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Oral history interview with Rochus Misch

Interview Summary Rochus Misch, born in 1917 in Alt-Schalkendorf, Germany, describes his family life and background, including his apprenticeship as an interior decorator and sign painter; being sent to Berlin to paint one of the Olympic sites during which he saw Adolf Hitler and his military entourage; his work as a painter; being drafted in 1937 to the Waffen-SS; his deployment to Austria during the annexation; training in Berchtesgaden in 1939; his deployment to Poland; being wounded near Warsaw; returning to the barracks in Lichterfelde; being recommended by his company commander to work as a courier for Hitler's personal staff; his work contacting personal guests for Hitler and acting as a supplementary bodyguard; not being in the room with Hitler during dinners or meetings; the constant presence of a military escort; the technologically advanced nature of Hitler's telephone; the flight and capture of Rudolf Hess in England in 1941; traveling with Hitler; a conversation regarding Russia between Hitler and General Field Marshal Paulus, in which Hitler insisted that Paulus remain in Stalingrad; his marriage in 1942; the incarceration of a family friend in Sachsenahusen, for whom he was able to secure a release; the construction of a bunker to withstand an air-raid at the Reich Chancellery in 1943; the plan to assassinate Hitler in 1944; conditions in Hitler's bunker; attempting to get his wife and daughter out of Berlin in 1945; his realization that the war was lost; hearing about Hitler’s suicide; the sight of Hitler and Eva Braun’s dead bodies; fear of death by the Gestapo; being ordered by General Krebs to call the Soviets; receiving permission to leave the Reich Chancellery; attempting to flee west to escape the Soviets; his capture by Soviet soldiers and transfer to Moscow for interrogation; his refusal to testify in the Nuremburg trials; and returning to the Soviet Union for hard labor until his release in 1954.
Date 2004 January 28  (interview)
RG Number RG-50.486*0028
Accession Number 1999.A.0310.28
Extent 7 videocassettes : PAL Betacam SP sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Language German
Provenance The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Branch coordinated the interview with Rochus Misch in Berlin, Germany on January 28, 2004. The interview was received by the Archives Branch in February 2004.
Classification video recording
Dimensions overall : 0.500 in. (1.27 cm.)
overall : 0.500 in. (1.27 cm.)
overall : 0.500 in. (1.27 cm.)
Corporate Name Waffen-SS.
Sachsenhausen (Concentration camp)
Geographic Name Germany--History--1933-1945.
Berlin (Germany)
Nuremberg (Germany)
Warsaw (Poland)
Meeting Name Olympic Games (11th : 1936 : Berlin, Germany)
Personal Name Misch, Rochus--Interviews.
Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945.
Paulus, Friedrich.
Braun, Eva.
Hess, Rudolf, 1894-1987.
Topical Term Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Europe--Personal narratives.
World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities--Germany.
World War, 1939-1945--Aftermath--Germany.
World War, 1939-1945--Social aspects--Germany.
World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Germany.
Berlin, Battle of, Berlin, Germany, 1945.
Conditions on Access No restrictions on access
Conditions on Use No restrictions on use
Credit Line United States Holocaust Memorial Museum/Jeff and Toby Herr Collection
Record Type Oral History
  • Oral history interview with Rochus Misch transcript, RG-50.486*0028
Digital Files Digitization Status: Completely Digital
Link to Collection Oral history interviews of the Germany Documentation Project
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  Record last modified: 2014-02-06 15:35:54
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