Nazi-era Odeonsplatz

Bavarian International School at the Feldherrnhalle
Hitler speaking from the Feldherrnhalle in 1935 and, below a demonstration against the Versailles settlement in 1919 and my students from the Bavarian International School today.
Feldherrenhalle - 'The Altar of the Movement'
Site of the failed Munich beer hall putsch November 9, 1923
The Feldherrnhalle on Munich’s Odeonsplatz, the nineteenth- century memorial to the Bavarian Army, took on new significance after the Nazis came to power. The site of Hitler's failed 1923 putsch attempt where 16 Nazis and 4 police were killed, ten years later Hitler took power and made this the site of his annual march to commemorate the event. A Nazi eagle was placed on it with two 24 hour ϟϟ honour guards- one had to give the Hitler salute to pass by. The plaque, often quoted in guides to the city, read:
The Feldherrnhalle is bound for all times with the names of the men who gave their lives on 9 November 1923 for the movement and the rebirth of Germany.
Having established his authority in the Party and reshaped its leadership structure, Hitler now decided to challenge the resolve of the Weimar Republic by mounting a Putsch in the Nazi stronghold of Bavaria. No doubt influenced by Mussolini’s successful march on Rome in October 1922, Hitler decided to act. Taking advantage of Germany’s hyper-inflation, the French and Belgian occupation of the Ruhr and government instability, Hitler together with disaffected war hero General Ludendorff and local nationalist groups sought to overthrow the Bavarian government in Munich and then march on “red” Berlin. On the evening of 8 November 1923 Hitler mobilized units of the SA and burst into a public meeting at the Bürgerbräu-Keller in Munich where the Bavarian state government under Gustav von Kahr was deciding whether or not to establish a separatist rightwing regime independent from alleged socialist influence in Berlin. Brandishing a gun, Hitler declared that he was forming a new provisional government: “I am going to fulfil the vow I made five years ago when I was a blind cripple in the military hospital; to know neither rest nor peace until the November criminals had been overthrown, until on the ruins of the wretched Germany of today there should have arisen once more a Germany of power and greatness, of freedom and splendour” Hitler, David Welch, (16)
Soon afterwards Ludendorff arrived, having agreed to become head of the the German Army in Hitler's government. Whilst Hitler had been appointing government ministers, Ernst Roehm seized the War Ministry and Rudolf Hess was arranging the arrest of Jews and left-wing political leaders in Bavaria. Hitler now planned to march on Berlin and remove the national government. Stupidly, Hitler had not thought to take control of the radio stations and the telegraph offices which meant that the national government in Berlin soon heard about Hitler's putsch and gave orders for it to be crushed.

As the morning hours passed, the would-be revolutionaries gradually discovered that they had been betrayed. Hitler might have been a talented propagandist, but he now displayed unimpressive leadership qualities. After some confusion during the morning, the Nazis at the Burgerbräukeller decided to march on the city to rouse the people. They hoped to convince the local Reichswehr to join them for the march on Berlin.
It was approaching noon on 9 November 1923 when a column of about 2,000 men set out for the centre of city. One of the marchers admitted later that the column hardly inspired confidence, looking like a “defeated army that had not fought anybody.” When it reached the bridge over the Isar, it encountered the state police. The “Green Police,” however, were confused by their orders and were overwhelmed by the marchers. This seemed to invigorate the column and it resumed marching. They continued toward military district headquarters.
One commander of the state police was determined to stop the column’s progress. A tough young lieutenant, Michael von Godin, set his men to fire if the marchers would not stop. One of the marchers shouted to the police not to shoot because Ludendorff was coming. Suddenly, a firefight commenced. Ulrich Graf, a loyal bodyguard, threw himself in front of Hitler to save his life. Graf was hit by eleven bullets. Göring was hit by a round in the groin, but escaped. Sixteen putschists were killed. Hitler escaped the scene to be arrested two days later outside of Munich. Hitler soon found that he was to be tried for high treason with other putschists, including Ludendorff. The Nazi leader realised that he might take propaganda advantage from such an event. He decided to use his trial ensure his prominence on the radical Right.

