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Hitler's bodyguard, Rochus Misch, dead at 96

Sept. 6, 2013 at 9:35 PM   |   Comments

BERLIN, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Rochus Misch, Adolf Hitler's bodyguard who was the last surviving witness of the Nazi leader's final hours, died in Berlin, his biographer said. He was 96.

Burkhard Nachtigall confirmed Misch died Thursday following a short illness, International Business Times reported.

Misch, a staff sergeant in the German Nazi SS, looked out for Hitler's well-being for years during World War II and decades later still viewed him as "a completely normal man" despite Hitler's legacy of orchestrating the extermination of millions of Jews and others, Britain's The Mirror reported.

"He wasn't a monster and he wasn't superhuman," he said in an interview in his later years.

'He stood across from me like a completely normal man with nice words. I only ever heard nice words from him."

Misch was one of the few people who were in Hitler's bunker, where the German leader and his new wife, Eva Braun, spent their final days. He saw their bodies shortly after they committed suicide April 30, 1945.

"I saw Hitler slumped with his head on the table," he said. "Eva Braun was lying on the sofa, with her head towards him. Her knees were drawn tightly up to her chest.

"She was wearing a dark blue dress with white frills on it and I will never forget it.

"I watched as they wrapped Hitler up. His legs were sticking out as they carried him past me. Someone shouted to me, 'Hurry upstairs, they're burning the boss.'"

The International Business Times said Misch never apologized about his relationship with Hitler and denied knowing about his plans to wipe out the Jews.

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

After the war, Misch spent nine years in a Soviet prisoner of war camp before being allowed to return to Germany. He later ran a shop with his wife in Berlin, the Business Times said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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