On the 8th November 1923, the Beer Hall Putsch took place when Adolf Hitler along with First World War hero Erich Ludendorff led an attempted coup against the Weimar Government by trying to seize power in the Bavarian city of Munich. The putsch failed and Hitler was found guilty of treason. Sentenced to five years in prison, he was released after serving just eight months.
The Beer Hall Putsch was conceived at a time when the Weimar Republic was politically, socially and economically crippled. Hyperinflation had reached its worst level since the occupation of the Ruhr, and many so-called “patriotic associations” looked to emulate Mussolini’s successful ‘March on Rome’ that had taken place the previous year in order to wrest control away from the seemingly useless Weimar government.
Having led a group of approximately 600 brown shirted Nazi stormtroopers to the Bürgerbräukeller, Hitler burst into a meeting at which Gustav von Kahr, the state commissioner, was speaking. Threatening him at gunpoint, Hitler demanded support for the putsch. Having made a speech that was met with uproarious approval from the 3,000 members of the audience, Hitler then called on Ludendorff to further press Kahr to support the coup. Kahr eventually agreed, and he and his fellow politicians were allowed to leave. They immediately alerted the police and army who began to move against the putsch.
16 Nazis and four policemen were killed in a brief firefight the next day. Hitler was arrested two days later, but got revenge on Kahr eleven years later when he ordered his murder as part of the Night of the Long Knives.