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Dutch communist may not have lit Reichstag fire: new evidence

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Published: 30 July 2019

Last updated: 4 March 2024

Newly found testimony by a Nazi official clears Dutch trade union member Marinus van der Lubbe of setting fire to the building in 1933

NEWLY FOUND GERMAN testimony from 60 years ago has cast fresh doubt on Nazi-era claims a Dutch communist was responsible for the 1933 fire that gutted the Reichstag building, German media reported on Friday.

The Reichstag blaze remains a source of controversy in Germany as Adolf Hitler used the fire to claim a Communist plot and consolidate his influence with a crackdown.

It was seen as a pivotal moment in the Nazi rise to power.

Germany's RND newspaper group on Friday published an affidavit of a former Nazi paramilitary dating from 1955 and found in archives of a Hanover court, which confirmed its authenticity.

In his testimony, the Nazi official clears Dutch trade union member Marinus van der Lubbe of setting fire to the Reichstag.

A Nazi court found Van der Lubbe guilty of arson and treason and he was beheaded in 1934. But his case remained controversial.

Some historians say he admitted to starting the blaze alone in an attempt to stir Germans to rise up against the Nazis. Others believe he was a scapegoat for a fire the Nazis started themselves to justify the crackdown.

FULL STORY Ex-Nazi testimony casts fresh doubt on 1933 Reichstag blaze: media (AFP/Yahoo)

Photo: Poster of van der Lubbe

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