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TRAVEL YOUR OWN HISTORY
Maksym Chornyi

WAR-DOCUMENTARY.info

TRAVEL YOUR OWN HISTORY Beer Hall Putsch March Route

Beer Hall Putsch March Route

by Maksim Chornyi
10 августа 2019
30 minutes read

THE BEER HALL PUTSCH MARCH ROUTE 

To this day, a march of the right-wing plotters, who opposed themselves against the Bavarian government and the Weimar Republic, is still a matter of sustained historical interest. The failed revolution of 1923 has become known in history as the ‘BEER HALL PUTSCH’ and every guest of the city of Munich can retrace and explore the unfamous route, which was destined to be carried through by an enriching column of 2000 of men of the still politically immature Nazi party and its supporters on a cold afternoon of November 9, 1923. Except for the forever gone BURGERBRAUKELLER beer hall, the bridges, squares, streets, and even the medieval gates are still accessible to be explored. The route with no need to be extra guided will take you maximum two hours of historical walking, including pauses for taking a regaining breath of air and photos. Within this exhaustively detailed material, I will take you along all the main locations of the ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ march route, with historical insight into every site or building before, within and after the Third Reich era. The digital map with the markings is to make it easy for you to retrace the direction and the line of march, including the planned but failed to be achieved part of the route.

In 1923, Hitler and the Nazi Party felt no particular need to look respectable. Violence seemed the obvious way to power. Moreover, on the one occasion on which they tried to crack down by banning a Nazi Party rally at the end of January 1923, fearing it would become violent, the army commander in Bavaria, General Hermann von Lossow, was contacted by Röhm and agreed to support Hitler’s right to hold the rally providing he gave a guarantee that it would be peaceful. Kahr, at this time regional governor of Upper Bavaria, supported him, and the Bavarian government backed down.

RICHARD J. EVANS (THE COMING OF THE THIRD REICH, 2003)

‘BURGERBRAUKELLER’ BEER HALL

The very location of the modern HILTON hotel, GEMA state regulatory body and the GASTEIG cultural center used to have neither more nor less than a sacred meaning in the days of the Third Reich. Over the course of three years before the ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ in November 1923, the Burgerbraukeller drinking-house had used to be a home for the young Nazi movement and a tribune for Adolf Hitler with his heartfelt speeches. One of the largest beer halls in Germany, open for the citizens of Munich since 1885, had dramatically become a platform for gaining newcomers for the radical movement. At the very moment, a 34-year-old ADOLF HITLER made his famed in legends pistol fire shot at the ceiling (breaking in the speech of State Commissioner Gustav von Kahr), the number of party member amounted to 50 000.

“Pale, a dark lock of hair hanging down his forehead, and with a pistol-wielding storm trooper on either side,” Hitler began to negotiate the clogged way to the stage. When he was ten steps away from Kahr, he got up on a chair and fired a shot into the ceiling to quiet the tumult. Then he took the stage and proclaimed excitably: “National revolution is under way. The hall is under the control of 600 heavily armed men. No one is allowed to leave.

VOLLKER ULRICH (HITLER, 2013) 

A few hours of challenging doubts, dissonant news from other parts of Munich and the armed squads and the now obvious betrayal of the Kahr-Lossow-Seisser (State Commissioner Gustav von Kahr /Commander of the Reichswehr military region Otto von Lossow / Head of the Bavarian State Police Hans Ritter von Seisser) left Hitler no choice (from his viewpoint) other than to make a desperate attempt to take power by marching the streets of Munich. In charge of his personal ‘’Stoßtrupp Adolf Hitler’’  guard squad and a few hundreds of stormtroopers near the beer hall, the party leader left the BURGERBRAUKELLER. The planned route between the initial location and the War Ministry on Konigsplatz of three kilometers length become a visionary but rather unattainable hope to win the support of the citizens of Munich. Along the entire walking, the core of the march, mastered by frustrated Hitler, was reinforced and recruited with hundreds of party members, veterans of the Great War (The First World War) and some accident supporters to number at 2000-3000 (every second authoritative book on the Third Reich or Hitler gives one of these two figures) people in total.   

