May 14, 1941
25-year-old Swiss theology student, Maurice Bavaud, is guillotined for an assassination attempt on Hitler
Bavaud tried unsuccessfully twice to get near Hitler. His first attempt involved him impersonating a Swiss reporter to get closer to Hitler. This attempt failed after Hitler surrounded himself with other Nazi leaders whom Bavaud did not want to injure. For the second attempt, Bavaud forged a letter of introduction in the name of French nationalist Pierre Taittinger, claiming Bavaud had in his possession a letter for Hitler’s eyes only. This ploy failed after Bavaud incorrectly predicted which city Hitler would visit, believing him to be in Berchtesgaden. At that time, Hitler was still in Munich. Bavaud returned to Munich only to find Hitler had recently departed for Berchtesgaden.
Having spent all his money on expenses related to getting near Hitler, Bavaud stowed away on a train to Paris and was arrested. He was interrogated by the gestapo and confessed to the assassination plot. During trial, he stated he believed Hitler to be a danger to humanity, Catholicism, and Swiss independence. The Swiss government did not come to Bavaud’s aid and even decried the assassination attempts, leaving Bavaud to his fate, to be executed by guillotine.