The story of Georg Elser, the man who tried to kill Hitler.
In the fall of 1938, Elser made the decision to assassinate the dictator around the time of the celebration of the anniversary of the 1923 Munich Beer Hall Putsch. Elser later told one of his interrogators, “I wanted to prevent even greater bloodshed through my act.” Haasis recounts how Elser placed an explosive device in a pillar supporting the roofing above the speaker's platform of the beer hall. His device worked exactly as planned, killing eight people, but Hitler had left for Berlin shortly before. Haasis provides a clear portrait of the different components of the Nazi police state and details Himmler's personal involvement in brutal beatings of Elser. He was executed at Dachau in 1945. The author has put the story together from recollections of family, co-workers and others, as well as historical records. His effort has been as much to celebrate Elser's indomitable courage as to rescue his reputation. In the decades since his execution, Elser has been accused of being an SS agent and provocateur who was given special treatment within the concentration-camp system. Haasis details just what that special treatment involved for Elser, his family, his work mates and the communities where they lived and worked.
Provides a focus for further insight into the workings of Hitler's Reich and its repressive apparatus.