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The Nazi leader's bodyguard reveals a different side to the dictator
Hitler found time amid the bloodiest war in history to crack jokes with his cronies.
Hitler the comedian is one side of the Fuhrer painted in a new memoir called ‘The Last Witness‘ by one of the Nazi leader's bodyguards.
The book, by Rochus Misch - who also served as telephonist in the Berlin bunker - also depicts the scene after the dictator committed suicide.
“The boss was said to be particularly fond of a couple jokes and told the best ones over and over,“ he said.
While Misch did not divulge Hitler's favourite jokes ahead of the book's publication, one joke that Hitler liked to tell was at the expense of his pompous Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering.
Goering was a man forever designing himself new uniforms and giving himself new orders and decorations.
“One day,“ Hitler used to say, “Mrs. Goering came into the bedchamber and found her husband waving his Field Marshall‘s baton over his underwear.
“‘Hermann, darling, what are you doing?‘ she enquired.
“‘I am promoting my underpants to overpants!‘“
“Hitler liked the story so much,” according to the report “that he ordered Hoffmann to make some medals out of gold and silver foil as well as a bombastic citation for bravery to be presented to Goering.”
Another time Hitler and his henchmen roared with laughter all night long after "The Boss" cracked jokes about concentration camp inmates.
The same evening he saw that his official photographer Heinrich Hoffmann had drunk too much.
“Don‘t stand too near the fire Heini,“ said Hitler. “You‘ll catch alight!“
Such jokes are among those expected to feature in Misch's book, which will be published in Germany next week.
Misch said yesterday that although Hitler still laughed during wartime, he had been an even bigger joker in earlier days.
“I never saw Hitler laugh deeply. I could not personally state that Hitler had humour,"
"That might have been however because of the fact that I became acquainted with him only after the start of the war.
"As I knew from the ‘old timers‚‘ Hitler in wartime was a completely different Hitler from before the war."
Misch describes himself as “a last living piece of history“ and his modest flat in Berlin is filled with photos and scrapbooks of his service for a man who murdered millions.
The only soldier allowed to carry a weapon in the bunker, Misch joined the SS in 1937 aged 20 and was seriously wounded in 1939 in Poland. He recovered and was re-assigned to Hitler’s chancellery.
It was the memories of the last days in the bunker that have stayed with him throughout his life, particularly April 30 1945 when Hitler shot himself.
“There was perfect silence after his death,“ he said. “We waited. We waited maybe 20 minutes. I still don't remember who first opened the door to Hitler's rooms. I was really curious and came forward a few steps. Then somebody opened the second door.
“And it was then, as the second door opened, I saw Hitler, dead, lying on a chair. Eva Braun, his wife, on the couch completely clothed. In a dark dress and white, white skin. She was lying back.“
He was captured by the Russians, spent eight years in Soviet labour camps before returning to Germany. His book will be published in the UK at the end of the year.