"Special prisoner" Georg Elser

The following is quoted from a book entitled "What was it like in the concentration camp at Dachau?" by Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler, who was one of the "special prisoners" in the bunker.

Two special single executions at the last hour

The first was that of the so-called

"Bürgerbräu (citizens brewery) assailant Georg Elser

A thick veil enveloped him and his outrage. It was characteristic that this joiner journeyman from Munich, who, it was reputed, had made an attempt on the life of the "Führer" (Hitler) on November 9, 1939, was not executed at once as the men of July 20, 1944. He was not even brought to trial, but he was carefully secluded from all the world, first in the camp at Sachsenhausen, later Dachau. Nevertheless, he always enjoyed special privileges, for example, he received a larger cell and a workshop, also sheet music for playing the zither, etc. When he was transferred to Dachau from Sachsenhausen because of the approach of the Russians on Berlin, a wall dividing two cells was taken down - men worked all day and night at it - to provide a larger cell for him. However, he was not allowed to come in contact with the other prisoners (except later in the shelter bunker during air raids); a guard had to sit in front of his door continuously. But once I succeeded in getting to him for a short time by deceiving the man on guard during the distribution of gifts. I moved quickly to Elser's door (he had to be called Eller in the camp) and said, "There is a new one over there; he should get something too", and I dashed into his cell. In April 1945, he suddenly disappeared. At that time, it puzzled us, but it was cleared up, however, when we were transferred to South Tyrol at the end of April 1945. Then our fellow-prisoner, Captain S. Paine (sic) Best, one of the two English officers who had been carried off by force after the Bürgerbräu outrage at Venlo, succeeded in taking an "express letter" from a SS-escort watchman, a letter which the chief of the Security Police and of the Security Service had addressed to the commandant of the Dachau camp on April 5, 1945. This letter, described as "State secret material" contained first, instructions for the treatment of the prisoners, General Colonel Halder, General Thomas, Hjalmar Schacht, Schuschnigg with wife and children and others. Then it continued:

"...Also in the case of our special prisoner 'Eller' a conference was held by the highest authorities. The following instructions were issued:

On the occasion of one of the next air-raids on Munich or in the vicinity of Dachau, 'Eller' is to be presume fatally injured.

For this reason I ask you to liquidate 'Eller' in an absolutely secret manner after such an occurrence in the camp. I ask you to see to it carefully that only very few person who are to be bound to secrecy know of it. The notice of the execution to me would then read:

'On..., as a result of the terror attack on ...., the prisoner 'Eller' was among those fatally injured.

Having taken notice of this letter and carried out the instructions mentioned therein, I ask you to destroy it."