Killing Hitler PDF ePub eBook

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Killing Hitler free pdf Prologue Munich, Thursday, 8 November 1923, 8: 30 p.m. Few of the guests would have noticed the sallow-faced young man who entered the beer hall that evening. All of the great and the good of Munich were there: bankers, businessmen, newspaper editors, and politicians. They had gathered to hear an address commemorating the fifth anniversary of the November Revolution, given by the newly appointed state commissioner for Bavaria. They had expected a forceful denunciation of Marxism, an explanation of the administration's policies, perhaps even the advocacy of a restoration of the Bavarian monarchy. What they got was an attempted revolution. The hall, the Burgerbraukeller, was one of the largest in Munich. Located on the east side of the river Isar, which bisected the city, it was a cavernous room that belied the cozy image of the traditional beer hall. With a high ceiling, ornate chandeliers, and a wide balcony running down one side, it could accommodate around three thousand people seated on either side of long wooden trestle tables. As such, it was one of the primary venues in Munich for public lectures and political meetings. This evening, it was packed to the rafters. The doors had been closed already at 7: 15 p.m. to prevent overcrowding, and the disappointed milled in the drizzle on the street outside. The man loitering at the rear of the hall would have been known to many of the guests present that night. A pale individual in his mid-thirties, with sharp cheekbones, a toothbrush mustache, and striking blue eyes, Adolf Hitler was the leader of a local extreme nationalist group that called itself the National Socialist German Workers Party-or Nazis for short. He wasrenowned as a talented and inspirational public speaker, captivating his audiences with his impassioned and intemperate lectures on German politics. He had already spoken at the Burgerbraukeller numerous times. This evening, however, he had come as an unlikely revolutionary. Dressed in a poorly cut black morning suit with flowing tails, his hair slicked close to his scalp and falling in unruly strands across his forehead, he looked more like an overworked waiter or an undertaker. Nonetheless, about half an hour into the keynote speech, he began to make his way forward at the head of a phalanx of fellow putschists. As a detachment of Nazi storm troopers appeared, dragging a machine gun into the hall entrance, the distinguished speaker on the podium tailed off into silence. Whispers spread around the cavernous hall, drinkers craned their necks to see what was going on, women fainted, and tables were upended. In the commotion, Hitler clambered onto a chair, fired a pistol shot into the ceiling, and called for silence. "The National Revolution," he announced, "has begun."1 After a brief speech, he posted his troops and bodyguards at the exits and persuaded three of the honored guests present-who, between them, effectively ruled Munich-to retire with him to an adjoining room. There, in wild excitement, Hitler harangued his captive audience, announcing the formation of a new government with himself at its head, and promising ministerial posts for those present if they agreed to cooperate. Waving his gun, he warned melodramatically: "I have four shots in my pistol. Three for my collaborators if they abandon me. The last is for myself." With that, he put the gun to his temple, declaring: "If I am not victorious by tomorrow afternoon, I shall be a dead man."2 Germany in 1923 had endured five years of chaos. Emerging from defeat in the maelstrom of World War One, its fledgling democracy was assailed from both left and right, and undermined by a disintegrating economy. Political radicalism was fueled by a spiral of debilitating hyperinflation. By 1920, the price index stood at nearly 15 times its value in 1913- two years later it

About Roger Moorhouse

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Details Book

Author : Roger Moorhouse
Publisher : Bantam Books
Data Published : 01 March 2006
ISBN : 5551516008
EAN : 9785551516002
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 320 pages
Age + : 0-1 years
Language : English
Rating :

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