Bombing Hitler: The Story of the Man Who Almost Assassinated the F%C3%BChrer

Hellmut G Haasis, Author, William Odom, Translator
Hellmut Haasis, trans. from the German by William Odom. Skyhorse (Norton, dist.), $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-61608-741-8
Reviewed on: 11/26/2012
Release date: 01/01/2013
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-63220-312-0
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-62087-954-2
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Originally published in Germany in 2001, Haasis's English-language debut is a brief, well-told history of Georg Elser, the woodworker who singlehandedly orchestrated the failed assassination of Hitler in 1939. It begins with the November 8 explosion at the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall in Munich, which killed eight, but just missed Hitler—the führer had left the premises a mere 13 minutes before the blast. Elser, however, was not so lucky: shortly before the bomb went off, the would-be assassin was arrested by suspicious border guards as he tried to cross into Switzerland. Haasis uses transcripts of the Gestapo's interrogations of Elser and his friends and family to describe his upbringing and work history, his political views and motivation, the planning of the attack, and his subsequent torture, imprisonment, and murder by Nazis at the Dachau concentration camp just weeks before it was liberated. Ideologically resolute, prescient in his wariness of Hitler, and committed to preventing the bloodshed of war, Elser emerges as a thwarted hero of the early resistance, and Haasis's engaging history is a testament to the individual's potential to change the course of history. Photos. Tanja Howarth Literary Agency. (Feb.)
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