Munich was not Adolf Hitler’s hometown, but it was a critical steppingstone in his political rise. It became the headquarters of the Nazi party and a testing ground for his antisemitic plots to terrorize Munich’s Jews. In 1923, aided by politicians, judges, police, and ordinary residents, Hitler concocted an attempted coup of Bavaria. Even though Hitler’s attempted takeover—known as the beer hall putsch—failed, he would become German chancellor ten years later, because his insurrection was not taken as a real threat to the country’s democracy.
Historian Michael Brenner delves into what happened in Munich, why its transformation is crucial for understanding the Nazi era and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and how a failed coup turned into a successful grab for power many years later.
Brenner's book In Hitler's Munich: Jews, the Revolution, and the Rise of Nazism (Princeton University Press) is available for purchase.
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