- Günsche, Otto
A Sturmbannführer in the Waffen-SS and a member of 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler before he became Adolf Hitler's personal adjutant.
- 24-09-1917, Jena, Thuringia.
- 02-10-2003, heartfailure, age 86, Lohmar, North Rhine-Westphalia
Cremated and ashes scattered over the Northsea.
Otto Günsche, born 02-10-1903 in Jena in Thuringia. After leaving secondary school at 16 he volunteered because of his suitable height for the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (see Adolf Hitler) (did you know), originally the unit was composed of only eight men, commanded by Julius Schreck (see Schreck) and Joseph Berchtold and joined the Nazi Party. Berchtold died age 65, on 23-08-1962. On 13-04-1934, Heinrich Himmler (see Himmler), the Reichsführer SS, ordered the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH) to be renamed "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" (LSSAH) In late June, the LSSAH was called into action for the first time. Stabschef-SA Ernst Röhm (see Röhm) began to push for greater power for his already powerful SA. Hitler decided that the SA had to be put in its place, and ordered Himmler and Hermann Goering (see Goering) (did you know) to prepare their elite units. For Günsche followed the military training in the SS-Junkerschule in Bad Tölz.
Günsche first met Adolf Hitler in 1936. In 1944 he fought on the eastern front and then in France. He was present at the 20 July 1944 attempt to kill Hitler at the Wolf's Lair in Rastenburg. Günsche belonged to the closest circle around Hitler, with Eva Braun, Traudl Junge (see Junge) with husband Hans Junge (see Hans Junge), Joseph Goebbels (see Goebbels) (did you know) Magda Goebbels (see Magda), Martin Bormann (see Bormann), Johanna Wolf another secretary (see Wolf), ernst Hanfstaengl (see Hanfstaengl) and Christa Schroeder (see Schroeder). As the end of the Third Reich became imminent, Günsche was tasked by Hitler with ensuring the cremation of his body after his death and Günsche stood guard outside the room where Hitler and Eva Braun (see Braun) committed suicide. He carried the bodies of Hitler upstairs to the garden with Kempka and Bormann. Together with having ensured that the bodies were burned using fuel supplied by Hitler's chauffeur Erich Kempka, Kempka died in the free world, age 64 on 24-01-1975 in Freiberg am Neckar (see Kempka).
Günsche together with Gerda Christian, who had a relation with Kempka and one of Hitler’s secretary, left the Führerbunker a few hours later, on 30-04-1945. Gerda Christian escaped from Berlin into the western American zone. There she was captured by the CIA and interrogated for several days. Günsche surrendered to Soviet troops encircling the city soon thereafter and was flown to Moscow for interrogation by the NKVD. He was imprisoned in Moscow and Bautzen in East Germany and released in 1956. During his imprisonment, Günsche was a primary contributor to Operation Myth, the biography of Hitler that was prepared for Joseph Stalin (see Stalin). The dossier was edited by Soviet NKVD, later known as the MVD, the forerunner of the KGB, officers. After various prisons and labor camps in the USSR, he was released from Bautzen Penitentiary on 02-05-1956. The freeing of Günsche happened thanks to the initiative of the first post-war German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (see Adenauer). After hard negotiations with Joseph Stalin Chancellor Adenauer finally succeeded to bring back home to Germany thousands of German soldiers from captivity in the Soviet Union. Günsche lived very withdrawn and he did not participate in telling his stories from the Nazi times. In the circle of his friends he spoke openly about what he experienced. As a close eyewitness of important events with and around Adolf Hitler, he refused to talk to the so-called historians who just wanted to commercialize the times of the Third Reich. Only to a very close circle he gave important facts and information. These facts are still asleep in the archives of the former officer. Those who have personally spoken with Günsche had the impression that he was a correct, fine and reliable person.There were no accusations against him personally. After regaining his freedom, Günsche became employed in the industry in West Germany. In business dealings, he was highly respected. He was known as a man of honour. Gerda Christian belonged up to her death, age 84 on 14-04-1997 in Düsseldorf, to the circle of his friends, like Panzer Meyer (see Meyer), Joachim Peiper (see Peiper), Max Wünsche (see Wünsche) and Sepp Dietrich (see Dietrich).
The formed adjutant of the Führer has refused, in spite of greatest financial offers from Germany and abroad, all offers to write his own memoires that would be critical of the National Socialist times or Hitler. Günsche died of heart failure at his home in Lohmar, North Rhine-Westphalia on 02-10-2003, age 86. He had three children, including a son named Kai. The corpse was cremated. It was announced that the ashes would be strewn into the North Sea, by the closest family. Two other famous Word War II personalities had a sea grave, the U boat ace Otto Kretschmer (see Kretschmer) and the pilot of the Enola Gay, bomb on Hiroshima, Paul Tibbets (see Tibbets). and the pilot of the Enola Gay, bomb on Hiroshima, Paul Tibbets (see Tibbets).