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 sixteen Nazis and four 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.
Himmler laying wreath at site, 1934
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].
From Marienplatz the marchers continued continued down Weinstraße through Perusastraße into Max-Joseph-Platz and from it down Residenzstraße, shown both from the time of the putsch and immediately after the war from the corner of the Residenz, with Odeonsplatz at the very end.
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 right 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 outbreak 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].
During one of my regular tours. 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 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.
Standing in front with my bike

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 (115) that "three or four policemen were killed." 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 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." It wasn't until March 2009 that the city authorities ultimately acquiesed to putting up any memorial following the first performance of the documentary Hitler vor Gericht following negotiations between between Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann and Lord Mayor Christian Ude. Despite the difficulty the authorities showed in honouring those who stopped Nazis, the Nazis themselves honoured the four below the memorial to the 'martyrs' on the Feldherrnhalle itself. Then again, Munich City Councilman Karl Richter called in November 2018 on Facebook for "Freedom for Ursula Haverbeck," describing the 90-year-old a "dissident in the supposedly freest state in German history" and who is currently sitting in prison for denying the Holocaust.
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, having banned the first vigil planned to be held at the scene in 2004 by the city council. On the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch in 2018 neo-Nazis planned to set up candles in memory of the Nazis killed; an anniversary that falls on Kristallnacht.
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 Nazi 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.
The Feldherrnhalle is clearly modelled on the Loggia della Signoria in Florence. One Tuesday morning on August 7, 2018 a 54-year-old man stood at the Feldherrnhalle and gave the Hitler salute for about ten seconds, consciously seeking eye contact with a police patrol who was currently at Odeonsplatz. He was subsequently arrested by the police. This followed an earlier incident three years earlier at a Pegida demonstration involving eight neo-Nazis known to the police, including Karl-Heinz Statzberger, who had prepared the attempted bombing of the laying of the foundation stone for the Jewish Centre in Munich. One of them apparently raised his right arm with a clenched fist without any action taken.
Hitler feldherrnhalle paintings
Purported drawing and 19.0cm by 13.5cm 1914 painting by Hitler himself.
GIF: Hitler Odeonsplatz 1914
Remarkable photo by Hoffmann of Hitler attending a rally in the Munich Odeonsplatz to celebrate the declaration of war August 2, 1914. Hoffmann claimed that only after Hitler had visited the his studio in 1929 and told Hoffmann that he had been there, did he then search the glass negative of the image until he found Hitler. He had initially scrutinised the five plates he had from the rally without locating Hitler in any of them until weeks later a sixth plate surfaced showing Hitler, never subsequenly located. The photograph was then published in the March 12, 1932 issue of the Illustrierte Beobachter.Two years earlier the same paper featured a photo of the rally that did not contain Hitler.

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."
Historian Gerd Krumeich, who has written his doctoral thesis in this field, was the head of several research projects on the Great War and held the chair of Modern History at the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf from 1997 to 2010, has studied the picture and its history and concluded in 2010 that Hitler was superimposed into the picture to promote the image of the Nazi leader as a patriot and a man of the people after Hitler's patriotism was questioned because he escaped from Vienna to Munich to avoid military service in Austria-Hungary. Krumeich examined other images of the rally and was unable to find Hitler in the place where the photograph placed him. In fact, different versions of Hoffman's photo in the Bavarian State Archives shows Hitler appearing differently from the published image. Hitler's hair looked different in different versions of the photo, leading Krumeich to assume that at least some parts of the pictures were retouched. Other pictures taken on that day on Odeonsplatz didn't have Hitler in any of them, even not in those covering the area where Hitler was shown to stand. Others argue that Hitler's moustache is not the same style seen in photos of Hitler whilst serving during the war, and that Hitler made no mention in Mein Kampf of having been at Odeonsplatz.  As a result of such doubt raised, the curators of a 2010 Berlin exhibition about the Hitler cult inserted a notice saying that they could not vouch for the image's authenticity.
Apparently this shows footage from the time with Hitler pointed out, but there is no evidence that that footage is actually from 1914. Thomas Weber from Aberdeen University, has studied film footage of the rally concluding that Hitler may well have been there, but that nonetheless Hoffmann retouched the photo in question to put Hitler in a more prominent spot. A man somewhat resembling Hitler can indeed be spotted on the film, but closer to the Theatinerkirche than on the published picture. 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.
GIF: Hitler, Hess and others in front of Feldherrnhalle1934.Hitler, Hess and others in front of the Feldherrnhalle November, 1934 marking the second annual celebration in memory of the failed putsch of 1923 at a time when the June 30 Night of the Long Knives massacre of June 30 continued to cast a sombre shadow over the festivities and meetings of the Alte Kämpfer, implied in his speech quoted below. Hitler had thus cancelled the annual commemorative march to the Feldherrnhalle that year, decreeing that the institution of an "Endowment for the Martrys of the Movement" be established. In a speech the previous night at the Bürgerbräukeller, he alluded not only to the victims of November 9, 1923, but also to those of June 30, 1934 in which those slain were indirectly accorded the status of having been “martyrs” for the Movement, for they had also died for Hitler, their blood shed having “become the baptismal water of the Third Reich.”
Hitler on November 9 1934, speaking at the Feldherrnhalle
Hitler speaking at the Feldherrnhalle that day 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 at the funeral of Adolf Huenlein Ludwigstrasse
Himmler (centre) at the funeral of NSKK (National Socialist Motor Corps) leader Adolf Huenlein on May 21, 1942 who was posthumously awarded the Party's highest decoration, the German Order on 22 June 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.The ϟϟ loyalty oath was as follows: “I vow to you, Adolf Hitler, as Führer and chancellor of the German Reich, loyalty and bravery. I vow to you and to the leaders that you set for me, absolute allegiance until death. So help me God”. The ϟϟ differed from the Wehrmacht in its fanatical loyalty to Hitler and to Nazi racial and political values. Another distinguishing feature of the SS was its racial composition. Himmler imagined the ϟϟ not only as an elite military force but also the embodiment of racial purity. He ordered that all recruits be subject to strict physical requirements and “genealogical investigation” before acceptance. Those in the Leibstandarte, Hitler’s own personal bodyguard regiment, had to be between 23 and 35 years of age, 5’11″ in height, of Deutsche Blut and with no history of criminal behaviour or alcoholism. The racial requirements for ϟϟ officers was even more stringent; officer candidates had to provide certified evidence of Aryan heritage, dating back to 1750s.

