Arthur Nebe

Arthur Nebe

The last few days I have seen articles about the German government commemorating those who were involved in the  20th July 1944 assassination plot.

In a way I can understand it why they are doing this, but having that said I don’t agree with it.

Yes it is true these men planned to kill Hitler but not because they didn’t believe in his policies, because all of them had signed up to Nazi ideology one way or another. They wanted to kill them because they didn’t agree with the way he was conducting the war and the consequences of that.

Some of them had actively and willingly participated in the killing of innocent lives..

None more so then Arthur Nebe. he was a key figure in the security and police apparatus of Nazi Germany and a Holocaust perpetrator.He  was  given command of Einsatzgruppen B between June and November 1941, an extermination unit whose headquarters were in Minsk, and  also covered the area of the Moscow front.During this period of five months,he was responsible  for  46,000 executions.

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In a  report he issued on July 23,1941 , Nebe stated the idea of a “solution to the Jewish problem” being “impractical” in his region of operation due to “the overwhelming number of the Jews”; there were too many Jews to be killed by too few men. By August 1941, Nebe came to realize that his Einsatzgruppe’s resources were insufficient to meet the expanded mandate of the killing operations, resulting from the inclusion of Jewish women and children since that month.

During visits to Russia in 1941,  Himmler learned the psychological impact of shooting women and children on the Einsatzgruppen. He therefore commissioned Arthur Nebe to explore ways of killing that were less stressful for the task force.

Nebe decided to try experimenting by murdering Soviet mental patients, first with dynamite near Minsk, and then with automobile exhaust ,gas vans,at Mogilev. These vans had already been used before  in 1940 for the gassing of East Prussian and Pomeranian mental patients in Soldau.

However the Gas van was not a Nazi but a Soviet invention.The gas van was invented in the Soviet Union in 1936, by Isay Berg, the head of the administrative and economic department of the NKVD of Moscow Oblast.

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In March 1944, after the “Great Escape” from Stalag Luft III prisoner-of-war camp, Nebe was ordered by Heinrich Müller, to select and kill fifty of the seventy-three recaptured prisoners in what became known as the “Stalag Luft III murders”.Also in 1944, Nebe suggested that the Roma interned at Auschwitz would be good subjects for medical experiments at the Dachau concentration camp.

Nebe was was executed in Berlin at Plötzensee Prison on 21 March 1945, because of his involvement in the July 20 plot.

 

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Sources

Traces of War

Holocaust research project

Bundesarchiv

 

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When Stalin wanted to kill John Wayne

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No this is not the title of a movie, but why this never was turned into a movie is beyond me.

Joseph Stalin wanted John Wayne gone so badly he sent two men to pose as FBI agents to take him down.It might come as a surprise that Joseph Stalin, Soviet dictator, man of steel, and murderer of millions, was quite the movie buff. He had a private theater in each one of his homes,and in his last years, the cinema became not only his favourite entertainment but also a source of political inspiration.

Stalin was so angered by John Wayne’s anti-communism that he plotted to have him murdered. He ordered the KGB to assassinate John Wayne because he considered him a threat to the Soviet Union.maxresdefault

When the Russian filmmaker Sergei Gerasimov attended a peace conference in New York in 1949 he heard about John Wayne and his anti-communist beliefs. When he returned to the Soviet Union he immediately told Stalin about John Wayne.

Wayne had previously clashed with the Communists because of his opinions, even receiving a threatening anonymous letter. When one of his friends advised him to be more cautious, the Duke declared “no goddamn Commie’s gonna frighten me.”john-wayne-assassination

The situation took a decidedly more serious turn, however, when the movie star attracted the attention of the Soviet dictator himself.

The alleged assassination attempt unfolded in the early 1950’s, just as the Communist scare in the United States was starting to peak.

Sources reported that after one of his routine film viewings, Stalin suddenly decided that Wayne was a direct “threat to the cause and should be assassinated.”

American agents also took the threat seriously enough to offer Wayne protection, to which he replied: “I’m not gonna hide away for the rest of my life, this is the land of the free and that’s the way I’m gonna stay.”

