One of the fundamental laws of human society is that violence begets violence (in other words, what goes around comes around). Hence, it is no surprise that there was never a shortage of those who wanted to see Hitler dead – and of those who took very tangible steps to make it happen.
Consequently, few (if any) political leaders have been the targets of as many assassination attempt as was Der Führer of Germany. Historians uncovered 42 plots to murder the Nazi leader – compared to about 30 on De Gaulle (mostly related to his disastrous Algeria policy) and 15 on Stalin.
Hitler and De Gaulle survived all attempts on their lives while Stalin most likely fell victim to the last one. However, there was one fundamental difference between attempts on Hitler and on the Président de la République Française.
While all plots to assassinate the latter failed due to either total ineptitude of would-be assassins or highly efficient work of the French security services, failure of just about all attempts on Hitler’s life could be attributed only on acts of God (or Providence as Hitler called the Supreme Power in the Universe).
When something happens (or does not happen) once, twice or even three times, it could be attributed to a “pure luck”; when it happens (or does not happen) dozens of times, there is no doubt that some supernatural (and thus superhuman) protection is in place.
The first time Adolf Hitler felt this supernatural protection had nothing to do with a deliberate assassination attempt. In January of 1894, when little Adolf was just four years old, he made a reckless (to put it mildly) decision to cross the Passau river walking on ice.
The ice was way too thin even for a four year-old, so Adolf fell through thin ice and began to drown. In water that cold he had literally minutes to live and needed a miracle – an act of God – to survive.
And God delivered. By an enormous stroke of luck, a local Catholic priest – Father Johann Kuehberger – was taking a stroll along the picturesque coast of the river. The cleric spotted the child struggling to stay afloat in the strong current and immediately dived into the icy eater to save the careless boy.
He brought young Adolf home where the latter was undoubtedly – and severely – punished for his recklessness. There is little doubt that the punishment was painful enough to prevent Adolf from doing something that stupid ever again.
It is also possible that later Adolf Hitler pondered about this accident and came to a conclusion that his miraculous escape from the clutches of death (and especially being saved by a priest) was a clear sign that God had some very important Mission for him to accomplish – and from now on will protect him from deadly misfortunes.
He received the second sign of Divine Protection twenty-two years later. On October 7th, 1916, near Bapaume in France, during the Battle of the Somme (one of the bloodiest battles in human history Gefreiter Adolf Hitler was getting a well-deserved rest with his comrades in the dispatch runners’ dugout.
For some reason he decided to briefly leave the dugout… and in a few minutes after he left, the French shell hit the dugout instantly killing everyone inside. This time, Hitler did not escape unscathed – he was wounded in his left thigh and had to spend two months in a military hospital at Beelitz in the German state of in Brandenburg.
This incident provided another proof for Adolf Hitler that he was, indeed, protected by the Providence – as long as he is working on his (yet unknown) Divine Mission.
The third incident of a similar nature allegedly happened almost two years later. On or around September 28th, 1918 one Henry Tandey (the most highly decorated British private of the First World War) encountered a lone German soldier near the French village of Marcoing.
Tandey got an impression that the German was wounded – to the point of being unable to raise his rifle – and, being a man of honor, chose not to shoot. That soldier was… Gefreiter Adolf Hitler.
In 1938, when Neville Chamberlain (then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) visited Hitler at his alpine retreat (the Berghof) for the discussions that ultimately led to the infamous Munich Agreement, Hitler allegedly told him about the incident:
That man came so near to killing me that I thought I should never see Germany again; Providence saved me from such devilishly accurate fire as those English boys were aiming at us
According to the story, Hitler asked Chamberlain to convey his best wishes and gratitude to Tandey (which the latter apparently did). Since then, every unsuccessful assassination attempt only strengthened Hitler’s belief in being under protection of the Almighty Providence.