The Beer Hall Putsch was an unsuccessful coup against the Weimar government on 9 November 1923 by the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). It was an important event in the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
After the defeat of the German Empire in World War I, (PROSE: Just War) and the creation of the Weimar Republic, (PROSE: Almost Perfect) several political parties rose in Germany in the tumult brought about the nation's defeat. The most successful was the National Socialist German Workers Party, a nationalist, socialist and anti-Semitic party founded in 1919 by Anton Drexler and Dietrich Erhart. The NSDAP regularly met in beer halls around Munich, the vast majority of which ended in fighting against German Communists. Among the NSDAP's membership was the First World War hero General Erich Ludendorf, who acted as a figurehead but scarcely understood what was going on due to the onset of senility. More significant were Hermann Goering and Adolf Hitler, the latter of whom helped the party achieve modest political and electoral success in the early 1920s through his charisma and rabble-rousing speeches. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
The climate in Germany at the time was one of gloom. The Treaty of Versailles stipulated that Germany accept responsibility for the First World War, stripped her of her colonies and empire (PROSE: Just War) and saddled the country with reparations designed to cripple the economy. Soviets also attempted to spark a communist revolution (AUDIO: The Alchemists) as Vladimir Lenin continued to build up the Soviet Union, posing a threat to Germany in the east. (PROSE: The Wages of Sin)
The coup Edit
On 9 November 1923, the NSDAP sought to spark their own revolution and overthrowing government institutions. The membership gathered in Munich again and listened to one of Hitler's speeches, in which he denounced Jews and the Treaty of Versailles. With the membership riled up, the procession marched towards the German War Office with Hitler and Goering at the lead, plus Ludendorf in his figurehead status. As they arrived at the Odeonplatz, they came into contact with armed police. The police were unsure about how to respond, not wanting to fire on the crowd in case they hit Ludendorf and created a publicity nightmare.
As the crowd continued to advance, the police aimed their weapons at the ground in front of them and fired. Shards of granite and ricocheting bullets scattered all over the place, causing the crowd to panic and scatter. Goering was hit in the stomach by a piece of granite and limped away from the scene. Hitler fell to the ground, striking his shoulder and dislocated it, and was then trampled by the fleeing crowd, receiving several bruises.
Hitler attempted to drag himself away from the scene. He was ashamed of the party's swift descent into disorder and, aware of his failure to become leader of Germany, contemplated suicide. He was approached by the Seventh Doctor and Ace who were seeking to preserve Hitler's natural timeline and prevent a divergent future from coming to pass. The Doctor helped him to hit feet, reset his dislocated shoulder and convinced him that he would still become the leader of Germany, offering words of advice and encouragement. Reassured, Hitler was taken to a car and driven away to have his injuries tended to. Ace, disgusted, tried to kill him with a canister of nitro-9a but the Doctor stopped her by ruining her throw. The time travellers were then attacked by the War Chief, leading a second nitro-9a canister to blast another crater in the Odeonplatz, which were later attributed to the Putsch.
The NSDAP was banned after the coup and Hitler was later found by the authorities and arrested. He was sentenced to five years in prison for treason. He spent his time as a VIP prisoner, dictating his book Mein Kampf. After six months, he was pardoned and released, to be welcomed back as a hero. Contemporary observer Professor Karl Muller wrote in his 1927 book Ballots, Blood and Bullets – Political Chaos in Post-War Germany, that the Putsch ruined the party's chances of future electoral success. The NSDAP, or the Nazis as they would soon be better known, returned to a decade of "dirty politics". (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
The Nazis, however, proved more resilient than such assessments predicted. George Limb opined that the Putsch highlighted Hitler's potential and he argued that the British government would do well to take him seriously. (PROSE: Illegal Alien) As Germany's post-war problems continued to grow, the resurgent Nazis proved able to restore much of the order the true German authorities could not. They took part in the elections of 1932, and finally in 1933, Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany (AUDIO: The Alchemists) on 30 January. (AUDIO: Neverland) He established the brutal Nazi dictatorship of the Third Reich that plunged Europe into World War II and lasted for twelve years until its destruction in 1945. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)