The Marinus van der Lubbe reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Marinus van der Lubbe

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Marinus van der Lubbe (January 13, 1909 - January 10, 1934) was a Dutch communist accused of setting fire to the German Reichstag building on February 27, 1933, an event known as the Reichstag fire.

Born in Leiden, Holland, Van der Lubbe in his youth worked as a bricklayer until he suffered a debilitating accident in 1926, which left him unemployed. He had a history of taking responsibility for things he had not done. While working for the Tielmann factory a strike broke out. Van der Lubbe claimed to the management to be one of the ringleaders and offered to accept any punishment as long as no one else was victimised even though he was clearly too inexperienced to have been seriously involved. During the trial he seemed to concerned only to establish his sole responsibility and was almost hostile to any attempts to get him off. In short he seems to have been suffering from a mental disorder that led him to seek both fame and the role of victim. He soon joined the Dutch Communist Party (CPH) and planned to emigrate to the Soviet Union, but lacked the funds to do so. He was active among the unemployed workers movement until, in 1931, he went into disagreement with the CPH and instead approached the IKG (Internationalist Communist Group). In order to become active in the local opposition against the Nazis, he went to Germany in 1933.

Van der Lubbe was beheaded after his arrest and trial on January 10, 1934, just three days before his 25th birthday.