According to Wayne’s stuntman and real-life cowboy Yakima Canutt, the FBI foiled at least one assassination attempt with the help of the Duke himself.yakima-canutt

After getting word that two KGB agents posing as FBI agents were going to come to the movie studio where Wayne was filming and lure him away, the FBI and the actors decided to outflank them. When the Soviets came into Wayne’s office as expected, the actual FBI agents were hidden in a room next door and were able to burst in and subdue them at gunpoint. The Soviets were so terrified of being sent back to Russia and reporting to Stalin they had failed, that they willingly agreed to provide intelligence to the Americans.

Later, in 1953, Wayne was filming “Hondo” in Mexico when yet another communist cell tried to assassinate him.

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The Soviet campaign was canceled after Stalin’s death in 1953 because his successor Nikita Khrushchev was a fan of the film star. In a biography written by Michael Munn it says Krushchev told Wayne in a private meeting in 1958: “That was a decision of Stalin during his last five mad years. When Stalin died, I rescinded that order.”

John and Joe

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Taste of death-Margot Wölk ,Hitler’s food taster.

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Every meal could have been her last. And when she had finished eating the bland vegetarian dishes put before her, 25-year-old Margot Wölk and her young female colleagues would burst into tears and “cry like dogs” because they were grateful still to be alive.

Hitler was a vegetarian, it is not precisely known when he became vegetarian but certainly throughout  WWII. Allegedly he once commented that he didn’t like to eat lobster because he thought it was cruel how lobsters were cooked alive.

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Yet he had no issues killing millions of men,women and children, nor did he have any problems forcing 15 young women to become his food tasters, to ensure he wouldn’t get poisoned.

Margot Wölk, (born 27 December 1917), is a German former secretary who was one of 15 young women who, in 1942, were selected to taste German leader Adolf Hitler’s food at the Wolf’s Lair in East Prussia for some two and a half years in order to confirm that the food was safe to eat and didn’t contain any harmful toxins or poisons.She was the only one of the 15 to survive World War II, and her background as Hitler’s food taster was not revealed until a newspaper interview on her 95th birthday in December 2012.

Margot-Wölk

She was the only one to survive. All her colleagues were rounded up and shot by the advancing Red Army in January 1945.

Just after Wölk’s arrival in Gross-Partsch, she and 14 other young women were selected by the local mayor and brought to the barracks in nearby Krausendorf (now Kruszewiec, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Poland), where cooks prepared the food for the Wolf’s Lair in a two-story building. Wölk was picked up by a bus every day from her mother-in-law’s residence. The tasting took place daily from 11 to 12 o’clock. The service personnel filled platters with vegetables, sauces, noodle dishes and exotic fruits, placing them in a room with a large wooden table, where the food had to be tasted. “There was never meat because Hitler was a vegetarian,” Wölk said in an interview.“The food was good … very good. But we couldn’t enjoy it.”

There were rumors that the Allies had plans to poison Hitler. After the women confirmed that the food was safe, members of the SS brought it to the main headquarters in crates.

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After Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg’s failed 20 July plot in 1944 in the Wolf’s Lair to assassinate Adolf Hitler and remove the Nazi Party from power, the security around the Wolf’s Lair was tightened, and the food tasters were no longer allowed to stay at home. Instead, they were boarded in a vacant school building nearby. Each morning at 8 a.m., Wölk was rousted from bed by the SS, who shouted “Margot, get up!” from beneath her window. By that time, she was only needed if Hitler was actually at the Wolf’s Lair,

“The security was so tight that I never saw Hitler in person. I only saw his Alsatian dog, Blondi,” Ms Wölk recalled.

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Security was draconian, but one night she was raped by an SS officer.-shack.”Later in 1944, when the Soviet Red Army was just a few kilometers away from reaching the Wolf’s Lair, a lieutenant took Wölk aside and put her on a train to Berlin. After the war ended, Wölk met the lieutenant again, and he told her that all of the other 14 food tasters had been killed by Soviet soldiers.

As Wölk returned to Berlin, she fell into the hands of the Soviet Army after the end of the Battle of Berlin. For two weeks, they raped her repeatedly, inflicting such injuries that she was never able to bear children.

A British officer called Norman helped her recover. He went back to Britain after the war. He wrote asking his German girlfriend to join him. But Ms Wölk told him she wanted to wait and find out if her husband Karl was still alive.

In 1946, she was reunited with her husband Karl; he was marked by years of war and imprisonment, but the married couple lived happily together until his death in 1980.