THE BEER HALL PUTSCH MARCH ROUTE 

On November 9, 1933, a decade after the failed Nazi revolution and ten months after Hitler appointment as the Chancellor, the city of Munich witnessed the first-of-its-kind ceremonial march along the ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ route, with BURGERBRAUKELLER as the starting point. Once succeed in shifting the role of the leader of the growing right-wing Bavarian party of the low-middle class to the German Fuhrer, Hitler now established the annual tradition to give a speech within the main hall of the beer house, in many ways sacred for the Nazi regime. Throughout the seven years between 1933 and 1939, Adolf Hitler used to master the tribune of the Burgerbraukeller to address his ‘Alten Kampfer’ (Old Comrades). In the aftermath of the failed assassination attempt by Georg Elser on November 8, 1939, the annual sacramental occasion was getting to a place of another famous beer house, known as LOWENBRAUKELLER.      

Twelve minutes after Hitler had finished making his annual speech, on the evening of November 8, to the “Old Guard” party cronies at the Buergerbräukeller in Munich in commemoration of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, a shorter speech than usual, a bomb which had been planted in a pillar directly behind the speaker’s platform exploded, killing seven persons and wounding sixty-three others.

WILLIAN SHIRER (THE RISE AND THE FALL OF THE THIRD REICH, 1960)

‘BURGERBRAUKELLER’ BEER HALL

The explosive charge by Georg Elser has historically become one of the most well-known acts of the resistance against the Nazi regime inside Germany, probably the second after the ‘July 20 Plot’ (1944). The explosive charge collapsed the ceiling of the grand hall, devastated Hitler’s tribune and made any mass events not possible until the full renovation works. The reconstruction was initiated soon after the accident but was never fulfilled in the course of the war years over a matter of deficiency in construction materials and the allied air raids.  One of the Allied dropped bombs broke through the ceiling of the Burgerbraukeller main hall and failed to detonate by chance, leaving the building semi-abandoned to the end of the war. The American troops allocated the filiation of the American Red Cross and for many years to come to the former Nazi sacred beer hall used to serve as a leisure site for the military contingent all the way to 1957. After the restoration of the beer hall traditions in the late 1950s, the Burgerbraukeller had entertained the citizens and guests of Munich two more decades. The building, that had survived Georg Elser’s charge and the Allied bombardments were leveled to the ground in 1979.  

‘BURGERBRAUKELLER’ BEER HALL Munich

 

In the same manner as the other famous Munich beer halls, the Burgerbraukeller was once a way more than solo beer-house buildings, rather a complex of buildings with spacious halls, large cellar and summer garden with now gone seating places for 3000 of guests. In summary, the former initial point of the ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ march route once dominated the whole city block of the lame rectangular-shape.  The central entrance was faced to the ROSENHEIMER Strasse, a few steps aside from the modern metro exit of the same name and the automobile charging station. A cozy square between the GASTEIG Cultural Center and GEMA (state agency, which regulates the copyright rights in Germany) reveals a metal sign plate fitted into the block stone on the very place of the Georg Else’s charge in Burgerbraukeller. The words on this tablet honor the memory of his revolt. 

On this place, on November 8, 1939 in the former Burgerbraukeller, carpenter Georg Elser attempted the life of Adolf Hitler. He intended to make an end of the National-socialist terroristic regime, but he failed. Johann Georg Elser was executed on April 9, 1945 in Dachau concentration camp after five and a half years of imprisonment.  

Burgerbraukeller munich

 

LUDWIGSBRÜCKE BRIDGE

The brief involvement of the LUDWIGSBRUCKE bridge into the history of the ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ is historically limited to the extent of its location crossing the Isar river on the way between the Burgerbraukeller beer-house and the city center of Munich.  In the cold afternoon of November 9, 1923, the column of the Nazis and its supporters had to face the first Bavarian police cordon of thirty men armed with rifles and one heavy machine-gun and had been stationed here an hour before with an order not to let the column cross the bridge. Ignoring the definite note of warning, Hermann Goering appealed to the policemen not to kill their comrades (in a sense of former WW1 soldiers and German citizens). A few moments later, the ‘’Stoßtrupp Adolf Hitler’’ members and a few dozens of the putschists caught the Bavarian police squad at a weak moment and disarmed them without a shot. 28 of this policemen, now unarmed and some of them beaten and with arms behind their backs, were driven back to Burgerbraukeller under escort.    

