Posted by: Chuck | September 9, 2013

Hitler’s bodyguard says his boss was ‘no monster’


The 96-year-old Misch died Thursday, one of the last of a generation that bears direct responsibility for German brutality during World War II. In his interview with the AP, he stayed away from the central questions of guilt and responsibility, saying he knew nothing of the murder of 6 million Jews and that Hitler never brought up the Final Solution in his presence. “That was never a topic,” he said emphatically. “Never.”

In the forward to the English-language version of his book, “The Last Witness” — due for publication in October — he wrote that it was a different “reality” then and he never asked questions during what he considered just his “regular day at work.”

In the AP interview, he appeared to have little empathy for those he did not directly know, and even for some he did.

Misch was moved nearly to tears when talking about Joseph and Magda Goebbels’ decision to kill their six children in the Berlin bunker before committing suicide themselves. But he was also able to guffaw about a family friend, “a real lefty,” being thrown into the Sachsenhausen concentration camp outside Berlin and noting upon his release that “the paper shirts (at the camp) were uncomfortable.” Born July 29, 1917, in the tiny Silesian town of Alt Schalkowitz, in what today is Poland, Misch was orphaned at an early age.

Against the backdrop of the bloody Russian revolution and the rise of Stalin, combined with the post-World War I popularity of the Communist Party in Germany, Misch said he decided at 20 to join the SS — an organization he saw as a counterweight to the threat from the left. He signed up for the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, a Berlin-based unit that originally was founded as the Fuehrer’s personal bodyguard.

“It was anti-communist, against Stalin — to protect Europe,” Misch said, noting that thousands of other Western Europeans served in the Waffen SS. “I signed up in the war against Bolshevism, not for Adolf Hitler.”

But when Hitler’s armies invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, Misch found himself in the vanguard when his SS division was attached to a regular army unit for the blitzkrieg attack. As German forces quickly closed in on Warsaw, Misch, who spoke some Polish, was sent with a party to negotiate the surrender of a fortress and was told by the troops inside that they needed time to think about the offer. “As we were walking away they opened fire,” Misch said at his home in Berlin. “A bullet came through here and right out, two centimeters from my heart.” (Source: Christian Science Monitor 9/8/13)

Read: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0907/Hitler-s-bodyguard-says-his-boss-was-no-monster

 

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