Feldherrnhalle then and now
The Feldherrnhalle from the time of the putsch and pleas for support from Munich residents in the form of proclamations.
From the time of the so-called Beer Hall Putsch and whilst taking a school group from Naples, Florida on a tour. Julius Streicher, later publisher of the “Stürmer”, is shown speaking in support of the putsch. The bus in the foreground transporting armed Nazis to Munich reads Hofbrauhaus F[reising].
Hitler Putsch Medallion  
The first medallion depicting Hitler (name intentionally spelt wrong) satirising the failed putsch attempt as three dwarves are shown on the Munich Theatre stage carrying a gallows and Nazi flag with backward swastika with the third raising his right hand in a Nazi salute. Behind the curtain is von Kahr with a cannon as a Social Democrat points to both. The poster below reads "Etzte Vorstellung - Auf nach Berlin" (Last Performance - On To Berlin). The maker of this medal, Karl Goetz, (who had also been responsible for the infamous Lusitania medal during the Great War) had to hunt down all copies to save himself from the wrath of the Nazis upon their takeover of power when they came out with their own medal honouring the putsch, shown on the right.
During the actual march, four flag bearers followed by Adolf Lenk and Kurt Neubauer, Ludendorff's servant, were in the front behind whom came more flag bearers followed by the leadership in two rows. Hitler marched in the centre, slouch hat in hand, the collar of his white trenchcoat turned up in defence of the cold. To his left, in civilian clothes, a green felt hat, and a loose loden coat, was Ludendorff. To Hitler's right was Scheubner-Richter. To his right came Alfred Rosenberg. On either side of these men were Ulrich Graf, Hermann Kriebel, Friedrich Weber, Julius Streicher, Hermann Göring, and Wilhelm Brückner.  Behind these came the second string of Heinz Pernet, Johann Aigner (Scheubner-Richter's servant), Gottfried Feder, Theodor von der Pfordten, Wilhelm Kolb, Rolf Reiner, Hans Streck, and Heinrich Bennecke, Brückner's adjutant.  Behind this row marched the Stoßtrupp-Hitler, the SA, the Infantry School, and the Oberländer.
On the left is the putsch as imagined by Schmitt, showing an heroic Hitler defiantly leading the charge front-centre when in fact he had been ignominiously thrown to the ground once shots were fired and quickly fled the scene and the site today with my bike honouring the holy red ensign. Sir Ian Kershaw wrote how "[h]ad the bullet which killed Scheubner-Richter been a foot to the right, history would have taken a different course. As it was, Hitler either took instant evasive action, or was wrenched to the ground by Scheubner-Richter." Kershaw quotes a Lieutenant- Colonel Theodor Endres who, even if he was "critical in every other respect of Hitler's action in the putsch, was certain that he had thrown himself to the ground at the out- break of gunfire, and thought this action 'absolutely right' ." Harold J. Gordon compares the action of Ludendorff to that of Hitler: "[Ludendorff's] 'courage' has often been praised as a contrast to the 'cowardice' of Hitler and the others, who hit the ground as soon as the firing started. In actual fact, Ludendorff showed merely foolhardiness, pride, or confidence in his destiny. A secretary at the Nazi paper Völkischer Beobachter claimed that a Dr. R. shielded Ludendorff with his body and died from eight bullets, and that Ludendorff himself fell unconscious. Gordon nevertheless assumes that Hitler's war experiences played a part: "Almost from the beginning the putschists claimed that Hitler had been pulled down by Scheubner-Richter when the latter was slain. This may well be true, but I suspect that Hitler would have dropped anyway. Such reflexes become automatic in a front soldier. However, some putschists claimed, on other grounds, that Hitler lost his nerve during the clash." Ernst Hanfstaengl, who did not witness the shooting at the Feldherrnhalle himself, had declared in 1970 that Hitler was made unfit for combat ("kampfuntauglich") when he was hurled to the ground by the dying Scheubner-Richter: "Die Behauptung, daß er feige gekniffen habe, stimmt also nicht" [The assertion that he had backed out as a coward is simply not true].
Every morning on November 9, Hitler and his entourage would leave the Burgerbraukeller to march to the Feldherrnhalle along the route used by the putschists. At the head of the procession was carried the Bloodflag (Blutfahne) which had been carried by the original conspirators, and was 'stained with the blood of the sixteen martyrs'. Hitler ordered a 'Blood-order' to be created, to whom the surviving putschists belonged, and it was their privilege to march with Hitler and the Bloodflag at the head of the procession. The route to the Feldherrnhalle (shown below) was marked by 240 pylons, each bearing the name of one of the movement's 'fallen heroes'. The name was read out as the head of the column marched past the pylon in question. Throughout military bands played the Horst Wessel march.
The Blutfahne was that of the 5th SA Sturm. When the Munich police fired on the Nazis, the flagbearer Heinrich Trambauer was hit and dropped the flag. Andreas Bauriedl, an SA man marching alongside the flag, was killed and fell onto it, staining the flag with his blood. After the war his body was removed from the temple of honour and buried in a common grave in Nordfriedhof. It was later claimed that Trambauer took the flag to a friend where he removed it from its staff before leaving with it hidden inside his jacket and later giving it to a Karl Eggers for safekeeping. After Adolf Hitler had been released from Landsberg prison, Eggers gave the flag to him who then had it fitted to a new staff and finial; just below the finial was a silver dedication sleeve which bore the names of the sixteen dead participants of the putsch. The flag was no longer attached to the staff by its original sewn-in sleeve, but by a red-white-black intertwined cord which ran through the sleeve instead. In 1926, at the second Nazi Party congress at Weimar, Hitler ceremonially bestowed the flag on Joseph Berchtold, the then head of the ϟϟ. The flag was thereafter treated as a sacred object by the Nazi Party and carried by ϟϟ-Sturmbannführer Jakob Grimminger at various Nazi Party ceremonies. One of the most visible uses of the flag was when Hitler, at the Party's annual Nuremberg rallies, touched other Nazi banners with the Blutfahne, thereby "sanctifying" them in a special ceremony called the "flag consecration" (Fahnenweihe). 
The site itself was honoured with a memorial to the sixteen 'martyrs'- shown on the 14th  anniversary of the attempt in 1937 and and with my bike today. After the Nazis took power in 1933, Hitler turned the Feldherrnhalle itself into a memorial to the Nazis killed during the failed putsch. A memorial to the fallen SA men was put up on its east side, opposite the location of the shootings. This monument, called the Mahnmal der Bewegung, was created based on a design by Paul Ludwig Troost and consisted of a rectangular structure listing the names of the martyrs which was under perpetual ceremonial guard by the ϟϟ. The square in front of the Feldherrnhalle was used for ϟϟ parades and commemorative rallies. During some of these events the sixteen dead were each commemorated by a temporary pillar placed in the Feldherrnhalle topped by a flame. New ϟϟ recruits took their oath of loyalty to Hitler in front of the memorial. Passers-by were expected to hail the site with the Nazi salute.

