Franz Schädle

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Franz Schädle
FranzSchadleHimmler.jpg
Schädle stands to the right of the soldier greeted by Himmler (left)
Born 19 November 1906
Westerheim
Died May 1, 1945(1945-05-01) (aged 38)
Berlin
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Schutzstaffel
Years of service 1930–1945
Rank SS-Obersturmbannführer Collar Rank.svg SS-Obersturmbannführer
Unit SS-Begleitkommando des Führers
Commands held Führerschutzkommando (1945)

SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) Franz Schädle (19 November 1906 – 1 May 1945) was the commander of Adolf Hitler's personal bodyguard (the SS-Begleitkommando des Führers), from 5 January 1945 until his death on 1 May 1945, aged 38.

Biography[edit]

He was born in Westerheim, Baden-Württemberg and after trade school he worked as a construction technician. He joined the SS on 1 February 1930. On 1 March 1932, Schädle became one of eight founding members of Hitler's personal bodyguard. He also served on the staff of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler from 1 May 1934. Schädle guarded Hitler at his headquarters and accompanied him on all his trips.[1]

On 5 January 1945, Schädle was appointed commander of the bodyguard unit. On 28 April 1945 he was wounded in the leg by shrapnel. According to Otto Günsche, Schädle was present at Hitler's cremation in the garden of the Reich Chancellery on 30 April 1945. Schädle later committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth with a pistol, rather than attempt the break out from the Reich Chancellery to escape from the advancing Red Army.[1]

Film portrayal[edit]

Franz Schädle's suicide is depicted in a brief scene in the 2004 German film Downfall (Der Untergang). Schädle is portrayed by Igor Bubenchikov.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Anton Joachimstaler (1999) [1995]. The Last Days of Hitler: The Legends, The Evidence, The Truth. Brockhampton Press. pp. 293, 294. ISBN 1-86019-902-X.