1930s |

Hitler Escapes An Assassination Attempt - 11/8/1939

Today been the 16th anniversary of '"The Fuller" Adolf Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch, a bomb exploded right after he had delivered his speech to a group of his loyalist. Luckily, Hitler left the place injured.

The anniversary is a yearly ritual of his infamous 1923 coup d'├ętats, (been Hitler's first touch of power but resulted to his arrest and led to the extinction of his National Socialist party). Therefore, on this day in 1939, Hitler was addressing his old party members, soldiers and loyalist of his fascist party, and entertaining them with his dreams and ambitions however, twelve minutes when he left the hall with some Nazi's leader who were present at the occasion, a bomb exploded behind the podium, leaving seven people dead and 63 wounded.

Following the incident, the Nazi official newspaper called "Voelkischer Beobachter" did not hesitate to blame the British secret agents and even accuse British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain for the attack. Although it was a plot to stir up the German people to go into war and develop hatred for the British. However, the Nazi inner-Party members were aware that the move was propaganda, believing the murder attempt was probably the work of an anti-Nazi German military conspiracy.

Using a clever means to put the blame on the Britain, while in actuality closing up on the perpetrators, Gestapo chief, Heinrich Himmler decided to send a junior officer called Walter Schellenberg to Holland in order to make contacts with the British intelligence agents. The plan of the meeting with the British agents was to have the strong backing of the British government in the case an anti-Nazi coup succeeded. Not aware of the original plot, the British agents were willing to gain all the inside information they could about anti-Hitler's movement going on in the German military camp, while Schellenberg who was disguising as a German general called Major Schaemmel was after every information the British intelligence may have gathered on such a conspiracy within the German military.

Nevertheless, Heinrich Himmler desired more than talk or pieces of gathered Intel, what he wanted was the British intelligence agents themselves. Therefore, on November 9, secret service agents in Holland kidnapped two British agents Payne Best and R.H. Stevens with the help of Schellenberg, and drove them across the border into Germany. On arriving Germany, Himmler announced to the German people that he had captured the British conspirators alongside the man who planted the explosive upon their request named Georg Elser, who is a carpenter and a member of the German communist movement.

Certainly, it was Elser who planted the bomb, but the masterminds behind the crime is to this day a mystery, whether it is the German military or British intelligence. Payne, Stevens and Elser (the three official conspirators) were sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In addition, Gestapo murdered Elser on April 16, 1945; therefore, history could not get his own part of the story. On the other hand, Hitler did not have the courage to hold a public trial because the loopholes in the story were just too much.

Share On Facebook

Mark Hinderberg


Retired History Professor at Vanderbilt University. Love taking a portal through time and sharing my knowledge with anyone else who loves reading about history. It is my passion and my greatest hobby.