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8 November 1939

The Bürgerbräukeller, Munich

2120 hrs

An explosive device planted in a pillar behind the speaker's rostrum detonates halfway through Hitler's two-hour address to 3000 party faithful.

Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess, Joseph Goebbels, Julius Streicher and Heinrich Himmler are all killed outright.


Robert Ley, Alfred Rosenberg and Hermann Esser are seriously injured.


Reinhard Heydrich and August Frank are the only two senior officials present that escape unscathed.


2200 hrs

Heydrich moves quickly to control all information out of Munich. All attendees at the bräukeller who have not already been despatched to hospital are detained. A curfew is instituted immediately across the city while SS stormtroopers search house to house.

2300 hrs

Heydrich telephones Göring in Berlin, reporting news of the assassination 'attempt'. He reports the deaths of Hess, Goebbels, Streicher and Himmler, then states that the Führer is wounded but in stable condition at a 'safe location'. Heydrich asks to keep Hitler isolated for fear of further attack. Göring agrees, and the decision is made to hold off on any kind of announcement to the German people until later the following day. Heydrich assumes the rank of Reichsführer SS.

9 November 1939

0130 hrs

Unknown to Göring, Heydrich now moves quickly to mobilise SS units in Berlin and across the country. The RSHA informs local commanders that Hitler and Himmler have been targets of a coup perpetrated by senior officials in Berlin, namely Göring, Bormann and von Ribbentrop, and that the SS under Heydrich must be prepared to take control of the government.

More to come soon!


Image Credits

The aftermath of the bombing

By Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-E12329 / Wagner / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de,

Reinhard Heydrich

By Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1969-054-16 / Hoffmann, Heinrich / CC-BY-SA, CC BY-SA 3.0 de,

SS Liebstandarte in Berlin

By Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H15390 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de,

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