For decades after the war, Wölk never talked about what happened in Gross-Partsch; however, the experience came to her often in dreams. It wasn’t until December 2012, on her 95th birthday, when a local Berlin journalist from the newspaper Berliner Zeitung paid her a visit and began asking questions, that she spoke about what she calls the worst years of her life.It was then, she suddenly decided to break her silence.

et Margot Völk

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The 9th of April 1945 Executions

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The 9th of April 1945 was picked by the Nazi’s to get rid of some those they had considered to be traitors. In fact some of these men were actually heroes, since they all had been part in one way or another(or at least were convicted of that)of trying to kill Adolf Hitler during Operation Valkyrie or the 20 July plot.

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The executions by way of hanging all took place in Flossenbürg concentration camp.

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer  4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German pastor, theologian, spy, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. His writings on Christianity’s role in the secular world have become widely influential, and his book The Cost of Discipleship has become a modern classic.

Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to Nazi dictatorship, including vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews.He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years.

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Later he was transferred to a Nazi concentration camp. After being associated with the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, he was quickly tried, along with other accused plotters, including former members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office), and then executed by hanging on 9 April 1945 as the Nazi regime was collapsing.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/05/26/dietrich-bonhoeffer-the-good-german/

Wilhelm Franz Canaris (1 January 1887 – 9 April 1945) was a German admiral and chief of the Abwehr, the German military intelligence service, from 1935 to 1944. Initially a supporter of Adolf Hitler, he later turned against the Nazis as he felt Germany would lose another major war. During the Second World War he was among the military officers involved in the clandestine opposition to the Nazi regime. He was executed in Flossenbürg concentration camp for high treason.

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Canaris was arrested on 23 July 1944 on the basis of the interrogation of his successor at Military Intelligence, Georg Hansen.Schellenberg respected Canaris and was convinced of his loyalty to the Nazi regime, even though he had been arrested.Hansen admitted his role in the 20 July plot but accused Canaris of being its “spiritual instigator”. No direct evidence of his involvement in the plot was discovered, but his close association with many of the plotters and certain documents written by him that were considered subversive led to the gradual assumption of his guilt. Two of the men under suspicion as conspirators who were known in Canaris’ circle shot themselves which incited activity from the Gestapo to prove he was, at the very least, privy to the plan against Hitler

Ludwig Gehre (5 October 1895 – 9 April 1945) was an officer and resistance fighter involved in the preparation of an assassination attempt against Hitler.

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At the beginning of the Second World War Gehre was active as a Captain in the Abwehr (Military Intelligence) under Admiral Wilhelm Canaris. By 1939 a group in the Abwehr had formed to remove the Nazi regime and end the War. This circle included Admiral Canaris, General Ludwig Beck, Hans von Dohnanyi, Hans Oster, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as well as Gehre.

By March 1943 Gehre was privy to the Military Opposition’s preparations under Henning von Tresckow to assassinate Hitler. In January 1944 Helmuth James Graf von Moltke was arrested, and in March 1944 Gehre was also taken by the Gestapo. Gehre, however, was soon able to flee and disappeared.

After the failed 20 July 1944 assassination attempt to kill Hitler, the search for Gehre intensified. Gehre, together with his wife, kept himself hidden for several more weeks. Further shelter was procured by the brothers Hans and Otto John. When Gehre realized that he was about to be discovered by the Gestapo on 1944 November 2, he shot his wife and then directed the gun toward himself. Although he was badly hurt, he survived.

Hans Paul Oster (9 August 1887 – 9 April 1945) was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany who was also a leading figure of the German resistance from 1938 to 1943. As deputy head of the counter-espionage bureau in the Abwehr (German military intelligence), Oster was in a strong position to conduct resistance operations under the guise of intelligence work; he was dismissed for helping Jews to avoid arrest.

Hans Oster

He was a key planner of the Oster Conspiracy of September 1938. Oster was arrested in 1943 on suspicion of helping Abwehr officers caught helping Jews escape Germany. After the failed 1944 July Plot on Hitler’s life, the Gestapo seized the diaries of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of the Abwehr, in which Oster’s long term anti-Nazi activities were revealed. In April 1945, he was hanged with Canaris and Dietrich Bonhoeffer at Flossenbürg concentration camp.

Karl Sack (born June 9, 1896 in Bosenheim (now Bad Kreuznach), executed April 9, 1945 in Flossenbürg concentration camp) was a German jurist and member of the resistance movement during World War II.

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Karl Sack studied law in Heidelberg where he joined a Burschenschaft (Burschenschaft Vineta) and after a time in legal practice became a judge in Hesse. He married Wilhelmine Weber and had two sons. In 1934, Sack joined the newly established Reichskriegsgericht (Reich Military Court) where he quickly rose to a senior position. He was able to delay proceedings against Army Commander-in-Chief Werner von Fritsch who had been falsely accused of homosexuality by the Gestapo in an attempt to discredit him for his opposition to Hitler’s attempts to subjugate the German armed forces. In the fall of 1942, Karl Sack became Judge Advocate General of the Army.

During World War II, Sack maintained contacts within the resistance circles in the military, including Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, Major General Hans Oster and Hans von Dohnanyi, as well as with others within the Abwehr (German military intelligence). He was part of the attempt to assassinate Hitler on July 20, 1944 and after that failed attempt he was arrested on August 9, 1944. In the very last days of the war, he was brought before an SS drumhead court-martial presided over by Otto Thorbeck. He was sentenced to death and hanged 2 days later. Sack had been slated for the role of Justice Minister within a planned post-coup civilian government.

In 1984, Sack’s role as a member of the resistance was remembered with a bronze plaque placed in the former Reichskriegsgericht in Berlin-Charlottenburg. There was some opposition to this honour as Sack favoured a far-reaching interpretation of what constituted desertion, which must have led to more than a few death sentences.

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Theodor Strünck (7 April 1895, Pries – 9 April 1945, Flossenbürg concentration camp) was a German lawyer and resistance worker, involved in the July 20 plot.

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Theodor Strünck studied legal science, graduating at the University of Rostock in 1924, and became a lawyer (later a director) at an insurance company. Initially sympathising with National Socialism, he then turned to opposing the regime on their seizure of power and the subsequent decline in the rule of law. In 1937 he became a Hauptmann in Germany’s reserve forces, working in the Wehrmacht section of the Amt Ausland/Abwehr under Hans Oster. He came into contact with Carl Goerdeler and organised meetings of German Resistance members in his own home.

For his participation in the 20 July 1944 plot, Theodor Strünck was arrested on 1 August, dishonourably discharged from the army on 24 August as part of the “Ehrenhof” (so that the Reichskriegsgericht or Reich Courts Martial would no longer have control of his sentencing), and on 10 October condemned to death by the People’s Court under its president Roland Freisler. He was then imprisoned in Flossenbürg concentration camp, where he was executed together by hanging on 9 April 1945.

The Germans were busy on the 9th of April because additionally to the 6 men mentioned above they also executed Georg Elser by hanging in the Dachau concentration camp.

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Johann Georg Elser (4 January 1903 – 9 April 1945) was a German worker who planned and carried out an elaborate assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler and other high-ranking Nazi leaders on 8 November 1939 at the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich.A time bomb that Elser constructed and placed near the speaking platform failed to kill Hitler, who left earlier than expected, but killed eight people and injured over sixty-two others. Elser was held as a prisoner for over five years until executed at the Dachau concentration camp.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/10/19/what-if-the-assassination-attempts-on-hitler/

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/02/27/forgotten-history-german-resistance/

The Venlo Incident

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I always considered myself to be a bit of WWII buff, but it was only until I started this website I realized how little I actually knew about World War 2.This case is a good example.

Venlo is a town in the province of Limburg in the Netherlands, in the south east of the country.Bordering to Germany in the east and Belgium in the west and south. The same province I was born and grew up in(albeit in the southern part) and yet I had never heard of ‘the Venlo incident’ an event that happened tomorrow 77 years ago.

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The Venlo Incident was a covert German Sicherheitsdienst (SD-Security Service) operation, in the course of which two British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) agents were abducted on the outskirts of the town of Venlo, the Netherlands, on 9 November 1939.The incident was later used by the German Nazi government to link Britain to Georg Elser’s failed assassination attempt on German Chancellor Adolf Hitler at the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich, Germany, on 8 November 1939 and to help justify Germany’s invasion of the Netherlands, while a neutral country, on 10 May 1940.

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In early September 1939 a meeting was arranged between Fischer and the British SIS agent Captain Sigismund Payne Best. Best was an experienced British Army intelligence officer who worked under the cover of a businessman residing in The Hague with his Dutch wife.

