The anti-Nazi gangster: 'Bugsy' Siegel and the plot to assassinate Göring

Larry Gragg investigates the evidence behind ‘Bugsy Siegels claim that he planned to kill the high-ranking Nazi in 1939.

In the 1991 film Bugsy, Warren Beatty portrayed Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel as a man with an obsession, not only to build a fabulous resort casino in Las Vegas, but also to murder the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. In one scene a swaggering Siegel tells his paramour, Virginia Hill, that he must do so because 'the whole world is being destroyed by Hitler and Mussolini'. In a later exchange with his life-long friend, Meyer Lansky, Siegel explains, with stunning hubris: 'Mussolini and Hitler have to be stopped. They're trying to knock off every Jew on earth. If I don't do something about it, who will?' Siegel is frustrated when, later in the film, the Italian people have eliminated their dictator and deprived him of the opportunity.

Want the full article and website archive access?

 

Subscribe now    Already a member?   Log in now

 

The anti-Nazi gangster: 'Bugsy' Siegel and the plot to assassinate Göring

Related Articles

By Tim Newark

Did the ­Americans struck a deal with Mafia mobsters to ­conquer Sicily?
Golden Nugget and Pioneer Club along Fremont Street (1952).

By Larry Gragg

Digging beneath the glitzy surface of America’s ‘sin city’.

The History Today Newsletter

Sign up for our free weekly email

X