Prof translates bio on would-be Hitler killer

Professor William Odom

HATTIESBURG – (AP) A University of Southern Mississippi faculty member has translated from German to English a book about a failed attempt to kill Adolf Hitler.

Professor William Odom

William Odom, a Southern Mississippi professor of German, translated the biography of Georg Elser, titled “Bombing Hitler.” The Hattiesburg American reports that the translation is available online.

Odom, who joined the Southern Mississippi faculty in 1974, is the author of “German for Singers,” which has been used for more than 30 years at leading conservatories and universities as a guide for singers in learning German opera and art songs. He also translated “Jazz: A Photo History” and “Tomorrow We’ll Be in Switzerland,” a play that tells the story of a group of Jewish children who were hidden from the Nazis in

France during World War II.

The translated biography tells the story of Elser, a woodworker who painstakingly worked to hollow out a pillar in a hall in Munich where Hitler was scheduled to give a speech. Two time-bombs went off but Hitler, because of a change of plans, left the hall 13 minutes earlier.

The attempt to kill Hitler was one of several known failed plots against the Nazi dictator. One of the most famous took place in 1944 and involved high-ranking military officers, including Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Hitler is believed to have committed suicide as Allied armies closed in on Berlin in April 1945.

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