LONDON (Apr. 2)
Martin Bormann may not be alive, but the former secretary of Hitler’s henchman is quietly living in Cambridge as the wife of an English professor. Else Kurger, or Kurgerchen, as she was known in the Bormann secretariat. fled from Hitler’s bunker on May 1, 1945 and for the past 31 years has been married to Leslie James, a Fellow of Magdolene College, Cambridge.
Her identity has emerged after she threatened legal action over a book which describes the last hours of the Third Reich. Ironically, the book, entitled “The Berlin Bunker” by American journalist James O’Donnel, did not mention her married name.
It has been claimed that Else Kurger was carrying a bag of diamonds and Hitler’s will when she and a group of other survivors escaped through the sewers, but she has strongly denied this. Mrs. James, now 64, was one of the few women in the lineup of officers and staff with whom Hitler shook hands before shooting himself. She was interrogated by British intelligence in the summer of 1945 in Hamburg where she met her future husband.
They married in England in 1947 and have a son. Neither of them has spoken publicly of their wartime experiences. Two pages removed from the O’Donnel book cover Else Kurger’s flight from Berlin, and according to the publishers, Dents, were only very incidental to the work as a whole.