Arson Attempt on "The Soviet Paradise"

Baum, Herbert. Anti-fascist fighter, electrician, born February 10, 1912 in Mosina (near Posen), Poland. Killed by German Fascists on June 11, 1942.
The cover of the pamphlet accompanying “The Soviet Paradise,” An Exhibition of the Nazi Party Propaganda Office.

While little known, a small group of anti-Nazi resisters in Berlin, led by Siemens engineer Herbert Baum, attempted to set fire to “The Soviet Paradise” exhibition. Ten days after it opened, they took a wad of cotton soaked in phosphorous and set that aflame. The resulting fire did almost no damage. Although they were unsuccessful, that does not take away from their immense courage in making the attempt.

Wrote Goebbels in his diary of 24 May 1942, “We have now discovered a club of saboteurs and assassins in Berlin… who undertook the bombing of the anti-Soviet exhibit. Significantly, among those arrested are five Jews, three half-Jews, and four Aryans.”

The Nazis executed thirty-three people by guillotine for involvement, however small, in this incident.

Source: Berlin At War by Roger Moorhouse

[Images courtesy of Wikimedia and Randall Bytwerk at Calvin College.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website:

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