Today in History: Adolf Hitler’s Trial for the Beer Hall Putsch begins.

The history books tell us that on November 9th 1923, Hitler marched on Munich at the head of a 3,000 strong supporter base, in aggressive attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic and establish unlawfully Nazi rule. Almost immediately they were confronted by the German army and police. In the ensuing gunfight that day, sixteen Nazis and four policemen were killed. In the aftermath of the failed coup Hitler and his co-conspirators were arrested for treason. The day would come to be known as the Beer Hall Putsch. 

In the lead up to the trial for the events surrounding the Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler was seriously looking at the prospects of a lengthy prison sentence, deportation and or even execution if found guilty. Eventually when the trial began on February 26th1924, Hitler prepared for the day like a man with nothing to lose. In short, the trial lasted a little over four weeks and some say its outcome was essentially a farce. In a lot of ways the trial provided Hitler with the best possible opportunity to publicly announce his political views. He argued strongly that his actions were for the good of the German people because they needed a champion to save them. In so doing Hitler cleverly used his defense to attack the Weimar Republic accusing it of stabbing the nation in the back. But despite all his grandstanding and sympathies from far right groups, Hitler was eventually convicted and sentenced to 5 years in Landsberg prison. But Hitler’s opponents were appalled by the lenient sentence, worse still he would only serve nine months of his sentence, which Hitler later saw as a great moral and propaganda victory to his cause.

Interestingly, Hitler during his incarceration would enjoy special treatment, hundreds of visitors, even beer and turn his time in jail into a step towards his ultimate goals. During this time in prison, he also wrote his infamous book Mein Kampf and realized that to eventually attain absolute power, he would have to do everything strictly by the law. Almost ten years later, Adolf Hitler would become Führer of Germany.

Photo Credits: The b/w image of Adolf Hitler in Landsberg prison is used under the rationale of fair use. It is a rare historically important photo of Hitler circa 1924 that I believe should be freely available for research purposes.

Robert Horvat is a Melbourne based blogger. He believes that the world is round and that art is one of our most important treasures. He has seen far too many classic films and believes coffee runs through his veins. As a student of history, he favours ancient and medieval history. Music pretty much rules his life and inspires his moods. Favourite artists include The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Garbage and Lana Del Rey.

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