List of assassination attempts on Adolf Hitler
All attempts occurred in the German Reich, except where noted. All attempts involved citizens of the German Reich, except where noted. No fewer than 42 plots have been uncovered by historians. However, the true numbers cannot be accurately determined due to an unknown number of undocumented cases.
|1932||Hotel Kaiserhof (Berlin)||Unknown||Hitler and several members of his staff fall ill after dining at the revered Kaiserhof hotel in Berlin. Poisoning is suspected, but no arrests are made. Hitler himself seems least affected by the alleged poisoning, possibly due to his vegetarian diet. |
|February 9, 1932||Berlin||Ludwig Assner||Ludwig Assner, a German politician and member of the Bavarian State Parliament, sends a poisoned letter to Hitler from France. An acquaintance of Assner warns Hitler and the letter is intercepted. |
|1934||Berlin||Beppo Römer||Freikorps member Beppo Römer vows to assassinate Hitler as revenge for the Night of the Long Knives but is turned over to the Gestapo before any concrete plan can be made.|
|1934||Berlin||Helmut Mylius||Dr Helmut Mylius, head of the right wing Radical Middle Class Party (Radikale Mittelstandspartei), has 160 men infiltrate the SS and begin gathering information on Hitler's movement. The conspiracy is uncovered by the Gestapo and the conspirators are arrested. Myluis escapes arrest through the aid of influential friends, including Field Marshall Erich Von Manstein.|
|1935||Berlin||Marwitz group||Several German officers in the Foreign office pen a letter writing that "The oath of alligence against Hitler has lost its meaning since he was ready to sacrifice Germany" and that "now was the time to act" in an attempt to instigate an army coup against the Fuhrer.|
|1935||Berlin||Paul Josef Stuermer||Dr Paul Joseph Stuermer leads a resistance group composed of several officers, university professors, businessmen and government workers. The group assists several assassination attempts including Beppo Römer's attempt. |
|December 20, 1936||Nuremberg||Helmut Hirsch||Helmut Hirsch, a German Jew and a member of the Strasserist Black Front, is tasked with planting two suitcases filled with explosives at the Nazi party headquarters in Nuremberg. The plot is revealed to the Gestapo by a double agent and Hirsch is executed by decapitation.|
|1937||Berlin||Josef Thomas||On November 26 mental patient Josef Thomas is arrested by the Gestapo in Berlin after he confesses that he traveled from Elberfeld for the explicit purpose of shooting Hitler and air force commander Hermann Göring.|
|1937||Berlin||Unknown man in SS uniform||An unidentified man in SS uniform reportedly tries to kill Hitler during a rally at the Berlin SportPalast.|
|September 28, 1938||Berlin||Hans Oster, Helmuth Groscurth||A plan is formed by Generalmajor Hans Oster and other high-ranking conservatives in the Wehrmacht to overthrow Hitler in the case he declares war on Czechoslovakia. The plan involved the storming of the Reich Chancellery by forces loyal to the plot in order to take control of the government, who would either arrest or assassinate Hitler, and restore the exiled Wilhelm II as Emperor. The plan is abandoned after British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain concedes the Sudetenland to Hitler in the Munich Agreement, neutralizing the immediate risk of war. Many of the conspirators go on to take part in the 1944 20 July Plot|
|November 9, 1938||Munich||Maurice Bavaud||Swiss theology student Maurice Bavaud poses as a reporter and plans to shoot Hitler from the reviewing stand as he passed through the parade. His view of Hitler is blocked by the unwitting crowd and he is forced to abandon the plan. He then attempts to follow Hitler but fails. On his way back to Paris he is discovered by a train conductor and is turned over to the Gestapo. Maurice was executed by guillotine in the Berlin-Plötzensee prison on the morning of May 14, 1941.|
|October 5, 1939||Warsaw||Michał Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski, Service for Poland's Victory||General Michał Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski and other members of the Polish Army attempt to detonate hidden explosives during Hitler's victory parade in Warsaw. 500 Kg of TNT are concealed in a ditch, ready to be detonated by Polish Sappers. However at the last moment the parade is diverted and the saboteurs miss their target. |
|November 8, 1939||Munich||Johann Georg Elser||German Carpenter Georg Elser places a time-bomb at the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich, where Hitler was due to give his annual speech in commemoration of the Beer Hall Putsch. Hitler leaves earlier than expected and the bomb detonates, killing eight and injuring sixty two others. Following the attempt, Elser was held as a prisoner for over five years until he was executed at the Dachau concentration camp less than a month before the surrender of Nazi Germany.|
|1939||Berlin||Erich Kordt||German diplomat and resistance fighter Erich Kordt hatches an assassination plot along with officer Hasso von Etzdorf to plant explosives, but the plan is abandoned after the security restrictions following Georg Elser's attempt to kill Hitler make the acquirement and concealment of the necessary explosives too dangerous. |
|1941–1943 (several)||Berlin||Beppo Römer||Beppo Römer plots once again to assassinate Hitler along with several co-conspirators of the resistance group Solf Circle. He obtains funds from co-conspirator Nikolaus von Halem and keeps tabs on the Fuhrer's movements through a contact at the Berlin City Commandment. However, before an opportunity could present itself the plot is unraveled by the Gestapo. Römer is sentenced to death on 16 June 1944 and executed on 25 September of that year at Brandenburg-Görden Prison in Brandenburg an der Havel. |
|1943||Walki, Ukraine||Hubert Lanz, Hans Speidel, Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz||Following the war, General der Gebirgstruppe Hubert Lanz proclaims of a plan involving himself and Generals Hans Speidel,Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz & Paul Loehning to assassinate Hitler during his visit to the Army Detachment Kempf in Ukraine. According to the plan, Generalleutnant Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz was to surround Hitler and his escorts with his tanks. Lanz stated that he would have then arrested Hitler, and in the event of resistance, Strachwitz's tanks would have shot and killed the entire delegation. Hitler canceled the visit and the plan was dropped. Author Röll casts doubt on this account citing that Strachwitz's cousin, Rudolf Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff, who attempted to assassinate Hitler in 1943, had recounted that Strachwitz had expressed the belief to him several times that killing Hitler would have constituted murder. Röll concludes that Strachwitz was too much a Prussian officer to consider assassinating Hitler.|
|March 13, 1943||Flight to Smolensk||Henning von Tresckow, Fabian von Schlabrendorff||On the return flight from a front visit Hitler visited the headquarters of the Army Group Center in Smolensk. During the visit there were several attempts to take his life:
|March 21, 1943||Berlin||Rudolf Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff||After becoming close friends with leading Army Group Center conspirator Colonel (later Major-General) Henning von Tresckow, Generalmajor Gersdorff agreed to join the conspiracy to kill Adolf Hitler in order to save Germany. After Tresckow's elaborate plan to assassinate Hitler on 13 March 1943 failed, Gersdorff declared himself ready to give his life for Germany's sake in an assassination attempt that would entail his own death.
