Georg Elser is a German hero who attempted to kill Adolf Hitler on November 8, 1939 with a bomb which he placed at the Bürgerbräukeller, a bar where Hitler was giving his annual speech on the anniversary of his 1923 Putsch. Hitler left early and was not hurt, although 8 people were killed by the blast and 63 others were injured, according to the Museum at the Dachau Memorial Site.
According to an exhibit in the Dachau Museum, Georg Elser was secretly executed by the Gestapo at Dachau on April 9, 1945, and his death was blamed on an Allied bombing raid.
Elser had been in prison, first at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, and then at Dachau, for five and a half years.
On the same day that the Dachau Museum says that Georg Elser was killed by a bomb, a group of traitors to the Fatherland, including Rear Admiral Wilhelm Canaris and General Hans Oster were executed at the Flossenbürg concentration camp on the orders of Gestapo Chief Heinrich Müller, but there was no attempted cover-up of these executions. Canaris, who was the head of the Abwehr, Nazi Germany’s military intelligence agency, before he was arrested, was involved in two failed attempts to assassinate Hitler in 1938 and 1939. General Oster had been arrested the day after the failed July 20, 1944 attempt to assassinate Hitler. On April 8, 1945, General Wilhelm Canaris and General Hans Oster were put on trial and both were convicted.
So why did the execution of Georg Elser have to be done secretly and blamed on an Allied bomb attack? “Something wrong!” as Dr. Henry Lee famously said in the O.J. trial.
Along with Elser, Captain Sigismund Payne Best, a British intelligence agent, was also imprisoned at Sachsenhausen, and later at Dachau, while he awaited trial on a charge of conspiracy in the assassination attempt by Georg Elser, which was believed by Hitler to have been instigated by the British government.
The story of Georg Elser’s execution, according to Captain Sigismund Payne Best, is that either Adolf Hitler or Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had ordered the head of the Gestapo, SS-Gruppenführer Heinrich Müller, to deliver a letter on April 5, 1945, authorizing the execution of “special prisoner Georg Eller” during the next Allied air raid, to the Commandant of the Dachau concentration camp, Obersturmbannführer Eduard Weiter. Eller was a code name for Elser so that the other prisoners would not know his true identity.
By some strange coincidence, Captain Payne Best had come into possession of this letter in May 1945 shortly before the end of World War II.
Normally, an execution order would have come from RSHA (Reich Security Main Office) in Berlin, addressed to Johann Kick, the head of the Gestapo branch office at Dachau.
Kick would have given the order to Wilhelm Ruppert, who was the SS officer in charge of executions at Dachau. Ruppert would have given the order to either Franz Trenkle or Theodor Bongartz, the two SS men who carried out executions at Dachau. After the execution, RSHA and the Gestapo would have received documentation that the execution had taken place. In the case of Georg Elser, none of this happened.
Heinrich Müller, the chief of the Gestapo, who allegedly ordered the murder of Georg Elser, was last seen leaving Hitler’s bunker on April 29, 1945, the day that Dachau was liberated. No trace of him has ever been found. Hitler killed himself the next day on April 30, 1945 and Himmler allegedly committed suicide after he was captured by the British in May 1945.
Dachau Commandant Wilhelm Eduard Weiter, who allegedly received the order to execute Elser, shot himself at Schloss Itter, a subcamp of Dachau in Austria, on May 6, 1945, according to Johannes Tuchel, the author of Dachau and the Nazi Terror 1933-1945.
Georg Elser had been a prisoner in the Dachau prison, called the bunker, since he was transferred from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in February 1945, according to Nerin E. Gun, a journalist who was also a prisoner at Dachau. Captain Payne Best was transferred from Sachsenhausen to Buchenwald, and from there to Dachau on April 9, 1945, the very day that Georg Elser was allegedly executed.
Here is the back story: In November 1939 when the assassination attempt by Georg Elser took place, Great Britain and France were at war with Germany, both countries having declared war against Germany two days after German troops invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.