It was almost noon when the straggling column moved off. In fifteen minutes the 2000 men reached the Ludwig bridge and a small force of state police. The police commander stepped forward as the Putschist skirmishers slowly advanced, called out to halt or be fired upon, then turned to his men and told them to load with live ammunition. As he spoke a bugle blasted, and selected Putschists suddenly converged on the police with bayonets leveled, shouting, “Don’t shoot at your comrades!” The police hesitated and before a shout could be fired were overrun. The column continued across the bridge and marched straight ahead.

JOHN TOLAND (ADOLF HITLER, 1976)

LUDWIGSBRÜCKE BRIDGE

The Isar river witnessed the first bridge in this very location back in the XII century. The white waters used to wipe out slimsy wooden and even stone ancestors of the ‘Isar bridge’ until the years of 1891-1892 when these weak constructions were replaced with two compounded stone bridges. The so-called ‘museum’ island, extended along the Isar river, was aggraded by the waters in the very beginning of the XVIII century and all the following ones were to become made up of two formations. On the very day of November 9, 1923, when Hitler and his column of the revolutionaries crossed the LUDWIGSBRUCKE, its inner-shorter-western part (Inner Ludwigsbrücke) was made of three stone arches. The ‘Äußere Ludwigsbrücke’ (external-longer-eastern) part from the Rosenheimer Strasse (witnessed the first steps of the column) had four arches.         

LUDWIGSBRÜCKE BRIDGE Munich Beer hall Putsch

In 1934, in any case within a year after gaining power in Germany, the Nazis initiated an extended reconstruction of both bridges over the Isar river (Inner and External ones). The new design included only one arch on the Western side and two on the Eastern, additionally reinforced with concrete.  It was this particular renovated LUDWIGSBRUCKE, which was once made an integral feature of the annual Nazi celebrations to celebrate the failed revolution of 1923, a sacred event for the regime and the Third Reich.    

LUDWIGSBRÜCKE BRIDGE in Munich 1923

The renovation or actually replacement works within the years 1934-1935 were supervised by German Bestelmeyer (German is his name, not Hermann), a famous architecture of the Third Reich era. Three years from that, he was inaugurated with the Golden Medal of Honor of the Munich Academy of Fine Arts (Akademie der Bildenden Künste Münche), granted by Hitler personally.  In the course of the renovation works, two of four pylons, in 1892 located in pairs on both sides, were now stood to the Western side. The newly designed architecture of the LUDWIGSBRUCKE was also correlated with the ‘renovations’ of the DEUTSCHES MUSEUM on an island beneath. Either pedestrian side of the new compound bridge was now completed with a line of new pylons, ornamented with an Eagle,  a name of one of the 16 fallen Nazis (who died in the course of the ‘Beer Hall Putsch’), and the fire cup above.    

LUDWIGSBRÜCKE BRIDGE and the Deutsches Museum

The LUDWIGSBRUCKE bridge came to relatively minor harm during the Allied air raids in the Second World War in stark contrast to the Deutsches Museum, which was almost destroyed within 1944-1945. For all that one air bomb hit the Western side of the bridge and completely devastated one of four original pylons of XIX century. The first repair works were finished already in 1948 and the Nazis pylons, which had once honored the failed Putsch, were now dismantled. The final reconstruction was managed in 1988 and the bridge has come to the modern appearance. On your walking way across the Isar river, you can notice the preserved stone figure of a German Eagle on the roof of the Deutsches Museum as well as three of the pylons (original ones, which survived the war) on the Western side.      

