Johannes Hentschel

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Johannes Hentschel (10 May 1908 – 27 April 1982) was a German-Danish master electro-mechanic for German dictator Adolf Hitler's apartments in the Old Chancellery. He also served in the same capacity in Hitler's Führerbunker in 1945.

Biography[edit]

Born in Berlin on 10 May 1908. Hentschel was hired on 4 July 1934. During the last days of the Third Reich, he was responsible for the machine room in the Führerbunker and he stayed in the bunker after everyone else had either committed suicide or left, as the field hospital in the Reich Chancellery above needed power and water. He surrendered to the Red Army as they entered the bunker complex and was released on 4 April 1949. Hentschel died in 1982 in Achern, West Germany.[1]

Portrayals[edit]

Oliver Stritzel was cast as Hentschel in Downfall (Der Untergang). However, in the theatrical release most of his scenes were cut and he only briefly appears restoring power to a failing generator, as well as in the epilogue which explains what happened to all the characters. In the extended version of the film, his performance is expanded. Hentschel tells Otto Günsche that he is staying in order to maintain the generators. Later, he goes to the surface and looks at the burnt remains of Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, Joseph and Magda Goebbels. Returning to the bunker, he finds a group of female Soviet soldiers who ask where Hitler and Braun are, then ask to be taken to Eva's wardrobe. He asks them not to open the door to the Goebbels' room, which they do anyway and find the bodies of the Goebbels children.

Hentschel plays a much more significant role in the 1981 film The Bunker. Portrayed by Martin Jarvis, he is shown as an ordinary working man (invariably seen in overalls) who observes the disintegration of the Nazi leaders around him. Eventually he is left all alone and disillusioned in the bunker, after the departure of his friend Rochus Misch. Awaiting the arrival of the Russians, Hentschel hears the report of Hitler's "heroic" death on the radio, and throws the papers he's been reading at it.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Joachimsthaler 1999, pp. 47, 247, 287.

References[edit]