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Hitler's Last Witness: The Memoirs of Hitler's Bodyguard

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ISBN: 978-1-84832-749-8
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Rochus Misch was an ordinary German. He donned a uniform daily, did his work without complaint, and was glad to be able to serve in the rear so he could see his family regularly. One thing set him apart from the millions of others who could share that description, however, for he was on Adolf Hitler's personal staff. Serving only in lowly positions as a courier, bodyguard, and telephone exchange operator, the former SS man was able to keep quiet after the war, allowing his wife to have a successful career in politics. After her death, he published his memoirs, which was translated into English under the title Hitler's Last Witness in 2014, to tell the story of his life. While it was certainly interesting that Hitler knew him by name, and in fact gave Misch a handsome gift for his wedding, Misch being one of the last person Hitler shook hands with before committing suicide made him one of the very few present in the Führerbunker in Berlin, Germany at the end of the European War. His stories offered little in advancing what we understand about the German dictator, but through these pages we get a glimpse of Hitler as a private person, putting on eyeglasses to read reports without fear that the public would learn of his weak vision, and insisting on sending his personal physicians when one of his footmen fell ill. What I thought as the most valuable attribute of Hitler's Last Witness was Misch's own story, someone who naively followed Hitler without ever questioning anything, not even in his own mind. While he fell short of admitting this as a failure, I appreciated his warnings against war as a national policy, for he had realized that war was no better than mass murder. Memoirs, by definition, could not be considered history, but Misch's account gave me valuable insight into the mind of a low-ranking German serviceman during the WW2 era, and I enjoyed the book for that reason.



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