LUDWIGSBRÜCKE BRIDGE Munich 1923 Beer Hall Putsch March Route

 

ISARTOR GATES

Subsequent to the first confrontation with the Bavarian police squad of thirty people on the LUDWIGSBRUCKE, the column of the putschists crossed the Isar river and took the path to the Zweibrückenstraße street, can be translated literally as the ‘street of two bridges’, defined by former two Isar bridges. Hans Frank, at that time a young lawyer, who would later make his infamous place in history as the Governor-General in occupied Poland, held a position on a bridge with a heavy machine gun, previously ‘expropriated’ from the police. That cold November day, the citizens of Munich expressed opposed attitude on the march of the right-wing putschists. The reaction differed on a scale from excited ‘Heil’ callings and joining the column to unconcealed contempt and disrespect for the participants of the march.  Once covering another 400 meters from the Ludwigsbrucke, the November 9 column of the putschists entered the Old Town of Munich through the medieval ISARTOR gates.    

After overrunning a police cordon at Ludwigs Bridge, the march continued on to the Isar Gate and Marienplatz, Munich’s central square. Thousands of onlookers had gathered and cheered the demonstrators on. “The enthusiasm was unprecedented,” Hitler later said, “and I couldn’t help but remark to myself during the march that the people were behind us.”

VOLLKER ULRICH (HITLER, 2013) 

ISARTOR GATES Beer Hall Putsch

The ISARTOR gates were once in use as one of four main entrances to the medieval Munich, surrounded with a defending wall of 14-century origin. The 40-meter tower, which survived the centuries and the War until today, was the first building of the complex, further completed with the gates itself and two defense towers on both sides. The ISARTOR (ISAR — TOR) is to be translated as the ‘Gates (Tor) by the ISAR river. In 1860 the main tower witnessed the installation of the mechanical clock, which would be got back only in 2005, sixty years after the end of the War. The ISARTOR gates were heavily damaged during the Allied air bombardments in 1944 and the after-war reconstruction works and restoring its close-to-original state took another few decades. As well as it was in Medieval years, the Isartor gates are still meant as an important traffic junction of Munich and the nearby square include the metro station of the same name. Nowadays the building includes a small cafe and a museum devoted to Karl Valentin, a Bavarian comedian.  

ISARTOR GATES Munich

 

THE ‘TAL” STREET

Since the column of 2000-3000 people had passed the ISARTOR gates and entered the Old Town, the marching made a path to the ‘TAL’ street towards the MARIENPLATZ as the next way-point the of a planned route. The street which goes as far back as the XIII century was once a part of the medieval route from Salzburg far to the East, a historical transport arterial for the merchants, who used to deliver the ‘white gold’, sold. Tal had played a significant sacred role for the Nazi movement and Hitler personally. The Sterneckerbrau beer hall was once located at arm’s end from the Isartor gates. On September 12, 1919, a young Adolf Hitler got into an argument dispute with one of the DAP member and won the attention and curiosity of  Anton Drexler, the leader of a small right-wing party. Within the years 1919-1921, the propaganda fuhrer (Hitler) and DAP held a small one-room office in an alley behind the Sterneckerbrau. In 1933 the NSDAP opened a party museum within the former office premise and the annual celebrational route of the march used to include a one minute stop in front of the place. The TAL street also included another important meaning for the movement as the TORBRAU hotel, just across the road from Sterneckerbrau, is known as a formal place of ‘birth’ of the SS.  

On Friday, September 12, 1919, he dispatched Hitler to report on a meeting of an obscure political group that called itself the German Workers’ Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or DAP). Held in a cramped backroom in the Sterneckerbräu Beer Hall, the meeting was an unimpressive affair, attended by only a smattering of unimposing men.

THOMAS CHILDERS (THE THIRD REICH, 2017)

THE ‘TAL” STREET Beer Hall Putsch 1923

THE ‘TAL” STREET Munich

 

MARIENPLATZ SQUARE

In the afternoon of November 9, 1923, the column made of 2000 to 3000 people marched along the TAL street and reached the MARIENPLATZ city square.  On the very day the square, which had been meant as the heart of Munich since XII century, was full of people and looked like a human anthill. The putschists, who had already made their way from the Burgerbraukeller, now peopled the square with a thin trickle through the passage of the ‘Alte Rathaus’ (The Old Town Hall). The participants of the march now faced hundreds of people, who were hypnotized by a speech of a speaker on an improvised stand just beneath the New Town Hall. His name was Julius Streicher and the man was among the first apologists of the movement from Nuremberg. As the inspirer and editor of ‘Der Sturmer’ magazine (published since April 1923), Streicher had a mind to win support and hearts of the citizens of Munich by means of his flaming demagogy.  Now the column of the putschists was reinforced with the party member from Nuremberg and some people from the crowd.    

