Berlin honors would-be Hitler assassin

Oct. 25, 2008 at 1:36 AM

BERLIN, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The city of Berlin has announced a competition to design a memorial honoring a carpenter who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

City officials held a symposium Wednesday at Berlin's Academy of Art to kick-start the contest to design a memorial for Georg Elser, a carpenter from the southwest of the country who attempted to assassinate Hitler with a bomb at the Burgerbraukeller beer hall in Munich, Der Spiegel reported Friday.

Hitler escaped the blast when he was forced to end his speech at the beer hall early due to a change in transportation plans. Elser was arrested attempting to cross the border into Switzerland and was killed April 9, 1945, at the Dachau concentration camp.

The movement to create a memorial was spearheaded by German novelist Rolf Hochhuth, 77, who proposed the project in an open letter to Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit this year.

Berlin State Secretary for Culture Andre Schmitz said it is past time for a memorial to the would-be assassin.

"Not everyone is born a hero," Schmitz said, but "Georg Elser decided for himself what was right and what was wrong."

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Topics: Adolf Hitler
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