The Bavarian army monument designed by sculptor Ferdinand von Miller, 1892, honouring the Franco-Prussian war as it appeared on Hitler's birthday months after assuming the chancellorship. The city's removal of the memorial to those who died stopping the putsch attempt is particularly unfortunate as Munich is considered the capital of the Nazi movement, and yet it was here where the Nazis were stood up to and beaten. Generally ignored is the voice of those who did so, as in the following extract from the memories of Polizeioberleutnant Michael Freiherr von Godin:
On 9 November 1923 Reinforcement Station Middle 2 was mobilised at about 12.30 in the afternoon in Theatre Street . . . to defend against a troop of Hitler supporters marching from the direction of Wine Street. Reinforcement Station Middle 2 had just marched up to the line when a terrible din and screaming began in Residenz Street. At the same time, a few police officers from the direction of the Feldherrnhalle-Theatin Church waved for reinforcements for Residenz Street. With this I hurried with my troop back into Theatin [sic] Street around the Feldherrnhalle and recognised that the counter-attack by the Hitler troops, which were armed with all kinds of military equipment, had succeeded brilliantly in penetrating the positions in the Residenz Street. I arrived with the command: ‘Second Station Reinforcement, march, march!’ for a counter-attack against the successful breakthrough by the Hitler troops. At the breach made by the opponents, we were met with fixed bayonets, weapons with their safety catches off and drawn pistols. Individual members of my people were grabbed and pistols with the safety catches off were pointed at their chests. My people worked with rifle butts and rubber truncheons. For my defence, in order not to have to make use of my pistol prematurely, personally I had taken a carbine. I parried two bayonets pointed at me with it and knocked over those concerned with a carbine held out diagonally. Suddenly a Hitlerite, who stood one step diagonally to the left of me, loosed off a pistol shot at my head. The shot went past my head and killed an officer of my Station
My students during ISTA 2012
Reinforcement who was standing behind me. It was later established that it was junior officer Hollweg Nikolaus. For a split second my Station Reinforcement was paralysed. Even before it was possible for me to give an order, my people shot back, which gave the appearance of a salvo. At the same time the Hitlerites began to fire and for the space of 20 to 25 seconds there was a firefight good and proper. We were showered by the Hitler troops with heavy fire from the Preysing Palace and from the Rottenhöfer Café. The Demelmeyer unit from Middle 5 took up the fire fight against these opponents. At the very moment shots were loosed off by Station Reinforcement Middle 2, five men from the same group jumped up to the Feldherrnhalle and returned fire against Hitlerite guards who were firing from a kneeling position behind the lions at the chapel door of the Residenz. After a timespan of thirty seconds at most, the Hitlerites turned to disorderly flight.

