Last Witness to 'The Bunker' dies.

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by von Poop, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Lindele likes this.
  2. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Well picked up. I had not heard anything on the News here in Berlin, but hardly surprising given the G20 Summit.

    If I recall correctly, his daughter distanced herself from her father several years ago, due to his comments.

  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Twitter & Friendface have their place, particularly if you follow people like Rob on them.

    Something quite deep historically about a last witness dying.
    From this point onwards, nobody can say "what I saw" about that particular time.
    Drew5233 and Combover like this.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Tom - what were his comments ?
  5. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I guessed it was Misch before I even read the post. Peace to his ashes, he dwelt next to the devil but he survived and God gave him a long life anyhow.
  6. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Günther Schwägermann ? Is he still alive, it was reported he was in 2010 when he refused to be interviewed ? Born in 1915 he was in the Bunker.

  7. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Rochus Misch

    Rochus Misch, who has died aged 96, worked for five years as Adolf Hitler’s bodyguard, courier, orderly, and latterly Chief of Communications, acquiring an intimate insight into the machinations of the Nazi leadership; his recollection suggested that Hitler and Rudolf Hess considered an armistice with Britain in 1941, and that when Hitler rejected the idea Hess flew to Scotland under his own steam.

    Image 1 of 2
    Rudolf Misch in 1942

    1:50PM BST 06 Sep 2013

    Ultimately Misch was in charge of the switchboard in the Berlin “Führerbunker”, where Hitler and members of his inner circle met their grisly ends as the Red Army closed in 1945. The bodyguard was the last person to leave the bunker, and was a key witness to the macabre events dramatised in Der Untergang (“Downfall”, 2006), Oliver Hirschbiegel’s extraordinary film about the end of the Third Reich.

    He recalled how, on April 30 1945, Hitler locked himself in his room with his bride-of-a-day Eva Braun: “Everyone was waiting for the shot. We were expecting it. I had just said to the technicians: 'I’m going over [to Hitler’s office], can I fetch you anything?’ And they said no. Then came the shot. Linge [Heinz Linge, Hitler’s valet] took me to one side and we went in. I saw Hitler slumped by the table. I didn’t see any blood on his head. And I saw Eva with her knees drawn up lying next to him on the sofa – wearing a white and blue blouse, with a little collar: just a little thing.”

    Misch was also a witness to the grimmest of bunker stories — the murder by Magda Goebbels of her six children. “The children were prepared for their deaths in my work room,” he recalled. “Their mother combed their hair — they were all dressed in white nightshirts — and then she went up with the children. Dr Nauman told me that Dr Ludwig Stumpfegger would give the kids 'candy water’. I realised what was going to happen immediately. I had seen Dr Stumpfegger successfully test poison on Blondi, the Führer’s dog.” Frau Goebbels returned an hour or two later, and without saying a word went to her husband’s room. There, she laid out a game of patience.

    Misch then helped to establish a direct line from the Reich Chancellery to Soviet lines, while General Krebs tried to negotiate an armistice. But the Russians demanded unconditional surrender. When the news was brought to the surviving inmates of the bunker, they assembled for a meeting at which Goebbels reminisced about the triumphant early days of Nazism, but made no reference to his family, dead upstairs. “Magda Goebbels just sat there,” Misch recalled, “saying little, head high. She was chain-smoking and sipping champagne.”

    All of them knew what was coming. “Goebbels said to me: 'Well, Misch, we knew how to live. Now we know how to die.’ Then he and Frau Goebbels processed arm-in-arm up the stairs to the garden. Soon afterwards somebody called and asked for General Krebs. I connected the line but there was no answer. I went to Krebs’s room and found him and Burgdorf [General Burgdorf, Chief Adjutant] sitting motionless. I first thought they were sleeping.” Both officers were dead.

