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Himmler's Unrepentant Daughter Dead at 88

'Nazi princess' Gudrun Burwitz never disavowed her father or the Nazi regime
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2018 1:57 PM CDT
A 1938 photo of Heinrich Himmler and his daughter Gudrun at a sports even in Berlin.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The daughter of the man seen as second only to Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany has died at age 88. Gudrun Burwitz, the oldest child of Heinrich Himmler, was famous in her own right, however. When she was a child, Himmler frequently brought her to public events "as a blond, blue-eyed symbol of Aryan youth," in the words of the Washington Post. In her later years, she was believed to have been a member of the group Stille Hilfe (Silent Help), which provides assistance to former SS members and their families. Gudrun, who was detained temporarily after the war and testified at the Nuremberg trials, never denounced her father or the Nazi regime, reports the BBC. With her death, the German newspaper Bild has uncovered a nugget that has caused a stir in Germany: For about two years in the 1960s, Gurdrun worked for what was then West Germany's spy agency.

"The BND confirms that Ms Burwitz was a member of the BND for a few years until 1963 under an assumed name," says an official with the agency. She worked there while the agency was run by a former Nazi military intelligence commander. The BND still exists as the unified Germany's foreign intelligence agency, and Deutsche Welle notes that its use of former Nazis in Eastern Europe after the war remains controversial. One item in wide circulation in Gudrun's obituaries is a diary entry she wrote at the age of 12 after her father took her to the notorious Dachau concentration camp. "We saw everything we could," she wrote. "We saw the gardening work. We saw the pear trees. We saw all the pictures painted by the prisoners. Marvelous." (Himmler's own diaries were found a few years ago.)

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