Putsch of Munich

It is known as the Putsch of Munich or Putsch of the Brewery to the failed attempt of coup d’etat of 8 and 9 of November of 1923 in Munich , carried out by members of the German National Socialist Workers Party (NSDAP) and for which they were processed and condemned To prison Adolf Hitler and Rudolf Hess , among other Nazi leaders.


Hundreds of people attended one of the largest breweries in Munich , the Bürgerbräukeller , where the first members of the nascent National Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany ( NSDAP ) met in the early 1920s .

Hitler had taken command of the NSDAP since 1921 , a political party that rejected the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles (1919) that had ended the First World War and put Germany in a highly committed economic position, with strong territorial sanctions and Military. In September 1923 , Hitler announced the holding of 14 meetings with right-wing leaders. Bavarian Prime Minister Eugen Ritter von Knilling declared the state of emergency, appointed Gustav von Kahr as Bavarian Commissioner and placed General Otto von Lossow at the head of the Reichswehr .

Hitler’s intentions were influenced by the March on Rome , headed by Benito Mussolini in 1922 . Hitler planned to use Munich as the basis of his struggle against the Weimar Republic government and proclaim a rebellious state in Bavaria , initiating a war against the Republic to advance to Berlin .

The putsch

On the afternoon of 8 of November of 1923 , Hitler, along with a contingent of the SA , arrived at the brewery Bürgerbräukeller where the governor of Bavaria , Gustav von Kahr , delivered a speech in front of three thousand people. About six hundred SA men blocked the exits. Hitler, surrounded by his copartials Hermann Göring , Alfred Rosenberg and Rudolf Hess , entered the front door at 8:30 p.m., fired a shot at the ceiling and jumped on a chair shouting: ” The national revolution has begun! ‘.

Immediately a provisional government was declared in the same brewery. The barracks of the Reichswehr (the Weimar Republic army ) and those of the Police were occupied by supporters of the coup, not necessarily Nazis. Hitler and some of his coreligionists took the Commissar of Bavaria, Gustav von Kahr, and his two most important men, von Lossow and von Seisser, as hostages.

At dawn on November 9 , SA commander Ernst Röhm (including a young Heinrich Himmler ), following orders from Hitler, occupied the Bavarian Ministry of Defense and clashed with government forces, suffering two casualties . Meanwhile, the three men of the government retained in the Bürgerbräukeller were released under a word of commitment to the “national revolution” by a naive Erich Ludendorff . The three rulers, immediately after being released, ordered the police to end the revolt and stood firm in their posts. In this situation, Ludendorff proposes to march to the center of the city to take it, certain that its presence would inhibit to soldiers and policemen of any repressive action; Not very convinced, Hitler agreed.

Some 2,500 men marched directly to the Marienplatz, the square where the Munich City Hall is located, and there they encountered a large mass of people who had gone out into the street aware of the altercation. After a few minutes of embarrassment at such an agglomeration, Ludendorff decided to continue walking to the Ministry of Defense and meet the men of Röhm, for which he had to cross the Odeonsplatz (Odeonsplatz). Along the way, more people joined in supporting Hitler and the putsch . However, once the march to the entrance of the Odeonsplatz, just at the height of the Feldherrnhalle (monument to the German generals of the country wars) were met with a group of policemen that blocked the passage. Both groups of armed men stood face to face for a few seconds, until a shot suddenly struck and a major shooting began. Hitler and Göring were wounded, the last one escaped. It was never clear who fired first.

Hitler took refuge in the house of a friend, Putzi Hanfstaengl , where even he planned to commit suicide, thinking that he would be shot by the authorities. He spent two nights hiding in the attic of Hanfstaengl and on the third night, the police arrived and arrested him. He was taken to the prison in Landsberg , where he learned that he was to be tried for high treason.

Martyrs of the Feldherrnhalle

The fourteen Nazi militants killed by the police in the Feldherrnhalle and the two members of the nationalist paramilitary league Reichskriegerflagge fallen in front of the Bavarian Ministry of Defense were considered martyrs and heroes of the national-socialist movement . After 1933 his remains were transferred to the same Heroes’ Pantheon of the Odeonplatz and were paid respect and worship each November 9 . The phrase Und Ihr habt doch gesiegt! (“And yet you triumphed!”) Was made compulsory in the Nazi mythology of heroism.

These were:

  • Allfarth, Felix, merchant.
  • Bauriedl, Andreas, hatter.
  • Casella, Theodor, bank employee.
  • Ehrlich, Wilhelm, bank clerk.
  • Faust, Martin, bank employee.
  • Hechenberger, Anton, locksmith.
  • Körner, Oskar, trader (vice-president of NSDAP ).
  • Kuhn, Karl, employee of hotel.
  • Laforce, Karl, engineering student.
  • Neubauer, Kurt, servant.
  • Von Pape, Klaus, merchant.
  • Von Der Pforten, Theodor, secretary of the Superior Regional Court.
  • Dr. von Scheubner-Richter, Max Erwin, doctor of engineering.
  • Rickmers, Johann, former captain of cavalry.
  • Von Stransky, Lorenz Ritter, engineer.
  • Wolf, Wilhelm, merchant.

Four policemen were also killed in the shooting:

  • Friedrich Fink
  • Nikolaus Hollweg
  • Max Schobert
  • Rudolf Schraut


Three days after the putsch , Hitler and some other conspirators were arrested on charges of treason, while others escaped to Austria . The offices of the NSDAP were closed, and its newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter (The People’s Observer) was kidnapped and banned. After a trial in which he was treated with some leniency, he served only nine months of the five years to which he had been convicted. The prison in which Hitler was detained authorized him to receive visitors almost daily and for many hours. During this time Mein Kampf dictated to his secretary Rudolf Hess .

Ludendorf was acquitted. Röhm and Dr. Wilhelm Frick were released despite being found guilty. Göring, who had managed to flee, became addicted to morphine and other drugs as a result of the bullet wound he suffered in one leg and the strong treatment he received.

But the main thing of the failure of the coup was the change of strategy that motivated, when perceiving to Hitler the impossibility of conquering the power by the insurrectional way at that moment. From that moment, it will focus on creating a mass party to try to gain control of Germany according to the constitution, perverting to a certain extent the character of “antiparty” and reaction to classical liberal politics that the Nazi movement Had had in its origin. This pragmatism is common to the fascist movements triumphant in the interwar period , as Mussolini also reconverted the initials Fasci di Combattimento in the National Fascist Party in 1921 , shortly before gaining power in Italy with the approval of the monarch Victor Emmanuel III .