Berlin plans memorial to would-be Hitler assassin

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The Independent Online

Berlin authorities said Tuesday they would put a memorial on the site of Adolf Hitler's former chancellery building to a German man who tried to kill the dictator weeks after World War II began.

Andre Schmitz, the city's culture state secretary, said that the memorial would honour Georg Elser, who in November 1939 planted a bomb in a beer hall in Munich where Hitler was to make a speech.

By a quirk of fate, Hitler finished his speech early and had been out of the room for nearly a quarter of an hour when the bomb exploded, killing eight people and injuring more than 60 others.

Elser was captured and tortured by Hitler's SS before being imprisoned in solitary confinement at the Dachau concentration camp. He was executed in April 1945.

Schmitz said the decision to locate the monument in Berlin was fitting.

"It would have been the place where the failed tyrant-killer triumphed over the tyrant," he said in a statement.

A competition to choose the best design for the memorial will start in 2010 with the placing of the memorial to follow later in the year, Schmitz said.

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