LONDON: The world may still hate the megalomaniac who brought death and misery to millions, but a woman who lived with Adolf Hitler for years,
remembers the Nazi leader as a charmer.
"He was a charming man, someone who was only ever nice to me, a great boss to work for. You can say what you like, but he was a good man to us," said Rosa Mitterer, who worked as a maid for Hitler at his mountain retreat in Bavaria in the 1930s.
Until now, the 91-year-old woman has kept quiet about her experiences of life with the Fuhrer, but Mitterer decided it was time to speak out, the Daily Mail said.
According to Mitterer, Geli Raubal, Hitler's former housekeeper, was rumoured to have been involved in a love affair with the Nazi leader.
"She shot herself in September 1931 and I was told as soon as I went to work for him that he was not to be approached on the anniversary of that day," Mitterer said.
"My sister and I shared a room that was directly over Hitler's. We could hear him crying." For a long time Mitterer and her sister Anni were the only servants in the home, known as Berghof.
Remembering her first direct request from Hitler, Mitterer said she was drying some porcelain cups when he came down the stairs.
"Hello, sorry to trouble you, but could you make me some coffee and bring some gingerbread biscuits to my study?" he said.
"Another time he came into the kitchen, saw me and said, "Ahh, I see our little one has grown a little plumper!".'
She saw at close quarters the woman Hitler kept secret from his people throughout his rule - Eva Braun, his sweetheart. "She was not so pretty close up," she was quoted as saying by the British tabloid on Thursday.
Mitterer saw leading Nazis come and go. Heinrich Himmler, the evil party secretary; Bormann, whom she described as a 'dirty pig'; and the club-footed, sexually-obsessed propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
Mitterer went into Hitler's service at the age of 15 in 1932. Her sister Anni had worked as a cook at Hitler's Berchtesgaden retreat since the late 1920s.
"She said he needed a housemaid and I would fit the bill," Mitterer said. "I remember so clearly the first day I spoke to him in the kitchen. I said I was Anni's sister and that made him smile, because Anni was his favourite. I only ever knew Hitler as a kindly man who was good to me."
Part of her duties involved sorting out the fan letters and presents that were delivered in their thousands to the house.
"I didn't have to be a Nazi party member or anything. After a while I relaxed a bit. Apparently it was Hitler's orders that Anni and I be taken to church every Sunday because he thought this would be "good for us," Mitterer stressed.
A great-grandmother, she now lives in Munich. After the war she had to confront the reality of the man for whom she had worked so willingly. And in particular the reality of the Holocaust.
"That he had ordered such terrible things, I just couldn't believe it," she said. "Even now, I prefer to remember the charming facets of his personality."