Guillotined Reichstag ‘arsonist’ to be exhumed to see if Nazis drugged him

The man who started the blaze of the infamous Reichstag Fire of 1933 is set to be exhumed so experts can find out if Nazis drugged him.

Dutch Communist Marinus van der Lubbe was found guilty of starting the blaze that burnt down the Reichstag on this day in Germany, 1933.

He was executed by guillotine and buried in an unmarked grave, that has since been located and exhumed so that scientists can test to see if he contains traces of toxins.

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It comes as some historians believe van der Lubbe may have been drugged by Nazi forces acting on Adolf Hitler's orders.

Those potential drugs may have been used to grab a confession from the Dutch national or to keep him quiet about co-conspirators and allies.

Some have since speculated about the Reichstag fire as a tool Hitler used to consolidate his rise to power, using the attack as a way of seizing dictatorial powers in Germany.

Expert Paul Benndorf is part of the team that have found van der Lubbe's body, a corpse they know "beyond doubt" is that of the man who started the fire.

A pathologist is set to examine the remains and publish a toxicology report in the next few weeks.

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Carter Hett, a history professor at the University of New York, speaking to The Guardian, said: "When it comes to the question of whether Marinus van der Lubbe could have carried out the arson attack all by himself, the evidence is overwhelming.

"There is no way he could have set fire to the plenary chamber within the 15 to 20 minutes at his disposal. He would have needed a hydrocarbon accelerant."

Following on from the toxicology report, Hett believes there will be a "balance of probability" that indicates Nazi soldiers from the Sturmabteilung (SA) were part of the fire.

Expert Hett added: "It does still seem insane that they would have picked this unstable, almost blind young man as the fall guy."

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