On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the other side, but the British and the French did not declare war since they had only agreed to defend Poland against an attack by Germany. In November 1939, World War II was a “sitzkrieg” or “phony war” with no fighting going on because, at that point, Hitler was refusing to fight the British and the French.
Following the conquest of Poland at the end of September 1939, Hitler had made an appeal for peace in a speech on October 6, 1939 in the Reichstag, but British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had said in a speech to the Commons six days later that “No reliance can be put on the promises of the present German government.” Was he hinting that the British might do a “regime change” in Germany by assassinating Hitler?
By November 1939, Hitler had had to face the fact that the war would not be a “sitzkrieg” forever and that the British and the French were probably making plans to invade Germany at that very moment.
On November 9, 1939, the day after the assassination attempt, two British intelligence officers, Captain Sigismund Payne Best and Major Richard H. Stevens, were arrested in a sting operation at the Cafe Bacchus near Venlo in the Netherlands, 125 feet from the German border.
According to Nerin E. Gun, the British had been contacted previously by a German anti-Nazi named Dr. Franz who told them that some German officers were planning a revolt and wanted the support of Great Britain.
The following quote is from Nerin E. Gun’s book, The Day of the Americans:
British Intelligence agents were to meet there (at the Cafe) with a group of German conspirators, including a Wehrmacht general, who had tried to overthrow the regime. It had first been planned that Hitler himself, made prisoner by the general, would be turned over, bound hand and foot, to the men who came there from The Hague.
This fantastic plot had been afoot since the first days of September, right after war broke out. Captain (preferring to be called Mister) S. Payne Best, whose functions within the British Intelligence service remain shadowy even today, but about whom we can guess that he was head of its European network, had been contacted by a German anti-Nazi emigre, Dr. Franz. Some German officers, Franz had told him, were planning a revolt and wanted the support of Great Britain. Mr. Best asked the home office to give him competent military advice. They sent him Major R. H. Stevens. Since it was an important affair, at least in the imagination of the British, the head of the Dutch Secret Service, Major General van Oorscholt, had also been brought in on it. The latter respected the obligations of neutrality in his own way, and did not hesitate to plunge into this international intrigue, which had the earmarks of a Hollywood thriller. He delegated Lieutenant Dirk Clopp (Klop), to whom the British were to give the code name of “Captain Coppers, of His Gracious British Majesty’s Guard Regiment,” to represent him, and contact was established with the plotters.
According to Nerin E. Gun’s book, the plot was to capture Hitler, smuggle him across the German border to Venlo and then sneak him onto a submarine anchored outside of Rotterdam.
On the morning of November 9th, the German radio announced the failed attempt on Hitler’s life, but Captain Payne Best assumed that this was a ruse designed to explain the disappearance of Hitler whom he believed was already in the hands of the plotters.
After the arrest of Captain S. Payne Best and Major Richard H. Stevens, Hitler came to the conclusion that the failed assassination had been planned by the British in an attempt to overthrow the government of Germany.
When Elser was captured, he was found to be carrying various incriminating pieces of evidence. The Gestapo interrogated Elser and went to great lengths to get more information out of him, but to no avail. They tried drugs and hypnosis, but he would not reveal the names of the two men who had helped him. He confessed to planting the bomb, but claimed that he did not know the names of his two accomplices.
According to William L. Shirer, in his book entitled The Nightmare Years: 1930-1940, Heinrich Himmler announced on November 21, 1939 that he had found and arrested the culprit, Georg Elser, a 36-year-old carpenter who had formerly resided in Munich but lately in the Dachau concentration camp. According to Shirer, Himmler said that Elser had been aided and abetted by two British secret agents, Captain S. Payne Best and Major R. H. Stevens.
Shirer wrote that Georg Elser was treated very well after he was imprisoned, but he was eventually murdered by order of Heinrich Himmler. The following quote is from Shirer’s book The Nightmare Years: 1930 – 1940:
But Himmler kept his eye on him. It would never do to let the carpenter survive, if the war were lost, to tell his tale. When it (the war) became irretrievably lost, the Gestapo chief (Müller) acted. On April 16, 1945, as the end of the Third Reich neared, it was announced that Elser had been killed in an Allied bombing attack. Actually, Himmler had him murdered by the Gestapo.
