The last survivor of Hitler’s downfall in the bunker
J A Berlin suburb, just a few miles from Hitler’s Fuhrer bunker is a small, white detached house with a grey metal gate and crumbling plaster. It has, for many decades, been the home of Rochus Misch, the man who worked as Hitler’s bodyguard between 1940 and 1945. He is the last living witness of the dictator’s suicide and the only surviving member of the bunker’s staff.
Now 93, housebound 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.”
There are no photos, busts or personal objects of Adolf Hitler in Misch’s home. “My wife Gerda threw everything away,” he says.
Misch was born on July 29, 1917, just after his soldier father died in the First World War. In 1920 his mother died of pneumonia so young Rochus was raised by his grandparents. When he finished school, he trained to be a painter.
In 1937, during the physical examination for the army, the suggestion was made that he complete his compulsory military service in the Verfugungstruppe (Dispositional Troops), a precursor of the Waffen-SS. It would be four years of service free of fatigue duty and with automatic acceptance into the civil service.
Story by Stefan Schnoor & Boris KlingeGoogle+