Beer Hall Putsch

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The Beer Hall Putsch (also known as the Munich Putsch[1] but, in German, referred to as the Hitlerputsch or the Hitler-Ludendorff-Putsch) was a failed attempt at revolution that occurred between the evening of 8 November and the early afternoon of 9 November 1923, when Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler, Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff, and other heads of the Kampfbund unsuccessfully tried to seize power in Munich, Bavaria and Germany. Putsch is the German word for a military coup d'état.

Contents

Background

Beer halls in the early 20th century existed in most larger southern German cities, where hundreds or even thousands of people were able to gather during the evenings, drink beer and often engage in political or social debate. They were also places where political rallies could be held, a tradition still alive today. One of the largest beer halls in Munich was the "Bürgerbräukeller", where the Beer Hall Putsch was launched.

German power and prestige were destroyed in the aftermath of World War I. Hitler saw this as a betrayal by the central government. This Army corporal, ordered by Ludendorff in 1919 to infiltrate the tiny German Workers Party, rose to its top post in the chaotic political atmosphere of postwar Munich.[2] With this political base, Hitler could call on about 15,000 brawlers, mostly ex-soldiers, representing several revanchist Bavarian political groups: the Kampfbund. Hitler announced that starting on 27 September 1923, he would be holding 14 mass meetings. This prompted the Bavarian Prime Minister Eugen von Knilling to declare a state of emergency and name Gustav von Kahr as Bavarian Commissioner, Bavarian State Police head Colonel Hans Ritter von Seisser, and Reichswehr General Otto von Lossow as triumvirs (i.e. dictators) to keep order.

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