Linge was born in Bremen, Germany. Before joining the SS in 1933 he was employed as a bricklayer and was selected by Sepp Dietrich to be one of 117 original bodyguards for Adolf Hitler. By the end of the war he had obtained the rank of Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel).
He worked as a valet in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, at Hitler's residence on the Obersalzberg near Berchtesgaden and at Wolfsschanze in Rastenburg. He stated that his daily routine was to wake Hitler each day at 11.00 am and then keep him stocked with writing materials and spectacles for his morning reading session in bed. Hitler would then dress himself to a stopwatch with Linge acting as a 'referee'. He would take a light breakfast of tea, biscuits and an apple and a vegetarian lunch at 2.30 pm. Dinner with only a few guests present was at 8.00 pm. In 1945, he moved to the Bunker from Hitler's residence in Berchtesgaden. He was captured by the Soviets and released at 1955, living in Germany afterwards.
Role in Downfall
He can be seen in several scenes throughout the film, always in proximity to Hitler and usually to greet people and open doors for Hitler.
He was first seen in the Wolf's Lair, greeting the ladies from Berlin who'll be interviewed for Hitler's secretary position. He explains to them on how to greet the Führer. He was later seen in the Chancellery hall on Hitler's birthday, when he opened the door that led into the hall and announced Hitler's arrival.
His by far most prominent role is when Albert Speer arrived into the bunker just as Hitler began his ranting fit after receiving Hermann Göring's telegraph. While guarding Hitler's office, he suggested that Speer should wait until Hitler's rage subsided. He can also be seen leading Wilhelm Mohnke into Hitler's bed, when the latter called the former to get updates on the defence of central district of Berlin. Later on, he was the first to check up on the situation as a gunshot was heard in the Führerbunker - signaling Hitler's suicide. He would later carry Hitler's body together with Martin Bormann to the surface, where the bodies were burned.
In the Parodies
Linge has an important part in the parodies; He calls people into Hitler's chambers, often with an evil intent. He is also seen in the birthday reception scene, announcing the arrival of Hitler.
He is also seen in the scene where Hitler finds out about Hermann Göring's betrayal. There he usually responds to something that Speer just said, usually in approval. He has his own encyclopedia system, dubbed Lingepedia, specializing in one-line answers.
In the parodies particularly by Paul Stompbox, Linge has an obsession with ketchup, like how Hans Krebs does with fish and maps, (as seen in Hitler's Fegelein-free Christmas Party and Hitler Works at Krusty Krebs). This originated from his first name, Heinz, also being the name of one of the most popular ketchup brands.