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Hitler and the Forgotten Moment in History

Updated on November 28, 2011

Adolf Hitler

1939 | Source

The Moment

At 9:20pm on 8th November 1939 a home made bomb explodes in a brewery in Munich, destroying half the building, killing 8 people and injuring another 62.

Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and several other high ranking Nazis had left the building at 9:07pm.

Hitler often spoke to old soldiers at this location and usually, did not leave until 10pm. On this occasion though, he had left early in order to catch a special train.

The bomb was meant to have killed Hitler and had been placed in a hollowed out pillar behind the rostrum. The bomb had been detonated by a pre-set timer.

If this moment had gone as planned, then it would have changed all our histories. This moment though, seems to have been forgotten by historians and few people are aware of these events.

Johann Georg Elser

Bust of Georg Elser
Bust of Georg Elser | Source


The bomb had been planted by Johann Georg Elser.

Born to a working class, communist family on January 4th, 1903, Elser was a member of the Red Front Fighters’ Association.

Between 1925 and 1929, Elser had worked in a watch making factory and this is where he learnt how to make the timer for the bomb. In order to hollow out the pillar for placement of the bomb, Elser had managed to get himself locked inside the brewery every night for over a month.

The only way that he could gain access to the pillar, was by crawling on his hands and knees every evening.

After the explosion Elser had tried to escape, however he was caught at the Swiss border, identified by the scrapes on his hands and knees.

Under torture from the Gestapo, Elser eventually confessed to the assassination attempt and was sent to Dachau concentration Camp.

Not Forgotten

Street Name
Street Name | Source


It is perhaps ironic that Elser was eventually shot on April 9th 1945, a short time before Hitler’s death and the end of the war.

The reason Elser gave for the assassination attempt was that he had wanted to stop the bloodshed.

If successful, how many lives could have been saved by this brave mans actions, yet history seemed to have ignored or forgotten him.

Although historians may have forgotten him, some people had not and several streets and monuments were named after him.

Recently though, true recognition may have come to this mans heroic efforts.

A 56ft steel sculpture of Georg Elser was recently unveiled in Berlin, the capital of Germany by German playwright Rolf Hochhuth.

Considering the difference this mans actions could have had on our history perhaps now the future historians may remember him.


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    • rafken profile image

      rafken 6 years ago from The worlds my oyster

      Credence 2 - Two things. First it may not have stopped the war, however it was Hitler that started the eastern front whilst still fighting on the west, perhaps if he had died in 39 the Nazi's may have won Europe. My point is it would have changed history. 2nd, Yes you could call Elser an assasin but would you if he had been a member of the French or Polish resistance or even one of his officers. They would have earned a place in history, so why shouldn't Elser?

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      I do not know that the monument was appropriate, he was still just an assasin. I do not know that if Hitler was not around if the impetus for the war would not have continued under the control of his many lieutenants. The war by November, 1939, was definitely on, who could back out now? It is interesting to think about though.

    • profile image

      PenMePretty 6 years ago from Franklin

      Interesting educational article. Did your homework. :-)

      Thanks for sharing.

    • rafken profile image

      rafken 6 years ago from The worlds my oyster

      dahoglund - Yes this was before the one you have heard about and nothing to do with his officers

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I know I have read about and seen documenties about an assassination attempt by Hitlers officers. Is this a different attempt?

    • profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago

      Isn't amazing how much we miss as we pass through life? I have never heard of this assassination on Hitler, which reminds me somewhat of the attempted assassination by Diego Rivera and others on the dicatator, Diaz, in Mexico before the revolution.

      I wonder if we would have had WW2 without the Chancellor?

      Interesting article Bob