Item #8619 Hitler's Would-Be Assassin Caught

Hitler's Would-Be Assassin Caught

[Munich?]: [NSDAP], [1939]. An extraordinary English language propaganda flyer accusing the British Intelligence Service and Otto Strasser of masterminding the bombing of the Buergerbraeukeller on Nov. 8, 1939 in an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler and other high-ranking Nazis who’d gathered to commemorate the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. In reality, the bomb was constructed and placed by an obscure cabinet-maker and ex-communist, George Elser, who believed that killing Hitler would benefit German workers and stave off a world war. Instead, Hitler and the other Nazi leaders left the Buergerbraeukeller early and avoided death or injury, although seven Germans were killed.

Many conspiracy theories were posited as to who was actually responsible for Esler’s act, with some current historians claiming that the bomb plot was actually orchestrated by the Nazis “to provoke hatred for England, unite the people behind the Führer, create a pretext for attacking through the Low Countries, where the main thrust was indeed planned at that date, and cow the generals who believed a winter offensive to be madness and were again plotting to unseat Hitler.” The bombing is generally believed to have been committed by Esler acting on his own who was quickly arrested trying to cross into Switzerland. He was later executed in Dachau a month before the camp was liberated in 1945. As with other similar events, the brilliant Nazi propaganda apparatus used the bombing to further solidify Nazi power and to provide Hitler with the public and military support he needed to push further into Europe.

A single newsprint sheet (8 ¼” x 11 ¾”) printed on both sides. Horizontal and vertical creases from folding, a few small nicks and closed tears to the edges. Not found in OCLC, CERL, or the German National Library catalogue.

¹ From Esler’s statement in Gestapo Interrogation Report (November 1939) Bundesarchiv Koblenz, signatur R 22/3100.
² Peter Padfield, Himmler: Reichsführer-SS (New York: Henry Holt, 1991), 284. Item #8619

Price: $450.00