In front of the Munich City Hall Streicher was just delivering a speech from the top of a staircase; the crowd was large. How grave a juncture this was for Hitler can be measured from the fact that he, to whom the masses had rushed as “to a savior,” marched silently on this day.

JOACHIM FEST (HITLER, 1973)

MARIENPLATZ SQUARE Munich

Within the years of 1933-1934 Munich witnessed the massive renovative works of the city center and the ‘Altes Rathaus’ (The Old Town Hall) was also redesigned. The pedestrian passage which was once used by the ‘Beer Hall’ putschists was now enlarged. Years from that, the April 25, 1944 air raid on Munich caused heavy damage to the MARIENPLATZ square, the Old Town Hall in particular. In December of the same year, the Germans dismantled the wrecking tower to avoid the collapse and the modern one was built-up only in the 1970s, resembling the appearance close to the original one of the XIV century. The ‘Neues Rathaus’ (New Town Hall) also suffered damaged and the last renovations works were finished in the last years of the XX century.  

MARIENPLATZ SQUARE In Munich 1923

 

WEINSTRASSE И MAX-JOSEPH-PLATZ

With the crowd inflow of unexpected reinforcement on the city main square, the column of putschists with a tongue-tied Hitler continued their marching with the narrow WEINSTRASSE. Once gained its grand-sounding ‘A street of wine’ name (WEIN — wine, STRASSE — street) after after the wine merchants of the XIV century, it was to be characterized the same in 1923, welcoming the crowd with merchant stores and its customers, confused and excited with thousands of people, with rifles and banners,  marching in front of the windows.   

He had taken Scheubner-Richter’s arm as if he needed support; this, too, was an odd gesture, scarcely according with his image of a Führer. Amidst the cheering of the crowd, the procession swung haphazardly into the narrow streets of the Old City.

JOACHIM FEST (HITLER, 1973)

A few minutes after, the column of the revolutionaries reached the MAX-JOSEPH-PLATZ. Hitler had his history with the place and the National Theater, once the first building on the square back in XIX century, had inspired two paintings of young Adolf, harkening back to 1914 and his pre-war months in Munich. Years from that November day of the failed Putsch, the National Theatre, itself created in devotion to the Parisian Odeon theater, was a popular place in Munich within the years of the Third Reich. Hitler used to attend it from time to time while staying in Munich, with ‘Tristan and Iseult’ as one of his favorite operas. The square was badly damaged in a course of the October 3, 1943 air raid, which dramatically made the Theater, the Königsbau residence and several buildings lying in ruins. In the 1960s the construction of the underground parking paid no regard to the historical ruins of the medieval Franciscan monastery.     

WEINSTRASSE И MAX-JOSEPH-PLATZ

 

RESIDENZSTRAßE – FELDHERRNHALLE – ODEONSPLATZ

After streaming into narrow Residenzstrasse, the crowd of the putschists self-narrowed to a column with only a dozen people in every next row and Hitler, his bodyguard, Goering, and Ludendorff at the leading edge. Passionate ‘Heil’ callings, as well ‘Deutschland, erwache! Erwache!’ (Awake, Awake, Germany) extras from the ‘Sturmlied’ song (the song of the stormtroopers, preceding the infamous ‘Horst Wessel’)  did a little sense with the fact that the walking force of 2000 to 3000 people now lost its quantitative superiority and mobility within a narrow Residenzstrasse. Another Bavarian police cordon, made of 100 policemen had blocked the access to the Odeonsplatz square just beneath the FELDHERRNHALLE memorial of the XIX century.   

