Failed Assassination Plot
Thanks to the big Hollywood movie Valkyrie (starring Tom Cruise as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg), even people who don’t know much about history now know about the failed plot to kill Adolf Hitler in July 1944. We can only speculate how this would have changed the course of the war…
But there is a little known car accident that could probably have changed history even more if things had unfolded in a slightly different way.
Otto Wagener, a passenger in Hitler’s Mercedes on March 13, 1930, wrote in his memoirs (Hitler: Memoirs of a Confidant, ISBN 978-0300032949) that the future dictator of Germany was almost killed in a car accident. A heavy trailer truck collided with the car, but the driver hit the brake quickly enough to avoid crushing the car. The insurance claim signed by Hitler was sold on eBay in 2000.
About this incident, Jared Diamond wrote: “Because of the degree to which Hitler’s psychopathology determined Nazi policy and success, the form of an eventual World War II would probably have been quite different if the truck driver had braked one second later.”
I wonder if the truck driver later realized that the man he had almost killed was Adolf Hitler.
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