Henry Wermuth was 19 when he attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
The extraordinary episode in the Holocaust survivor’s extraordinary life has been captured in a new film.
Mr Wermuth, who lives in north-west London and is now aged 94, was born in Frankfurt and was deported with his family to Poland in 1938. Over the next seven years, he was transferred from concentration camp to concentration camp, among them Auschwitz.
But it was in 1942, when he was in a labour camp called Klaj, in Poland, that he heard the Nazi leader was expected to pass through the town to boost the morale of Nazi troops stationed there.
In the film, Breathe Deeply My Son, Mr Wermuth explains how he broke out of the camp and piled the railway track with sticks and rocks in the hope that it would derail the train Hitler was due to travel on.
“It didn’t work — the train went straight over the rubble” he said. “But at least I tried. I thought that I might be able to free my mother and little sister Hanna, and that I might be able to end the war. “I had no idea that my mother and sister had already been murdered in Belzec concentration camp. I only found that out many years after my liberation.”
The film, produced by Ilana Metzger, Mr Wermuth’s daughter, will be shown in schools.
Mr Wermuth said: “I was shocked to hear there are children who think that the Holocaust was exaggerated. I hope this film will help to challenge that.
Mrs Metzger said: “I realised that, to keep my father’s story alive, I would need to make it into a documentary.”