Erich Kempka was born in Oberhausen, German Empire on 16 September 1910, one of ten children born to a family of half-Polish descent. He worked as a mechanic for the DKW automotive manufacturer before joining the [[Nazi Party] in 1930, and he served as Josef Terboven's chauffeur until 1932 before becoming a reserve driver for Adolf Hitler's entourage. In 1934, he became Hitler's primary chauffeur, serving in this post until 1945. In 1945, he accompanied Hitler to the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin as the Soviets closed in, and Otto Gunsche had Kempka bring him 200 liters of petrol so that the Germans could burn Hitler and Eva Braun's lifeless bodies after their suicides on 30 April 1945. Kempka escaped from Berlin during the Battle of Berlin, but he was captured by US Army troops at the Berchtesgaden on 20 June 1945, being held until October 1947. He attended several SS reunions after his release, and he died in Freiberg am Neckar, West Germany in 1975.