Paul Hermann's Und Ihr habt doch gesiegt (1942), makes a number of appearances in the video game Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
The event which Hitler and the party leadership celebrated each year on November 9 was the notorious Munich Beer-hall Putsch of 1923. Throughout the Kampfzeit Hitler met with his old guard to remember and honour the sixteen party members who had lost their lives as a result of this abortive coup. With the Nazis' accession to power however, a radical reinterpretation of the coup was inevitable, since according to the party ideologues, National Socialism could not countenance the notion of even temporary defeat. Nor could it be admitted that early event connected with the name of the Fuhrer or the party could have been a costly blunder. Thus the defeat of 1923 was turned into the 'pre-requisite for the victory of 1933'.
Naturally the mystification of events surrounding the Beer Hall Putsch did not take place overnight. Even during the Kampfzeit many aspects of the 'victorious ' interpretation found their way into the annual ceremony which Hitler and the party leadership performed in Munich's Konigsplatz. But on November 9, 1935 a ceremony took place which illustrates the extent to which the Nazis had woven a mystical web around the coup, and which also serves to illustrate the inter-relationship of mythos, symbol and ritual which was the hallmark of National Socialism's ideological style. It was the ceremony of the Resurrection of the Dead. 
Standing at the site
 Late in the morning of November 9, 1935 Hitler and his entourage left the Burgerbraukeller to march to the Feldherrnhalle, along the route used by the putschists some twelve years previously. At the head of the procession was carried the Bloodflag 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 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. When the Feldherrnhalle was reached, the service of the resurrection of the sixteen 'Blood-witnesses', present in their recently exhumed state, began. The Volkischer Beobachter described the scene:

The dead of the 9th of November (do not lie) in dark graves with sad salutes, but in a beautiful building, in a well-lit hall, under God's free heaven, in brass sarcophagi, in which beat the heart of our revolution... We believe that these dead have found new life in us, and that they will live for ever. The belief that our flag is holy: the belief that the Creator has given us and them the strength for work and for victory, and the belief in our sacred mission to which these everlasting hours are dedicated, shows Germany her way forward. We know that out of the inner experience of our movement . . . we have gained eternal life because of the struggle and the sacrifice of the fallen for Germany . . . How few marched off in the beginning? Today there are millions represented in the flags and standards who are witness to this celebration. How few had from the first a clear understanding of this German belief? Yet the way to victory was ever clear to our soldiers in those lonely quiet hours . . . We old and young National Socialists thank Adolf Hitler for this unforgettable day. We praise him and this holy symbol of the resurrection of Germany, for which we have him and the flag of our struggle to thank. We go forward with open eyes and believing hearts under his direction. 
The centrepiece of the ceremony at the Feldherrnhalle was the admittance of the coffins into the sarcophagen, where the sixteen 'martyrs' were to lie as an 'Eternal Watch' for Germany. As the bodies were removed from the gun-carriages, Hitler called out their names one by one, to be answered each time by the thousands of assembled Hitler Youth and party members with the response 'Here!' The Völkischer Beobachter explained the significance of the ritual:
Again and again the thousands roar 'Here!' . . . the testament of these first Blood-witnesses is thus raised up to our entire Movement, whilst their spirit lives and works for Germany as its Eternal Watch.... Each of the dead thus greets the assembled thousands, who are themselves the reflection and the carriers of their will to victory.