On 21 March 1943, Hitler visited the Zeughaus Berlin, the old armory on Unter den Linden, to inspect captured Soviet weapons. A group of top Nazi and leading military officials—among them Hermann Göring, Heinrich Himmler, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, and Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz—were present as well. As an expert, Gersdorff was to guide Hitler on a tour of the exhibition. Moments after Hitler entered the museum, Gersdorff set off two ten-minute delayed fuses on explosive devices hidden in his coat pockets. His plan was to throw himself around Hitler in a death embrace that would blow them both up. A detailed plan for a coup d'état had been worked out and was ready to go; but, contrary to expectations, Hitler raced through the museum in less than ten minutes. After he had left the building, Gersdorff was able to defuse the devices in a public bathroom “at the last second.” After the attempt, he was immediately transferred back to the Eastern Front where he managed to evade suspicion.
|November 16, 1943||Wolf's Lair||Axel Freiherr von dem Bussche-Streithorst||Encouraged by Claus Stauffenberg, Major Axel von dem Bussche agreed to carry out a suicide bombing in order to kill Hitler. Bussche, who was over two meters tall, blond and blue-eyed exemplified the Nazi "Nordic ideal" and was thus chosen to personally model the Armies new Winter uniform in front of the Fuhrer. In his pocket Bussche equipped a land mine, which he planned to detonate while embracing the Fuhrer. However the viewing was canceled after the railway truck containing the new uniforms was destroyed in an allied air raid on Berlin.|
|January 1944||Wolf's Lair||Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin||A similar scheme to Axel von dem Bussche is attempted by German Resistance fighter Ewald von Kleist however the uniform inspection is once again postponed, and eventually canceled by Hitler.|
|March 11, 1944||Berghof||Eberhard von Breitenbuch||On 9 March 1944, Covert German resistance member Busch and his aides were summoned to brief Hitler at the Berghof in Bavaria on 11 March. Following a debate with Tresckow, Breitenbuch agreed to attempt to assassinate the Führer by shooting him in the head using a 7.65mm Browning pistol concealed in his trouser pocket, having declined a suicide attempt using a bomb. A Condor aircraft was sent to collect Busch and Breitenbuch and he was allowed into the Berghof, but was not able to carry out the plan because SS guards had been ordered - earlier that day - not to permit aides into the conference room with Hitler.|
|July 20, 1944||Wolf's Lair||Claus von Stauffenberg|
- Christian Zentner, Friedemann Bedürftig (1991). The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, pp. 47–48. Macmillan, New York. ISBN 0-02-897502-2
- Killing Hitler: The Plots, the Assassins, and the Dictator Who Cheated Death, pp 3
- demolition Man: Hitler: from Braunau to the Bunker, pp 769
- demolition Man: Hitler: from Braunau to the Bunker, pp 769
- The German Opposition to Hitler: The Resistance, the Underground, and Assassination Plots (1938-1945), pp 87
- Disobedience and Conspiracy in the German Army, 1918-1945, pp 180
- History of the German Resistance, 1933-1945, pp 34
- Famous Assassinations in World History: An Encyclopedia, pp 227
- amous Assassinations in World History: An Encyclopedia, pp 227
- "Warszawski zamach na Hitlera: Hitler przemknął im koło nosa" (in Polish). October 5, 2011.
- German Resistance against Hitler: The Search for Allies Abroad 1938-1945, pp 73
- History of the German Resistance, 1933-1945, pp 253
- Röll 2011, pp. 182–183.
- Röll 2011, pp. 184–186.
- Roger Moorhouse Killing Hitler (2006), pp.192-193.
- Ian Kershaw (2000). Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis. Penguin Press. ISBN 0-393-32252-1.
- Michael C Thomsett (1997). The German Opposition to Hitler: The Resistance, the Underground, and Assassination Plots, 1938-1945. McFarland. ISBN 0-78-6403721.
- Moorhouse, Roger (2006). Killing Hitler: The Plots, the Assassins, and the Dictator Who Cheated Death. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 9780553803693. OCLC 61687925.