Curiously, Himmler had allowed Captain S. Payne Best and Major Richard H. Stevens to live to tell their tale after Elser was allegedly executed.
The next day after the bomb blast, the only newspaper to cover the story was Hitler’s own paper, the Voelkischer Beobachter, according to William L. Shirer, author of the book entitled The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Shirer wrote that the newspaper account blamed the “British Secret Service,” and even Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain for the foul deed.
Shirer wrote in his diary on the evening of November 9th: “undoubtedly will buck up public opinion behind Hitler and stir up hatred of England . . . Most of us think it smells of another Reichstag fire.”
The following quote is from The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer:
An hour or two after the bomb went off in Munich, Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS and the Gestapo, telephoned to one of his rising young subordinates, Walter Schellenberg at Duesseldorf and ordered him by command of the Fuehrer, to cross the border into Holland the next day and kidnap two British secret-service agents with whom Schellenberg had been in contact.
Up to this moment, the objectives of the two sides were clear. The British were trying to establish direct contact with the German military putschists in order to encourage and aid them. Himmler was attempting to find out through the British who the German plotters were and what their connection was to the enemy secret service. That Himmler and Hitler were already suspicious of some of the generals as well as men like Oster and Canaris of the Abwehr is clear. But now on the night of November 8, Hitler and Himmler found need of a new objective: Kidnap Best and Stevens and blame these two British secret-service agents for the Buergerbräu bombing!
After their arrest at Venlo, Captain S. Payne Best and Major Richard H. Stevens were both taken to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp where Georg Elser was soon to become a prisoner in Cell No. 13, according to a book entitled The Venlo Incident, written by Captain Payne Best.
Captain Payne Best was later transferred to Buchenwald, and then to Dachau on April 9, 1945. In January 1941, Major Richard H. Stevens was moved to the bunker at Dachau where he remained until the VIP prisoners were evacuated on April 26, 1945.
According to Captain S. Payne Best, Georg Elser had been a prisoner at the Dachau concentration camp prior to the assassination attempt. He had been arrested for being “anti-social” and “workshy,” according to Payne Best.
Captain S. Payne Best was transferred from Buchenwald to Dachau on April 9, 1945, on the very day that Georg Elser was executed, according to the Dachau Museum. Elser’s execution “apparently accounted for our long wait at the entrance to the camp,” according to Captain Payne Best’s account in his book, The Venlo Incident.
In his book, Captain S. Payne Best wrote that immediately upon his (Payne Best’s) arrival at Dachau, Georg Elser “was taken out into the garden by Stiller and shot in the back of the neck.
The man who shot Elser had been brought from one of the condemned cells and had been executed immediately after and both bodies had been taken at once to the crematorium.” The “garden” was the landscaped area north of the crematorium building at Dachau where the execution wall was located.
In his book entitled The Venlo Incident, Captain S. Payne Best included a copy of the order for The Englishman Best (Wolf) and other prisoners to be taken to Dachau which was in the same letter as the order for Georg Elser’s execution.
This letter is quoted below from The Venlo Incident:
THE CHIEF OF THE SECURITY POLICE AND THE SD – IV – g. Rs
Please quote date and above reference
KLD Dep. VIa-F-Sb. ABw
Daybook No. 42/45
BERLIN SW 11.
the 5. April 1945
Commandant of the K.L.
On orders of the R(eichs) F(uhrer) SS and after obtaining the decision of the highest authority the prisoners scheduled below are immediately to be admitted to the K.L. Dachau.
The former Colonel-General Halder
Schuschnigg with wife and child
The former General v. Falkenhausen
The Englishman Best (Wolf)
Molotov’s Nephew Kokorin
The Colonel, General Staff, v. Bonin
As I know that you only dispose of very limited space in the Cell Building I beg you, after examination to put these prisoners together. Please, however, take steps so that the prisoner Schuschnigg, who bears the pseudonym Oyster under which name kindly have him registered, is allotted a larger living cell. The wife has shared his imprisonment of her own free will and is therefore not a ‘prisoner-in-protective-custody’. I request that she may be allowed the same freedom as she has hitherto enjoyed.
