Johann Rattenhuber

Johann Rattenhuber ( Munich , Germany , 30 of April of 1897 – ibid . , 30 of June of 1957 ) was a military SS with the rank of Gruppenführer – SS , Chief of the Guard to Service Special SS ( Reichssicherheitsdienst ) RSD or Führerschutzkommando , in charge of the personal security of the German leader Adolf Hitler and other eminences of Nazism. Rattenhuber was one of the men of confidence of Hitler and exerted like bodyguard between March of 1933 until April of 1945.


Johann Rattenhuber was born in Münich in 1897, joined the Munich police in his youth until 1914 and enrolled in the imperial army as an infantry soldier in the Bavarian Regiment No. 13 during the First World War. Completed the conflict belonged to the ranks of Freikorps until 1920. In that year, Rattenhuber saw a future in the police and joined the Landespolizei of Bayreuth (Bavarian regular police).

When in March 1933, Himmler was appointed Chief of Police of Münich and Bavaria, Rattenhuber was among the ranks of the criminal police. He soon gained the confidence of the Nazi leader for his fidelity and brutality to undertake the orders. That same month, on March 15, Himmler appointed Rattenhuber as security officer of the Führer ( Reichssicherheitsdienst ) (RSD) by naming him head of the Führerschutzkommando SD and ascending him to Standartenführer . Rattenhuber joins the NSDAP with the number No. 3,212,449, May 1, 1933. 1

The Führerschutzkommando SD created by Himmler and formed by Bavarian policemen was the predecessor of the Begleitkommando SS des Führers assimilated in 1934 to this last organization.

The unit Führerschutzkommando of Rattenhuber inicalmente was composed of nine members responsible for the personal safety of the dome of Nazism. Initially, the field of action of the Führerschutzkommando was in Bavaria when the Nazi leaders were in that area, outside the Begleitkommando SS des Führers .

Later, as Begleitkommando SS des Führersen 1936, Rattenhuber’s functions, although superimposed directly on Himmler, spread wherever Hitler was and finally became part of his personal security organization, ensuring either the chancery or the Camp quarters, of any inconvenience to the German leader. 2

When the Führer scheduled to visit Vinnytsia in Ukraine in January 1942 for the inauguration of a barracks called Werwolf , Rattenhuber ordered the Jewish area to be cleaned before Hitler stepped on that place, thereby killing about 227 Jews in Strizhavka . Rattenhuber with the help of his associates , Friedrich Schmidt and Peter Högl obtained the cooperation of local leaders and members of the SS in these sinister tasks. Finally, before 10 January 1942, the execution of the slave-workers who intervened in the construction of the barracks was also ordered. Wherever Hitler was, Rattenhuber performed these same “security measures.”

During the Attack of July 20, 1944 against Hitler, neither Rattenhuber nor any members of his security were present in the conference room.

In April 1945, Rattenhuber joined the Führerbunker and when Himmler committed treason by attempting to negotiate a surrender behind Hitler’s back, Rattenhuber was one of Hitler’s appointees to take part in a summary military court (court martial) to prosecute Hermann Fegelein and Himmler Same for the charge of high treason. Fegelein was executed the 29 of April of 1945 in the most complete state of intoxication. That same night, Hitler exempted him from his services and said farewell to Rattenhuber. Rattenhuber was not present in the Nazi leader’s immolation.

During the siege to the chancellery, in the transcription between April 30 and May 1, 1945, Rattenhuber attempted to run one of the escape groups from the bunker, but was captured by the Soviets.

Rattenhuber was taken prisoner of the Soviets and taken to the barracks of the SMERSH and gave a detailed description of the last days of Hitler, his personality and the one of other Nazi leaders. Rattenhuber was held in a prison camp between 1945 and 1951 without any trial or conviction.

He was sentenced by a Moscow court finally in 1952 to 25 years in prison but was released in 1955 and sent to West Germany . Rattenhuber died at the age of 60 in Munich.


  1. Back to top↑ Index of SS-Rattenhuber
  2. Back to top↑ Führerschutzkommando-Rattenhuber