September 7, 2013

Hitler's bodyguard faithful to the fuehrer to the finish

To Rochus Misch, who died Thursday at the age of 96, the reviled German dictator was simply the 'boss.'

By DAVID RISING The Associated Press

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Rochus Misch
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Rochus Misch, who worked as a courier, bodyguard and telephone operator for Adolf Hitler, shows his picture book during a Reuters interview in Berlin in 2007. Misch, who died Thursday at the age of 96, was with Hitler until the end.


"Two were playing music," he said, remembering how incongruous the scene seemed to him.

Misch later heard German voices above through an air ventilation shaft and climbed up to try his luck. But the voices came from about 300 soldiers who had been taken prisoner, and the Soviet guards grabbed him as well.

Following the German surrender May 7, Misch was taken to the Soviet Union, where he spent the next nine years in prisoner-of-war camps before being allowed to return to Berlin in 1954. He reunited with his wife Gerda, whom he had married in 1942 and who died in 1997, and opened up a shop.

In 2005, Sitting at his table next to a pile of mail from "fans" to whom he sent autographed photographs of himself in full SS uniform outside the Wolf's Lair, he leafed through his well-thumbed photo album remembering his days with the most infamous people in recent history.

"Here is Hitler -- my boss -- Eva, a friend of Eva ...," he said. "Very normal. Not like what is written."

He turned the page to photos of Braun in the idyllic setting of the Berghof, Hitler's Bavarian mountain residence, and lit up as he remembered a moment from those days.

"This small black dog comes running and gets under the fence, and Hitler said, 'My God, what is this? Racial mixing?'"


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