Prisoner in WWII Attempted Assassination of Adolf Hitler

During the Second World War, a man named Henry Wermuth set out to kill Adolf Hitler. He was imprisoned in a death camp at the time he concocted his plan, but did not consider how difficult it would be to escape or the fact he would be risking his life. He simply felt that Adolf Hitler needed to be exterminated, and he decided he was tired of waiting for someone else to do it.

It had never even occurred to Wermuth to escape for the sake of freedom. His plan arose when he discovered that the Fuhrer was soon to be within close proximity, as he was on his way to visit his troops on the Eastern Front. Adolf Hitler would be traveling by way of the railroad tracks, which just happened to go by Wermuth’s camp. Wermuth was nineteen years of age at the time, and his thoughts were with his mother and sister. They were at a different camp than he was, and he needed to feel they were safe.

Wermuth first knew that the Fuhrer was nearby due to the increased security at the camp, something that generally only happened when an important officer was visiting. He enacted his plan quickly. He decided to derail the train that Adolf Hitler was on by setting up logs and other debris in the middle of the tracks. Unfortunately, his trap was discovered and removed so that the train could pass safely. Wermuth returned to the camp in defeat, and was heavily chastised by his father, the Mirror reports.

Despite the failure of his plan, Wermuth was awarded for his bravery many years later when he received the Johanna Kirchner Medal in Frankfurt. His bravery and willingness to sacrifice himself if he were found, just on the slim off-chance of killing Adolf Hitler with a few logs, was honored as an astounding act of courage. He still has his medal to this day and, though his family did not live to see the end of the war, he is quite proud of his efforts to save the Jewish race from near extinction at the hands of a dictator.

There is no telling whether or not Wermuth’s plane to kill Adolf Hitler would have changed anything had he been successful. Some historians have pontificated on such facts, reaching the conclusion that the Nazis might have been even stronger if Adolf Hitler had been replaced by a better strategist. Wermuth led a solemn life directly after the war and the realization that he was the last of his family, but he is at least able to look back on the night that he nearly changed history with just a few logs.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE