Beer Hall Putsch

Bundesarchiv Bild 119-1486, Hitler-Putsch, München, Marienplatz.jpg
Nazi Party

 Weimar Republic

The Beer Hall Putsch, also known as the Munich Putsch, and, in German, as the Hitlerputsch or Hitler-Ludendorff-Putsch, was a failed coup attempt by the Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler — along with Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff and other Kampfbund leaders — to seize power in Munich, Bavaria, during 8–9 November 1923. About two thousand Nazis marched to the centre of Munich, where they confronted the police, which resulted in the death of 16 Nazis and four police officers. Hitler himself was not wounded during the clash, although he locked his left arm with the right arm of Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter who, when he was shot and killed, pulled Hitler to the pavement with him. Hitler escaped immediate arrest and was spirited off to safety in the countryside. After two days, Hitler was arrested and charged with treason.

From Hitler's perspective, there were three positive benefits from this attempt to seize power unlawfully. First, the putsch brought Hitler to the attention of the German nation and generated front page headlines in newspapers around the world. His arrest was followed by a 24-day trial, which was widely publicized and gave Hitler a platform to publicize his nationalist sentiment to the nation. Hitler was found guilty of treason and sentenced to five years in Landsberg Prison. The second benefit to Hitler was that he used his time in prison to produce Mein Kampf, which was dictated to his fellow prisoners Emil Maurice and Rudolf Hess. On 20 December 1924, having served only nine months, Hitler was released. The final benefit to Hitler was the insight that the path to power was through legitimate means rather than revolution or force. Accordingly, the most significant outcome of the putsch was a decision by Hitler to change NSDAP tactics, which would demand an increasing reliance on the development and furthering of Nazi propaganda.

In the early 20th century, many of the larger cities of southern Germany had beer halls where hundreds or even thousands of people would socialize in the evenings, drink beer and participate in political and social debates. Such beer halls also became the host of occasional political rallies. One of Munich's largest beer halls was the "Bürgerbräukeller." This was the location of the famous Beer Hall Putsch.

The Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, sounded the death knell of German power and prestige. Like many Germans of the period, Hitler believed that the treaty was a betrayal, with the country having been "stabbed in the back" by its own government, particularly as the German Army was popularly thought to have been undefeated in the field. Germany, it was felt, had been betrayed by civilian leaders and Marxists, who were later called the "November Criminals."

This page was last edited on 18 March 2018, at 23:57.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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