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Subsequent meetings included Major Richard Henry Stevens, a less-experienced intelligence operative working covertly for the British SIS as the Passport Control Officer in The Hague, Netherlands.

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To assist Best and Stevens in passing through Dutch mobilised zones near the border with Germany, a young Dutch officer, Lieutenant Dirk Klop, was recruited by Chief of the Dutch Military Intelligence, Major General van Oorschot. Klop was permitted by van Oorschot to sit in on covert meetings but not take part due to the neutrality of the Netherlands.

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Fischer brought to the early meetings participants posing as German officers who supported a plot against Hitler and were interested in establishing Allied peace terms should Hitler be deposed. When Fischer’s success in setting up the meetings with the British agents became known, Sturmbannführer (major) Walter Schellenberg of the Foreign Intelligence (Counter-Espionage) section of the Sicherheitsdienst began coming to the meetings.

Walter Schellenberg

Masquerading as a “Hauptmann (captain) Schämmel”, Schellenberg was at the time a trusted operative of Heinrich Himmler and was in close contact with Reinhard Heydrich during the Venlo operation.

At the last meeting between the British SIS agents and the German SD officers on Wednesday 8 November, Schellenberg promised to bring a general to the meeting on the following day. Instead the Germans brought the talks to an abrupt end with the kidnapping of Best and Stevens.

For different Germans, the covert meetings might have meant different things. Dutch historian, Bob de Graaf wrote:

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“Hitler, who was kept informed, might have hoped that sooner or later Dutch neutrality would be compromised. Himmler, continually on the outlook for a peace settlement with Britain, might have had hopes that the contacts with MI6 would lead to a compromise, whereafter the Soviet Union, in Himmler’s mind Germany’s real enemy, could be faced with confidence. To Schellenberg the game meant gathering information about British intelligence activities in Germany. By studying the files he had become especially interested in a so-called ‘observer corps’ the British were running against the German Luftwaffe. What Schellenberg expected from the meetings were names, as many names as possible of agents working for MI6. To Heydrich, who liked intelligence games for the sake of it, the Spiel with Best and Stevens might have meant anything. But in the light of his continuous efforts to get at Canaris’ throat, he might have hoped for revelations about a connection between British officials and a German opposition, which was rooted in Wehrmacht circles”

Early on 9 November 1939, Schellenberg received orders from Heinrich Himmler to abduct the British SIS agents, Best and Stevens. German SS-Sonderkommandos (SS Special Units) under the operations command of SD man Alfred Naujocks, carried out the orders.

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Best was at the wheel of his car when he drove into the car park at the Cafe Backus for the meeting planned for 4 pm with Schellenberg. Stevens was sitting beside him while Lieutenant Klop and Jan Lemmens (Best’s Dutch driver) were sitting in the back seat. Before Best had time to get out of the car, Naujock’s SD men arrived.

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In a brief shootout, Klop was mortally wounded. After being handcuffed and stood against a wall, Best and Stevens, together with Jan Lemmens were bundled into the SD car. Klop was put into Best’s car and both cars were driven off over the border into Germany.

Best recalls a full body search was performed on him when they reached Düsseldorf en route to Berlin. At Düsseldorf one of the men who had taken part in the kidnapping told Best the reason for the action was to catch some Germans plotting against the Führer who were responsible for the attempt on his life the night before.

Lieutenant Dirk Klop was admitted to the Protestant Hospital in Düsseldorf. A doctor on duty recalled years later Klop was unconscious when admitted and died the same day from a gun wound to the head.

A different account (with conflicting details) of the Venlo Incident is told by Günter Peis in The Man Who Started The War, and by Walter Schellenberg in his memoirs. For instance, Best did not know that Schellenberg, still posing as Major Schämmel, was waiting at Cafe Backus at the time of the kidnapping by Naujocks and twelve SD men. When one SD man mistook him as Best, Schellenberg narrowly escaped being shot.

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(Picture above is a 1948 Reconstruction of the Venlo_Incident)

Prior to the assassination attempt at the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich on 8 November, Naujocks and his squad had been sent to Düsseldorf to support Schellenberg. Even before his private train had returned from Munich to Berlin,

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Hitler ordered the British SIS officers in the Netherlands be brought to Berlin for questioning. Himmler issued the order to Schellenberg early in the morning on 9 November.

