Killing Hitler: The Third Reich and the Plots Against the Führer by Roger Moorhouse; In the Bunker with Hitler: 23 July 1944 – 29 April 1945 by Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven with François d’Alençon (Translated by John Gilbert) - review by David Cesarani

David Cesarani

Foiling The Führer

Killing Hitler: The Third Reich and the Plots Against the Führer

By

Jonathan Cape 300pp £20 order from our bookshop

In the Bunker with Hitler: 23 July 1944 – 29 April 1945

By

Weidenfeld & Nicolson 208pp £12.99 order from our bookshop
 

There was no shortage of political assassinations in the gangster-like world of interwar German politics. Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, Kurt Eisner and Walter Rathenau were all gunned down during the early 1920s. Surprisingly, there were few attempts on Hitler’s life while he was seeking power, although this was not for lack of opportunity. His personal security was poor and he was frequently reckless. A number of times during election campaigns he got into sticky situations when his car entered Communist districts. At least once his entourage was sprayed with gunfire. The idea that it might be a good idea to kill Hitler only gained force after he became Chancellor, by which time he was better protected.

The story of the attempts to kill Hitler has been told before, notably in books by Anton Gill and Joachim Fest. Roger Moorhouse adds little to what this literature has revealed about the German plotters, but his survey can claim originality thanks to the inclusion of plots hatched by non-Germans.

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