Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
1/29 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail These pictures taken by Adolf Hitler’s personal bodyguard show the Führer and his henchmen rallying at Nuremberg and sweeping into Austria in the lead-up to war. The photos were taken between 1937 and 1939 by a member of the dictator’s bodyguard unit, known as the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. Click through to see pictures including Hitler appearing at Nazi rallies, marching into Vienna and walking up a mountain near his Alpine retreat in Berchtesgaden…
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
2/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Hitler arrives in Vienna: The Führer waves in the Austrian capital as he leads his Nazi comrades past a train decorated with a swastika. Nazi Germany annexed Austria in March 1938 in what was known as the ‘Anschluss’, claiming popular support for the move after a referendum held in April 1938 showed 99.7 per cent of voters supposedly backing the annexation.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
3/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Hitler and fellow Nazis in uniforms at the Nuremberg rally in 1937, almost exactly two years before the war broke out. The rally in the Nuremberg parade grounds was an annual propaganda showpiece for Hitler’s regime. During the war, the rally grounds were used as prison camps, holding prisoners of war and forced laborers until it was liberated by US troops in 1945.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
4/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS This picture is captioned ‘Nuremberg beer tastes good’ and shows five men in Nazi uniforms taking a swig from a beer glass while off-duty at the Nuremberg rally. The sign behind them refers to the Panzer division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, which was Hitler’s personal bodyguard unit and included the guard who took these photos.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
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Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
5/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Rudolf Hess is pictured here in the passenger’s seat of a car at a Nazi rally in the lead-up to the war. Hess was Hitler’s deputy for most of the 1930s but fled Germany in 1941, landing in Scotland where he was arrested. After the war he was sentenced to life in prison at the Nuremberg trials. He was confined in Spandau Prison for the rest of his long life until he finally died in 1987.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
6/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Heinrich Himmler (third from left) visiting Untersberg near Berchtesgaden along with others in Nazi uniforms in the lead-up to war. The Untersberg mountain straddles the border between Germany and Austria. At this time Himmler was head of the SS and chief of the German police, roles which would later give him a central role in the Holocaust. He took his life in 1945.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
7/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Hermann Goering’s house in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, is pictured before the war. Goering had been at Hitler’s side since before the Munich putsch of 1923, and during the war was given the highest rank available in the Wehrmacht.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
8/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS This picture, entitled ‘Hermann’s country house’, shows the same building in Berchtesgaden after it was redeveloped in 1941. The driveway leading up to the building is shown decorated with Nazi flags. Goering killed himself in 1945 hours before he was due to be executed after he was found guilty of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
9/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS A pre-war football match at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. The stadium was built for the 1936 Olympics, which were a major propaganda showpiece for the Nazi regime. But all did not go to plan for Hitler, as black American runner Jesse Owens showed the nonsense of Hitler’s racial theories by winning four gold medals and the German football team lost to Norway.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
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Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
10/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Hitler gives his own salute and receives the same gesture from uniformed Nazis at a parade during the 1930s. Performing the salute, known in German as the Hitlergruß or ‘Hitler greeting’, is now illegal in Germany.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
11/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Hitler and his cronies in Berchtesgaden before war broke out. By 1938 Hitler’s grip on power was such that the Nazis claimed to have won 98.9 per cent of the vote in a bogus ‘election’ endorsing the Führer’s rule. No free election had taken place since November 1932, and the next free election in a unified Germany would not be until 1990.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
12/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Troops on the march up one of the Autobahns which were built in the 1930s. Despite the popular myth, the Nazis did not invent the Autobahn and the construction of the motorways created fewer jobs than the Nazis had initially promised.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
13/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Hitler walks past swastika flags and receives the Nazi salute as he arrives for a rally in Kiel, northern Germany. This close-quarters picture was taken by one of his personal bodyguards who looked after the Führer and his homes and offices.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
14/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS ‘Gardens of the new Reich Chancellery’: This picture shows the outdoor decorations at Hitler’s headquarters in Berlin, which he inherited after taking power in 1933. Hitler died in a nearby bunker in 1945. The building has since been demolished.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
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Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
15/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS This picture is captioned ‘a break in the Grunewald’. It shows members of the LSSAH – the Panzer division named after Hitler which provided the Führer’s personal bodyguard, but later grew into a broader military unit – in the Grunewald forest west of Berlin.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
16/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS The stunning Alpine landscape around Berchtesgaden, in southern Germany near the border with Austria where Hitler had a mountain retreat. Hitler’s residence was known as the Berghof and was the venue where he met Neville Chamberlain for the 1938 conference which ended in the British prime minister infamously declaring ‘peace for our time’.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
17/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Hitler arrives to dedicate the foundation stone of the new German Stadium in Nuremberg, near the site of the Nazi rally grounds. The stadium, designed by Hitler’s architect-in-chief Albert Speer, was intended to hold more than 400,000 people. Like many of Hitler’s ambitious building plans, after the war interrupted work on the stadium it never came to fruition.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
18/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS An entrance to Hitler’s quarters at the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. The portrait appears to be of Paul von Hindenburg, who was president of Germany from 1925 until his death in 1934, and appointed Hitler as chancellor in 1933.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
19/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Pictures from near Berchtesgaden: Members of Hitler’s bodyguard unit have a drink with a view of the Alps in the background.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
20/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS The Führer himself is pictured on a supposed walk to the summit.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
21/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Members of Hitler’s bodyguard unit enjoying bottles of beer at an indoor drinking session in the lead-up to the war. The unit was responsible for guarding the Fuhrer’s ‘person, offices, and residences’.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
22/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Members of the LSSAH bodyguard unit wearing SS vests at Hitler’s Alpine retreat near Berchtesgaden. Some SS members later rose to prominence in post-war West Germany, some admitting their previous roles while others kept them secret.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
23/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Hitler leaves his Berghof mountain residence in civilian clothes.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
24/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS A guard stands outside the Berghof. Hitler was born in Austria, but was based in Bavaria in southern Germany after World War I and attempted to seize power there in 1923.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
25/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Members of the Reich Labor Service marching in Nuremberg in 1937. Formed in 1935, the labor service (RAD in German) was intended to keep the German workforce out of unemployment and indoctrinate people with Nazi military ideology.
Hitler through the eyes of his bodyguard
26/29 SLIDES © Jones&Jacob/BNPS Hans Tidow, one of the officers in Hitler’s bodyguard unit, rides a horse during the 1930s. He was killed on September 12, 1939, just over a week after the war broke out when Britain and France declared war after Germany’s invasion of Poland.

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