Though Georg Elser, a suspect being interrogated in Munich by the Gestapo, insisted he had acted alone, Hitler recognized the propaganda value of the assassination attempt as a means to incite German public resentment against Great Britain.

On 21 November Hitler declared he had incontrovertible proof that the British Secret Service was behind the Munich bombing and that two British agents had been arrested near the Dutch border.The next day German newspapers carried the story. On the front page of Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung there were pictures of the conspirators named as, Georg Elser, ‘Kaptain Stevens’ and ‘Mr Best’.

Years later Walter Schellenberg recalled in his memoirs:

“He (Hitler) began to issue detailed directives on the handling of the case to Himmler, Heydrich, and me and gave releases to the press. To my dismay, he became increasingly convinced that the attempt on his life had been the work of the British Intelligence, and that Best and Stevens, working together with Otto Strasser, were the real organizers of this crime.

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Meanwhile a carpenter by the name of Elser had been arrested while trying to escape over the Swiss border. The circumstantial evidence against him was very strong, and finally he confessed. He had built an explosive mechanism into one of the wooden pillars of the Beer Cellar. It consisted of an ingeniously worked alarm clock which could run for three days and set off the explosive charge at any given time during that period. Elser stated that he had first undertaken the scheme entirely on his own initiative, but that later on two other persons had helped him and had promised to provide him with a refuge abroad afterward. He insisted, however, that the identity of neither of them was known to him. . . I thought it possible that the “Black Front” organization of Otto Strasser might have something to do with the matter and that the British Secret Service might also be involved. But to connect Best and Stevens with the Beer Cellar attempt on Hitler’s life seemed to me quite ridiculous. Nevertheless, that was exactly what was in Hitler’s mind. He announced to the press that Elser and the officers of the British Secret Service would be tried together. In high places there was talk of a great public trial, to be staged with the full orchestra of the propaganda machine, for the benefit of the German people. I tried to think of the best way to prevent this lunacy.”

The Nazi press reported that the Gestapo had tricked the British Secret Service into carrying on radio contact for 21 days after Best and Stevens were abducted using the radio transmitter given to them. Himmler is accredited to quipping, ‘After a while it became boring to converse with such arrogant and foolish people’.

The British Foreign Office believed Himmler was involved in the secret Anglo-German contact of autumn 1939, and that the discussions, involving Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, and the Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax, were bona fide peace negotiations.

The damage inflicted on Britain’s espionage network in Europe caused new Prime Minister, Winston Churchill to start his own spy and sabotage agency, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in 1940.

The Venlo Incident exposed the fact that the Chamberlain government was still seeking to do a deal with Germany while exhorting the nation to a supreme war effort.

Hitler used the Venlo Incident to claim The Netherlands had violated its own neutrality. The presence of the Dutch agent Klop, whose signature on his personal papers was gratefully misused by the Germans, provided sufficient ‘proof of cooperation between British and Dutch secret services, and justify an invasion of The Netherlands by Germany in May, 1940.

Alfred Naujocks was awarded the Iron Cross by Hitler the day after the kidnapping.Walter Schellenberg gave evidence against other Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials.He died in 1952 aged 42.

After interrogation at the Gestapo Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse headquarters in Berlin, Best and Stevens were sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Both were held in isolation in the T shaped building reserved for protected prisoners of the Gestapo.

While at Sachsenhausen Best claimed he corresponded via secret letters with another protected prisoner Georg Elser.

In January 1941 Stevens was moved from Sachsenhausen to the bunker at Dachau concentration camp where he remained until evacuated with Best and other protected prisoners in April, 1945.

In February, 1945, Best was transferred briefly to Buchenwald concentration camp and then to the ‘bunker’ at Dachau concentration camp on 9 April 1945. Coincidentally on the same day Georg Elser was killed at Dachau.

On 24 April 1945, Best and Stevens left Dachau with 140 other protected ‘high-profile’ prisoners in a convoy bound for South Tyrol. At the lakeside Prags Wildbad Hotel near Niederdorf, South Tyrol, they were liberated by the advancing US Army on 4 May 1945.

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What if? The assassination attempts on Hitler.