E. Deuerlein (198-199)  Der Aufsteig der NSDAP
I'm excited to share a newspaper that was saved by the great-grandfather of a student of mine, shown me by the mother- the München Neueste Nachrichten from November 14, 1923. This is the obituary page of those who died during the Munich putsch which had taken place a mere five days earlier. What I find particularly striking is the name of one of them listed as dead- H. Gohring. Apparently it was listed to give Goering enough time to flee to Sweden.  According to Ernst Hanfstaengl, to whose house Hitler fled after the putsch and where he was arrested, "Goering had two bullets in the groin" as he tried to drag himself behind one of the stone lions in front of the Residenz palace. David King in his outstanding The Trial of Adolf Hitler has recently confirmed my suspicions:
Lieutenant Colonel Kriebel tried to help Göring by placing his name on the list of the dead, which was published in Münchner Neueste Nachrichten. Other popular dailies picked up the story, with München-Augsburger Abendzeitung asking if the famous flier had been "the twentieth casualty.
Beside the former Odeonsplatz commemorative plaque to the four policemen who died during the shootings- Rudolf Schraut, Friedrich Fink, Nikolaus Hollweg and Max Schobert. It read: Den Mitgliedern der Bayerischen Landespolizei, die beim Einsatz gegen die Nationalsozialistischen Putschisten am 9.11.1923 Ihr Leben liessen. (To the members of the Bavarian Police, who gave their lives opposing the National Socialist coup on 9 November 1923). For some reason Gellately seems unsure of the real number, simply stating in Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe that "three or four policemen were killed." (page 115) Inside the Residenz itself is the plaque shown on the right which reads: "In the memory of the members of the Bavarian police force, who were shot during striking down the National Socialist putsch attempt on 9 November 1923 at the Feldherrnhalle." The authorities have mysteriously removed the memorial soon after the photo in the centre was taken with no reason offered.
A new memorial has been placed on the façade of the Residenz. In fact, the Nazis themselves honoured the four below the memorial to the martyrs directly across on the Feldherrnhalle.
The paving stone motif is still in the imperial colours. It was here on the steps of the Feldherrnhalle, that Reinhold Elstner, a German Wehrmacht veteran and chemist born in 1920 in the predominantly German inhabited Sudetenland (now in the Czech Republic), poured petrol over himself and committed suicide at about 20.00 on April 25, 1995, in protest against what he called "the ongoing official slander and daemonisation of the German people and German soldiers 50 years after the end of World War II". Twelve hours later, on April 26, he died in a Munich hospital.  In a farewell letter, he wrote:  "With my 75 years of age, all I can do is to set a final sign of contemplation with my death in flames. And if only one German comes to consciousness and finds his way to the truth, then my sacrifice will not have been in vain."  Each year groups from various European countries try to hold a commemorative ceremony for him, which Bavarian authorities try to prevent through state and federal courts.
Tauranga International School in Munich 
During a tour I gave for the Tauranga International School from New Zealand
Postcards honouring the 'martyrs', featuring the 'Blood Flag' in the foreground and Feldherrnhalle in the background.
The Feldherrnhalle on Munich’s Odeonsplatz, the nineteenth- century memorial to the Bavarian Army, had hardly been invisible before 1933, but it certainly took on new significance after the Nazis came to power. A monument to those who died during the Beer Hall Putsch transformed it into one of the holy places of Nazism. The plaque, often quoted in guides to the city, read: 'The Feldherrnhalle is bound for all times with the names of the men who gave their lives on 9 November 1923 for the movement and the rebirth of Germany.’ Two ϟϟ men stood on constant guard in front; pedestrians were required to give the Nazi salute as they went by. One British visitor recalled how Germans’ arms 'shot up as though in reflex to an electric beam’ when they passed. The Feldherrnhalle appeared in all post-1933 guidebook itineraries, often meriting a photograph. Along with the Feldherrnhalle, the new Temples of Honour on the Königsplatz, built to house the sixteen copper coffins of Putsch victims, also attracted many visitors. Postcards contributed to this process of canonization, whereby Nazi shrines became top tourist attractions.
 nazi stamps
Nazi-era stamps commemorating Hitler's abortive "Beer Hall Putsch" on November 9, 1923 with Feldherrnhalle in the background.

