Otto Günsche (September 24, 1917 – October 2, 2003) was a Sturmbannführer (Major) in the Waffen-SS and a member of 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler before he became Adolf Hitler's personal adjutant.
Günsche was born in Jena in Thuringia. After leaving secondary school at 16 he volunteered for the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler and joined the Nazi Party. He 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.
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 committed suicide.
Having ensured that the bodies were burnt using fuel supplied by Hitler's chauffeur Erich Kempka, Günsche left the Führerbunker a few hours later, on 30 April 1945. He 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. The dossier was edited by Soviet NKVD (later known as the MVD, the forerunner of the KGB) officers. The report was received by Stalin on Dec. 30, 1949. The report was published in book form in 2005 under the title: The Hitler Book: The Secret Dossier Prepared for Stalin from the Interrogations of Hitler's Personal Aides.
Günsche died of heart failure at his home in Lohmar, North Rhine-Westphalia in 2003.
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Postwar signed 5 1/4" x 6 1/2" photo of Gunsche and Hitler.
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