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There have been many attempts to assassinate Hitler, it is estimated there have been around 35 attempt, some of them were quiet bizarre. If any of them would have been successful the outcome of the war would have been drastically different, in fact if the earlier ones in the 1920’s and 1930’s had succeeded there may never have been a World War 2 or a Holocaust.

I do wonder sometimes if some of these plots to kill Hitler were really plots or were they mere propaganda stunts. Let’s think about for a minute, the Germans who pride themselves in being very efficient were not able to kill one man, not even after dozens of attempts.But yet they were able to eradicate millions in a relatively short time frame.What if these plots were just schemed designed by Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Hitler,to create the myth that Hitler was immortal and invincible.

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One thing that often disturbs me is the fact that the officers that tied were responsible for the July 1944 plot are often portrayed as heroes,in my opinion they weren’t. The only reason why they wanted to kill him is because the war wasn’t going they way they had initially they had envisaged it would go. They did not attempt to take his life because they felt compassion for the millions of innocent people that died in the concentration camps.If the war would have gone Germany’s way I doubt they would have done anything to stop the genocide.

I am not going through all 35 attempts but I will highlight a few.

1921: The Munich Beer Hall Melee

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Nearly 20 years before the start of World War II, the first assassination attempt on Hitler’s life took place at a beer hall in Munich. Hitler had gathered at the famous Hofbrauhaus beer hall with other members of the newly formed Nazi Party. The crowd was packed with Nazis, social democrats, and communists, and Hitler rose up to make a speech that incited a large drunken riot. The brawl escalated and before long, chairs and beer steins were flying through the air. Hitler, who was standing at the speaker’s podium, was nearly hit by a stray bullet. Apparently, the event fueled the dictator’s commitment to the Nazi cause and the site would later become the setting for the Beer Hall Putsch that landed him in jail.

1938: Maurice Bavaud’s Plot

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In late-1938, a Swiss theology student named Maurice Bavaud bought a pistol and began stalking Hitler across Germany. Bavaud was convinced the so-called “Führer” was a threat to the Catholic Church and an “incarnation of Satan,” and he considered it his spiritual duty to gun him down. He finally got his chance on November 9, 1938, when Hitler and other Nazi leaders marched through Munich to celebrate the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch. Bavaud took a seat in a grandstand along the parade route and waited until Hitler approached. He had his pistol tucked into his pocket, but before he could draw and take aim, the swooning, swastika-waving crowd raised their arms in a Nazi salute and blocked his view. Bavaud reluctantly gave up his hunt and was later arrested as he tried to stow away on a train out of Germany. When the Gestapo found his gun and maps, he confessed under interrogation to plotting to kill Hitler. In May 1941, he was executed by guillotine in Berlin’s Plötzensee Prison.

1939: Georg Elser’s Beer Hall Bomb

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Georg Elser was a struggling German carpenter and communist who was vehemently opposed to Nazism. He anticipated that Hitler’s regime would lead his country on the path toward war and financial ruin, and in late-1938, he resolved to do something about it. Knowing that Hitler would speak at Munich’s Bürgerbräukeller brewery the following year on the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch, Elser spent several months building a bomb with a 144-hour timer. When his weapon was complete, he moved to Munich and began sneaking into the Bürgerbräukeller each night to hollow out a cavity in a stone pillar behind the speaker’s platform. After several weeks of painstaking clandestine labor, Elser successfully installed his bomb. He set it to explode on November 8, 1939 at 9:20 p.m.—roughly midway through Hitler’s speech.

Elser had planned his bombing to perfection, but luck was not on his side. World War II had started in earnest a few months earlier, and Hitler moved the start time of his speech to 8 p.m. so he could be back in Berlin as soon as possible. The Führer finished his remarks by 9:07, and by 9:12, he had left the building. Only eight minutes later, Elser’s bomb went off, leveling the pillar and sending a section of the roof crashing down on the speaker’s podium. Eight people were killed and dozens more injured, but Hitler was not among them. Elser was captured that same night while trying to steal across the Swiss border, and he later confessed after authorities found his bomb plans. He would spend the next several years confined to Nazi concentration camps. In April 1945, as the Third Reich crumbled, he was dragged from his cell and executed by the SS.

