BEER HALL PUTSCH
In 1919, Dietrich Eckart and the German Worker’s Party gained a new member in a 30 year old former German soldier who beamed with German pride and had many qualms to fight. That same man would later be elected as the leader of the Nazi Party in 1921 and the legend of Adolf Hitler began. Hitler and his comrades aimed to represent German Pride admirably while also wanting to institute policies of anti-Semitism. The group was upset with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which they believed punished the Germans too strictly. Over the following two years, Hitler began to gain more and more support from citizens in Germany during his rise to power. As the support continued to come in for his beliefs, Hitler was planning his governmental takeover attempt which would take place in early November, 1923. Inspired by Benito Mussolini's famous 'March on Rome' years earlier, Hitler and the Nazis planned to carry out a putsch or coup d'etat in order to gain control of the German government. Simply put, a putsch is a violent overthrow of the government.
The plan was to kidnap a high ranking official and hold them captive until his demands of giving up control to the Bavarian state to Hitler’s cause. On November 8, state commissioner Guztav von Kahr was scheduled to speak to a large crowd at a beer hall named Bürgerbräukeller in Munich. This gave Hitler and his associate, war hero Erich Luderndorff, an opportunity to begin their revolution. On the night of the speech, Hitler and hundreds of his followers surrounded the beer hall while the meeting took place and eventually burst into the hall. Hitler shot into the air and yelled for revolution. After kidnapping von Kahr and a few associates, Ludendorff was called and the Bavarian leaders surrendered and agreed to meet Hitler’s demands. After other crises in the city forced Hitler to leave the Beer Hall, things went amiss. Von Kahr and his colleagues were allowed to leave their imprisonment and the local military were thwarting Hitler’s follower’s attempts to obtain government buildings around Munich. In a last ditch effort, Ludendorff lead a group of 2,500-3000 men on a march to the city center. Gun fire would ensue and 20 people, including 4 German police officers were killed in the fight. Although he suffered a dislocated shoulder, Hitler was able to escape the fight to a friend’s house, his putsch had failed and his morale had fallen to a point where he reportedly had to be talked out of committing suicide.
Two days later, on the 11th of November, Adolf Hitler was arrested for high treason, where he would eventually be sentenced to five years in prison. The Nazi leader would only serve less than a year of this sentence and during that time, he was able to produce the first volume of his famous autobiography, 'Mein Kampf'. The effects of the Putsch would be long lasting. Support for Hitler would not dwindle after the events, but the strategy that the Nazi Party would implement certainly would. Instead of using military force, Hitler advised his colleagues to utilize manipulation and propaganda in order to gain the control they so desperately desired. Because of the deaths that occurred during the November 9th fighting, the Nazi Party was put on the map for many across Germany, which in the end, was the entire goal in the first place.