The RF-SS directs that Halder, Thomas, Schacht, Schuschnigg, and v. Falkenhausen are to be well treated.
I beg you on all accounts to ensure that the prisoner Best (pseudonym Wolf) does not make contact with the Englishman Stevens who is already there.
v. Bonin was employed at the Führer’s Head Quarters and is now in a kind of honourable detention. He is still a Colonel on the Active List and will presumably retain this status. I beg you therefore to treat him particularly well.
The question of our prisoner in special protective custody, ‘Eller’, has also again been discussed at highest level. The following directions have been issued:
On the occasion of one of the next ‘Terror’ Attacks on Munich, or, as the case may be, the neighbourhood of Dachau, it shall be pretended that ‘Eller’ suffered fatal injuries.
I request you therefore, when such an occasion arises to liquidate ‘Eller’ as discreetly as possible. Please take steps that only very few people, who must be specially pledged to silence, hear about this. The notification to me regarding the execution of this order should be worded something like this:
On … on the occasion of a Terror Attack on … the prisoner in protective custody ‘Eller’ was fatally wounded.
After noting the contents and carrying out the orders contained in it kindly destroy this letter.
Captain Payne Best explained that Eller was a pseudonym for Elser and that his own code name was Wolf, while Major Richard H. Stevens was known as Fuchs (Fox).
The following quote is from The Venlo Incident:
It is perhaps worth noting that the above letter, although written to the camp commandant, was contained in an envelope addressed to Untersturmführer Stiller with a note that, in the event of the latter’s death, it should be destroyed unopened. Stiller appears to have been a direct representative of the SD at Dachau and thus, although a subordinate, possessed of more real authority than the commandant. This was directly in line with Nazi policy which, as is the case in Soviet Russia, always took care that every man holding a position of any importance was kept under observation. There was another man, a Hauptscharführer, who appeared to spy on Stiller in turn.
Captain Payne Best’s book was published in 1950, but the transcript of Elser’s interrogation by the Gestapo was not released until the 1960ies.
Captain Payne Best wrote in his book that Georg Elser was guarded day and night at Sachsenhausen by three guards who stayed inside the cell with Elser. No one was allowed to get near Elser, but Captain Payne Best claimed that he nevertheless established a relationship with Elser by sending him gifts through the guards. Elser was so grateful that he built a bookshelf for Payne Best and hid a letter inside it. The letter contained Elser’s story of how he was approached by the two men at Dachau who offered him 40,000 Swiss francs and freedom in exchange for planting a bomb at the beer hall.
The Reverend Martin Niemöller, who was a prisoner at Sachenshausen, claimed that Georg Elser also told him his story, according to a footnote in William L. Shirer’s book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Based on what Elser told him, the Reverend Niemöller said later that his personal conviction was that Hitler had sanctioned the bombing to increase his own popularity and to stir up the war fever of the people.
Did the Reverend Niemöller really talk with this heavily-guarded, code-named prisoner, or did he get this opinion from fellow prisoner Captain Payne Best’s book? Did Hitler actually sanction an attempt on his own life in which he stayed inside the beer hall until 8 minutes before the bomb was set to go off?
Captain Payne Best wrote that Elser was stopped at the Swiss border on November 9th or 10th but the press reported that he had been arrested at the border while Hitler was still speaking, before the bomb went off.
Regarding Georg Elser, Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler, a prisoner in the bunker at Dachau, wrote the following in his book entitled What was it like in the concentration camp Dachau?:
A thick veil enveloped him (Elser) 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 (sic), 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.
Apparently, Elser was not taken to the shelter bunker during the air raid on the day that he was allegedly killed and Dr. Neuhäusler did not know what had happened to Elser until weeks later.
The following is a quote from Dr. Neuhäusler’s book:
In April 1945, he (Elser) 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.
