place”, describes Kalhammer that was at the time 19 years old.
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The memory of the 92-year-old woman is phenomenal in terms of describing the daily routine at the “Berghof”. She describes in detail the prosperity at Hitler’s private mansion and how “he never woke up before 2PM and never went to sleep before 4AM“. She recalls the luxurious dinners at the mansion which were attended by the officials of the Nazi regime, including Air Force Commander, Hermann Göring, and minister of armaments, Albert Speer. “We were sitting in the kitchen and ate their leftovers. I never tasted food so delicious”.
Kalhammer is not ashamed to admit that at the time she was proud to be in Hitler’s service. “When we went for coffee people would look at us and say: “look! The Berghof girls are sitting there”, we were admired”. If she had the chance she would probably do it all over again. “This was the time and I was young. I was privileged to be there and to see all these people. I felt proud. But that doesn’t mean that I was proud about the other things. I didn’t understand it at all at the time”.
Later in the interview Kalhammer also refers to the atmosphere in Austria during the Anschluss, the Kristallnacht and the moment she looked outside the window on Hitler and understood the war was over. “I watched him and thought to myself what a poor man. He wore a blue raincoat and just stood there … broken. Bent. He walked so slowly. It was after the assassination attempt. I remember thinking to myself that had it been successful many people would have returned home”.
Kalhammer also agreed to return with us to the remains of “The Berghof” which were destroyed by the Allied forces and by the Bavarian government so the place does not become a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis. There she told us how she fled the place in the middle of the night.
Courtesy of the news department KAN, Israeli Broadcasting Corporation