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Rochus Misch, Hitler’s Bodyguard Dead: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know

On Thursday evening, September 5, the last of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle passed away. Rochus Misch died of an acute illness in Berlin at the age of 96. Misch served as Hitler’s bodyguard for five years between 1940 and 1945.

Here is what you need to know:


1. He Was the Last Acquaintance of Adolf Hitler

hitler's bodyguard

Misch was the last surviving acquaintance of Hitler’s, as well as the last-living resident of Hitler’s Fuhrerbunker. The Fuhrerbunker was the subterranean concrete bunker below Berlin where Hitler and other leaders of the Nazi party lived for the final days of the war.

Even up to his final interview in 2005, Misch was still speaking fondly of Hitler, whom he affectionately called “boss.” Mische told the Associated Press that Hitler was, “no brute. He was no Monster, He was no superman.”

While in the bunker for the last 8 to 10 days of Hitler’s life, Misch, who was usually a body guard, was delegated the task of running the bunker’s telephone switch board because, “there was no one else.” Speaking of the body guards relationship with Hitler he said, “I lived with him for five years. We were the closest people who worked with him…we were always there. Hitler was never without us day and night.”

When the bunker was rediscovered in 1990, Misch was spoke against its destruction saying that it was an important artifact in world history.


2. He was Present When Hitler Committed Suicide

In 2005, Misch told Salon about the moment when he and his fellow bodyguard realized that Hitler had taken his own life:

Well, there was perfect silence. We waited. We waited maybe 20 minutes. But Linge was curious. I was curious. I still don’t remember whether it was Linge or Günsche who first opened the door to Hitler’s rooms, but one of the two. I was really curious and came forward a few steps. Then somebody opened the second door — I still don’t know who it was, probably Linge. And it was then, as the second door opened, I saw Hitler, dead, lying on a chair. Eva [Braun] on the couch completely clothed. In a dark dress and white, white skin. She was lying back.

So then I said to them, “I’m going to run over and report to the commanding officer.” And they said, annoyed, “Well, come right back.” So I told them, “Yeah, sure. I’m just saying: I’m a soldier. I have a command to carry out.” Then I was on my way over to the Reichs Chancellery, already in the passageway, but I had an uncanny feeling, very scared and uncertain, so I turned around. When I got back they already had Hitler down on the floor. I watched them packing him up, in a blanket. Well, so it went. Then they carried him out, and I went away finally and made the communication to the commanding officer. A little later, one of my comrades said, “If you want, go on up outside, the boss is getting burned.” You know, just as planned. And I said, “No, I’m not going up. You go up!” But he said, “No, I’m not going up either, I’m getting out of here.” So neither of us went to the cremation.

Above you can watch an interview of Misch recounting the final moments of Hitler’s life.

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3. He Became to Nazi to Defend Europe from Communism

rochus misch

A rally of German communists in 1919, the exact political movement that inspired Rochus Misch to join the SS. (Getty)

Misch was an unlikely SS soldier because he did not start out on the front. He told Salon:

I was an orphan; both my mother and father died when I was very small. I was the last son, the last of the family, so I wouldn’t have been sent to the front, rather behind the lines, to a desk job, supplies and reinforcements, telegraph office, or some such thing.

But, he told Express in 2005 that he joined the SS in order to combat the popularity of the Communist Party in Germany in the post-World War I era. Stalin had just come to power in the Soviet Union, which rose a communist power after the 1917 revolution, and Misch joined an organisation willing to combat the new ideological foe.


4. Misch was Shot in the Chest

invasion of poland

Misch was among these German soldiers during the invasion of Poland, September 1, 1939. (Getty)

Despite being in an SS division that was not supposed to be fighting, on September 1, 1939, Misch’s division was attached to an invading army.

Express reports that Misch, who was born in a town that would later become part of Poland, spoke the most Polish out of his unit. He was sent to negotiate the surrender of a Polish fortress. As Misch walked back toward his camp the troops inside the fortress open fired, hitting him in the back and going straight through his body.

After his injury he was sent back to Berlin where he was appointed an easier task, being Hitler’s bodyguard.


5. He was Held Captive Until 1954

misch

German soldiers in a Russian prisoner of war camp in 1945, just like the kind Misch was held in for 9 years after the war.

After Hitler and several other top-ranking Nazi’s killed themselves, Misch was one of the few people left alive in the underground fortress. He told Salon that he thought, “I had always believed — well yeah, if it’s all over, then I have to shoot myself too,” but despite the though, Misch lived on and was eventually captured. He was taken to the Soviet Union where he lived in a Prisoner of War Camp for nine years. He returned home to Berlin in 1954.


6. In Interviews He Was Sympathetic to Nazi Leaders

In the many interview Misch gave in the last twenty years, like the one above, he never stopped speaking sympathetically of his former friends and colleagues, the leaders of the Nazi party.

Even into his 90s, Misch remembered Hitler as being as being a, “wonderful boss.”

Misch always teared up when he talked about how famed Nazi Joseph Goebbels and his wife killed their six children before killing themselves. Misch had cohabited with the family in the week leading up to their demise.

Salon records Misch as suggesting that the spot above the bunker now home to a memorial dedicated to the Jews killed int he Holocaust become a memorial to the the six Goebbels children who were murdered by their mother, as Misch tells it.

7. There is a Biography About Him

misch biography

After a series of interviews conducted by French journalist Nicolas Bourcier in 2005, he and Misch worked together to write a biography. The book was published in French and titled J’étais garde du corps d’Hitler 1940–1945 which in English is, I Was Hitler’s Bodyguard 1940-1945.


8. He is Portrayed in Numerous Movies

Because of his proximity to Hitler during his final days, Misch has been portrayed in many movies including The Bunker, The Last Battle, and the famous 2004 film Downfall. Due to the super realistic portrayal of Hitler, Downfall has become popular for parody. The scene above, which depicts a conversation between Misch and Hitler, has incorrect and satirical subtitles added to it.


9. He Was Born in 1917

Misch was born on July 29, 1917 in Alt Schalkowitz, Germany, which would later become Stare Siolkowice, Poland. He said of his childhood:

I was an orphan; both my mother and father died when I was very small. I was the last son, the last of the family, so I wouldn’t have been sent to the front, rather behind the lines, to a desk job, supplies and reinforcements, telegraph office, or some such thing.


10. Misch Claims Hitler Never Mentioned the ‘Final Solution’

Jewish people in Nazi Germany were forced to identify themselves by wearing yellow stars on their coats. (Getty)

Jewish people in Nazi Germany were forced to identify themselves by wearing yellow stars on their coats. (Getty)

Misch was often asked about the Holocaust in interviews and always maintained that Hitler never discussed it around him. He said to Express, “That was never a topic. Never.”

He also said to Salon in 2005, “But I ask you, if Hitler really did all the terrible things people now say he did, how could he have been our Führer? How is it possible?”

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