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In November 1923, the Nazis had made a plot to seize power in Bavaria by kidnapping Gustav von Kahr( governor). They were planning to exploit the pressures on the Weimar Republic. They wanted to use Erich Ludendorff, the right wing WWI general, as a leader to lead a march on Berlin to overthrow the Weimar Republic. The Putsch was inspired by Mussolini's march on Rome.
At one of von Kahr's speeches in Bürgerbräukeller(large beer halls in Munich), on November 8, 1923, Hitler took 600 SA troops and surrounded the hall. Hitler with about 20 comrades burst in. Hitler fired a shot and declared a “national revolution.” Von Kahr and two colleagues were taken into a back room and Ludendorff was contacted. When the general arrived, he 'convinced' the leaders to join Hitler.
Hitler made the mistake of leaving the beer hall, later on, to deal with crises elsewhere in the city. The Nazis were meant to take over government buildings all over Munich but were stopped by the city’s military. Meanwhile, Ludendorff had allowed von Kahr and the other two leaders to leave the beer hall after Hitler’s departure. By the next morning, the putsch had fizzled.
Ludendorff attempted to save the Putsch by leading a spontaneous march. About 3,000 Nazis onto the Feldherrnhalle on the Ludwigsstrasse. They were blocked by the local police officers. Gunfire was exchanged and 4 police officers and 14-16 nazis were killed. Hitler dislocated his shoulder. He crawled to a waiting yellow car, and fled cowardly, leaving the Nazis behind. Ludendorff simply walked into the police ranks, who refused to fire on him, as he was a WWI hero. Hermann Goering was shot in the groin, which left him reliant on drugs for the rest of his life.
Hitler fled to the nearby house of a friend, Ernst Hanfstaengl, where he hid in the attic for 2 days, before being arrested. He was tried on February 26, 1924, and was sentenced to 5 years in the Landsberg prison. The Nazi's popularity increased during the trial, his speeches during the trial were printed in the newspapers. He actually only served 9 months. Landsberg was a quite comfortable prison. Hitler was allowed to receive visitors as well as fan mail from admirers. With help of Rudolf Hess, Hitler wrote: “Mein Kampf” (“My Struggle”).
The Munich Putsch had several consequences. First, it led to a split between Hitler and Ludendorff because Ludendorff thought Hitler to be a coward for fleeing during the shooting. Second, The Nazis realized that a violent revolution was not the way to seize power in Weimar Germany. Third, the putsch brought the Nazi Party to national attention in Germany. The dead Nazis became martyrs, remembered in “Mein Kampf” and their names engraved in the two “temples of honor” in Munich. Hitler had an annual anniversary of the putsch, following the route from Bürgerbräukeller to the spot where the shots had been fired in 1923.
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