 Then Hitler, flanked by his deputies and the comrades of the Blood- order, entered the temple and walked alone to 'greet his former true followers'. Having placed wreaths on each of the coffins, Hitler spoke to the assembly of the significance of the ceremony:
These sixteen men, who twelve years ago gave their lives as a sacrifice for their people (Volk) and their Fuhrer, are today raised from the grave. Who does not feel the truth of this resurrection? Who does not see the glint of their eyes in the newly-raised-up Wehrmacht? And the Reich, which is itself built around this consecrated ground, is it not their kingdom? The kingdom of their 'will' and victory?
Thus from the events of November 1923, the Nazis fashioned an inter-related symbol-world founded upon the mythos of a Holy history to which the 'martyrdom' of the sixteen was witness. However in order to be able to analyse the structure of this mythic history, it is necessary first of all to examine the various symbols which 'revealed' its meaning.

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 memorial was guarded perpetually by ϟϟ guards shown above.
Hitler Jugend serving as honour guard during the night of November 8, 1936.
The Memorial of the Blood Order and from behind, looking towards the Residenz.
Then and now
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.
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.'

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.

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).
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 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 by Joseph Effner for Count Johann Maximilian von Preysing, one of the highest ranking nobles at the court of Electors Karl Albrecht and Maximilian III of Preysing and 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. The façade facing Theatinerstraße behind me represents the rear façade, the main façade located on the Residenzstraße to the east shown above. Only large parts of the main façade, parts of the south façade on the Viscardigasse and the walls of the staircase remained standing. The west façade to the Theatinerstraße here however had to be blown up after the war for structural reasons and was reconstructed down to the smallest detail by architect Erwin Schleich together with the remaining missing parts of the other two façades, representing one of the best rebuilding achievements in postwar Munich, along with the rebuilding of the residence. Schleich had been involved in almost all of the historically significant reconstruction work in Munich and his book Die 2. Zerstörung Münchens is worth a read. 
More images of the palais then and now 
 GIF: Nazi Munich
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.
GIF: Hitler in front of the Theatinerkirche November 9, 1934
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. 
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. The Residenz 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 with Drake Winston in the foreground and the Audienzzimmer. That night the RAF launched 958 tonnes of explosive and incendiary bombs on Munich. The National Theatre was completely destroyed; even the iron stage construction melted in the heat and by the next morning only the perimetre walls are remained.  Richard Strauss, who saw the premiere of his last opera "Capriccio" here, described after looking at the heap of rubble how "it was the biggest disaster that has ever broken into my life; there is no comfort."
Looking at what was left of Palais Toerring from Max-Joseph Platz and the Residenz Königsbau towards the opposite way in 1946 and with Drake Winston today from the steps of the opera house.
Hitler paintings of the Munich Opera House at Max-Joseph Platz.
Two supposed Hitler paintings of the Munich Opera House at Max-Joseph Platz. That on the right is a 25" by 19-3/4" painting of the same building by Hitler just after a rainstorm. It was painted in München in the first half of 1914, when Hitler lived at the Josef Popp residence at 34/III Schleissheimerstraße. Popp in an interview several years later recalled:
He began his painting straight away and stuck to his work for hours. In a couple of days I saw two lovely pictures finished and lying on the table, one of the cathedral and the other of the Theatinerkirche. After that my lodger [Hitler] used to go out early of a morning with his portfolio under his arm in search of customers.

Hitler's plan for the new opera house in Munich, part of its redevelopment under the Third Reich
The opera house during the Day of German Art of July 18, 1937.  Numerous activities were scheduled for that day, such as a procession through town depicting “2,000 years of German culture” beginning with a performance of Tristan und Isolde in the Munich National Theatre to open the festivities.
After the bombing of the night of October 3, 1943 and standing in front today. 
GIF: SA men marching on the corner of Ludwigstraße and Galeriestraße onto Odeonsplatz.
SA men marching on the corner of Ludwigstraße and Galeriestraße onto Odeonsplatz. It was here that Hitler spent most of his time before taking power of Germany in 1933.
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