Dr. Neuhäusler was wrong about the letter, according to Captain Payne Best’s version of the story. Payne Best had not taken the letter to anyone; he had only come into possession of the letter much later. According to Payne Best, the letter was in an open envelope addressed to SS man Edgar Stiller, who was in charge of the prisoners in the Dachau bunker. The letter itself was not addressed to anyone and the name of the man who signed it was not typewritten.
In a letter in answer to questions asked by the Magistrate of the Landgericht München II Court which was investigating Edgar Stiller as an accessory to the murder of Georg Elser in August 1951, Payne Best wrote:
8. Question: How did you come into possession of the above designated letter (Schnellbrief) dated 5 April 1945, together with the envelope?
Answer: On either 2nd or 3rd May 1945 an SS man belonging to Stiller’s guard troop came up to the Prags Wildbad Hotel and asked to see me. He was a tall man wearing a leather jacket and was, I believe, one of the drivers. He pulled out of his pocket an untidy bunch of papers saying: “Obersturmführer Stiller is burning all the papers he had with him. I put these in my pocket when he wasn’t looking. Perhaps they might interest you. He then went on to say that he was really Wehrmacht and not SS and had been drafted to the SS after his release from hospital; he showed me his Soldbuch in proof of his statement and asked whether I would let him stay with us and rejoin the Wehrmacht troops who had been sent by General von Vietinhof to protect us. We had had several similar cases and I believe Colonel von Bonin arranged with von Alvensleben for the man to be incorporated in the Wehrmacht troops under the latter’s command. When I examined the papers given to me by this man I found that most of them were merely daily routine orders regarding the running of the Sonderbau but amongst them I found the envelope containing the ‘Schnellbrief’ both of which I handed over some months ago to Dr. Josef Müller, Bayrisch Justizminister.
The Sonderbau, referred to by Captain Payne Best in the above quote was the “special building,” called the annex by Americans. It was the former brothel that was turned into a prison for VIP prisoners, including Payne Best, who was transferred from the bunker to the Sonderbau on April 21, 1945.
Dr. Neuhäusler wrote the following regarding the reason that the Nazis allegedly executed Georg Elser:
H. Best solved the further riddle for me why they first treated Elser favorably for six years and then suddenly and secretly “liquidated” him by the explanation:
“Very simple. At first they wanted to save Elser for a great staged trial after the victory, in which the (British) ‘Intelligence Service’ would have been exposed as the instigator of the Bürgerbräu outrage. All the taking of depositions had been practiced with Elser. But as they began to realize that the victory would not now take place, the staged trial fell through, the man who hid the secret of the outrage in his breast had to be silenced. An air-raid would give a good opportunity for the ‘liquidation’.”
On April 9, 1945, the Dachau complex was allegedly hit by an Allied bomb, providing the cover-up story for the secret execution of Georg Elser. Strangely, Elser was the only person in the bunker who was alleged to have been killed by a bomb that hit Dachau.
However, William L. Shirer wrote that the air raid took place on April 15, 1945:
Shortly before the war ended, on April 16, 1945, the Gestapo announced that Georg Elser had been killed in an Allied bombing attack the previous day. We know now that the Gestapo murdered him.
In a book entitled Target Hitler, by James P. Duffy and Vincent L. Ricci, it was stated that Eduard Weiter, the Commandant of Dachau, announced that Georg Elser had been mortally wounded during an Allied bombing raid. No date for the announcement or the air raid was given by Duffy and Ricci.
On April 21, 1945, after more VIP prisoners had been brought to Dachau and housed in the bunker, Captain Payne Best was moved to a barracks building called the annex, also known as “the girl’s school” or brothel, according to Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler. This date is important because this means that Captain Payne Best was still a prisoner in the bunker on April 15th, the day that Georg Elser was killed, according to William L. Shirer’s account of the Gestapo announcement. Captain Payne Best made a point of saying that he had not yet entered the Dachau camp on April 9, 1945, the day that he claimed that Georg Elser was killed.
The two SS men who were in charge of carrying out executions at Dachau were Franz Trenkle and Theodor Bongartz. According to the Museum at Dachau, Theodor Bongartz was the man who carried out the secret execution of Georg Elser on April 9, 1945, the secret execution of General Charles Delestraint on April 19, 1945, and the secret execution of Dr. Sigmund Rascher in the Dachau bunker on April 26, 1945. No execution orders from the Reich Security Head Office (RSHA) in Berlin were ever found for any of these executions.