During the Weimar Republic, during the NSDAP regime, and more recently- young Munich students holding a torchlight demonstration in honour of Rudolf Hess the day after his death in Spandau prison August 17, 1987.

Hitler, Hess and others in front of the Feldherrnhalle November, 1934.
The feldherrnhalle is clearly modelled on the Loggia della Signoria in Florence.
Hitler feldherrnhalle paintings
Purported drawing and 19.0cm by 13.5cm 1914 painting by Hitler himself.
Remarkable photo by Hoffmann of Hitler attending a rally in the Munich Odeonsplatz to celebrate the declaration of war August 2, 1914.

By simple random fortune, Heinrich Hoffmann, who was one day to become Hitler’s private photographer, snapped a picture of a large crowd in Munich’s Odenplatz [sic]. Its members were listening to a reading of the war declaration. Following the announcement, they cheered wildly. Hitler told Hoffman years later that he had been near the front rank of that crowd. A microscopic search revealed the young Hitler, standing enraptured, displaying a broad smile. As Richard Hanser has written, this Hoffman picture “freezes forever the precise instant at which the career of Adolf Hitler becomes possible."

The famous 1914 photo showing Hitler in the middle of the crowd at a WW1 rally was most likely faked. Historian Gerd Krumeich has studied the picture and its history and concluded that Hitler was superimposed into the picture to promote the image of the Nazi leader as a patriot and a man of the people. The photo was taken by Heinrich Hoffmann at a rally in support of war in Munich's Odeonsplatz in 1914. But it was not published until March 12, 1932 (in the Illustrierte Beobachter, the Nazi party newspaper) after Hitler's patriotism was questioned because he escaped from Vienna to Munich to avoid military service in Austria-Hungary.

Apparently this shows footage from the time with Hitler pointed out, but there is no evidence that that footage is actually from 1914. Some claim to see a 1963 corvette driving in the background! Nor does the man purported to be Hitler convincing. Slightly better film footage can be viewed in this youtube clip from the documentary "The Fatal Attraction of Adolf Hitler". Look for the scene at 4:36 of the clip.
Hitler on November 9 1934, speaking at the Feldherrnhalle
Hitler on November 9 1934, speaking at the Feldherrnhalle to newly-admitted members of the Hitlerjugend in place of the commemorative march to the Feldherrnhalle. Hitler delivered the following speech: 
"National Socialists! Deeply stirred, we stand again here today on this square. It is a reminder of our Movement’s first dead, and it is a symbolic act that the swearing-in of the Party’s recruits takes place on this square. This square of death thus becomes a place for swearing oaths in life. And we could conduct no fairer commemoration celebration at this site at which our comrades once gave their lives than the swearing-in of those who once again dedicate themselves to their work as the youth of Germany. You shall, I know, be just as loyal, just as brave as our old comrades! And you will have to be fighters! For there are still many, many opponents of our Movement in Germany. They do not want Germany to be strong. They do not want our Volk to be united. They do not want our Volk to defend its honour. They do not want our Volk to be free. They might not want it, but we want it, and our will will defeat them! And your will shall be with us, and you shall contribute to preserving and immortalising the will of that earlier time. We shall make even these last few bend under this will. We shall ensure that the times which once required these sacrifices will never again, within human power, return in Germany!
Today the Party is by no means at the end of its mission, but at the very beginning! It is now in its youth. And thus you, my German youth, are not entering something foreign; rather, youth is joining the Movement of youth, and this movement of youth thus welcomes you as one of its own. You have the task of doing your share to fulfil what your elders once hoped for. I am confident in you, confident that you who have already grown up and come into being in the spirit of the new Germany will fulfil this task, and that you will bear in mind our old principle: that it is not important that a single one of us lives, but vital that Germany lives!"
Hitler’s striking observation that there were “many, many opponents” stemmed perhaps from the pessimistic mood he was in throughout the months of November and December. His apparent depression might also have been a cause for the rumours of an assassination plot circulating at the time.

