Mein Throne. Hitler’s Commodes

The imposing Berlin Olympic Stadium ­ home of the 1936 ‘Nazi’ Olympics – was the setting for the 1978 World Swimming Championships.

I was there as part of the international PR team for Arena Swimwear, a division of  Adidas.

Adolf Hitler's toilet seat, 'liberated' from his mountaintop home

Adolf Hitler’s toilet seat, ‘liberated’ from his mountaintop home

Strolling around the Olympic complex one could not help but think back to 1936 and the black and white newsreels showing Adolf Hitler blandly declaring the Games of the XI Olympiad open.

I explored every part of the stadium and came across the VIP podium – the very spot where the German dictator had opened the Games.

Behind the podium was a room which had been Hitler’s VIP lounge. The door was open so I decided to take a look. It was cold and empty. A door in the corner led to a bathroom which housed what I thought must have been the Fuhrer’s personal CR.

I’ll never know if Adolf ever did relieve himself there, but I assumed he did. So, with a sense of history and for the fun of it, I decided I should do the same.

I’d forgotten about this little episode until I read recently that Hitler’s CR from his private yacht, Aviso Grille, is alive and well and until a year ago was still flushing in a New Jersey junkyard.

After the war, the US Government decided to scrap Hitler’s luxury vessel, then one of the biggest private yachts in the world. The Americans didn’t want it to end up as some kind of memorial to the hateful regime.

Aviso Grille, Hitler's luxury yacht

Aviso Grille, Hitler’s luxury yacht

Broken up as scrap in New Jersey, various pieces were offered for sale to local residents. The CR was bought by Sam Carlani, who wanted it for a bathroom he was building in his auto repair shop. That was in 1952. It’s been there ever since.

Since it stopped working, Greg Kohfeldt, who bought the shop when Carlani died, has put it on display, but he’s thinking of getting it

Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler

repaired and reinstalled in the CR. ‘It was more of a tourist attraction when it was working,’ he said.

This is not the first Hitler toilet trophy to turn up around the world.

The first Hitler CR relic to make news came in 1969 when Guy Harris, a former British fighter pilot, offered to sell a toilet seat which he said he removed from Hitler’s private quarters in the famous Fuhrerbunker where he and his wife, Eva Braun, committed suicide in 1945.

“The bunker was in the Russian sector and they had filch just about everything else, so I hit on the idea of taking the toilet seat as a souvenir,” he said. There is no record as to whether he ever sold the seat.

It’s also rumored that American comedian Bob Hope was the proud owner of a Hitler toilet curio.

Shortly after the Germans surrendered, Hope, accompanied by a US colonel, was given a tour of the Fuhrerbunker. The two men brought American cigarettes to bribe the Russian guards. Hope walked away with several souvenirs including the handle from Hitler’s toilet.

And just last month, the son of an American soldier stationed overseas during World War II claimed to be in possession of another of Hitler’s toilet mementos.

A toilet seat was ‘liberated’ by his father, Sergeant Ragnvald Borch, from the bathroom of the Fuhrer’s notorious Berghof residence, set in a dramatic location high in the Bavarian Alps.

Adolf Hitler opens the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin

Adolf Hitler opens the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin

The seat apparently came from the CR nearest to Hitler’s bedroom so was probably used by the dictator on a daily basis. Son Michael told how his father would often joke: “This is where Hitler did all his thinking.”

Millions of words have been written about Hitler, but until now precious little about his toilets. One has to wonder what we can expect next – perhaps a pair of Hitler’s underpants for sale on eBay?

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Hitler’s Bodyguard Gives Up

By Robert Harland
Rochus Misch. Hitler's last  surviving bodyguard

Rochus Misch. Hitler's last surviving bodyguard

Watch any programme about Adolf Hitler and you’ll almost certainly see Rochus Misch happily being interviewed about the Füehrer, especially his last day’s in the famousBerlin bunker.

Misch is Hitler’s last surviving bodyguard. He was by the German dictator’s side for five years and even saw his body after he’d blasted a bullet into his head. It’s believed he is the last of the group that hid in the Führerbunker.

His close association with Hitler has brought him a comfortable living with paid interviews and consultations by film companies including Christopher McQuarrie, the writer who created Valkyrie, the 2008 film about an assassination attempt on Hitler’s life.

Too old at 93 to answer his  fan mail

Too old at 93 to answer his fan mail

While McQuarrie talked to Misch, the film’s star Tom Cruise said: “I didn’t want to meet him. Evil is still evil. I don’t care how old you are.”

Misch has become something of a celebrity and his character has been played in numerous films about the Nazi leader. His memoirs, ‘The Last Witness’, were published in 2008 in Germany and are in the works to become a feature film.

But now at the age of 93 and using a walking frame to move around, he says he can no longer respond to the hundreds of letters he receives from around the world.

He told the Berliner Kurier tabloid that most of the letters are requests for his autograph.

“People write to me from Korea, from Knoxville, Tennessee, from Finland and Iceland — and not one has a bad word to say,” said Misch.

In the past Misch used to send fans autographed copies of wartime photos of himself in a neatly pressed SS uniform. Now the fan mail just piles up in his neat, suburban Berlin home.

Of his wartime experiences he says when Hitler was traveling, he and five other bodyguards would accompany him in a second car.

“But when we were at Hitler’s apartment in the Chancellery we also had other duties. Two of us would always work as telephone operators. With a boss like Hitler, there were always plenty of ‘phone calls”.

Rochus Misch in uniform

Rochus Misch in uniform

After the fall of Berlin Misch was captured by the Red Army and sent to Moscow, where he was questioned and tortured.

After eight years in prison camps he returned to Berlin in 1953. He still lives  in the same two-storey house where he moved with his late wife Gerda in 1942.