RESIDENZSTRAßE – FELDHERRNHALLE – ODEONSPLATZ

The Odeonsplatz had a sacred meaning for Hitler, in some sense to the bigger extent than any location in Munich. It was the very same square, then greeted the burst of the Great War (First World War) on August 2, 1914, and young Adolf Hitler was at that day a part of the rampaging crowd of thousands. Nine years later, neither up-in-arms callings of the Nazis nor the presence of the war hero Ludendorff had any influence on the Police squad. A solo gunshot from one of the opponent side resulted in one-minute gunfire. This very moment would be later made a legend in the Third Reich as one of the major events in German history accordant with the party line.  The moment, for example, brought a myth of theBLUTFAHNE’ (The blooded flag) to the world as the Nazi standard that the regime would later use to canonize the banners of the SS and SA formations by Hitler personally.

At the top of the Residenzstraße, as it approaches Odeonsplatz, the marchers, accompanied by the occasional ‘Heil’ from the crowd and trying to keep up their spirits by singing the ‘Sturm-Lied’ (Storming Song) composed by Dietrich Eckart, encountered the second, and larger, police cordon. hen shots rang out. Who fired the first shot was never fully clarified, but the evidence points to it being one of the putschists. A furious gun-battle lasting almost half a minute followed. When the firing ceased, fourteen putschists and four policemen lay dead.

IAN KERSHAW (HITLER: HUBRIS, 1998)

RESIDENZSTRAßE – FELDHERRNHALLE – ODEONSPLATZ Third Reich

With the advent of Hitler as the Fuhrer and the NSDAP as the ruling and the only political force in Germany, this last stop of the failed revolution of 1923 had gained a status of an iconic location. The eastern side of the FELDHERRNHALLE memorial was complemented with a stone figure of an Eagle, bearing swastika in clutches. Paul Ludwig Troost, the favorite architecture of that times, made a design of a stone tablet, set in stone the names of the 16 fallen Nazis, 14 of which died on this very place. In the years following years since 1933, the memorial had become the key, yet not the final stop of the annual November 9 ceremonial marching. The sacred place also listed the names of four fallen policemen and the party officials beyond Hitler, including Goering, Julius Streicher, Rudolf Hess, and Heinrich Himmler used to bring flowers to the memorial. Subsequent to the failed attempt of Georg Elser to kill Hitler on November 9, 1939, the regime managed to carry on a ceremony with seven coffins of the victims of the explosion in Burgerbraukeller.       

 FELDHERRNHALLE – ODEONSPLATZ MUNICH HITLER

The FELDHERRNHALLE was originally created to honor the soldiers of the Bavarian army and was incriminated with another sense in the Third Reich. The SS ‘guard of Honor’ used to be on constant watch beneath the memorial as well as to supervise the unspoken rule for the people to perform ‘Heil’ movement while walking in front of the FELDHERRNHALLE. The silent insubordination and resistance to this dictated rule become history as some of the Munich citizens preferred to use a cozy VISCARDIGASSE alley to outwalk the memorial. In this historical sense, the alley has become known as theDRÜCKEBERGER-GAßL’, which can be translated as the ‘Alley of those, who balk the obligations’. Subsequent to the liberation of Munich in 1945, the added part of the memorial was dismantled already in May 1945.     

The spacious square behind the FELDHERRNHALLE memorial was named after the Odeon concert-hall, which was almost completely destroyed during the Allied air raids on Munich. As far back as the XIX century, the open space in the heart of Munich was to be used as a ground for military parades and demonstrations. In the days of the Third Reich ODEONSPLATZ had become a site to preside the annual November ceremonies, devoted to the failed ‘Beer Hall Putsch’. The square witnessed parades by the SS and SA members, who gave their personal oath to their fuhrer Adolf Hitler, a man who eventually greeted the start of the First World War and now was pushing the world to a new one. The location was heavily damaged within the war years, yet now it resemblance the pre-war state in details. The stone sidewalk on the place of the 1923 gunshot includes a plate with the names of four fallen policemen.    