Hitler Youth flag ceremony on the "Tag der deutsche Jugend" in 1933GIF: Hungarian Levente-Jugend
Hitler Youth flag ceremony on the "Tag der deutsche Jugend" in 1933. No apparent attempt was made to explain the significance of the tree in front of the war memorial at the site today. The GIF on the right shows Hungarian Levente-Jugend in formation in front of the Feldherrnhalle on July 9, 1934. Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Schirach formed an international exchange with other such nationalist and fascist youth organisations. As early as 1933 the Hungarian counterparts to the Hitler Youth had visited Germany in an official capacity.The Levente-Jugend was a paramilitary youth organisation in Hungary in the interwar period and during the Second World War established in 1921 with the declared purpose of physical and health training but by the mid-1930s became an attempt to circumvent the ban for conscription imposed by the Treaty of Trianon. Over time it had openly become a pre-military organisation and is usually compared to Hitler Jugend and Opera Nazionale Balilla of Italy although the Levente was neither openly fascist nor particularly politicised.
GIF: Hitler being driven past the Feldherrnhalle Hitler being driven down Ludwigstraße
Hitler being driven past the Feldherrnhalle and down Ludwigstraße during his triumphal tour through Munich after returning from the occupation of Memel on March 26, 1939 

Himmler (centre) at the funeral of NSKK (National Socialist Motor Corps) leader Adolf Huenlein on May 21, 1942
Recruits being sworn in front of the Feldherrnhalle for the first time on November 7, 1935. Every year troops swore an oath of loyalty to Hitler personally.
The names of the 'martyrs' inscribed on memorial columns within

The ceremony of November 9, 1938 with English subtitles
During the annual midnight swearing-in of ϟϟ-men.

Paul Hermann's Und Ihr habt doch gesiegt (1942), makes a number of appearances in the video game Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

A memorial to the fallen putschists was erected on the east side of the Feldherrnhalle, opposite the spot in the street where the dead had fallen and the putsch had been halted. The top photo shows Hitler honouring the dead, in one many memorial ceremonies to be held at the site. The memorial was guarded perpetually by ϟϟ guards.

Front of the 'Memorial of the Blood Order' mahnmal at the Felderrnhalle with the sixteen 'martyrs' and behind with the Hitlerjugend serving as honour guard during the night of November 8, 1936.
The Memorial of the Blood Order beside a miniature bronze replica for sale.
The monument from behind, looking towards the Residenz which became the possession of ϟϟ Brigade Commander Christian Weber, described by Otto Strasser as an "ape-like creature" and "the most despicable of Hitler's underlings". 
A couple of  examples of the extensive reconstruction that has taken place since it was destroyed in the March 18, 1944 bombing-on the right, the Antiquarium and the Audienzzimmer.
GIF: Hitler addressing families of the 'martyrs' in front of the Residenz 
Hitler addressing families of those killed  two days earlier at the Bürgerbräukeller at a ceremony on November 11, 1939 with the Residenz in the background.
Then and now
Shirker's Alley (Drückeberger Gaßl)

