Soviet dictator Josef Stalin cancelled two planned Soviet attempts to assassinate Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during World War II, fearing that his replacement would make a separate peace with the Western Allies, according to a top Russian general.
A plan to attack Hitler’s bunker in 1943 and a 1944 plot involving an assassin who had gained the trust of the Nazi leadership were both called off on Stalin’s orders, General Anatoly Kulikov told a historical conference in Moscow, Reuters reported.
“A plan to assassinate Hitler in his bunker was developed, but Stalin suddenly cancelled it in 1943 over fears that after Hitler’s death his associates would conclude a separate peace treaty with Britain and the United States,” Russia’s RIA news agency quoted Kulikov as saying.
Kulikov, according to RIA, also said the Soviet Union had a second opportunity to kill Hitler in 1944 when the intended assassin managed to infiltrate Hitler’s entourage and had a high degree of trust among the German leadership.
“A detailed assassination plan was prepared, but Stalin cancelled it again,” RIA quotes the former general as saying.
Kulikov was Russia’s Interior Minister from 1995 to 1998 under President Boris Yeltsin. He said that the Club of Military Leaders, which he heads, would include details of the assassination attempts in a forthcoming book on World War II, according to Reuters.
According to historians, there were more than 40 attempts on Hitler’s life.
The German dictator killed himself on April 30, 1945, as Soviet forces closed on Berlin, effectively ending the war in Europe and setting the stage for the Cold War stand-off between Russia and the West.
An estimated 27 million Soviet citizens died in the 1941-1945 war with Nazi Germany.