|Johann Georg Elser|
Did very well, sir.
His bomb for Hitler, November the 8,
Went off, alas, 13 minutes too late.
(Clerihew by JT Marlin.)
(The stamp above was issued by post-
war East Germany.)
Hitler was – unfortunately for the world – not hurt.
(This event was four and a half years before the also-unsuccessful July 20, 1944 attempt on Hitler's life by senior officers in the German military. Altogether, Wikipedia lists 14 documented attempts to kill Hitler. Do bad people have powerful guardian devils?)
The November 8, 1939 bomb exploded 13 minutes after Hitler had left the hall with his key Nazi leaders. Seven people were killed and 63 were wounded.
Gestapo boss Heinrich Himmler ingeniously fabricated a story to make himself appear vigilant:
- Via the Nazi Voelkischer Beobachter, he blamed British secret agents and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, thereby stirring up war fever against the British.
- He sent Walter Schellenberg, posing as "Major Schaemmel", to Holland to make contact with British intelligence agents, on the pretext was that the anti-Nazi group wanted assurances from the British that in the event a future anti-Nazi coup succeeded, the British would support a new regime.
- He had his SS police – guided by Schellenberg – take two British agents, Payne Best and R.H. Stevens by car to Germany.
- Then he announced that he had captured the British conspirators as well as the man who planted the bomb, Georg Elser, a 36-year-old German communist and carpenter.