Georg Elsner (1939)
On the evening of November 8, 1939, a bomb exploded in Munich’s Bürgerbräukeller [Citizens’ Beer Hall] during a celebration marking the 16th anniversary of Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch. Several people were killed or injured. Hitler himself was not hurt. He had left the event a few minutes earlier than planned. Georg Elsner, the perpetrator of the attack, equipped the bomb with a timer and placed it behind the speaker’s lectern in a pillar that he spent weeks hollowing out. Elsner had been linked to a few Communist organizations in the 1920s, but was acting alone in this instance. By assassinating Hitler, he hoped not only to kill one man but to destroy the entire Nazi regime, a dictatorship he had strongly opposed for years on political and moral grounds. Elsner was arrested that very same evening and put into "protective custody." He was shot to death in Dachau on April 9, 1945. By then, Hitler had survived a series of assassination attempts, mainly by lone individuals. Nazi propaganda exploited these attempts by presenting them as evidence of Hitler's enjoyment of divine protection.
© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz