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Hitler's bodyguard dies in Berlin aged 96

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Hitler's bodyguard dies in Berlin aged 96
Photo: DPA
16:55 CEST+02:00
Hitler’s last surviving bodyguard died in Berlin on Thursday aged 96. He was the only remaining eyewitness of the final days of World War II in the Nazi leader’s bunker.

Rochus Misch died following a long illness after failing to recover from a stroke.

He was the last eyewitness of the final days in Hitler’s bunker dramatized in the movie Downfall, but always maintained he knew nothing of the Holocaust at the time.

Misch fled Hitler’s bunker on May 2nd 1945 and wrote about his days as a bodyguard in 2009 in a booked called The Last Witness.

The book is supposed to be published in English in October and a movie is also planned, according to his former manager Michael Stehle.

Misch was born in 1917 and trained as a painter for the advertising industry before he joined the SS aged 20.

He was selected to be one of Hitler’s bodyguards and switchboard operator in 1940, following the dictator through Poland, Russia and finally to the bunker. After the war he was captured by the Russians and spent nine years in prison.

Spiegel Online described Misch as witnessing milestones of German history in “the eye of the storm”, while the co-author of his autobiography described him as a “Forest Gump” of his time, being close to horrific events but too close to see how horrific they were.

After the war his wife became a politician for the socialist SPD, while he returned to being a painter after being released from captivity.

In a 2005 interview he described Hitler, who he referred to as "the boss" as coming across as a "normal man".

Misch also described in an interview with AFP how he had seen the Nazi leader and his wife Eva Braun dead in their bunker deep under the shattered city of Berlin.

"Hitler was sitting at the table, slumped forward, and Eva Braun was lying

next to him. I saw that with my own eyes," Misch told AFP.

DPA/The Local/tsb

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