U.K. spy was denied plan to kill Hitler

Jan. 10, 2007 at 6:37 AM
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LONDON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- A British spy codenamed "Agent Zigzag" wanted to kill Adolf Hitler at the height of World War II but was dissuaded by the British secret service MI5.

Edward Chapman in 1944 offered to assassinate Hitler at a rally, the London Times reported Wednesday. Chapman was a professional safe-breaker who was trained by the Nazis as a spy and went on to become one of Britain's most successful double agents.

The newspaper cited documents which were classified since the war but have recently become accessible. They reveal a conversation between Chapman and British officer Ronnie Reed.

Reed warned Chapman that assassinating Hitler would be suicide. "Whether or not you succeeded, you would be liquidated immediately," Reed warned.

Chapman replied: "Ah, but what a way out."

According to the documents, the Nazis had promised Chapman a seat in the "first or second row" if he blew up a war plane factory in England.

The offer to kill Hitler was eventually rejected for reasons that have never been fully explained, but the newspaper said then Prime Minister Winston Churchill was sure to have known about Chapman's proposal.

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