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Would-be Hitler assassin rehabilitated

The government has officially rehabilitated the reputation of the young Swiss man executed in Nazi Germany after his failed attempt to kill Adolf Hitler in 1938.

President Pascal Couchepin admitted on Friday that the Swiss government at the time could have done more to defend Maurice Bavaud.

The young theology student was guillotined in a Berlin prison in 1941.

"With hindsight, the then Swiss authorities did too little to intervene on behalf of the condemned person... he deserves our recognition," Couchepin said.

The government announcement comes in response to a motion by parliamentarian Paul Rechtsteiner who demanded an explanation why the Swiss authorities had up until now failed to rehabilitate Bavaud.

It will be 70 years on Sunday since the 22-year-old failed in his attempt to shoot Hitler at a rally in Munich. He was arrested and spent 30 months in solitary confinement before being executed.

During his imprisonment, Bavaud was never visited by the Swiss diplomatic representative in Berlin, who called the assassination attempt a "detestable act".


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