The putsch

By January 11, 2021US Politics

Hitler was a high-school dropout and a failed artist whose military service during World War 1 had been the ‘high point’ of his life. However, he was convinced that his life’s mission was to “save Germany,” as he later put it1.

After the war, Hitler returned to Munich, where he had lived before the war, and was employed as a police spy. Told to infiltrate a small group called the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (DAP; German Workers’ Party), Hitler was attracted to the group’s nationalistic and anti-Semitic ideology. He joined the party in 1919 and soon became one of its early leaders and by 1921, he was addressing crowds of several thousand people in local beer halls. At about that time, DAP changed its name to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (NSDAP; National German Socialist Workers’ Party), or Nazi Party, and elected Hitler as its leader in July 19211.

By November 1923, Hitler and his associates had concocted a plot to seize power of the Bavarian state government (and thereby launch a larger revolution against the Weimar Republic) by kidnapping Gustav von Kahr, the state commissioner of Bavaria, and two other conservative politicians. Hitler’s plan involved using Erich Ludendorff, the right-wing World War I general, as a figurehead to lead a march on Berlin to overthrow the Weimar Republic. However, after the Beer Hall Putsch was stopped in its tracks, Hitler fled to the house of a friend, but was arrested on November 11, 1923. Accused of high treason, he was tried on February 26, 1924, and sentenced to five years in Landsberg prison. Landsberg was a relatively comfortable prison, intended for inmates who were considered misguided rather than dangerous. Hitler was allowed to receive visitors as well as fan mail from admirers. Assisted by his deputy and regular visitor, Rudolf Hess, Hitler produced the first volume of his political autobiography, ‘Mein Kampf’ (My Struggle), while in Landsberg. He served only about nine months of his sentence, obtaining a pardon and early release on December 20, 19241.

The invasion of the Capitol building in Washington DC a few days ago, was a lot more dangerous than the Beer Hall Putsch as the aim of the miscreants was clearly not to simply kidnap those in congress but, as some indicated at the time, to execute them. This included Vice President Mike Pence, who had refused Trump’s entreaties to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election win. Given that many of the miscreants filmed themselves, took selfies or allowed the media to film them, many have now been arrested and charged for their crimes2. On seeing this, and the likelihood of their incarceration, it made me wondered what would have happened if Hitler had been incarcerated in a less salubrious prison and had served the full 5 years of his sentence. In such a prison, visitors presumably would have been restricted to once a week; there would have been limited contact with the outside world, and it would have presumably been censored, or at least examined to make sure there were no instructions for anyone to commit crimes or suchlike.

While ‘what ifs’ are always unfathomable because we are unable to account for all the variables in any particular case, still, it does make me wonder if Hitler would have faded away and perhaps a proportion of the 60 million who died during the Second World War would have survived to live out their lives in relative peace. 

Anyone who believes that these gullible MAGA fools are going to go away, just because their Capitol Putsch failed, is, I believe, sadly mistaken. Twitter executives released a statement when banning Trump from the platform, which included the following: “Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021”3. If those arrested are allowed to get away with this attempted overthrow of the system of government, or if they suffer only minimal punishment, this will be a nod and a wink for such activities to continue. Furthermore, if those who incited this riot, including Trump and his enablers, do not face justice, or are pardoned, then Trump will continue and the gullible will follow him. It should be one law for all.

Sources

  1. https://www.history.com/topics/germany/beer-hall-putsch
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/09/us-capitol-insurrection-white-supremacist-terror
  3. https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/suspension.html

9 Comments

  • Yes Minister says:

    Whatever Hitler’s sins, the fact remains that he was probably the most proficient / convincing / inspiring orator of all time. It is a shame that there isn’t a single person on planet earth capable of firing up the masses to overthrow the bottom-feeding bloodsucking parasitic scum who have usurped all facets of authority. Needless to say, without an orator of the calibre of Hitler, we are doomed to be ruled by grubs who do not recognize any semblance of accountabiity. That is not to say I approve of many of Hitler’s, or indeed Trump’s measures, but there is a time and place for revolution albeit hopefully not revolution which embraces needless violence.

    • Arthur Baker says:

      “It is a shame that there isn’t a single person on planet earth capable of firing up the masses”.

      Oh, I don’t know. Phrases like “bottom-feeding bloodsucking parasitic scum” and “grubs who do not recognize any semblance of accountabiity” are a good start, and suggest that you, Yes Minister, could have just what it takes to accomplish the required “firing up”. Got me fired up already. Perhaps if I can organise you a platform and a microphone, we can get the movement going real soon? To the barricades, comrades!

    • admin says:

      YM,
      He apparetly was a superb orator, and the item on the Beer Hall Putsch in preparation for writing the piece, says that he was trained by the founder of the German Worker’s Party. Oratory is a much underrated skill, but I feel it is less important these days because of all the various modes of electronic communication. I watched Schwarzenegger’s 7 minute speech yesterday and it was excellent, but it was not oratory. One of the secrets of oratory is content, and this is perfectly illustrated by a comparison of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address with Trump’s ‘i have the best words’ speech. Both are here. https://blotreport.com/2017/01/08/lincoln-vs-trump/

  • Arthur Baker says:

    The whole of the Biden Presidency looks like a rocky time for the USA. The gullible MAGA fools, as you rightly call them, really do believe their guy has been robbed, and are unlikely to be convinced by the truth. Disturbingly, their recruitment base is 74 million strong (the people who voted for the orange loon). It only takes a small percentage of those 74 million to cause a swag of trouble, which the unfortunate Biden will have to deal with. An old friend in Cleveland Ohio told me the other day that if he could possibly return to Sydney, where he lived for about 20 years from the early 1970s to 1990s, he would be here “like a shot”. Unfortunately it doesn’t look possible, for all sorts of reasons.

    Incidentally, if World War II had not taken place, you wouldn’t be reading this comment, because my parents (a Geordie soldier conscript and a Nottinghamshire farm girl), would never have had any cause to meet. There are probably some tens of millions of people all over the world who would also never have seen the light of day, and descendants of same. And arguably tens of millions who would have seen the light of day but didn’t, also because of the war. (Not that I’m arguing that 60 million deaths are a good thing.)

    • admin says:

      Arthur,
      Biden has a monumental task; I just hope he can make as much of a dent in it such that it either placates enough of the trumpettes so they don’t want to execute everyone, or shows them how deluded they were to actually fall for the tripe that Trump spouted. Whichever it is, it is huge in its scope. We are all the result of life’s vagaries. I was an only child, and almost didn’t make it twice in my first six months, and almost didn’t make it six years ago.

  • Mark Dougall says:

    To me Trump is like Charles Manson. A more privileged version but the same sort of white supremacist nut bag. A person who revels in the adoration of sycophantic infantile people and takes them along on a ride that is inevitably doomed to fail. The marginal difference with Manson is that Trump has access to greater wealth (whether it is his is of course problematic) and has had more enablers who see him as a means to achieving their equally despicable goals. He should go to gaol for a very long time. He is a dangerous person, although stupid.

    • admin says:

      Mark,
      I think Manson was one of those people who, like Trump, suffer from malignant narcissism. Their image of themselves is all that concerns them. I have never heard Trump mention the (now) 385,000 Covid-19 dead, beyond saying that ‘we are doing a great job’ in reacting to Covid-19. They are the dregs of the species, and have no semblance of humanity about them. They sicken me.

    • Arthur Baker says:

      Mark, stupid people are frequently the most dangerous. Right now in Australia, I give you Craig Kelly and George Christensen, ably defended by acting PM Michael McCormack.

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