The day before the Dachau camp was liberated by American troops, Bongartz fled along with the acting Commandant of the camp, Martin Gottfried Weiss, and most of the guards. Disguised as a Wehrmacht soldier, Bongartz was captured and imprisoned in an American Prisoner of War camp at Heilbronn-Böckingen. He allegedly died of natural causes on May 15, 1945 while in captivity. Everyone who could possibly testify about the alleged execution of Georg Elser was now dead.
On the 60ieth anniversary of the death of Georg Elser, Barbara Distel, the director of the Dachau Museum at that time, gave a speech in which she claimed that Theodor Bongartz murdered Georg Elser with a shot in the neck and his body was cremated fully clothed in the Dachau crematorium.
In 1954, Theodor Bongartz was determined to have been the murderer of Georg Elser during a German court proceeding in which SS-Unterscharführer Edgar Stiller was on trial as an accessory to murder. As the SS man in charge of the special prisoners in the bunker from 1943 to 1945, Stiller was accused of escorting Elser to the crematorium where he was allegedly shot by Bongartz.
In a previous proceeding before an American Military Tribunal at Dachau, which started in November 1945, Stiller had been convicted of being a war criminal, although there were no specific charges brought against him, according to the Dachau Museum. Stiller was sentenced to 7 years in prison by the American Military Tribunal. Curiously, the death of Georg Elser was not mentioned at the American Military Tribunal proceedings against Stiller and 39 other staff members at Dachau.
Stiller was released from prison in 1950, before finishing his sentence, but was then arrested again and brought before a German court in 1951. The American Military Tribunal only tried cases in which the victims were citizens of the Allied countries. Crimes against German citizens, such as Georg Elser, were tried in German courts, beginning in 1948 when America and Germany became Allies.
Stiller was acquitted by the German court after Captain Payne Best gave him an excellent report in a letter to the judge. Captain Payne Best said that Stiller had saved the lives of the special prisoners in the bunker by turning them over to him after they were evacuated from the camp on April 26, 1945. According to Captain Payne Best, the VIP prisoners at Dachau had been sent to the South Tyrol to be killed, but Stiller had saved their lives.
However, in his letter to the Magistrate, Captain Payne Best answered another question with these words:
As far as I can remember it was (Wilhelm) Visintainer who told me that Elser had been killed by a “Genickschuss” and also that the SS-man who had shot him, a man taken from one of the death cells, had been executed immediately after Elser’s death. I cannot, however, state definitely from whom I had this information.
Captain Payne Best’s description of “the SS-man who shot him, a man taken from one of the death cells” could be a reference to one of the 128 SS men who were imprisoned in one wing of the bunker at Dachau.
If the motive for executing Georg Elser, just before the war ended, was that a staged trial could no longer take place because Germany was losing the war, why weren’t Captain Payne Best and Major Richard Stevens also “liquidated” at the same time, since they were also being held for the same trial which was to take place after the war was over?
The cover-up story was that Elser was killed during an air raid. Why didn’t this raise questions about why Elser had not been taken to the air raid shelter with the other important prisoners? The bunker was never hit by a bomb, so how was Elser supposed to get out of his cell and into a place where he could be killed during an air raid?
Was it just a coincidence that the order to transfer Captain Payne Best to Dachau was given in the same letter in which Hitler allegedly gave the order to secretly kill Elser and blame it on the next Allied air raid? Hitler believed that Captain Payne Best was involved in the plot to kill him, so why didn’t he also order the execution of Payne Best in this same letter?
Captain Payne Best made a point of saying in his book that he was held up at the gate into Dachau on April 9, 1945 because, just as he arrived, the execution of Elser was taking place at the crematorium which was outside the camp. He did not mention that there was an air raid on Munich or the Dachau area on that day.
Maybe in another 35 years or so, the British will open their files and tell the truth about their war time activities, including the true story of who killed Georg Elser and why.