All who passed the memorial had to give the Nazi salute. To avoid having to do this, people would walk down a path behind the monument on Viscardigasse, an alley that people used to avoid having to salute the monuments, hence the nickname 'Shirker's Alley.'
American GIs now replacing the guard immediately after the war and the cenotaph in June 1945. After being dismantled by the American military government the memorial was removed and melted down to be used for the restoration of the Residenz.
In 1998 bronze stones were placed to commemorate this 18 metres in length and 30 cm in width, designed by Bruno Wank. As with most memorials in Munich, there is no public notice explaining the significance of the bronze trail and the role of the Viscardigasse during the Nazi era. Whilst the Munich city authorities are happy to promote something that serves to highlight its citizens' resistance to the Nazi regime, it refuses to allow any stolpertstein- a brass plaque commemorating a victim of the regime usually sited in front of the victim's house or business found in nearly every German town, including my own. Top right shows Gunter Demnig laying the first three at Mauerkircherstrasse 13 on May 25, 2004 before being summarily and unceremoniously removed. Ironically, inside are the only examples of stolperstein allowed in Munich, in a building commissioned by Hitler and which is closed more often than not (as when I gave a tour for members of the Israeli consulate).
In his testimony at his trial in 1924, Hitler spoke of this street:
Another shot was fired, out of the little street to the rear of the Preysing Palace. Around me there were bodies. In front of us were State Police, rifles cocked. Farther in the rear there were armoured cars. My men were 70 to 80 metres in back of me. A big gentleman in a black overcoat was lying half covered on the ground, soiled with blood. I was convinced that he was Ludendorff. There were a few more shots fired from inside the Royal Residence and from the little street near the Preysing Palace and maybe also a few wild shots fired by our men. From the circle near the Rentenamt, I drove out of town. I intended to be driven back the same night.

On Monday, May 28 1945 the following was scrawled in the front of the Feldherrnhalle in large white letters:
"Dachau - Velden - Buchenwald
(Ich schäm)e mich, dass ich ein Deutscher bin - I am ashamed to be a German
Later on the corner of the monument facing the Residence was written“Keine Scham, nur Vergeltung! – Hakenkreuz – Schandkreuz" (No shame, only resistance - Swastika = Cross of Shame) and again days later under it: “Goethe, Diesel, Haydn, Rob. Koch. Ich bin stolz, eine Deutscher zu sein!" (I am proud to be a German!)  
 Palais Preysing then and now
The next two photos show the rear of the Feldherrnhalle after the war and as it appears today. The building attached to the rear of the Feldherrnhalle is the Palais Preysing, built between 1723 to 1728 for the Count Johann Maximilian of Preysing and was Munich's first rococo-style palace. The walls on the outside were embellished with stucco. However as can be seen by the photo on the left, what is seen by tourists today is little more than a reconstruction which few sites seem to mention.
More images of the palais then and now

The Annual March to Commemorate the Failed Putsch

A map of the route and sites of interest using Google maps created by the head of the Bavarian Orange Order

Theatinerstraße looking towards Odeonsplatz showing the rear of the Feldherrnhalle where the marchers were shot at on the 15th anniversary and the Theatinerkirche beside the Feldherrnhalle during the 1930s (with Nazi flag flying atop) and today.
Hitler in front of the Theatinerkirche during the November 9, 1934 commemoration. The previous year
some 830 men were mustered, facing the  Theatinerkirche. The streetlights were extinguished  and the square lit solely by torches. In a Wagnerian  touch, at midnight, after the last strike of the bell  from the Theatinerkirche, Hitler arrived, accompanied by Himmler; General Werner von Blomberg, the  Minister of Defence; and Gruppenfiihrer Sepp  Dietrich, who presented his life guard for swearing in. First came a paraphrase of the SS oath, spoken by  Heinrich Himmler: 'We swear to you, Adolf Hitler,  loyalty and bravery. We promise this to you and will be  obedient until death.' Then, from the SS men came  recital of the full oath: I swear to you, Adolf Hitler, as  Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor, loyalty and bravery. I  vow to you, and those you have named to command  me, obedience unto death. So help me God.'   To at least one SS observer, Emil Helfferich, it was  a moment of ecstasy. Helfferich referred to 'splendid  young men, serious of face, exemplary in bearing and  turnout. An elite. Tears came to my eyes when, by the  light of torches, thousands of voices repeated the  oath in chorus. It was like a prayer.' From that year  on, newly enrolled members of the Leibstandarte who  had yet to take their oath were sent to Munich for the  annual ceremony held in front of the Feldhermhalle. 
Two Nazi-era films relating to the commemoration of the failed putsch. The left shows the 1933 film Fuer uns - Zum Appell (For us - An Appeal) wherein the Nazi 'martyrs' call upon the German people to vote for the Nazis in the November 1933 election. The film itself emphasises the Nazi death cult. The right is from the bizarre Nazi film Ewige Wache (1936), showing the procession to the Feldherrnhalle with the names of the 'martyrs' read out.
For a detailed outline of a ceremony of the NSDAP for November 9, 1942 for local groups without access to instrumental music of the procession from “Zum 9. November 1942. Gedenktag für die Gefallenen der Bewegung,” Die neue Gemeinschaft, 8 (September 1942), pp. 492-502, see
The SA marching through the Odeonsplatz in 1938