Odeonsplatz Hitler 1914

 

WAR MINISTRY AND ERNST ROHM

At the time when Hitler used the red limousine to reach the Burgerbraukeller at the end of November 8, 1923, Ernst Rohm, the chief of the stormtroopers was waiting for an order within a spacious hall of LOWENBRAUKELLER, another famous Munich beer-house.  Approximately at 9 o’clock a phone call from the other side of the city resounded the fall of the Bavarian government. The 2000 crowd of the brownshirts and the members of Kampfbund went outside the beer hall with an assurance that their revolution is already consolidated by Kahr-Lossow-Seisser triumvirate. A new semi-expected order from Hitler decreed to take the War Ministry in the center of Munich, a military patrimony of General Lossov and the actual headquarter of the whole VII military district of the Weimar Republic. In years ahead, this military region, getting in lines with the map borders of Bavaria, would be headed, among others, by Wilhelm von Leeb (The future Commander of the Army Group North) and Walther von Reichenau (The commander of the 6th army and the predecessor of Friedrich Paulus). 

Only a part of the initial 2000 crowd, lead by Ernst Rohm, marched along the city center and succeeded in taking the War Ministry to the north of the Odeonsplatz. The administration building was captured without resistance and the night-duty officers even kept the freedom to move around the cabinets until midnight. The putschist made a barbed wire cordon around the building and stationed the heavy machine-guns and armed men in windows. Yet along with the capture of the Police department (also without violence), it was the only success of the revolutionaries in Munich that night. Since the rapid visit of Hitler and his return to Burgerbraukeller as well as General Lossov’s speech on radio at 2:55 a.m. with a condemnation of aggression, the invaders of the War ministry were now in a siege, surrounded with squads of the Bavarian soldiers, put on the alert.      

Röhm did manage to take over the Reichswehr headquarters, though amazingly failed to take over the telephone switchboard, allowing Lossow to order the transport to Munich of loyalist troops in nearby towns and cities. In a night of chaos, the putschists failed dismally, largely owing to their own disorganization, to take control of barracks and government buildings. The early and partial successes were for the most part rapidly overturned. Neither the army nor the state police joined forces with the putschists.

IAN KERSHAW (HITLER: HUBRIS, 1998)

By the time the column, lead by Hitler and Ludendorff, moved off the Burgerbraukeller in the afternoon of November 9, Rohm’s men had been holding the perimeter defense since night. An attempt to liberate this sieged Nazis as well as a chance to win the support of the police and soldiers was the key cause for the column to make their way into the narrow Residenzstrasse towards the Odeonsplatz. Subsequent to a disaster near the FELDHERRNHALLE, Rohm and his men were engaged in a gunfight with the troops around the War Ministry and lost two men, whose names would be later added to fourteen, who had been killed at Odeonsplatz. Shortly after the gunfight, the besieged stormtroopers capitulated, disarmed and ingloriously convoyed to a place of detention along the streets of Munich.      

WAR MINISTRY AND ERNST ROHM

 

BRIENNER STRAßE – KAROLINENPLATZ – KÖNIGSPLATZ

However the suppression of the Putsch was not a question of if but when, Hitler and Ludendorff smoldered a desperate belief to win the hearts of the citizens of Munich as well as the military troops of the Bavarian Army.  As the next step to lifting the siege of the War Ministry, the column of the revolutionaries was meant to turn onto BRIENNER STRAßE, one of the main streets of the city, and to march across the KAROLINENPLATZ square to reach the KONIGSPLATZ. In the years of the Third Reich,  the annual November ceremonial column with Hitler atop used to continue their ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ march route after the ODEONSPLATZ and used to accomplish the ‘King’s Square’. In that period of German history, the KONIGSPLATZ was destined to become an important location for the Nazi regime, with several new buildings raised in the 1930s, including the so-called ‘Braunes Haus’ and the ‘EHRENTEMPEL’ (The Hall of Memory — a mausoleum for sixteen fallen Nazis). Both buildings were heavily damaged during the Allied bombardment of Munich and were later dismantled by the American troops.      

Already in 1931-2 he had collaborated with Troost on redesigning the Königsplatz in Munich, and when he came to power, these plans were put into effect.  Adjoining were two characteristic expressions of the Nazi cult of the dead: temples of honor dedicated to the Nazis who had been killed in the 1923 beer-hall putsch. The huge grass arena of the Königsplatz itself was paved over with 24,000 square feet of granite slabs.

RICHARD J. EVANS (THE COMING OF THE THIRD REICH, 2003)

BRIENNER STRAßE – KAROLINENPLATZ – KÖNIGSPLATZ

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