Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hitler's Bodyguard

His obituary was printed in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and in many other papers worldwide that I don't read. This faithful servant of the Fuhrer enjoyed life until 96 years of age, except for the brief nine years he spent in a Russian prison camp after his gig was up. The boss man had committed suicide in the bunker they all shared, thus inadvertantly downsizing the operation and deserting everyone in his employ.

SS Staff Sgt. Rochus Misch's life is a lesson in denial that would astound even the most gullible. For one, his wife was Jewish, which makes me wonder how in the hell he ever qualified for the job. Secondly, he never believed that the Fuhrer could exterminate millions of people because he was the great leader and great leaders don't do such things. 

After his uncomfortable sojourn in Russia, where they treated him less kindly than Herr Hitler, he returned to Berlin to start over again as a shopkeeper. On occasion, he could be spotted standing by the remains of Hitler's bunker, chortling to tourists and any other passersby that would listen to the old fool that he had lived there with the Fuhrer.

Perhaps I am waxing rhapsodic to call him a man in denial. As Hitler's main bodyguard and manservant, he must have had some serious moxy. Goebbles and his family, who also inhabited the cozy bunker, had the good Nazi instinct to kill their six little ones and themselves when they recognized their cause was lost. But faithful old Misch was dutiful to the end, still answering the phones until the lines went down in a rain of bombs. 

As a dear friend once said, "You can't make this shit up."

Justice is depicted as a blind woman holding a scale in balance. In honor of this former bodyguard, perhaps a monument can be erected over his grave with Lady Justice, still blind, but with the scales lying in ruins at her feet, because this fellow simply broke the mold.

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