Rochus Misch, Hitler's bodyguard and last survivor of Berlin bunker, dies aged 96 (includes video)
A SS bodyguard of Adolf Hitler who witnessed the Nazi dictator's final hours has died aged 96. Rochus Misch was the last survivor from Hitler's bunker in Berlin. The SS man had operated the telephones in the bunker and had proudly reminisced about his WWII duties for the "boss". He had called Hitler "a very normal man... he was no brute, he was no monster". For five years, Misch was part of the Fuehrer's inner circle, as a bodyguard, a courier and telephone operator. With the Allies advancing and the Nazis on the brink of defeat, Hitler retreated to his Berlin bunker and Misch became the final witness of the drama that took place there on 30 April 1945.
Terminally ill Rochus Misch, the last survivor from Hitler's bunker, gives his last interview
Rochus Misch, who worked as Hitler's SS bodyguard 1940-1945, is the last living witness of the Nazi dictator's suicide. Now 93, and terminally ill, Misch says: "This is definitely going to be my last appointment with the press. I would now like to die in peace." On September 24, 1939, Misch was shot in the chest during the Battle of Modlin when he tried to negotiate the surrender of the Polish stronghold and received an Iron Cross for his bravery. After his recovery, his company commander Wilhelm Mohnke recommended him for the Führerbegleitkommando (Führer's SS escort). "I was put in a car and taken to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. I was led in by Hitler's chief adjutant, Wilhelm Brückner. I was scared of meeting the Führer in person. Adolf Hitler was standing behind the door as the chief adjutant opened it. I went ice cold. That was my first personal encounter with the Führer. He stood across from me like a completely normal man with nice words."
Hitler's last SS bodyguard Rochus Misch too old to reply to fan mail - film based on his memoirs is in the works
As the last surviving person who has seen Hitler and other Nazi leaders alive, Rochus Misch has become something of a celebrity. He used to send fans autographed copies of photos of himself in an SS uniform, but now the incoming fan mail just piles up in his flat in Berlin.
"Letters come from Korea, from Knoxville, Tennessee, from Finland and Iceland - and not one has a bad word to say."
In 2008 Misch - who served as a courier, SS bodyguard and telephone operator in the fuehrerbunker - wrote his memoirs "Der Letzte Zeuge" ("The Last Witness") which are in the works to become a film.
Touring Berlin's WWII history, talking with Rochus Misch, the SS phone operator in the Fuehrerbunker
It is a World War II myth that in the last days of the Third Reich the telephone number of Hitler's fuehrerbunker was public knowledge and Berliners constantly called Führer. Not so, says the SS man who knows. Rochus Misch was the SS operator of the telephone switchboard in the Fuehrerbunker - located under the New Reich Chancellery - and his cubicle was next to Hitler's conference room. "Goebbels was never reluctant to talk to the public. He would often speak at great length, assuring them that all was not lost. Goebbels could be charming. We in the bunker hoped he would be the next Fuhrer," Misch recalls.
Adolf Hitler's bodyguard Rochus Misch is the last survivor of Hitler's bunker
Rochus Misch's old photo albums include colour images of Misch in an SS uniform at Adolf Hitler's home in the Alps, Hitler staring at rabbits, and photos of Hitler's mistress and wife Eva Braun. For 5 years SS Oberscharfuehrer Rochus Misch was part of Adolf Hitler's inner circle. He is the last survivor of the fuhrerbunker and the events of 30 April 1945: the day Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide. "I heard somebody shouting to Hitler's attendant: Linge, Linge, I think it's happened. ... Martin Bormann, Hitler's private secretary, ordered everyone to be silent. Then Bormann ordered Hitler's door to be opened. I watched as they wrapped Hitler up."
SS man Rochus Misch: I was Adolf Hitler's bunker bodyguard
As Rochus Misch warmly invites me into his neat Berlin home, it is hard to imagine him at the centre of the Nazi Regime. But as he spreads his WWII pictures (in one photo Hitler is with his dog Blondie) over the table, his face lights up with pride. Oberscharfuhrer Misch was at Führer's side from the Blitzkrieg victories of 1940 right through until the last days in Berlin as the Third Reich fell in 1945. Rochus Misch is the last survivor of the fuehrerbunker, and he saw Hitler's body before it was burned. While making the film Valkyrie Tom Cruise refused to meet Misch saying: "I didn't want to meet him. Evil is still evil. I don't care how old you are."
Hitler's SS bodyguard Rochus Misch recalls: Hitler was the simplest person I knew
Rochus Misch, no longer able to deal with all the interviews, has published "Der letzte Zeuge". Mitch, drafted into Hitler's personal Begleitkommando in 1940, reveals us what Hitler ate, his kindness toward staff, his affection for his dog Blondi. "The private Hitler was a normal, simple man, the simplest person I knew. It was just to the outside world that he slipped into his Fuehrer role." He is annoyed that "Der Untergang" depicts the Fuehrerbunker as a place filled with visitors. "Most of that happened in the cellars of the New Reich Chancellery." He also tells how Magda Goebbels dressed her 6 children in white nightshirts before killing them.
