The Munich Putsch
As the German economy floundered and the Government struggled to cope with the turmoil, a group of Right Wing politicians in bavaria planned to take this opportunity to overthrow the Government. The Right Wing leaders of the Bavarian Government, Kahr, Seisser and Lossow, planned an uprising to commence in mid November. The Nazi Party agreed to support this uprising and Hitler arranged for his Storm Troopers to participate in the revolt. However on November 4th, the Right Wing leaders decided to postpone the revolution. This infuriated Hitler. Sensing the weakness of the Weimar Government and seeing the turmoil that the country was in he decided to stage the uprising using supporters of the nazi Party. On November 8th, 1923, a group of Nazi’s occupied the Beer Hall. Here, they forced Kahr, Seisser and Lossow to support their uprising – they were holding a meeting when the Nazi’s occupied the building. Members of the SA moved to occupy the Army headquarters and nazi sympathisers rampaged through parts of Munich, targeting Jewish property.
Having agreed to support the Nazi’s, Kahr was released. He immediately contacted the Police and Army to inform them of the uprising. The following day, Nazi’s marched on Munich. They were met by the Police and a gun battle followed. 16 Nazi supporters were killed and the uprising was easily suppressed. The Nazi leadership was arrested and put on trial for treason, leading sympathisers, including General Ludendorff, were also arrested.
The attempted uprising in Munich was not an isolated incident at this time. There had been a right wing revolt in Berlin in October and the rhineland had declared its independence from the state on October 22nd. Germany was, at the time, in a State of Emergency.
The consequences of the Munich Putsch were probably of more significance than the uprising itself. At his trial, Hitler was allowed to make long speeches explaining his reasons. This transformed him from being a little known politician into a champion of the right wing. His imprisonment, for just 9 months, allowed him time to reappraise his methodology and provided an opportunity for him to write Mein Kampf. These combined to make Hitler an obvious leader of the Right Wing opponents of the Weimar Republic.
|The Bavarian Ministry is removed. I propose that a Bavarian government shall be formed consisting of a Regent and a Prime Minister invested with dictatorial powers. I propose Herr von Kahr as Regent and Herr Pohner as Prime Minister. The government of the November Criminals and the Reich President are declared to be removed. I propose that, until accounts have been finally settled with the November criminals, the direction of policy in the National Government be taken over by me.
Adolf Hitler, in a speech made during the Munich Putsch.