On the evening of 8th November 1923 Hitlers Party staged a coup in the beer hall “Bürgerbräukeller” against the Bavarian government and the German Republic. The putsch was inspired by Benito Mussolini‘s March on Rome, from 22 to 29 October, 1922. Hitler and his associates planned to use Munich as a base for a march of armed insurgents on Berlin to bring down democracy in . In this aim he did agree with influential leaders of the Bavarian government like Gustav von Kahr. In the Bürgerbräukeller Hitler could win von Kahr and others to support his actions. But the coup leaders had not reckoned with the determined resistance of the Deputy Prime Minister of Bavaria Franz Matt of the Bavarian People’s Party. During the night Matt is able to bring loyal military and police units in position. 

On the morning of 9th November several thousand heavily armed Nazi SA troops marched through Munich’s old city and head to the army command in the Schönfeldstraße to enforce the decision and bring the uprising of Hitler and the former General Ludendorff to success. But after an exchange of gunfire with the Bavarian police, which has taken her position on the Odeon Square in Munich. Four policemen and 16 SA rebels are killed directly in front of the Feldherrenhalle. Hitler and his followers have to flee and the coup fails miserably.

The day of the 9th November characterizes the German history in the 20th Century like no other day of the year. It is the date of the proclamation of the Weimar Republic in 1918 by Philipp Scheidemann at the Berlin castle. It is the date of Hitler unsuccessful coup against the Weimar Republic. On the 9 November 1938 the Nazis, who came to power in 1933, organized the November pogroms against Jewish citizens in Germany. The 9th November 1989 finally marked the fall of the Berlin Wall and the victory of the first peaceful revolution in Germany. All events are logically and politically connected and highlight success and failure in the struggle for democracy, justice and freedom .

Our film combines Bavarian marching music with rare historical photographs from the early days of the Nazi movement to visualize the brew of beer fumes, uniforms and marching music that makes up the Nazi movement in its early days. Sensational original color films shot in Munich on May 28 1945 still show the Odeon Square and the at the Feldherrenhalle with the attached plaque of the NSDAP for their victims from 1923. On the base of the Feldherrenhalle an unknown Munich citizen wrote : “K.Z. Dachau – Velden – Buchenwald. I am ashamed that I am a German.”

SB