1943: Henning von Tresckow’s Brandy Bomb

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One of the most audacious plots unfolded on March 13, 1943, when Hitler arrived at the Smolensk post of Henning von Tresckow—a disillusioned German military officer—for a brief visit. Before the Führer and his entourage boarded their plane for the return trip, Tresckow approached a member of Hitler’s staff and asked if the man would take a parcel containing two bottles of Cointreau brandy to a friend in Berlin. The officer obliged, not knowing that the package actually held plastic explosives rigged to a 30-minute fuse.

Tresckow and his co-conspirator Fabian von Schlabrendorff hoped Hitler’s death would be the catalyst for a planned coup against the Nazi high command, but their plan went up in smoke only a few hours later, when they received word that the Führer’s plane had landed safely in Berlin. “We were stunned and could not imagine the cause of the failure,” Schlabrendorff later remembered. “Even worse would be the discovery of the bomb, which would unfailingly lead to our detection and the death of a wide circle of close collaborators.” A panicked Tresckow phoned the staff officer and told him there had been a mistake with the package. The next day, Schlabrendorff traveled to Hitler’s headquarters and exchanged the concealed bomb for two bottles of brandy. Upon inspection, he found that a defective fuse was all that had prevented Hitler’s plane from being blown out of the sky.

1943: Rudolf von Gertsdorff’s Suicide Mission

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Only a week after Tresckow’s brandy bomb failed to explode, he and his co-conspirators made yet another attempt on Hitler’s life. This time, the scene of the assassination was an exhibition of captured Soviet flags and weaponry in Berlin, which the Führer was scheduled to visit for a tour. An officer named Rudolf von Gertsdorff volunteered to be the triggerman for a bomb attack, but after scouting the premises, he came to a grim realization: security was too tight to plant explosives in the room. “At this point it became clear to me that an attack was only possible if I were to carry the explosives about my person,” he later wrote, “and blow myself up as close to Hitler as possible.” Gersdorff decided to proceed, and on March 21, he did his best to stay glued to the Führer’s side as he guided him through the exhibit. The bomb had a short 10-minute fuse, but despite Gersdorff’s attempts to prolong the tour, Hitler slipped out a side door after only a few minutes. The would-be suicide bomber was forced to make a mad dash for the bathroom, where he defused the explosives with only seconds to spare

1944: The July Plot

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Shortly after the D-Day invasions in the summer of 1944, a clique of disgruntled German officers launched a campaign to assassinate Hitler at his “Wolf’s Lair” command post in Prussia. At the center of the plot was Claus von Stauffenberg, a dashing colonel who had lost an eye and one of his hands during combat in North Africa. He and his co-conspirators—who included Tresckow, Friedrich Olbricht and Ludwig Beck—planned to kill the Führer with a hidden bomb and then use the German Reserve Army to topple the Nazi high command. If their coup was successful, the rebels would then immediately seek a negotiated peace with the Allies.

Stauffenberg put the plan into action on July 20, 1944, after he and several other Nazi officials were called to a conference with Hitler at the Wolf’s Lair. He arrived carrying a briefcase stuffed with plastic explosives connected to an acid fuse. After placing his case as close to Hitler as possible, Stauffenberg left the room under the pretense of making a phone call. His bomb detonated only minutes later, blowing apart a wooden table and reducing much of the conference room to charred rubble. Four men died, but Hitler escaped with non-life-threatening injuries—an officer had happened to move Stauffenberg’s briefcase behind a thick table leg seconds before the blast. The planned revolt unraveled after news of the Führer’s survival reached the capital. Stauffenberg and the rest of the conspirators were all later rounded up and executed, as were hundreds of other dissidents. Hitler supposedly boasted that he was “immortal” after the July Plot’s failure, but he became increasingly reclusive in the months that followed and was rarely seen in public before his suicide on April 30, 1945.

One Last Attempt On Hitler’s Life From Albert Speer

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Albert Speer was Hitler’s Armaments Minister. He decided to put some lethal gas into the ventilation system of Hitler’s bunker. However, before he could procure sufficient gas Hitler doubled security around the bunker meaning that Speer would be unlikely to have the opportunity to put his plan into operation.

 

Ending with a strange one.

The Pornographic attempt to kill Hitler.

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Obersalzberg, Berghof von Adolf Hitler

A group of US airmen hatched a plot to fly over Hitler’s mountain retreat and drop huge quantities of pornographic material. They hoped that the normally puritan Hitler would go mad with lust and kill himself. The plan was blocked by the military as foolish and silly.