Rochus Misch

Rochus Misch

SS Oberscharführer; courier, bodyguard and telephone operator of Adolf Hitler
Date of Birth: 29.07.1917
Country: Germany

Biography of Rochus Misch

Rochus Misch, an SS Obersturmführer, courier, bodyguard, and telephone operator of Adolf Hitler, could not be described as particularly tough or ruthless - compared to other Nazis, he was rather harmless. Misch simply tried to do his job well; unfortunately, his job was too high-profile - Rochus Misch was one of Hitler's personal bodyguards.

Rochus Misch

Misch was born in Alt-Schalkowitz, Upper Silesia. His father, a builder, died from injuries sustained during World War I, and his widowed mother died of pneumonia when Misch was only 3 years old. For some time, Misch earned a living as an artist. In 1942, Misch got married, and later he and his wife Gerda had a daughter named Brigitta Jacob-Engelken, who would become an architect and a strong supporter of Jews. It was later revealed that Brigitta's mother, and therefore herself, was Jewish; however, Misch stubbornly refused to acknowledge this fact.

Rochus Misch

In 1937, Misch joined the SS-VT, the future core of the Waffen-SS. The SS-VT units, among other things, trained personal bodyguards for the Führer. Misch was severely injured during negotiations with Polish troops during the battle with the “Modlin” army; for this, he was awarded the Iron Cross, Second Class. As the last surviving member of his family, Misch was selected to join the SS-FBK. Members of this unit were recruited from the ranks of the Führer's personal bodyguards who were no longer required to serve on the front lines. As Hitler's bodyguard, Misch traveled extensively with him; in his free time, he worked as a telephone operator or courier.

Rochus Misch

On January 16, 1945, after the defeat of German forces in the Battle of the Bulge, Misch and the rest of Hitler's personal subordinates were transferred to the Führer's bunker in Berlin. Misch hardly left the bunker until the end of the war; it is known that he was responsible for all direct lines of communications in the bunker. On April 30, 1945, Hitler committed suicide. Misch was one of those who discovered the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun. On May 1, 1945, during the suicide of Joseph Goebbels, Misch was still in the bunker complex. Together with mechanic Johannes Hentschel, Misch remained one of the last surviving inhabitants of the bunker. On May 2, Misch fled the shelter - just a few hours before Soviet soldiers reached the bunker. However, he did not remain in hiding for long, as he was captured soon after. Misch was imprisoned at the Lubyanka prison, where he was interrogated about Hitler's final days; after that, he was sent to a Soviet labor camp, where he spent 9 years.

Rochus Misch

After 9 years, Misch was released and returned to Berlin. He arrived at his home, located just 3.2 kilometers from Hitler's bunker, on the eve of the new year in 1953. It took him some time to adjust to life of freedom. Misch made a living doing odd jobs for a while; among other things, he worked as a bodyguard and driver. His connections from wartime helped Misch obtain some fairly decent jobs; unfortunately, some of them required moving out of Berlin, which his wife vehemently opposed. In the end, Rochus Misch found work in the capital city - he managed to secure support from German philanthropists and purchased a painting and decorating business. His business quickly reached a relatively good level. It is known that Misch used to supply the Americans with peanut oil for some time; this occupation proved to be so profitable that Rochus considered leaving the painting business. However, his wife's intervention determined Misch to continue working with paints until retirement.

Rochus Misch

In 2008, Misch's memoirs, "The Last Witness," were published. Earlier, in March 2006, a French work called "J'étais garde du corps d'Hitler" was published, based on conversations with Misch. Siegfried Knappe, the penultimate bunker inhabitant, died on December 1, 2008; however, the reputation of being "Hitler's last bodyguard" did not bring Misch any particular benefits. Misch was frequently contacted by various historians and researchers; in 2005, he gave several interviews to journalist Nicolas Bourcier. Misch always spoke of his former boss in a rather restrained manner - even in the new millennium, he remained loyal to his Führer. Misch participated in the making of historical films as a consultant - for example, he was involved in the production of the 2008 film "Valkyrie." Misch gave his last interview to the Daily Express on May 15, 2011; by that time, the Führer's bodyguard was terminally ill. Rochus Misch died on September 5, 2013, at the age of 96.

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