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Germany

German Memorial Erected for Would-Be Hitler Assassin

A memorial went up in Berlin to a German, Georg Elser, who tried single-handedly to halt the Second World War in November 1939 by blowing up Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and his top aides.

Georg Elser

Elser was later murdered by the Nazis

Hitler and his friends unexpectedly left the Buergerbraeukeller beer hall in Munich just before the explosion, which killed eight people. Elser was arrested, tortured and murdered at Dachau by the Nazis six years later.

The bust of Elser was put up at private expense on a riverside near the Interior Ministry in Berlin on Wednesday, Sept. 24. A plaque in his memory was put up several years ago in his hometown, Koenigsbronn, in south-western Germany.

Elser, a wood joiner of strongly anti-Nazi views, planted the bomb alone in a bid to stop the war.

The German Resistance Memorial movement said the bombing and a bomb set by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg in 1944, which slightly wounded Hitler, were the only assassination attempts that ever put Hitler in danger.

A foundation established by a businessman, Ernst Freiberger, paid for the bust.

Over decades, Germany has only gradually come around to viewing the would-be assassins as heroes. A film, Valkyrie, set for US release in December, will depict the 1944 plot with Tom Cruise playing Stauffenberg.

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