    Though Misch was probably a reliable witness to the facts, he showed none of the remorse or psychological insight that others exhibited when talking about the Nazi era. To Misch, Hitler remained the kind boss who joked with his staff, loved Charlie Chaplin, children and animals and was so considerate towards others that he married Eva Braun the day before their deaths “solely out of consideration for her parents”.
    Rochus Misch was born on July 29 1917 in Oppeln, Upper Silesia, in what is now Poland but was then part of Imperial Germany. Orphaned in the First World War, he grew up into a broad-shouldered, though none-too-bright, young man — the ideal recruit for the elite SS Leibstandarte regiment which he joined in 1937.
    He served as an Oberscharführer in the Polish campaign of 1939 but was wounded and taken out of active service. While he was recovering Hitler’s office rang his regiment looking for “an honest, reliable fellow” to join the Führer’s team. Misch was recommended.
    Misch’s experience sometimes produced tantalising titbits which seemed to run contrary to mainstream historical research. When an interviewer asked him about the sort of thing that upset Hitler, for example, Misch recalled seeing him distressed only once — after his deputy Rudolf Hess flew to England in May 1941: “For three days he was very gloomy.”
    “Some days before that we were at Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s residence in the Bavarian Alps,” Misch noted. “He was talking to Hess, when somebody brought in a dispatch. The Führer read it and exclaimed: 'I cannot go there and go down on my knees!’ Hess replied: 'I can, my Führer.’ At the time a German diplomat was meeting the Swedish emissary, Count Bernadotte, in Portugal. The British were very active in Lisbon, so I think there might have been some peace offer from London.” At the time, the Nazi regime claimed Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy in the Nazi Party, had gone mad. But the true purpose of his mission to England remains unclear, and official British documents relating to the time are still classified.
    After the Goebbels met their deaths, Misch was finally free to make a break for home. He managed to make his way to the Friedrichstrasse station, where he ran into Heinz Linge. The two men felt their way through a tunnel under the river Spree: “Through a grating, we saw a group of German soldiers. We couldn’t believe it. We decided to go up and join them. That was it. The soldiers were Red Army prisoners.”
    Bar a short period when he was brought back to Germany in 1946 as a witness in the Nuremberg trials, Misch spent the next three years in the Lubyanka. Stalin refused to believe that Hitler was dead, and survivors from the bunker were tortured for evidence about the Führer’s imaginary flight. At one point, Misch wrote to the Soviet secret police chief, Beria, asking to be shot, so unbearable was the torture. Instead, he was sent to the gulags, where he spent six years before being released in 1954 under an amnesty agreed by the new Soviet leader Khrushchev.
    He returned to his two-storey home in the east Berlin suburb of Rudow and to his wife, Gerda, whom he had married in 1942. There he set up a wallpaper and paint business, which he ran until 1983.
    Misch remained an uncomfortable reminder of attitudes which many Germans like to believe have been consigned to the history books. In 2005 he was accused of tainting the memories of Holocaust victims after calling for a plaque in memory of the Goebbels children to be placed next to a new Jewish memorial.
    After the release of Der Untergang, he was rather pleased to find himself the object of worldwide media attention, and took every opportunity to show interviewers his snapshots of Hitler and Eva Braun in happier days at Berchtesgaden. “It was a good time with Hitler,” he reminisced. “I enjoyed it and I was proud to work for him.”
    Misch’s wife died in 1998. They had a daughter, but she broke off all contact with her father.

    Rochus Misch, July 29 1917, died September 05 2013
    kopite likes this.
  8. MLW

    MLW Senior Member

    Am I the only one who thinks was Rochus Misch an unrepentant Nazi?
  9. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day mlw, you are not.theres no such things.thanks for posting,regards bernard85
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Two threads on same chap merged.
  11. dave500

    dave500 Senior Member

    I agree with you, Marc. He deserves no sympathy.


  12. mcan

    mcan Active Member

  13. Pylon1357

    Pylon1357 Junior Member

    From what I have read, admittedly, quite little. He seemed to be unrepentant to the end. Very interesting reading, to which I shall seek out more.
  14. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    The man would not hear a bad word against his beloved "Boss" as he called AH.

  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Tom, Obviously a bit of a fruit cake then.
  16. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Misch's attitude was pretty much the rule among the old Bunker crowd. A few of them (Speer, Boldt, Traudl Junge, Dr. Schenck) eventually saw the light and admitted to varying degrees that they had been wrong and that "Der Chef" was evil, but the others frowned on them for it. Admitting the truth was letting the side down.
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Whenever there's a media flutter going on, it gets so hard to look individuals up on the web.
    Can't find anything on the evidence he gave at Nuremberg, relating to who, in any of the usual online Archives.

    Ah - Very interesting 2004 interview from the USHMM:
    (Opens into a .doc download - can't find the page it links from.),d.d2k

    Well worth reading the whole thing, and the Nuremberg query is partly answered from the summoned's point of view at least.
    Can't quite place the context of the Interview though.
    Hmmm, maybe I can - translation of this:



  19. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Random Etonian

    M.L.Wilcockson the Divinity lecturer ?
  20. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Idle curiosity, but I was just reading an article about the last people to leave the bunker and nobody seems to have a date of death for Schwagermann. It's just about conceivable that he's still alive, but he'd now be 104-5, so it has to be deemed less than likely.
    Chris C likes this.

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