Adolf Hitler's bodyguard dies

Adolf Hitler's bodyguard Rochus Misch, the last witness to the German leader's final hours, has died.

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Hitler's bodyguard dies aged 96 after a short illness

Rochus Misch, who served as Adolf Hitler's bodyguard for most of World War II, died after a short illness.

Misch died in Berlin yesterday, Burkhard Nachtigall, who helped him ghostwrite his 2008 memoir, told the Associated Press today.

Rochus Misch pictured in August 2007. Credit: REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

Born July 29, 1917, in the Silesian town of Alt Schalkowitz, in what is Poland today, Misch was orphaned at an early age.

At the age of 20, Misch decided to join the SS and signed up for the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, a unit that was founded to serve as Hitler's personal protection.

Misch and his comrade Johannes Hentschel accompanied Hitler almost everywhere he went - including his Alpine retreat in Berchtesgaden and his "Wolf's Lair" headquarters.

Bodyguard called Hitler 'no brute' and 'no Superman'

Adolf Hitler's bodyguard Rochus Misch, who died aged 96, said of the Nazi leader in a 2005 interview, "He was no brute. He was no monster. He was no Superman."

Speaking to the Associated Press, Misch described Hitler as "a very normal man" and "a wonderful boss."

Adolf Hitler pictured giving a speech. Credit: dpa/DPA/Press Association Images

Misch told the news agency, "I lived with him for five years. We were the closest people who worked with him ... we were always there. Hitler was never without us day and night."

The former SS man said he knew nothing of the murder of six million Jews and that Hitler never brought up the Final Solution in his presence.

"That was never a topic," he said emphatically. "Never."

Bodyguard recalled Hitler's final days in memoir

Adolf Hitler's bodyguard Rochus Misch, who has died aged 96, wrote a 2008 memoir about his time with the Nazi leader.

Misch was one of the last people in the German leader's bunker as Soviet forces descended upon Berlin in 1945.

One of the last pictures taken of Adolf Hitler. Credit: DPA DEUTSCHE PRESS-AGENTUR/DPA

He recalled that on April 22, two days before Soviet armies completed their encirclement of the city, Hitler said: "That's it. The war is lost. Everybody can go."

Misch stayed on in the bunker as he was in charge of the telephones and said Hitler had clung to a report - which turned out to be false - that Western Allies had called on Germany to hold Berlin so they could fight communism together.

"He still believed in a union between West and East," Misch said. "Hitler liked England - except for (then-Prime Minister Winston) Churchill - and didn't think that a people like the English would bind themselves with the communists to crush Germany."

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