Krüger, Else Mary Margarethe, born 09-02-1915, in Hamburg Altena, was Martin Bormann‘s secretary and, allegedly, mistress, from the end of 1942 until 1 May 1945. She was in the Führerbunker during the Battle of Berlin in World War II. Krüger was with Eva Braun Gerda “Dara” Christian Traudl Junge, and Constanze Manziarly when German dictator Adolf Hitler told them that they must prepare to leave for the Berghof like the others. However, she volunteered to remain with Hitler in the Berlin Führerbunker. She was there when Eva Braun indicated that she would never leave Hitler’s side and they embraced. Hitler gave each of the women a cyanide capsule. Then on the afternoon of 30 April 1945, Hitler and Eva Braun killed themselves.
Gerda “Dara” Christian one of Adolf Hitler’s private secretaries died of cancer in Düsseldorf on 14-04-1997, aged 83. Despite claims that Constze Manziarly took a cyanide capsule to kill herself on 2 May, the day after the majority of staff abandoned the Berlin stronghold to avoid impending Soviet capture, Junge recounts Manziarly leaving with her group, “dressed too much like a soldier”. In 1989, Junge recalled the last time Manziarly was seen was when the group of four women who had been given the task of delivering a report to Karl Dönitz split up, and Manziarly tried to blend in with a group of local women. In her 2002 autobiography Until the Final Hour, Junge alluded to seeing Manziarly, “the ideal image of Russian femininity, well built and plump-cheeked”, being taken into a U-Bahn subway tunnel by two Soviet soldiers, reassuring the group that “[T]hey want to see my papers.” Manziarly was never seen again and is presumed dead.
Thereafter, Krüger left the Führerbunker on 1 May 1945 in a group led by Waffen-SS Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke
On the morning of 2 May, the group was captured by soldiers of the Soviet Red Army while hiding in a cellar at the Schultheiss-Patzenhofer Brewery on Prinzenallee.
Ruthless SS Brigadefuhrer Wilhelm Mohnke, Knight’s Cross, defender of Berlin, was an unlikely knight erant for Else and helped her escape Hitler’s bunker to lead a new life in Wallasey Village.
After the war Krüger was interrogated by the British. During the war trials Else stayed in a witness house hosted by Countess Kalnoky, who observed the pretty blonde secretary as being ‘‘amusing’’ Kalnoky said Else never replied on the subject. ‘‘It seemed Else wanted to conceal something.’’. She later married her British interrogator, Leslie James, on 23-12-1947 in Wallasey, Cheshire UK. She lived under the name Else James in Wallasey, and remained married to Leslie until his death. Else made herself known in 1979 when a newspaper traced her to Cambridge on the eve of a book being published about the Bunker.
Leslie and Else returned to Germany in later life. Leslie had a stroke and Else cared for him like the loving wife she was. She would like to be remembered, rather than as Martin Bormann’s secretary, Leslie died age 79 on 18-0-8-1995.
Else Mary Margarethe Krüger died on 24-01-2005, aged 89, in Staufen im Breisgau, despite speculation that she had lived to be much older. Else Kruger never faced criminal charges. She was not a member of the Nazi party and co-operated with the British authorities. Previously her death had not been recorded in the public domain.
Else Krüger was cremated and her urn buried along side her husband and also former British interrogator Dr Leslie James on the cemetery of Staufen im Breisgau