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Marinus van der Lubbe
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (January 13, 1909-January 10, 1934)
    Born in Leiden, Netherlands
    Accused of setting fire to the German Reichstag (Parliament) building (February 27, 1933)
    Convicted and executed
    He was a Communist.
    He was arrested at the Dutch-German border for selling illegal postcards (1931).
    He was sentenced to three months in jail for breaking the windows of the Bureau of Aid for the Unemployed in Leiden (1932).
    He tried burning down a number of buildings in the days before the Reichstag fire.
    Hitler and the Nazis exploited the Reichstag fire to consolidate their power over Germany.
    He was almost blinded when lime got into his eyes at work (1926).
    Claims that he was mentally retarded are based on propaganda spread by the Dutch Communist party to distance themselves from him.
    Several historians think the Gestapo helped set and spread the Reichstag fire.
    He was tortured into giving a confession and was obviously drugged during his trial.
    He was guillotined three days before his 25th birthday.
    He was formally pardoned by a German court that ruled a death sentence in a politically-motivated case in Nazi Germany was inherently unjust (2008).

Credit: C. Fishel

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