We all wish we had a guardian angel. Some of us are even nice enough to wish everyone else had one, too. But maybe we should be careful what we wish for, because if guardian angels were real, it would mean that awful people would end up with heavenly protection. People like Adolf Hitler, for example.
One of the most evil people in history, Hitler himself believed he enjoyed supernatural protection from God; or sometimes, from "the gods," if he was in a particularly neo-pagan mood. And as you will see from the list below, it seems the Fuhrer of Nazi Germany had good reason to think there were occult forces working to keep him alive.
The following crazy coincidences from Hitler's life and rise to power do suggest that the future German dictator and mass murderer did indeed have a destiny. Any one of these incidents alone could be easily written off as luck, but when put together, they seem to form a frightening pattern: some otherworldly force or entity might have been looking out for Adolf Hitler.
Are guardian demons a thing?
An Irish Soldier Saved Hitler from an Angry MobPhoto: via youtube.com
Radicalized and embittered by Germany's defeat in the Great War, Hitler quickly became a loud-mouthed political agitator, spewing fiery right-wing and fascist invective seemingly at every opportunity.
In 1919, at a barracks gymnasium in Munich, Hitler's political ramblings nearly got him killed. He and a companion had riled up a room full of 200 German soldiers so badly that the soldiers turned into an angry mob and attacked them.
The riot was so bad that a duty officer was called in to quell it with a squad of armed men. That officer was an Irishman named Michael Keogh, who had switched sides and joined the German army as a gesture of fighting for Irish independence.
When Keogh and his men arrived on the scene, they found Hitler and his friend being viciously punched and kicked by the mob. Bayonets were pulled by the mob, too, and thinking that they were about to murder the two men, Keogh ordered his own men to fire a volley above the mob's heads.
The action worked, and the mob dispersed, leaving the young Corporal Adolf Hitler beaten and bruised, but still very much alive to continue his path of destiny.
Hitler's First Suicide Attempt Was Thwarted by an AmericanPhoto: Public Domain / via wikipedia.org
In the years following the First World War, Hitler maneuvered his way into the leadership position of the fledgling National Socialist Party, and on November 8-9 1923, staged the Nazis' first attempt at a coup d'etat of the Weimer Republic government. The infamous Beer Hall Putsch failed completely, making fugitives of Hitler and his followers, who were now wanted for treason.
While many Nazis fled to Austria for refuge, Hitler experienced car trouble on the way and instead sought a hiding place at the home of his friends Helen and Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl, in Uffing, just outside of Munich. "Putzi," the husband, had been involved in the Putsch and had fled to Austria with the other Nazis, but the wife, Helen, had remained home.
A young American who had met and married Ernst in New York, Helen took her friend Adolf in and agreed to shelter him while he tried to find passage to Austria. But it wasn't long before Bavarian police caught up to Hitler and he found himself trapped in the Hanfstaengl house instead.
When Helen informed him that the police were on the way to arrest him, Hitler proclaimed, “Now all is lost - no use going on!”... and snatched up his revolver from the nearby cabinet.
Helen grabbed Hitler's arm and took the pistol away from him. She then gave him a pep talk and convinced him to carry on for the sake of his men and other followers.
By the time police arrived, Hitler had regained enough of his self-confidence to berate them as he was being arrested. It didn't work, and he was taken away anyway, but Helen's quick thinking and inspiration had averted a possible Hitler suicide that could have spared the world years of horror and pain.
A Judge Spared Hitler a Death Sentence in the Nick of TimePhoto: Bundesarchiv / via wikipedia.org
The event that should have ended Hitler's career - and life - once and for all instead became his catapult to national fame. Arrested and charged with treason against Germany after the Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler would have to stand trial for his life, since the charge carried a death penalty.
But another string of lucky coincidences came to Hitler's aid once again. Between the attempted coup in November 1923 and his trial in February-April 1924, Hitler benefited from a radical change in Weimar judicial policy. As part of a wider state of emergency, the country switched from a trial-by-jury system to a trial-by-judge system. Hitler, who chose to defend himself, would now argue his case before a panel of judges.
The presiding judge at Hitler's trial, Georg Neithardt, couldn't have been more sympathetic to Hitler's cause unless he'd been a Nazi himself. The pro-fascist judge allowed Hitler to turn the trial into an opportunity to give grand speeches about his plans for Germany's future.
As a result of the press coverage of his trial, Hitler became a national sensation, and the panel of judges, led by Neithardt, commuted Hitler's sentence from death to five years in prison. He only served nine months.
During this brief prison stint, Hitler wrote his famous treatise Mein Kampf (My Struggle), which further solidified his place in history and politics as the definitive voice of the Nazi party and the father of Germany's future.
Hitler Narrowly Escaped Death in a Car AccidentPhoto: Bundesarchiv / via wikipedia.org
By the start of the 1930s, Hitler was a popular right-wing leader heavily involved in political campaigning, already with his eyes on the prize of becoming Germany's ruler. But a car accident on March 13 of that year nearly ended it all.
According to Major General Otto Wagener, who was at the time Hitler's economic advisor, a heavy tractor truck collided with Hitler's Mercedes and almost crushed the future Fuhrer in the resulting crash. Wagener was a passenger in the car at the time, and said that the truck's driver managed to brake just short of crushing the car. Just a split second later, and Hitler would have been killed, or severely crippled.