Adolf Hitler's bodyguard Rochus Misch: The Fuhrer was a good boss
Rochus Misch, the last living member of the group that was in the führerbunker when Adolf Hitler killed himself, tells of the Nazi leader in "The Last Witness" (An English edition is expected by the end of 2008). In 2005 Yael Katz Benshalom made a documentary on Misch with the same name. For 5 years Misch worked as a courier, SS bodyguard and telephone operator in the Fuhrer's HQ. "In the living quarters and the work room Hitler was a very relaxed man... There was no need to be scared if you made a mistake." Misch insisted that Hitler's headquarters were not run like a war room: "Nobody saluted their higher-ranking colleagues within the building."
Hitler told jokes at the expense of his henchmen - The Last Witness by Rochus Misch
Adolf Hitler always found time to crack jokes about his henchmen. Hitler the comedian is one side of the Fuhrer revealed in "The Last Witness" by Hitler's bodyguard Rochus Misch, who also was telephonist in the führerbunker. "The boss was said to be particularly fond of a couple jokes and told the best ones over and over," recalled Misch. Hitler especially liked to tell jokes at the expense of Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering - a man always designing himself new uniforms and medals. Several of Hitler's jokes ended up in dossier "The Hitler Book" which was compiled for Soviet leader Josef Stalin after WWII.
Last Living Aide - Interview with Hitler's bodyguard Rochus Misch
The last living member of Hitler's entourage, Rochus Misch, SS bodyguard and fuehrerbunker telephone operator, is publishing a book about his time with the Führer. "He wasn't a monster, he wasn't an Übermensch..." Hanna Reitsch wanted to fly the Goebbels' 6 children out of Berlin. Misch says Goebbels wanted to rescue the children but that his wife Magda had them all killed out of loyalty to Hitler. He recalls seeing Eva Braun sitting dead in the corner of the sofa. On May 2, 1945 Goebbels dismissed him: "We knew how to live, we will also know how to die." Misch said farewell to Johannes Hentschel (who stayed in the bunker), and left the bunker through a cellar window.
Hitler's SS bodyguard Rochus Misch turns 90, keeps secrets to himself
The last living witness to the final hours of Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader's bodyguard Rochus Misch, has turned 90 but vowed to keep his secrets to himself. He was 27 when he left Hitler's führerbunker on May 2, 1945 as Soviet troops stormed the chancellery. He has kept quiet on who killed Hermann Fegelein, who was married to the sister of Eva Braun. According to Misch, Hitler did not give the order to shoot Fegelein. "I know it from an officer from the Reich security service whose colleague shot Fegelein. I know his name, but I am keeping it for myself." Rochus Misch has written a book "I Was Hitler's Bodyguard", which is due to appear later this year.
A plaque marks popular but myth-filled site of Hitler's bunker
For decades tourists interested in historical sightseeing have asked way to Adolf Hitler's bunker which was part of New Chancellery complex. Now a plaque marks the site, giving details of the layout of the labyrinth. Rochus Misch was the Waffen-SS telephonist in the führerbunker. "Too many myths were allowed to grow up about it, that it was a multi-storey shelter" People even claimed bunker had a dozen levels and underground railway line may have enabled Hitler to escape. "The interest has never waned and I get hundreds of letters a month. I won't be here much longer, but the plaque will help to tell the facts as they were."
Adolf Hitler's SS bodyguard Misch attended Fuhrerbunker sign unveiling
The site of Adolf Hitler's bunker was marked publicly - with a sign bearing graphics, photos and a chronology of events in both German and English - for the first time by a historical group trying to demystify one of the Third Reich's most burdened places. Former SS Staff Sgt. Rochus Misch, a Hitler bodyguard throughout the war, attended the unveiling and recalled his experiences. "During the last 12 days of the war, I was down here with Hitler and the other bodyguards all the time," said Misch pointing to the place where Hitler killed himself on April 30, 1945, as Soviet troops closed in.
Adolf Hitler's bodyguard - Rochus Misch
"I saw Hitler, dead, lying on a chair. Eva Braun on the couch completely clothed." Among the last living relics of the Nazi era, Rochus Misch served as bodyguard, courier and telephone operator in the direct service of Adolf Hitler from 1940 to 1945. And he's been rediscovered -- the character of Misch is portrayed in Oliver Hirschbiegel and Bernd Eichinger's movie "Downfall." After the war, Misch was taken into custody by the Red Army; he spent 9 years enduring torture and returned to Germany in 1954. "Hitler was always a completely normal person. I only knew him as a wonderfully good boss, right? He was never authoritarian."
Only person still alive to have seen the Nazi leader and his wife Eva Braun dead (Article no longer available from the original source)
Berlin - Rochus Misch still remembers the sight as if it were yesterday: 60 years ago on Saturday he looked through a doorway and saw Adolf Hitler had committed suicide. Misch, 88, is the only person still alive today to have seen the Nazi leader and his wife Eva Braun dead in their bunker deep under the shattered city of Berlin.
In Hitler's lair - Hitler's bodyguard SS Staff Sgt. Rochus Misch
On the streets of Berlin, Soviet and German forces were locked in the apocalyptic finale to WWII in Europe. But 30 feet underground, in Adolf Hitler's bunker, a strange calm had taken hold. SS Staff Sgt. Rochus Misch, Hitler's bodyguard, had just been told that the Fuehrer was not to be disturbed. And everybody knew what that meant. Somebody mustered the nerve to enter the sitting room, and Misch peered inside. What he saw, he said, is carved forever in his memory: Hitler crumpled over a table, his cheek streaked with blood from the self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.