On this day: Hitler survives assassination attempt

20th July 1944: Attempt on Hitler’s life


One of several high profile assassination attempts made on the life of Adolf Hitler, this event had the potential to significantly alter the history of the Jewish people and of Europe.

A bomb exploded at the Nazi headquarters in Rastenberg, East Prussia, sending shockwaves through Europe after the announcement of the failed assassination attempt was made by the German News Agency.

Hitler was reported to have sustained minor burns and concussions, but nothing so serious that it hindered his Nazi campaign.

Nazi officer Colonel Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg was allegedly the planter of the bomb, with Erwin von Witzleben and Ludwig Beck thought to be the brains behind the 'July plot'. Later evidence incriminated the trio, and they were subsequently arrested and shot.

This particular coup was, at the time, the third attempt on Hitler's life and highlighted the growing resistance to his Nazi regime.

What the JC said: "The attempt on Hitler's life has awakened tremendous optimism and endless guessing as to the how and the why of it. But so far it has led to no piercing of the carefully contrived fog with which the Nazi censorship and the propaganda has surrounded it. Probably the most plausible explanation of the actual fracas which transpired was that the whole affair was a quarrel which flared up unexpectantly and violently between the Generals and the party bosses."

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    Last updated: 8:05am, July 20 2011