The actual site of the trial of the participants in the so-called Beer Hall putsch in the barracks of the Infantry School on the corner of Blutenburgstraße and Pappenheimstraße is much reduced. The inset photo was taken March 22, 1924 and shows Erich Ludendorff leaving the building with my bike outside the same entrance today. Here the main hearing took place, partly in camera, on 25 days of trial from February 26 to April 1, 1924 against the defendants Adolf Hitler, Erich Ludendorff, Ludendorff's step-son Heinz Otto Kurt Pernet, Ernst Pöhner, Wilhelm Frick, Ernst Röhm, Hermann Kriebel, Friedrich Weber, Wilhelm Friedrich Karl Brückner and Robert Wagner. Originally, the trial was to be conducted in the courthouse on Mariahilfplatz before eventually it was decided to set the trial in the rooms of the former war school on Blutenburgstraße.  The site was heavily bombed and the top photo shows all that is left of the building today. The conduct of the negotiations by chairman Neithardt was marked by excessive benevolence towards the accused. Hitler himself was given opportunities for long propaganda speeches. In addition, Neithardt's questions were often asked in such a way that the defendant's statements were actually offered. This indulgence towards the defendants led to deep unease within the state government. Neithardt however enjoyed the support of the right-wing conservative Minister of Justice Franz Gürtner. The public was largely on the side of the defendants. Corresponding opinions in the courtroom were tolerated by the chairman.
The building during the trial which proved an international media sensation. Hitler was eventually convicted of high treason only to the minimum legal sentence of five years imprisonment and a fine of 200 gold marks, as Kriebel, Weber and Pöhner. Brückner, Röhm, Pernet, Wagner and Frick were each sentenced to one year and three months imprisonment and 100 gold marks as punishment. Ludendorff was acquitted based on the lie that he had enjoyed no knowledge of Hitler's plans. The convicts Hitler, Pöhner, Weber and Kriebel were promised by order of the People's Court after serving another sentence of six months probation for the remainder of the sentence. For Brückner, Röhm, Pernet, Wagner and Frick this probation was approved immediately. The prosecution had requested a sentence of eight years for Hitler. Of the mandatory expulsion of Hitler as a foreigner under Section 9 (2) of the Law for the Protection of the Republic, the People's Court expressly dismissed it. Likewise, it did not take into account that Hitler, convicted of breach of the peace in 1922, was already under probation and therefore could not have been granted probation again. The people's courts were the first and last instance in Bavaria for the cases assigned to them, so that no legal remedy was available against their judgements making the verdict immediately final. From Hitler's perspective, there were three positive benefits from this otherwise ludicrous attempt to seize power. First, the putsch brought Hitler to the attention of the German nation and generated front page headlines in newspapers around the world. It gave Hitler a platform to publicise his views and create his myth. The second benefit to Hitler was that he used his time in prison to produce Mein Kampf, which was dictated to his fellow prisoners Emil Maurice and Rudolf Hess. On December 20, 1924, having served only nine months, Hitler was released. The final benefit to Hitler was the insight that the path to power was through legitimate means rather than revolution or force. Accordingly, the most significant outcome of the putsch was a decision by Hitler to change his tactics, which would demand an increasing reliance on the development and furthering of Nazi propaganda.
This marker represents the site of the neighbouring barracks, destroyed during the war. During the time of the putsch, co-conspirators under Gerhard Rossbach mobilised the students, cadets and officer candidates of the Reichswehr of this officers infantry school to seize a number of objectives. Rossbach had been a Freikorps leader and organiser of various nationalist groups after the Great War and is generally credited with inventing the brown uniforms of the Nazi Party after supplying surplus tropical khaki shirts to early troops of the Sturmabteilung (SA).

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