By Tom Dare
CHILLING FOOTAGE showing former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler visiting wounded soldiers shortly after surviving an assassination attempt gives fresh insight into how the dictator sought to project strength to the German people after nearly being killed.
The Nazi propaganda video shows Hitler arriving with his entourage at a hospital for military veterans, where he is shown around before holding conversations with several of the soldiers, some of whom are seriously injured.
The film then shows Hitler leaving the hospital and being greeted by a crowd of adoring members of the public giving him the Nazi salute, with the camera then showing several high-ranking members of the Nazi party, including Hermann Goering and Josef Goebbels, chatting amongst themselves outside the hospital.
The footage is taken from a Nazi propaganda film from the Second World War which also featured glowing reports of how well the war effort was progressing, and showed first-hand footage of allied forces being captured, shot at or killed.
The video itself was taken shortly after the July 20 1944 assassination attempt on Hitler’s life, and was designed to reassure the German public that everything was fine. The attempt saw several top German army officers, led by General Claus Von Stauffenberg, plant a bomb at Hitler’s Wolf’s Lair headquarters in Prussia in an attempt to overthrow the Nazi regime and make peace with the allies. Hitler survived the bombing however, suffering only minor injuries.
Speaking shortly afterward on German public radio, Hitler addressed the nation:
“I speak to you today in order that you should hear my voice and should know that I am unhurt and well, and secondly that you should know of a crime unparalleled in German history. a very small clique of ambitious, irresponsible, and at the same time senseless and stupid officers had formed a plot to eliminate me and the High Command of the Armed Forces,” he said.
“I will crush and destroy the criminals who have dared to oppose themselves to Providence and to me. These traitors to their own people deserve ignominious death, and this is what they shall have. This time the full price will be paid by all those who are involved, and by their families, and by all those who have helped them. This nest of vipers who have tried to sabotage the grandeur of my Germany will be exterminated once and for all.”