08.11.

1939: Assassination Attempt on Hitler

1939: Assassination Attempt on Hitler
Photo Credit To http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Adolf_Hitler_cph_3a48970.jpg

Story Highlights

  • historical event: Johann Georg Elsner was arrested while trying to cross the Swiss border. At first, he was not suspected, but then postcards from the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall were found in his coat.

On this day an assassination attempt was made on Hitler. It is believed that the assassin was Johann Georg Elsner, factory worker and opponent of Nazism, who had been preparing his plan for more than a month. He, in fact, knew that Hitler will hold a speech on this day at the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall in Munich, because that day was the anniversary of the so-called Beer Hall Putsch (Hitler’s first attempt to seize power 16 years earlier).

One month, Elsner went to the hall and secretly made a hole in the wall, in a hidden place near the speaker’s rostrum. He then planted explosives and set the clock mechanism. Hitler really gave a speech on that day, but due to World War II, which broke out two months earlier, he was in a hurry to get to Berlin. He was going to take a plane, but there was fog on that day, so he had to go by train. Therefore, he had to make the trip much earlier, so that he shortened his speech in the hall. The bomb exploded at 21:20, exactly when Elsner planned, but Hitler and his closest associates had left the hall by then (they reportedly left only 13 minutes earlier). The bomb killed 8 people and wounded 63. Elsner was arrested while trying to cross the Swiss border. At first, he was not suspected, but then postcards from the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall were found in his coat. He was imprisoned and interrogated by the Gestapo. He confessed to the assassination attempt and was kept in prison until the end of the war, when he was executed just one day before Germany surrendered.

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